Attention single ladies: if you’re dreading Valentine’s Day...don’t! There’s no need to hide away at home by yourself. Grab your girlfriends and celebrate Galentine’s Day instead with these five ideas for having fun together on and around February 14.
For a Galentine’s-worthy shopping experience, Ottawa’s malls can’t be beat. From Bayshore Mall in the west, to downtown’s CF Rideau Centre, and St-Laurent or Place D’Orleans in the east, you can shop till you drop across our fine city.
The Ottawa shopping scene also includes many independent boutiques where you can discover hidden gems. These include Vincent in Little Italy, Viens Avec Moi in the Glebe and Schad in the ByWard Market. Don’t overlook Ottawa’s many fabulous consignment stores, where you might score a designer find for a steal. Clothes Encounters, Trove Fashion, and Bella Boutique are all popular consignment spots.
Go to the spa
Galentine’s Day and wellness go hand in hand. Nordik Spa-Nature is always a great choice for quality girl time, featuring their signature therapeutic thermal experience, plentiful spaces to relax, and delicious gourmet fare. At Uppliva, experience the soothing indoor sauna and steam circuit or treat yourselves to a rejuvenating massage treatment. If floating away from your everyday life sounds heavenly, book a session at ISÖ Spa and experience the rejuvenating and healing benefits of flotation therapy.
Galentine’s Day is a great excuse to book that manicure you’ve been putting off. Popular options around the city include The Ten Spot (multiple locations), Polish Nail Bar, Cocobella Spa, Spotlight Hair and Spa, Holtz Spa, York Street Spa, and The Upkeep Shoppe.
Go out and about
Leading up to Valentine’s Day, Big Love MRKT is a fun, free craft and vintage market featuring local makers at Lansdowne Park’s historic Horticulture Building.
Museums can make a great Galentine’s Day outing. Ottawa is home to seven of Canada’s nine national museums. And you’ll fall in love with Ottawa’s many Unofficial Museums, where you’ll find new and unexpected perspectives on our arts and entertainment scenes.
Love the outdoors? Ottawa’s best ice skating experiences is a magical way to celebrate Galentine’s Day. So is Winterlude, Ottawa’s annual winter festival that’s filled with fun activities for all.
The Ottawa entertainment scene is always hopping with great events to enjoy with your girlfriends. Grab your tickets for a show at the Rideau Carleton Casino, Casino Lac-Leamy, National Arts Centre, Shenkman Arts Centre, or Meridian Theatres at Centrepointe. Need a laugh? Try Yuk Yuks, The Laugh Lounge, or Absolute Comedy for side-splitting fun.
Round up your group for a yoga class and find your flow together at one of Ottawa’s many studios such as Yogatown (multiple locations), Pure Yoga Ottawa, PranaShanti, Beyond Yoga, or Elevate Yoga. If you want to get your heart rate up, spin class is just the thing. Check out SpinCo, Wheelhouse Cycle, or Inner Soul.
Of course, no Galentine’s outing would be complete without some refreshments at one of Ottawa’s great cocktail spots. Be sure to plan a stop at the unique and lovely Luxe Blooms Flower Café to try one of their special Valentine’s drink concoctions (and buy yourselves some flowers while you’re there).
Go out to eat
Peruse our list of top Ottawa dining establishments for an exciting new culinary experience. If you’re looking to avoid all the romantic tables for two on February 14, plan a weekend brunch at one of Ottawa’s hottest brunch spots. Whether you’re vegetarian or vegan or simply appreciate fresh, creative food, you’ll want to check out one of the city’s popular plant-based restaurants.
Finish your meal with a sweet treat from Oh So Good, Art-Is-In Bakery, Les Moulins Lafayette, or Three Tarts, or perhaps indulge in something frozen and delicious at one of Ottawa’s best ice cream stops.
Galentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. How about a coffee date to catch up with your girlfriends? Coffee culture is alive and well all over Ottawa at local favourites like Alice’s Café in Carp, Ritual On Main in Stittsville, Caffe Latte Cino, in Orleans, and Morning Owl (multiple locations city-wide).
Girls night in could be the best way to celebrate Galentine’s Day and make it your own. Invite your besties over, order your favourite takeout, pop some bubbly and toast to your friendship. Many local gourmet shops like Thyme and Again, Epicuria and Take Another Bite offer prepared meals to go so you can enjoy a special meal at home.
With all these fun Galentine’s Day activities in Ottawa, you don’t have to be coupled up to enjoy Valentine’s Day. Spending time with your girlfriends is the perfect way to celebrate all the love in your life. Who knows, it might just become an annual tradition!