Personally, I am pretty ambivalent about Valentine’s Day. I don’t necessarily need an excuse for a night in accompanied by an exorbitant amount of expensive chocolates, but in corporate America, we do love our holidays. Regardless of whether you’re booed up for the 14th or considering texting your Tinder hookup from two weeks ago, I think Valentine’s Day merits my disinterest.
Galentine’s Day, on the other hand? Best day in February.
Typically celebrated on the 13th, Galentine’s Day is pop-culturally attributed to Parks and Rec. Even though it was very much a fake holiday back then, it is definitely a date I now look forward to yearly. In high school, my friends and I used to bake goodies for each other, plan matching makeup, and end the day with coffee dates. Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating the womxn in your life, so here’s a guide to best doing that!
Prep the night before!
Now, I understand it’s midterm season and it will be midterm season pretty much until reading week, but Galentine’s Day preparation should begin before the 13th (or whenever you choose to celebrate it).
I think the best thing about Galentine’s Day back in high school were the goodie bags my friends would hand out. They were really inexpensive and it was just a small token to show our affection for each other. Though my friends typically added homemade baked goods, sometimes baking can be too much of a time-intensive venture. Instead, stop by a dollar store and look for some goodie bags to fill with a few bags of cheap, heart-shaped chocolates. While you’re there, you might be able to find some inexpensive plushies, keychains or even Valentine’s Day themed pencils. I always found those to be cute additions, just a little reminiscent of when the teacher would make you bring a Valentine for everyone in your third-grade class.
Something else I think is particularly sweet is making playlists for each of the friends you’re planning to celebrate with! Free and convenient, this could be a less time-intensive, but no less heartfelt alternative. If you’re more artistic, you could even come up with portrait doodles or short poems for each of your friends.
And treat yourself the day of!
Brunch is a must! But it doesn’t have to break your wallet! If you’re celebrating on the 13th (which is a Thursday), brunch just might be making the effort to get up a little earlier to meet your friends at the Allison omelet bar. If you leave Galentine’s Day for the weekend, though, that definitely opens up your options. Le Peep isn’t too costly and the location is particularly convenient. I particularly enjoy their Churro French Toast (if you’re craving sweets) or the Berry Nutty Oatmeal (a fruitier alternative). Their espresso is also fantastic, and that’s coming from someone raised solely on Cuban cortados.
Pâtisserie Coralie is another great locale with tasty treats! This little french cafe has a rustic-chic atmosphere and the best fruit-flavored macarons I’ve ever had. Seating at this establishment is limited though, so I recommend getting there early.
If you’re looking to spend a day in the city, consider brunch at the World’s Largest Starbucks! Click here for Sophia’s rundown on it. And don’t worry about your eating options being reduced to the traditional Starbucks menu. This location hosts an Italian-style bakery and experimental coffee bar that promise an adventure for your palette.
If you want to explore the city…
Consider a day of bookstore hopping and novel browsing! Or if you’re looking for new clothes to rock once winter starts to wane, try thrifting! A less energy-consuming activity could be just watching a movie with friends, and if so, try taking this as an opportunity to catch up on the Oscar nominees and winners.
If you’re looking for a classier alternative, Chicago Theatre Week starts on the 13th and it offers over 100 performances across the city with tickets ranging from $15 to $30. Whether you’re into tragedies or stand-up comedy, there’s sure to be something you and your friends will enjoy. If not in the mood for a play, the Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show is going now until March 22. Don’t miss this radiant floral installation with over 1,000 orchids displayed; just think of the photos you and your friends could take!
… Or just want to take it easy on campus.
Celebrating Galentine’s Day on campus doesn’t have to be a bore. Consider hosting a spa day with some friends and some homemade organic face masks or sugar scrubs. If you’re looking for healthy foods to incorporate in your masks, don’t swipe the aging dining hall bananas. Instead, try visiting the Evanston Farmer’s Market! Though you might not come up with anything for some homemade face masks, there are plenty of vendors and stalls to peruse, and if the weather’s nice, you can take some cute photos too!
If the weather’s not so nice, organize a movie marathon! There’s plenty of dorms with screening rooms you can book (Willard, CRC, etc.), so reserve a room and get to binging. If not in the mood for movies, the second season of Sex Education is now available, and though I haven’t had the opportunity to watch it, the first season certainly did not disappoint.
And those are my tips! I hope you have a happy Galentine’s Day, filled with friends, fun and hopefully lots of sweets.