As fans of the fondly remembered NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” can attest, nobody celebrates their gal pals better than Leslie Knope, the plucky politico portrayed by Amy Poehler. Galentine’s Day is her jam. Every Feb. 13, Knope explains on the show, “my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”
The idea of an alternative Valentine’s Day focused on boosting your best buds instead of pining for roses from a Romeo clearly resonates with Austin ladies. It’s unlikely that anyone will present you and your girl gang with a bouquet of hand-crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait of each of you made from the crushed bottles of your favorite diet soda or a personalized essay of why you are all so awesome this Galentine's Day like Knope would. But you can indulge in waffles, custom cocktails and curated shopping experiences at several events around town Feb. 13.
While Knope’s code of “Uteruses before duderuses … ovaries before brovaries” still stands, your powerful-lady-appreciating male friends are welcome at all these events.
ATX Gals third annual Galentine's Art Show: Queen of Hearts at Fair Market. ATX Gals is a female artist group that aims to showcase the work of talented local women in curated experiences that appeal to art aficionados and the art curious alike. The group launched in 2017 with a Galentine’s Day show. This year, their signature event will include an exhibit of 15 featured artists, DJ sets from Diggy Dutch and an open bar pouring Tito’s Vodka, Dulce Vida Tequila, Austin Eastciders and Caffe Del Fuego. There will also be food trucks on site and a raffle benefiting the Girls Empowerment Network and Austin Pets Alive. ($45; 6 p.m. at 1100 E. Sixth St.; atxgals.org)
That Time of the Month — Galentine’s Day Episode at the Space. Host Meghan Ross will showcase “talented acts from humans who happen to be women” in this new monthly variety show. The Galentine’s Day edition includes magic by Paprika, standup comedy from Brett Marie VerVoot and improvised commercials from Tattie. There will also be an interview with Juli La Rocca from Unbreakable Moms. The event, which takes place at Boss Babes ATX headquarters, will feature free cocktails from Susto Mezcal and free treats from Elly’s Sweet Shop and Holy Roller. ($10; 7 p.m. at 916 Springdale Rd., Bldg. 4, Unit 102; bossbabes.org)
Galentine’s Day at Hotel Vegas. Austin’s favorite East Austin dive will be serving up waffles and curated cocktails and grooving to the sounds of Destiny’s Child (performed by Letty, Jolie and Anastasia and featuring David DiDionato) and El Tigre, a Le Tigre tribute band featuring members of Angry Beige and Tomboi. Van Mary and Hex Boyfriend will also perform. (9 p.m.; 1502 E. Sixth St.; texashotelvegas.com)
Galentine’s Night Brunch at Better Half. The night brunch menu includes sweet potato pancakes and “breakfast sammies.” Come for fun activities for you and your besties, which will include creating custom airbrushed BFF shirts and hats, writing postcards to send to your "sheroes" and making friendship bracelets to raise money for organizations working to get more women of color into leadership positions. You can mingle with women who are running for office. Folks from the activist group Rouser, hosts of the Rabble podcast, will be on hand to offer tips on how to get more involved in the political process. (6 p.m. at 406 Walsh St.; betterhalfbar.com)
Galentine’s Day with Jasmine Guillory at BookPeople. A BookPeople staff favorite, Guillory is author of popular rom-com novels like “The Wedding Date” and “The Proposal.” She’ll be hanging out to dish about romance, writing and maybe food. Your ticket includes the chat with Guillory, wine, snacks and a discount card to use on a romance novel you buy that night. ($10; 7 p.m. at 603 N. Lamar Blvd.; bookpeople.com)
Eastside Pop Up presents Lonely Hearts Club at the Liberty. The traveling pop-up shop, featuring local artisans, vintage clothing and assorted treasures, hosts a Galentine's Day "Feel Good Market” focused on “all things to make you feel beautiful.” They will also be hosting a raffle and accepting donations for Planned Parenthood. (6 p.m. at 1618½ E. Sixth St.; thelibertyaustin.com)
"Parks and Recreation" Trivia Night at Kitty Cohen’s. This Galentine’s Day, Kitty Cohen’s invites all Knope-heads to flaunt their knowledge of Li'l Sebastian, Duke Silver and the Pawnee raccoon infestation. It’s free to play; teams can include one to six players, and prizes will be awarded to top players. Registration opens at 5:30 p.m. and there’s a 30 team cap, but the bar will be serving up themed drink specials to sip on until the quiz starts. (7 p.m. at 2211 Webberville Road; kittycohens.com)
Second annual Galentine’s Party at Icenhauer’s. Sip on custom cocktails like the Leslie and the Ann while you browse a pop-up market of female vendors selling candles, succulents, art and more. Then groove to your favorite boy band covers courtesy of the PDA Band. The venue will be accepting donations of new or gently used handbags for Texas Advocacy Project's Handbags for Hope campaign, which assists survivors of domestic violence. Donated bags will be filled with important information for survivors and sent to roughly 60 Texas shelters, where children can pick a purse to give to their mothers on Mother's Day. (7:30 p.m. at 83 Rainey St.; icenhauers.com)
(Rescheduled) Frida Friday ATX presents: Bidi Bidi Balentines at Tamale House East. For the Valentine’s-themed edition, this monthly vendor’s market and cultural space (featuring primarily artisans who are women of color) will host a “make your own bidi bidi balentines” crafting station. There will be music to soundtrack your shopping and loteria for entertainment. The organizers also promise “extra goodies” and remind us “#tacosbeforevatos 4life." (6 p.m. at 1707 E. Sixth St.; fridafridayatx.org)