Chocolate has long been an indulgence on Valentine’s Day, so why not use the holiday as an excuse to forget the diet for a day or two and splurge on the rich confection.
- The Blackhawk Waterways region of Northwest Illinois has an entire Chocolate Trail devoted to the sweet goodness. Suggested itineraries include stops at coffee and candy shops, wineries, and gift shops, including one that sells soaps made from chocolate.
- Attend the Home Sweet Homewood Chocolate Fest on Saturday, February 15. Enjoy live music, baking demonstrations, and vendor booths with lots of chocolate desserts. Amateur bakers will compete in the Home Sweet Homewood’s Master Pastry Chef bake-off.
- Take the Chicago Chocolate Tour, a walking tour with tasting stops at chocolate shops, bakeries and cafes.
- Go on a winter hike at Starved Rock State Park, ooh and ah at the frozen waterfalls and then buy fresh-made fudge in the Visitor Center gift shop, Trailheads Snacks & Souvenirs. You’ll feel less guilty eating it knowing that you hiked off some of the calories.
- Get away to the Quad Cities for the weekend. Attend the free Valentine Moonlight indoor Music and Outdoor Walk in Rock Island where you can stroll under the full moon along a luminary-lit trail and then warm up with hot cocoa in the Watch Tower Lodge. The next day visit the nostalgic Lagomarcino’s Ice Cream Parlor and Confectionary in Moline for a sundae served with hot fudge made in small batches right on the premises. Before you leave, pick up some handmade chocolates to take home and enjoy later.
Happy sweet indulgence Valentine’s Day!
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