For those who don’t know about Galentine’s Day: The short version of the story is that a 2010 episode of the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation” made popular the notion that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be for lovey-dovey couples, it should also be a time for ladies to celebrate their friendships with each other by doing…well, whatever they want! For me, Galentine’s Day means not sitting on the sidelines just because you happen to be flying solo (and encouraging other women friends to do the same). Are you with me, sisters? If yes, how about meeting up next week for:
Urban Alchemy: This cozy Downtown Arlington hideaway is also a great venue for a traditional romantic outing—but never fear, Galentines, Urban Alchemy is thinking of us too, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve planned a very special Galentine’s Day event where guests will make beautiful fresh floral arrangements while enjoying lively conversation and the full range of the Urban Alchemy menu. (Mon., Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m.) Tip: Urban Alchemy recently added an “Elixir” section to the menu, and I definitely recommend trying out their yummy take on the classic Old Fashioned: Texas sake, dark simple syrup, orange bitters, aromatic bitters, and a Luxardo cherry.
Symphony Arlington: “Heart Strings” features music from the Oscar-winning score of “The Red Violin”, performed on the symphony’s home court at Arlington Music Hall (Thurs., Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.). Arlington Music Hall is one of my favorite destinations for live music performances—I love the charming vintage ambience—plus the parking is convenient, the plush seats (the result of a recent renovation) are super comfortable, and there’s really not a bad seat in the house—three things I look for in an entertainment venue. Tip: Keep the Galentine’s love going afterwards with a late-night bite or cocktail at a Downtown Arlington or Urban Union watering hole—three of my after-hours favorites are The Tipsy Oak, 4 Kahunas, or Hooligan’s Pub.
Spa Pangea: Women sometimes struggle with the notion of treating ourselves, but I say we totally deserve a luxurious afternoon or evening filled with Spa Pangea’s famous massages, facial treatments, pedicures and more, catered en suite if we fancy by the on-site Daireds Café. Tip: Check out the boutique while you’re there—the Pangea trio of body wash, cream and scrub is one of my all-time favorite skin care products, hands down.
Dive Into Division
Man, do I ever dig the vibe on Division Street, home to dimly haunts filled with the sounds of billiards and jukebox music, presided over by bartenders with a million stories. If you and your honey aspire to be that hip couple that’s way too cool to do something traditional for Valentine’s Day—or if you’re looking for a place where you can nurse your drink undisturbed in a dark corner while brooding about the one who got away—you can’t go wrong with an evening spent at one or more of Division Street’s legendary dive bars. Some of my favorites include Pearl’s Cherokee, Milo’s Upscale Dive Bar & Sports Lounge, and Caves Lounge, but there are plenty of others to choose from. (Don’t forget to arrange for a safe ride home, Valentines.)
Celebrate the Love of Making Art
Full disclosure: I have yet to try either of these DIY painting destinations below, but many of my friends have participated and returned with happy reviews. If you’re not familiar with the concept: The studios offer a no-experience-required opportunity to create your own art under the friendly guidance of a professional instructor, with supplies (and sometimes food and beverages) provided. To me, the idea of making something with your honey (or trying something new on your own) sounds like a refreshing variation on the traditional Valentine’s experience, so I did a bit of research to find out what’s available along those lines this year in Arlington:
Painting at the Palace: Join our friends at Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! for the second annual Painting at the Palace, one tickets gets you two drinks, one-hour worth of Valentine’s Day painting, access to all five attractions, a 6x8 photo and light snacks. You must purchase tickets online to reserve tickets, so get them here.
Board & Brush: Paint your own Valentine’s-themed wooden sign while enjoying bites and beverages at the Valentine Quickie Craft class (for kids and adults; Sun., Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.) or the Valentine’s Date Night Workshop (for couples; Thurs., Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m.).
Painting With a Twist: Create a totally cute heart-filled pickup truck at Painting With a Twist’s Valentine’s Pick-Up class (for adults; Sat., Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.) or try your hand at a romantic moonlit lake at the To The Moon and Back couples workshop (for adults; Thurs., Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.)
Enjoy Your Just Desserts
So you think that you don’t get to partake in delicious dessert decadence just because you’re single, or because you and your other don’t dig on the Valentine’s Day restaurant scene? Think again! Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery, Taste of Europe, the bakery at Whole Foods and Nothing Bundt Cakes (try the snickerdoodle cake) and are all tasty and easy options for sweet treats you can pick up and enjoy at your leisure at home. Also, don’t forget that take out is always available at any of these dessert-famous Arlington eateries: “9 Arlington Desserts You Have to Try At Least Once”. (Tip: The Peanut Butter Pie at Mercury Chophouse is my favorite, closely followed by the grown-up custard shakes at Twisted Root.)