Plans still up in the air? That's your cue for a Ferris wheel ride

Plans still up in the air? That's your cue for a Ferris wheel ride
The Ferris wheel at Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier will glow with Valentine's Day images and lights on Wednesday night. (Pacific Park)

The Ferris wheel made its debut in Chicago at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. These days a modern-day wheel still spins on the city's Navy Pier. Wheel rides can be romantic on Valentine's Day, which also is National Ferris Wheel Day, or any day of the year.

If you missed Cupid's Day, do not fear. Some of these experiences you can do any time. The day is immaterial because romance does not mind the calendar.


Here are three wheels that celebrate the link between romance and rides, first on the big day and then all the other days. But no day is ordinary when love is in the air, right?


The big day: The Centennial Wheel at the Navy Pier offered potential twosomes who are 21 and older a speed-dating opportunity on the 200-foot-high Ferris wheel on Valentine's Day.

Those folks were to get a full ride before some riders changed to another gondola, meeting and mingling with newcomers. After the spin, they boarded the Chicago Elite yacht for a reception with hors d'oeuvres, open bar and live music. Speed dating started at 7 p.m.; ride and reception tickets cost $50 each.

The other days: The enclosed gondolas are heated and hold six to eight people. The ride occasionally shuts down because of weather, but otherwise, it's a great excuse to snuggle.

Info: Navy Pier

Santa Monica

The big day: Violinist Daniel Morris serenaded valentines at the Pacific Park Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. Morris was to play 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday as passengers rode on the wheel dazzling with 174,000 LED lights. The wheel's colors were red, pink and white — and feature blinking hearts and kiss images too.

The other days: Who does not want fabulous views of the Southern California coast from 130 feet in the air, especially on a balmy night—and these winter nights are definitely that.


The big day: The Orlando Eye put you and your valentine in a private capsule with a rose, a box of handmade chocolates and a glass of Champagne as you took advantage of the sweeping views of central Florida from 400 feet. You could ride day or night. Tickets cost $110 per couple, with Champagne, or $90 per couple for non-alcoholic drinks.

The other days: Remember when he or she swept you off your feet? That may be the feeling you get when you soar 400 feet in the air—and in the air conditioning, which is often mandatory in Florida, given the weather, never mind the heat of passion.

Info: Orlando Eye