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Galentine's Day Ideas

Forget Valentine's Day. Forget checking your door mat, expectantly, and finding nothing but a flyer about local road works. Forget checking your Whatsapp and finding nothing but a photo of your second cousin's baby's first tooth. And forget checking your desk at work and finding nothing but half-eaten Pret sandwich. Valentine's Day seems geared to disappoint. Many of us have never received a card from that elusive 'secret admirer' we're taught to expect. No matter how many times we checked the door mat.

So, forget Valentine's Day. Enter: Galentine's Day. A day on which to acknowledge our not-so-secret admirers: the school friends, uni mates, and ran-a-5k-in-yer-bras-together-once girls who've had our backs for years.

So, to help celebrate, here are nine Galentine's Day ideas for fun things to do across the UK, so your girl gang can make this February one to remember. Remember to check each date as some of these activities are during the week of Galentine's Day, rather than the night itself.

What is Galentine's Day?

Originally devised by Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope in a 2010 episode of the show, Galentine's Day has grown in popularity - beyond just fans of the US comedy series - and is now a recognised holiday in its own right. A day ahead of Valentine's Day - on 13th February - Galentine's Day is a chance to surround yourself with gal pals and be reminded that blokes may come and go, but female friendships endure through decades of wardrobe-swapping, phone calls, kickass dance floor routines and up-all-night, let's-do-this-together, round-the-kitchen-table, life-planning. Ladies celebrating ladies, women supporting women...what's not to love?

Galentine's Day ideas

How can you celebrate Galentine's Day?

1. Throw a pancake party

This year Galentine's Day falls on Shrove Tuesday, aligning the planets for the perfect night: pals and pancakes. If you want to play host, get the flour/eggs/milk in bulk and then ask each guest to bring a different topping. If you're feeling particularly friendship-loved-up, decorate pancakes with words to describe each other. 'Brave' for the one in your posse who's battled something major this year, 'Creative' for the one who's launched her own Etsy shop, 'Boss' for the one who beat everyone else to that incredible promotion. A chance to tell your girlfriends how much you admire them...in sprinkles.

 

2. What would Beyoncé do?

Been ghosted on Tinder? Had it up to here [gestures to forehead] with Happn? Why not channel that energy into perfecting your booty shake, and take your frustrations out on a gym floor. The Saturday before G-Day, Move Your Frame has a Beyoncé 'Drunk in Love' dance workshop where you and your Single Ladies can get down and dirty.

Where? Frame at Kings Cross, London

When? 10th February 2018

Find out more

 

3. Save water, drink champagne

When you stop and think about it, all the best words begin with 'ch': chocolate, champagne, Cheddar cheese. Choreograph a Galentine's night soiree with your chosen chums where everything begin with 'ch'. Make the dress code 'chic or cheap'. Crank up 'Karma Chameleon' and 'Chandelier' on Spotify repeat. Play charades. Collect money for your favourite women's charities. Be cheerleaders, championing what you cherish about each other and sharing what you see in the next chapter of your friendship. And, if that all sounds like too much work, chuckle at Chandler's best bits on Netflix, dunk churros in hot chocolate sauce, and keep the Chardonnay flowing. Cheers!

 

4. Feminist book club

Read a selected female-centric book in advance and then come together to swap opinions, throwing in a few bottles of wine to help keep the ideas flowing. Titles could include Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Caitlin Moran's How to Be a Woman or Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me. But top of the reading list has to be Galentine's Day inventor Amy Poehler's own Yes Please. Joining forces with your friends all night on how to smash the patriarchy? Yes please.

 {Instagram @disastersofathirtysomething}

5. Can't sing, will sing

In a building that used to be a grotty strip club, Vauxhall's delightful Tea House Theatre is now home to over 40 teas from around the world and a mouthwatering array of cakes. Fortnightly, they host a Tuneless Choir "for those who've been told they can’t sing in tune but LOVE to do it anyway!", meaning you could spend an evening having a warble with your girls, then catching up over lemon drizzle and Darjeeling.

Where? Tea House Theatre, London

When? 14th February 2018

Find out more

 

6. Female film festival

Mystic Pizza

{Instagram: @disastersofathirtysomething}

Get your girl gang together, pop the corn, pop the corks and settle down for a night of your best-loved movies. Nominate each person to choose their favourite film and make a marathon of it; maximum points if you all get into pyjamas and face masks. Even more points if you match the film to the snacks: Mystic Pizza and a quattro formaggi, Chocolat and a giant box of Milk Tray, Mean Girls and sticks of butter (it's not a carb). Or, if you'd rather go out than stay in, here's a little round-up of some of the best Galentine's Day screenings across the UK...

He's Just Not That Into You

Where? King Street Townhouse, Manchester

When? 13th February 2018

Find out more

 

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

Where? BFI, London

When? 13th February 2018

Find out more

 

Thelma and Louise

Where? Prince Charles Cinema, London

When? 13th February 2018

Find out more

 

Mean Girls

Where? The Leadmill, Sheffield

When? 14th February 2018

Find out more

 

7. Spice up your life

Galentine's Day falls within Kew Gardens' Orchids Festival, and it's not only a chance to get your favourite galentines together to coo over the blooms, but also treat yourselves to a Thai afternoon tea. As part of the festival, you can sample dishes such as king prawn and lemongrass tartlet and pina colada panna cotta. Bring a little spice and culture to your February.

Where? Kew Gardens, London

When? 10th February - 11th March 2018

Find out more

 

8. Hello Dolly

Join Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton as she speaks about her new memoir, Everything I Know About Love. Enjoy a glass of prosecco with your fave babes as Dolly shares anecdotes about bad dates, good mates and why you are good enough as you are.

Where? Waterstones, Gower Street, London

When? 13th February 2018

Find out more

 

9. Drink, Shop & Do

Do you like to drink? Shop? Do things? Boy, do I have the place for you. On Galentine's Day, head to London's Drink, Shop & Do bar for a cocktail and a card-making class. And forget boys, channel your creativity into designing a card for your goddaughter, granny or trusty eyebrow technician. Trust me, they'll appreciate an unexpected homemade card more than Fit Jack from Accounts.

Where? Drink, Shop & Do, London

When? 13th February 2018

Find out more

cardmaking

cardmaking ideas

{Photos: Anna Southgate for Make Wrap Mingle}

 

Please note: it's advisable to book these events ahead of time to ensure availability.

Over to you for number 10: do you have any Galentine's Day traditions of your own?

Article by Sarah Clarke | Follow Sarah on Instagram @disastersofathirtysomething

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Lynne's ideas for Galentine's Day cards and gifts:

Galentine's Day cards and gifts

 

- You're out of this world card

Let's do this notepad

Parisian fashion notebooks

Nailed it card

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- Make, wrap, mingle

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- Behind the scenes at Papermash HQ

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