A Galentine’s Day at the cottage

lips-and-hearts-graphic Photo by LaReineK/Shutterstock

Move over, lovey-dovey romantic couples. Galentine’s Day is a whole new take on appreciating those you love. After all, who’s got your back better than your closest gal pals?

And where better to celebrate your female friends than up at the cottage: somewhere quiet, beautiful, and away from everyday life. (Yes, it’s winter, but that’s no reason not to head out and enjoy the season.) If you don’t have a winterized cottage of your own, never fear — there are lots of places to rent year-round. Might we suggest one with a hot tub and fireplace?

What are you going to do with your galentines while you’re all enjoying your time away? Well, anyone can stay in their jammies and binge-watch Netflix all day. (And hey, if that’s what you decide to do, more power to you.) But if you’d like a day that combines the best of being active with relaxing, we’ve got a day all planned for you. No thinking required on your part!

Try some yoga to start the day

You may feel like cozying up in bed and snoozing the morning away, and that’s perfectly OK. If you do feel like getting started with a little movement, though, there are any number of yoga apps available for smartphones complete with routines ranging from complete beginner to full-blown yogi. Prefer a bigger screen? Most apps are compatible with Apple TV or similar technologies — or you can go old school and borrow a couple of yoga DVDs from the library.

And if you don’t feel like yoga? Do some gentle stretching to greet the day.

Eat a healthy, but yummy breakfast

You don’t have to go overboard with the healthy stuff, but you’ll feel better for the rest of the day if you don’t completely load up on junk food first thing. Try to concentrate on food that’s delicious and gives you a balance of healthy carbs and filling protein, like thick, rich yogourt, crunchy granola, delectable avocado toast (with or without a crispy fried egg on top), light, fluffy scrambled eggs (add in some cream cheese or Boursin to make them extra yummy), and toast made with good quality bread and fresh preserves. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of eye-opening coffee on hand.

Want to make breakfast extra special? Add in mimosas or screwdrivers (or another special cocktail) made with fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Plan the day’s activities

If you and your girlfriends are the types to get a little cabin feverish, then plan something fun to do. The possibilities are endless: check out a luxurious Nordic spa (find some suggestions here), head out skating, skiing or hiking, or get a little adventurous and try something new: ice climbing, for example, fat biking or tubing.

If you do decide to head into the great outdoors, there are a couple of things that will make the experience more comfortable. Make sure to dress in layers if you’re going to be doing something that might make you sweat with a synthetic fabric or fine wool next to your skin to wick away sweat. If you’re going to be outside and the sun’s out, make sure to wear sunglasses. 

Not feeling the outside-and-active thing? Make a pile of popcorn, pour out the candy and indulge in a day of movie watching instead. Try selecting a group of movies around a certain theme: 80s Nostalgia (Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club and anything else by John Hughes would be fine), Funny Women (pick flicks with Lily Tomlin or Goldie Hawn for a good start) or Disney Singalong (Ariel and Belle, anyone?). If you get restless just watching, give yourself a DIY pedicure or facial.

Warm up with hot chocolate-with-a-twist

Regular old hot chocolate is fine, but how about spicing up your post-activity hot chocolate with a little extra … something? Check out our suggestions for delicious, slightly boozy hot chocolate recipes.

Have some decadent snacks on hand

Pick up some artisanal cheese, some fresh-baked bread and anything else you feel like nibbling on. Pre-dinner snacking (and drinking) is practically a requirement of cottage life.

Eat something indulgent for dinner

Whether you pick up fully loaded pizzas from that one place in town you keep meaning to try, or go all out and grill steaks for everyone (yes, you can grill in the winter), make the evening’s meal an opportunity to just eat delicious stuff without worrying about calories. It’s winter, so feel free to indulge in some rib-sticking comfort food like meatloaf, grilled cheese, and pasta. And, of course, don’t forget dessert. Old fashioned ice cream sundaes are easy to pull together, just put out a variety of sauces, like strawberry, hot fudge and pineapple, and toppings like whipped cream, sprinkles and maraschino cherries.

Get silly in the evening

Break out the board games, the jigsaw puzzles, or the cards and play the night away. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition — possibly lubricated by some winter-appropriate craft beer — to make the night sail away. 

How would you spend your Galentine’s Day?