The pressure to spend time with your partner, or feelings of loneliness when you’re single, on the run-up to Valentine’s Day can be overwhelming. For those who’d prefer to mark the occasion with friends, we’ve got some great Galentine’s and Palentine’s activities so you can spend the day with those you love – platonically. Here are our suggestions for a lovely Valentine’s Day with friends.
1. Go to a Candlelight Concert
Haven’t you heard Miley Cyrus’s new single, Flowers? Girl bosses can now —and always— buy their own flowers and take themselves to mesmerising candlelit concerts! So, why not call your girlies, put on your best outfits and celebrate the friendship and love you have for each other as immensely talented musicians play the hits of legends this Valentine’s week, including ABBA, Queen and more. Enjoy an evening surrounded by hundreds of candles with your life’s best companions, your gals.
2. Experience a Cabaret or Drag Show
If Manchester knows how to do one event, it’s drag. From the constant events in and around the Gay Village to vogueing shows popping up in many of Manchester’s clubs and Albert’s Schloss’ regular Kunst Kabaret, we know how to let loose and have some fun. Why not go along with your pals, have a ball, drink in the the female and LGBTQ+ empowerment, and feel the love? MissChief Cabaret have a Valentine’s special at Feel Good Club, and Albert’s Schloss are sure to put on an extravaganza all Valentine’s weekend as usual.
3. Pop for a civilised afternoon tea
As fun as a night out can be, sometimes it’s a nice change to chat-chat over a quality cup of tea or coffee with cake in hand. We have some amazing afternoon tea offerings here in Manchester, with plenty of high end hotels such as The Edwardian and The Midland offering their own version, and the famous Richmond Tea Rooms which boasts lots of colour, fun, and exquisite food, as well as burlesque shows and late-night tea parties if you’re feeling raucous this Valentine’s Day with friends!
4. Have a boogie with ‘The Most Depressing Valentine’s Of Your Life’ at YES
Do you believe in ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’? Then grab a handful of friends and get down to YES Basement for The Most Depressing Valentine’s Of Your Life. OK, yes, this kind of actively goes against the whole ‘happy to be single’, ‘just loving my friends’ thing, but really it’s just a great night out. Even if you’re in a happy relationship, this would be great for fans of break up songs, I hate you songs, I miss you songs, I still love you songs, I want you back songs (as described by YES) – and who wouldn’t be a fan? According to them, the night is dedicated to “the single, bitter, smitten and unloved”, one of which we’ve all been, at some point. It’s on February 11, and tickets are available here.
5. Mooch around the Northern Quarter with friends
Although the Northern Quarter might sometimes seem overrated, it does truly have an amazing selection of shops that will peak your interest. If plants are your thing, Northern Flower and Glass House have plenty of plant babies to go around, meaning you can take home a reminder of the special day. The NQ is also full to the brim with record shops, including Vinyl Exchange, Piccadilly Records, and Vinyl Revival, as well as vintage clothes shops and quirky homeware emporiums to get lost in. Whether you have money to spend or just want to window shop, why not get some retail therapy in this Valentine’s Day, with friends?
6. Check out ‘PAL-entines’ at the Art Hall at Box on the Docks
Box on the Docks at MediaCity‘s Gardens presents ‘PAL-entines’ at the Art Hall on February 16 from 5pm, with entertainment from 6pm – 10pm. The free event will be a celebration of friendship with a showcase of the best of Salford’s local creative talent. BBC Radio Manchester’s David Scott will play host whilst visitors can enjoy live music from BBC Introducing’s artists Roesh and Prido, as well as comedic poetry from poet, Jenny Berry, with other artists soon to be announced. Visitors will also be able to screen print their own tote bags with artist, Sally Gilford.
7. Let your hair down at bottomless brunch
It may be a cliché these days, but you can’t beat going to bottomless brunch with the girlies! We have some great options here in Manchester and Valentine’s Day with friends is the perfect occasion to spend pretty much a whole day getting merry and tasting your way around the city. Not only does it lend itself to deep chats and proper socialising, but it’s just the best fun – especially in a city like Manchester! Whether you want to sample all the cocktails you can muster at Turtle Bay, or scoff all the pizza you can at Crazy Pedro’s, you’ll never be short of bottomless brunch options, and it’s made for Galentine’s.
8. Have a day out away from the city
Although the city centre provides a plethora of options for things to do, there’s always the option to hop, skip or jump outward. Whether you fancy strolling around a surrounding town or village, taking in the quaintness and history, going for a long walk through a forest or up a hill, or discover destinations less than an hour away, there’s something for you. Getting away from it all can take any pressure off the idea of Valentine’s Day, and give you a lovely day to remember, so it’s well worth the consideration!
9. Go to one of the many gigs on in Manchester
As a city with music in its veins, Manchester has an indulgent array of live gigs to choose from this February. From huge acts such as Florence + The Machine and The 1975, to new musicians in basement venues, we have it all. Going to a gig with friends that have the same taste in music as you is food for the soul, giving you the chance to dance and sing as much as your heart desires, spreading the love and embracing the feeling of togetherness that only gigs can.
10. Hire a barge
We’re going Fresh Meat style for this one, inspiration courtesy of Jack Whitehall‘s character JP hiring a barge whilst doing his dissertation in Manchester. Don’t worry, this offering is a little more sophisticated, with Dry Barge making the perfect spot for you and all your friends. The boat, Bohemia, makes voyages all year round, with space for up to 60 passengers, ready to party with a fully stocked bar and live music on offer. Bohemia departs from Catalan Square in Castlefield, gliding down the historic canals of Manchester, with sights including Pomona and Old Trafford. The party boat also offers ticket bundles for Manchester United home games, meaning fans can chug up to the Theatre of Dreams, watch the game, and skip traffic on the way back – how perfect! Dry Barge is a refreshingly unusual activity for Valentine’s Day with friends, but is a truly memorable experience and makes sure you take in the beautiful surroundings of Manchester’s Bridgewater Canal. Book here.