Single students can take a break from swiping through dating apps and take a spin at finding love Oct. 17 at Navy Pier’s speed dating event.
In honor of Sweetest Day Oct. 20, the autumn version of Valentine’s Day, Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) is hosting “Spinning with Singles,” a mixer for singles 21 and older who are ready to mingle. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., guests can take part in a speed dating event on the iconic Centennial Wheel and socialize on Entertainment Cruises’ triple-deck private yacht, Chicago Elite.
Kicking off the evening, guests will be able to interact while riding the Centennial Wheel. Two to three couples will speed date in each enclosed gondola for one round on the wheel before rotating and meeting new people.
Spinning with Singles allows for guests to interact in person — something not provided by dating apps which match people online.
“People are getting ‘boo-ed’ up all over the place,” Lydia Jordan-Parnell, Navy Pier’s public relations coordinator, said in a phone interview with The Phoenix. “[Spinning with Singles is] a great opportunity to take a step back to basics. The dating scene these days is very digital and very fast-paced. It’s a great opportunity to put yourself in a nice, fun, intentional, ready to mix-and-mingle in a gorgeous setting like Navy Pier.”
Once the speed dating portion of the evening is complete, participants will make their way to Chicago Elite for a reception featuring hors-d’oeuvres and an open bar. On Chicago Elite, guests are encouraged to connect with those they didn’t meet on the Centennial Wheel or continue conversations with those who piqued their interest.
Spinning with Singles hosted its first event in 2017, becoming an annual event this year, Jordan-Parnell said. Spinning with Singles sold out its past two events, hosting around 100 guests, according to Jordan-Parnell.
Jordan-Parnell said the event is a creative way to showcase Centennial Wheel as a year-round attraction.
“The cool feature of Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel … [is] it’s not just a summer attraction,” Jordan-Parnell said. “The gondolas are enclosed, and they’re weather controlled, so there’s air conditioning for the hot summer, but they’re also heated up for the winter months.”
As cuffing season approaches, single students can meet people the old-fashioned way and get ready for the holiday season.
At the end of the night, guests will receive a gift bag with exclusive offers to Navy Pier experiences including I Dream of Falafel and Riva Crabhouse.
“Hopefully if you’ve made a love connection, you can come back [to Navy Pier] for a second date,” Jordan-Parnell said.
Tickets to Spinning with Singles are $50 and can be purchased online. Each ticket includes a ride on the Centennial Wheel, access to Chicago Elite, food and an open bar.