With just two weeks to Valentine’s Day, it’s time to prepare ourselves for the season of love. Sure, February 14 is the big day, but in recent years a second player has entered the game, often replacing Valentine’s plans altogether.
Back in 2010, Parks and Recreation established Galentine’s Day. Traditionally celebrated on February 13, the holiday is introduced as the very best day of the year, where ladies come together to celebrate the bond of womanhood, forsaking all men who may happen to be in their lives at the time. Amy Poehler’s strong-willed protagonist Leslie Knope gathers her best girlfriends together at a Pawnee restaurant for a Galentine’s Day meal, followed by gossip and gift bags, including mosaic portraits of themselves made from crushed bottles of their favorite soda and hand-crocheted flower pens.
The fictional holiday has since taken the world by storm, inspiring female-empowering organizations like Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party, and convincing us all that Galentine’s Day shouldn’t be reduced to a television plot line. No matter your lifestyle, there’s a Galentine’s celebration for everyone, especially in a city like Houston that's bursting with options.
For the Busy Bees
The classic Leslie Knope flavor of Galentine’s fun involves a visit to your favorite restaurant and a little bit of ladies celebrating ladies, and this method of celebration is probably the easiest choice for those with busy schedules. Plan ahead with a group reservation at Oporto in Midtown, or meet up downtown at Conservatory for a little bit of everything delicious. Gift bags aren’t required, but they do make the occasion just that much more special. If your schedule is too hectic for hours of crafting, plenty of online shops have fabulous options available right at your fingertips. You can’t go wrong with Parks & Rec pencils, Galentine’s Day buttons, astrological jewelry, or—everyone’s favorite—some fragrant prizes from Lush. Treat yoself!
For the Carries and Samanthas Among Us
If you’re looking for a ladies’ outing with a touch of risqué, Houston’s top-notch burlesque theatre Prohibition is one of the most unique, entertaining, and delicious spots in town. The poetic, noble land mermaids of The Moonlight Dolls throw a Bitches Who Brunch production most Sundays, perfect for a February 11 or 18 Galentine’s extravaganza. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst.
On Saturday, February 10, the Mason Park Alamo Drafthouse will host a rowdy screening of Fifty Shades Freed, where the audience is not only allowed but expected to “show your appreciation for the steamin’ on the screen” and truly channel their inner Donna Meagles. Share a bottle—or two—of house-made sangria, and enjoy a little quality time with your best gals.
For the Weekend Warriors
Knope-level party planners can take the concept of a get-together even further with an at-home option for Galentine’s Day. Celebrating at someone’s house opens up a whole host of possibilities, like kicking it breakfast-style. With more time to spare, guests can take off their shoes and relax with mimosa after mimosa, sans anxiety about driving home or grabbing a potentially pricey Uber. Plus, mimosas pair wonderfully with a proper crafting spree. Grab a handful of magazines (but do spare your Houstonia, yes?) and some cardboard for an afternoon of vision boards, or finally teach yourself and your friends how to make a dreamcatcher.
Perhaps the best part about Galentine’s Day is that you can choose any or all of these options or devise your own unique way to celebrate. As long as you and your glorious she-warriors spend some quality time together to bask in the magic of friendship and ladyhood, you’re doing it right.