Galentine’s Day might surpass the popularity of Valentine’s Day this year, and we’re here for it!
If you want, you can still have that fancy dinner date with your partner on February 14. But on the 13th, get inspired by the fictional holiday from “Parks and Recreation” and host an evening for your gals (and any other friends who’ll enjoy your planned activities — there’s no need to make it exclusive).
What makes for a great Galentine’s Day activity? It needs to be active but not complex, and it needs to be fun and easy to customize for your unique group of friends. Bonus points if it’s also tasty or boozy. Here are some suggestions for things you can do during your party or event. Include a few of these ideas, or use the list as inspiration to develop your own activity.
Set up an ice cream bar
Lean directly into the cliches of singledom by eating some ice cream on Galentine’s Day. Setting up an ice cream sundae bar is very delicious and gives your friends an easy activity to participate in — making their own ice cream sundae.
Stock up on a selection of ice cream flavors (and a sorbet for your lactose-intolerant friend) and toppings like M&Ms, crushed-up candy bars, syrups, and fruit. You can even toss in a few oddball toppings, like wasabi peas. Set everything out, along with serving bowls and spoons, and let each of your pals create their ice cream masterpiece.
If you’re aiming for a classier occasion, add a cocktail-making activity to your Galentine’s Day event. To keep it simple, choose one or two cocktails that everyone can learn how to make, and ensure you have enough cocktail shakers, ice, and glasses so that everyone can participate.
Pink cocktails like a cosmopolitan or paloma are excellent choices, and for your nondrinking friends, consider preparing an alcohol-free “mocktail” recipe.
Host a themed movie night
Cozy up on the couch with your gal pals by hosting a Galentine’s Day movie night. There are no rules here — you can watch a horror film or throw it back to your favorite romantic comedies from the ’90s. We do have a few suggestions to ensure your Galentine’s Day movie night is a success: Avoid anything too heavy, encourage heckling, and provide plenty of snacks.
What’s a party without some decorations? In the spirit of Galentine’s Day (or laziness), you can always have your guests help you set up as part of the activity. Keep it sweet with a lot of heart-shaped decors in a pink and white color scheme, or aim for a “love sucks” vibe with red and black. Balloons and wall hangings are perfect for changing the atmosphere in your space and creating a festive feel regardless of the theme you choose.
You’re never too old for arts and crafts. Set up a Galentine’s Day card-making activity. Plan ahead by purchasing card stock, markers or crayons, glitter glue, scissors, stickers, and any other crafting supplies that pique your fancy.
Your Galentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a night in. You can always go out if you’re not in the mood to host. There are usually plenty of bars and clubs that organize events before or during Valentine’s Day, and unlike your favorite restaurant, the crowd is less likely to consist strictly of couples.
Do a clothing swap
One of the most common critiques of Valentine’s Day is that it’s incredibly consumerist. So, make it a clothing swap instead of buying new things or handing out gifts.
Everyone can bring items they don’t use or wear anymore (preferably washed). The brief can also include accessories, beauty products, and home decor. Have each attendee present what they brought, and if two guests want the same item, you can play a game of “who wears it better.” Don’t forget to donate any leftover items to a local shelter or charity.
If you’re planning to celebrate Galentine’s Day in the daytime, consider finding local volunteer opportunities that you and your friends can participate in as a group. Contact charities and nonprofits in your area and see if they would benefit from having you help out. If the weather permits, you can also organize a garbage cleanup in a public or natural space. Other ideas include:
- Organizing a food drive
- Preparing care packages for people in need
- Helping out at a community garden
- Volunteering at a hospital
Plan a beauty day
A beauty day can be a lot of fun either on its own or as a precursor to going out. The options are endless: from makeup to skincare treatments to mani-pedis. If any of your friends are hair or nail polish gurus, you can set up makeover stations or experiment with DIY face masks.
Set up a photo booth
If you had a Galentine’s Day party and no one posted about it, did it even happen? Choose a wall or corner in your home to set up a backdrop that matches your decor. Make sure it’s well-lit by setting up lamps or a ring light and placing fun accessories on a table nearby. Consider Galentine’s Day-themed props, funny sunglasses, or wigs. This way, everyone will have plenty of photos to commemorate the event.
Galentine’s for the rest of us
Galentine’s Day is undeniably one of the most feasible fictional holidays to celebrate — it’s all about friendship! Having a party is a great way to add a bit of festivity during a dreary time of the year, and unlike Valentine’s Day, it gives you a chance to include everyone, whether they’re partnered or single. Every group of friends has its own quirks, so choose the activities that’ll fit the vibes of your squad.