The middle of February doesn’t have to be a time where we overanalyze our romantic situation (or lack thereof). Women have been taking the time to focus on themselves, and their friendships, in a healthy and loving way. In 2010, the television series Parks and Recreation introduced the concept of Galentine’s Day, a celebration of female friends on February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day, and we are so onboard for it. Like Leslie Knope said, it’s “ladies celebratin’ ladies.” Here are seven ways you can celebrate Galentine’s Day with your mejor amigas.
Get out of town
Why not turn a Galentine’s Day celebration into a weekend getaway? It doesn’t have to be far from home, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes it’s just nice to escape the life you know. Gather a few of your closest friends and split the costs of a bed and breakfast, an Airbnb, or a cabin. Adjust your plans for what’s nearby and what all of you need the most right now. Are you craving a quiet setting surrounded by nature? A bustling city? A town that doesn’t show up on most maps? Try to choose a location that none of you has explored. This doesn’t have to be prohibitive to the ladies in relationships who want to spend Valentine’s Day evening with their significant others, either—just plan an overnighter or a day trip instead.
Block out time for a long, boozy brunch
This one brings Galentine’s Day back to its roots, evoking Leslie Knope’s vision for the holiday: “My lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it breakfast-style.” Peruse the internet for restaurants in your area that are putting on Galentine’s Day special offers for drinks or menus (they’re out there!), or make reservations at your favorite brunch spot (bottomless mimosas, anyone?). Whatever you choose will be great, because breakfast is great.
Organize a Secret Galentine gift exchange
You’ve heard of the Christmas tradition Secret Santa. The variations of the game are numerous, but a tried-and-true version is the one where everyone in a group draws a name before some specified event (say, a long, boozy brunch) and, without revealing who has drawn whom, purchases a gift for the person they’ve drawn. For this Secret Galentine gift exchange, the organizer should hand out identical gift bags to the gals participating (including herself). Suggest a gift price range based on what everyone can afford. Remind the gals to put no identifying markers on the outside of the gift bags when they bring them on the day of the exchange, but to instead tape the name they’ve drawn to the inside of the bag. (This ensures that the gift-giver’s identity remains a secret until the part of the game where identities are revealed) At the event, each gal can take one of the gifts, open it and give it to the person whose name has been taped on the inside. Once all gifts have been opened, each person writes the name of the person she thinks is her Secret Galentine on the back of the piece of paper with her name on it. Once guesses are revealed, the Secret Galentines can reveal themselves to one another; those who guess correctly get a small prize!
Bring back the sleepover
Some of the best memories from youth include group sleepovers: those exciting events when, for a full 12 to 24 hours, we get to hang out with our besties and talk life, boys, gossip, eat junk food, watch movies, and laugh way too much. While the subjects of your passion may have changed since middle school, and while that passion’s intensity may no longer be enough to energize you through the night, there’s no reason why you can’t recreate a similar sense of excitement and intimacy. Invite your ladies over for a pot luck-style dinner, followed by special cocktails, popcorn, and the binge-watching of a show like Good Girls Revolt.
Schedule a group wine tasting (or host your own)
Wine tastings are fun, because they allow you to feel fancy and cultured while also getting kind of tipsy. (If you’d like to keep tipsiness to a minimum, be sure to consume a hearty meal ahead of time. (It’s best to prevent a hangover before it happens!) Wine tastings have something for everyone in the group: those with refined palates and a love of wine get a better understanding of flavor profiles and winemaking methods, and those who just love wine whether it’s from France or Whole Foods still have wine. If you don’t want to go out for the tasting, create your own at home! Not a fan of wine? Try bourbon or beer instead. Your gals won’t complain.
Enjoy some R&R together.
Friends who slay together, stay together! Celebrating friendship doesn’t just have to involve drinking and partying. Why not do something great for your overall health? Take a group yoga class together, go on a hike in nature, have a DIY spa day (or book the real deal), or anything else that will bring you all peace and serenity. Hanging out is a great opportunity to share new ways of staying mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. Sharing positive moments that benefit you and your friends is what friendship is all about, no?