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Summer dates sure to heat things up

The whale portion of the aquatic show is just one highlight of Shedd Aquarium.
The whale portion of the aquatic show is just one highlight of Shedd Aquarium.
Grace Johnson

No matter what time of year it is, couples should take the time to keep the romance alive. Each season offers its own fun, unique date ideas, and summer is no exception. Here are just a few of the most romantic ways to make sure your love sizzles under the sun, even when classes aren't in session.

1. Museum visits. Although trips to the various museums around the Chicago area are available at any time of year, summer is the best time of year to go. You have the time to learn about the exhibits you want to, and you don't have to feel bombarded with information like you would during the school year. It's a fun way to learn about your significant other's interests outside of books, television shows and movies. You have options such as the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry or Shedd Aquarium, each with their own perks. Tickets can be expensive though, so make sure you ask for student discounts whenever possible.

2. Adler Planetarium. While Chicago has many selling points for reasons to visit and live in the area, it does have its downsides—mainly, the inability to watch the stars. This is always a romantic activity, but it can be frustrating for those living in cities because they just look up and see buildings. For this reason, Adler Planetarium is the perfect romantic hotspot for young couples. You get to look at stars without even leaving the Windy City. Once again, student discounts can offer your wallet a bit of a break, so make sure to bring your ID along.

3. Navy Pier. This Chicago landmark has much to offer in the romance department, including fireworks each Wednesday and Saturday night throughout the summer as well as Lake Michigan cruises. Not your thing? You can also visit Pier Park and ride the Ferris Wheel. There's nothing to set the mood like a kiss at the top, overlooking the lake as well as the city. Best of all, prices vary for different activities, so you can spend as little or as much as you want.

4. Beaches. Lake Michigan is definitely one of Chicago's highlights, and although you can't always afford the nice cruises, you can always dive into one of the many beaches in the area. You can make it romantic by creating a private picnic for you and your S.O. or you can just go for a nice walk once the sun begins to set.