Valentine’s Day has long been the realm of romantic love, subpar chocolates, and too-fancy dinners. But thanks to a particularly inspired second-season episode of the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, the yearly event has a sister holiday, literally: Galentine’s Day. In the episode, endlessly enthusiastic government employee Leslie Knope hosts a ceremonial brunch for her closest girlfriends, feting them with waffles, frittatas, and goodie bags including a mosaic portrait of each woman and a personalized 5,000-word essay about why she’s so awesome.
We’re not saying you should take it to that level, but we’re all about celebrating female friendships — throughout the year, and especially this month. To get some ideas about how to do that, we tapped the team behind Got a Girl Crush, a blog-turned-print magazine that highlights hero-worthy women doing cool things. Today GAGC’s editors offer DIY ways to honor all the ladies in your life — from your close crew to could-be friends to the icons who inspire you. Read on for their suggestions and start scheming your own Galentine’s traditions!
Celebrate Your Inner Circle
– Organize a waffle breakfast just like the queen of Galentine’s herself, Leslie Knope.
– Have your ladies over for a BFF movie marathon: pajamas, popcorn, and the best female buddy movies, past and present (from Beaches and Thelma and Louise to Clueless and Bridesmaids).
– Grab your bestie and take a class together, like jewelry making, cooking, or ceramics. It makes learning twice as nice.
– Take your friend on a fancy date! Romance doesn’t have to be only for significant others. Put on your best dress and make a dinner reservation at your favorite restaurant.
– Get a buddy tattoo (they’re the new BFF heart necklace). Not a fan of needles? Go for a temporary version.
– Send your friend flowers at work. Steer clear of red roses (so she won’t have to explain that they’re not from a suitor) and go instead for something unexpected, like a bouquet of succulents or flowers that signify friendship (freesia, chrysanthemums, hydrangea, and irises, to start).
– For far-away friends, send personalized care packages — ’cause who doesn’t love getting mail? Items could include your friend’s go-to candy, a mixtape featuring all your favorite girl bands, a femme-friendly book (like Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes, Please), and a BFF necklace.
Honor New Friends, Could-Be Friends, and Colleagues
– Make girl-power valentines for your coworkers featuring the likenesses of your favorite working girls, both real (e.g. Oprah) and fictional (e.g. Melanie Griffith). Add a Lean In quote to take it next level.
– If you want to honor someone creative, share their artwork, writing, or music on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — it’s an ego boost that might also earn her legit new followers and fans.
– Organize a skill share. Have each friend come prepared to teach something they’re awesome at, like homeopathy, cooking, weaving, or tie-dying.
– Put together a girl gang bike ride or field trip to a museum, a movie, an art gallery, a reading, or, really, just about anything.
– Host a “plus-one” brunch or dinner. Invite your girlfriends and have everyone bring a friend they think is amazing. It gives everyone a chance to meet each other and leave with a whole slew of new friends.
Pay Homage to Your Heroes
– Host a book club and have everyone read something by your favorite female author, whether it’s Judy Blume or Joan Didion.
– Take an icon-inspired road trip. Perhaps you’ve adored Dolly Parton since you were little; why not drive to Dollywood, blasting her hits all the way? (Of course, this takes a bit of planning, so get started now for next year’s Galentine’s Day.)
– Don’t have time for a vacation, but still want an adventure? Take an icon-inspired day trip. If you live in New York City and think Patti Smith is the cat’s pajamas, visit all her old haunts (like the Chelsea Hotel), read Just Kids on the subway, and listen to Horses while you walk around.
– Spend an evening channeling your idol in a creative way. If Kathleen Hanna is your hero, make a zine; if you admire Cindy Sherman, take photographs; if it’s Beyoncé you adore, take a dance class or lay down some vocal tracks.
– Do you love a politician? Rally for her cause! Craft Hillary Clinton flags for your neighbors, raise money for your local councilwoman’s campaign, or make sure all your friends are registered to vote.
– And of course, an idea near and dear to the hearts of the Got a Girl Crush women: Make a blog or magazine to publicly express your admiration. Who knows, you might just get to meet a few of your idols in the process!