Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas: Celebrate Friendship (2024)

Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas: Celebrate Friendship (1)

What is Galentine’s Day?

Galentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate female friendships. It’s typically celebrated before Valentine’s Day, and is a complement (or alternative) to Valentine’s Day’s focus on romantic love.

Galentine’s Day was invented in 2010 by the popular TV sitcom Parks and Recreation. Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler), celebrates Galentine’s Day annually on February 13th with her female friends and her mother.

For Galentine’s Day, Leslie and her crew leave their husbands and significant others at home to meet up for breakfast. Leslie gives her friends gifts, including “a mosaic portrait of each of them made from the crushed bottles of their favorite diet soda, and a personalized 5,000 word essay of why they're all so awesome.”

Leslie defines the occasion best: “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year… Ladies celebrating ladies… Plus, frittatas!” – Leslie Knope

Why Celebrate Galentine’s Day?

Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas: Celebrate Friendship (2)

Quirky and irreverent cards are more common for Galentine's Day than for Valentine's Day.

More than 10 years past its creation, Galentine’s Day is still going strong. Merriam-Webster includes “Galentine’s Day” in its list of “words we’re watching.” And it has been written up by the New York Times as an “unofficial holiday.”

As the Times points out, Galentine’s Day is a commercial opportunity for vendors and restaurants featuring themed brunches and other money-making opportunities. But its appeal and benefits run much deeper.

Galentine’s Day brings a light hearted and inclusive twist to a holiday that can otherwise be heavy or difficult for people who feel excluded. (It's a little like Seinfeld’s Festivus that way!) For people who are feeling lonely, Galentine’s Day is a chance to organize a fun gathering with friends rather than feel bad amidst others' shows of romantic affection.

Even if you do have a romantic partner, it’s totally OK to celebrate both Galentine’s Day *and* Valentine’s Day.

Time with Friends is Good for Your Health

In addition to its other benefits, celebrating Galentine’s Day can be good for your health. Of course spending time with friends is fun. But many people don't realize how critical it is for both their mental and physical health.

Research shows that socializing with friends improves your happiness (obviously!). Social connection is a core psychological need, and is linked to well-being across cultures. Friendships and social connection can also prevent mental decline and even enhance physical health and longevity.

Super busy women (including many mothers) tend to bump time with their friends to the bottom of their long to-do lists. And that’s not sustainable in the long term. While one expert from Oxford University recommends socializing with friends twice a week, that may be a stretch for some of us, especially during a pandemic.

But we’ve put together some ideas for connecting with friends this Galentine’s Day and beyond, including some virtual options.

Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas

Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas: Celebrate Friendship (3)

Galentine's Day Happy Hour including Zoom filters. Check out my mustache!

1.) Virtual Happy Hour – I kicked off Galentine’s Day a little early this year. I joined a virtual Galentine's Day party hosted by the ladies of HIT Like a Girl podcast, Joy Rios and Robin Roberts. HIT Like a Girls is a community that connects, celebrates, and advocates for women working in the field of health information technology (HIT).

For the happy hour my friend and former colleague Julie Mann demonstrated how to make a delicious drink with vodka and ginger (an ingredients list was sent around in advance). And then we just talked about stuff ranging from emerging tech trends to how to dispose of old lipstick. Along the way we discovered some fun Zoom filters.

2.) Home Spa with a Rom-com – Back in college I was in an acting group. Following our final production of the Tempest senior year, my friends and I had pretty bad skin after weeks of applying thick stage makeup. So I hosted a spa day party / game night in my dorm at which we wore deep-cleansing face masks as we all unwound and relaxed.

Years later I still love the chance to hang out with female friends for some kind of self care—like a mask or a manicure. And unless you just have too much talking to catch up on, watching a movie or playing a board game at the same time can also be fun.

Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas: Celebrate Friendship (4)

Leslie toasts her gal pals on Parks and Recreation.

3.) Go Out for Brunch—or Dinner – Take a page from Leslie Knope’s playbook and meet your friends for brunch. Or dinner. Personalized needlepoint pillows with your friends’ faces on them are optional.

4.) Stay in and Bake – Baking is always a fun activity. If you’re physically separated from your friends, you can even share recipes and bake the same thing virtually while you video chat.

Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas: Celebrate Friendship (5)

Tombstone commemorating discontinued ice cream flavor "Peanut Butter and Jelly"

5.) Explore Something New in Your Area – People often say that the locals are the last people to visit the main tourist attractions in their own cities. Maybe it’s your turn. If you’re in New York, grab a friend or two and go see the Statue of Liberty.

It doesn’t have to be mainstream. If you’re in Vermont, take a road trip to Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard, which displays clever commentaries on the "graves" of the ice cream flavors that are no longer with us.

6.) Go Shopping – This is a perfect activity for women to do with each other. A survey Psychology Today reported on found that men get tired of shopping within 26 minutes, while it takes women a full two hours. They speculate that this difference may have something to do with gender roles and our hunter gatherer roots. Whatever the reason, it definitely jibes with my life experience. So go ahead and enjoy shopping with your female friends!

7.) Make Soap – This one is a little quirky, but it’s something I’m actually planning on doing with my daughter this week. I bought literally pounds of raw glycerine plus scented oils, sparkles, and soap molds for a school fundraiser that got canceled because of COVID. So why not make some heart shaped soap and give it to other gal pals who will appreciate them as a Happy Galentine’s Day gift?

Whether you formally celebrate Galentine's Day or not, don't forget to let your female friends know how much you appreciate them. Do you have any plans?

Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas: Celebrate Friendship (2024)


Unique Galentine’s Day Ideas: Celebrate Friendship? ›

Take an Afternoon Tea. For a truly special Galentine's Day celebration, book a table at a local tea room for an elegant afternoon tea with your Galentines. You'll get to don your classiest day dresses for an hour of refreshment and friendship.

How do you celebrate Galentines day? ›

This day, as the name suggests, is usually dedicated to honoring friendships between women. You get to spend it however you like with your galentines—by going out, taking a trip, enjoying a cozy night at home, or simply showering each other with gifts and affection the same way you would a partner.

How to throw a fun galentines party? ›

35 Galentine's Day Party Ideas Your Girls Will Absolutely Obsess Over
  1. Get excited about a theme. ...
  2. Arrange your own flowers.
  3. Make fondue.
  4. Plan a "my favorite things" product swap. ...
  5. Pick a signature co*cktail.
  6. Invest in (themed, duh) balloons.
  7. Make personalized goodie bags.
  8. Host an at-home mani-pedi night.
Feb 9, 2024

Is Galentines day for friends? ›

Galentine's Day celebrated on February 13, a day before Valentine's Day, is all about ladies cherishing their female friends. Coinciding with 'Kiss Day', Galentine's Day came into a trend because of the popular sitcom “Parks and Recreation".

What to put in a galentines basket? ›

Throw an effortlessly delicious Galentine's Day party with a snack board of small bites and treats with meat and cheese , nuts , chocolates , and sweets . And of course, don't forget their favorite wines! They'll love digging into the Valentine's Day Charcuterie & Chocolate Gift Box with Wine.

What is a fun fact about Galentines day? ›

One of the most interesting things about Galentine's Day is that it wasn't created by a card company or internet marketplace trying to take all your money. Instead, Galentine's Day was founded by a badass fictional character: Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation.

What is the guy version of Galentine's day? ›

Malentine's day is a day for men to meet up and celebrate their amazing friendship.

What is a galantine's party? ›

February 13 is the day to gather your gals together to celebrate friendship with festive flair. The best Galentine's Day ideas incorporate things your friends love into the day, like thoughtful Galentine's day gifts, a delicious meal or an adventure. Ready to learn how to host a Galentine's Day party for the ages?

What food is eaten on Galentine's day? ›

  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. ...
  • Brûléed Brie Crostini. ...
  • Heart Cookies. ...
  • Fried Buffalo Artichoke Hearts. ...
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Brownies. ...
  • Dirty Shirley. ...
  • Strawberry Love Notes. ...
  • Bacon-Wrapped Dates.
Feb 3, 2023

What are the rules for Galentines day? ›

There are no strict rules when it comes to Galentine's Day festivities. Some choose to go the original path that is based on the television show. This consists of eating breakfast, sharing Valentine's Day goodies, exchanging gifts and an overall celebration of female friendship.

What is Galentine's day quote? ›

In a 2010 episode of the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) introduces her coworker to what she says is “the best day of the year,” aka Galentine's Day. “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style.

What to get your friend for Galentines day? ›

There are plenty of great Galentine's Day gifts for her that are thoughtful, affordable, and chic. If your friends take self-care seriously, then candles, smart showerheads, and popular skin care make great gift ideas.

Is there a day to celebrate friends? ›

What day is National Friendship Day? National Friendship Day is the 1st Sunday in August, so the date changes every year. In 2022, this holiday falls on August 7. International Friendship Day will be the weekend before, on July 30.

What to bring to Galentines? ›

It is the greatest day of the year, after all!
  • Red Velvet Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls (pictured above)
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Bars.
  • Red Velvet Sugar Cookies.
  • Chocolate Strawberry Jelly Roll.
  • Grand Champagne co*cktail.
  • Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
  • Strawberry Macarons.

What should I bring to Galentines day? ›

Galentine's Day Treats
  • Valentine's Day Board.
  • Bacon Bouquet Board.
  • Charcuterie Bouquets.
  • Cheese and Chocolate Pairing Board.
  • BYO Hot Chocolate Board (and the spiked version!)

What gift to give a friend on Valentine's day? ›

Friend Gift Box

They'll be so impressed when they open up this box and find a pair of socks, a candle, tumbler, bath bomb and wine stopper. "If you want your friend or loved one to feel special and not sure what to buy them and the person loves to pamper or need to be pampered ...

What are Galentines colors? ›

A pink and red printed dress is the perfect choice for a Galentine's Day celebration. The playful combination of pink and red is both feminine and fun, making it the perfect choice for a day spent with your besties.

What is the dress code for Galentine's day? ›

There's obviously no strict dress code for Galentine's Day— it's all about however dressed up or casual your friends want it to be. So whether you're looking for the best pair of sweatpants, or a fun sparkly-skirt outfit, we have some ideas for you.

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