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We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Galentine's Day

Categories: Shopping, General, Wine & Culinary, Live Music

You don't have to have a significant other to have fun. We've already rounded up all things Valentine's Day but if you and your girls want more, visit Bloomington and experience the ultimate Galentine's Weekend. 

What is Galentine's Day? 


Popularized by a 2010 episode of NBC's Parks and Recreation sitcom of the same name, Galentine's Day is a day for ladies celebrating ladies. Traditionally Galentine's Day is celebrated on February 13th, but we think you should turn Galentine's Day into Galentine's Weekend. We are confident Leslie Knope would be down for that too. 


From downtown hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts, there are a variety of accommodations in Bloomington; our hotel section is a great place to start when planning a Galentine's getaway.

In case you're struggling with picking the perfect places, here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel - Stay in the heart of campus at the country's largest student union
  • Hyatt Place - Don't miss a beat by staying on Kirkwood Avenue, just west of the Courthouse Square 
  • Grant Street Inn - A quaint bed and breakfast option that is conveniently located near IU and in the heart of downtown Bloomington 
  • Graduate Bloomington - Perfect for the Hoosier enthusiast and lover of Kirkwood Avenue boutiques and restaurants

Copy of Indiana Memorial Union

Treat Yo Self

After you check-in, get out and explore. Bloomington is known for its arts community; visit some of the area's best galleries and boutiques to pick out something special for yourself.

Or maybe you need an afternoon sugar rush. In that case, head to Blu Boy Chocolate Cafe for some handcrafted chocolates and coffee. If you're more of an ice cream fan, then head to Hartzell's for a banana split or a cone topped with all the scoops you can handle. Vegan and gluten-free gals will love the cookies and cupcakes at Rainbow Bakery.

blu boy


  • Pizza - These are not your standard pies. Malibu Grill serves up delicious wood-fired pizza and fresh salads every day. This is a lively casual spot with a great cocktail and wine selection too. 
  • Small Plates - C3 is a swanky restaurant and bar that specializes in shareable plates. Order a smorgasbord of tasty appetizers so you can try a little bit of everything.
  • Eclectic - Try Uptown Cafe for the farm to table variety. They are known for their Cajun fare and steaks but have a little bit of everything. 



After Dinner

cardinal spirits valentine's day

If you're in the mood for something different:

  • Girl's Pint Out (February 13) - Come celebrate Galentine's Day with Girls Pint Out and Switchyard Brewery! Local brews, goodie bags, and quality time with your gals make this event one you won't want to miss. This Wednesday event is perfect for your friends in town for the week!
  • Wonderlab After Dark: Chocolate (February 15) - Chocolate is not just a delicious treat, it is also a historically and culturally significant commodity. WonderLab’s After Dark: Chocolate is a 21 and over event that discusses the history and science of chocolate. 

Then call it a night because you don't want to miss Sunday brunch.

Sunday Brunch

There are a handful of places for breakfast in Btown but here are a few ideas to send you off full and happy.

  • Super-local + sustainable: FARMbloomington has everything from Hoosier Poutine to salmon on their brunch menu, offered on Saturday and Sunday. Their exquisitely stocked, full-service bar means you have your pick of how you'd like to imbibe at your meal. An ever-changing seasonal menu means there's always an option for all of your gal-pals.
  • Something unique: Le Petit Cafe has been serving up hearty, unpretentious French fare for years. On Sundays, they offer a multi-course brunch featuring tasty things like cheese puffs, berry crumble, crepes, and more. Hard to beat that.
  • Casual: Maybe you need a little hair of the dog, or you'd prefer going to brunch in your yoga pants. Head to Lennie's for a beer-mosa and chicken and waffles. 

feast 2

If you want to plan a Galentine's Trip over actual Valentine's Day, check out our blog post about special Valentine's Day events, menus, and more.

Gillian Fulford

Gillian Fulford