How to Host a “Date-in-a-Box” Exchange – A Galentine’s Day Party

by Melissa

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Want to host a fun Galentine’s Day Party? How about a Date-in-a-box exchange? Keep reading for all the festive ideas including simple food, decor, and date ideas!

Galentines Day Party Ideas

Host a Galentine’s Party to Brighten The Winter

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have been feeling the urge to be creative, as in “I need something fun to plan to get me through these winter months”. I totally get the winter blues…but working on Valentine’s Day projects helps add some color to our gray winter.

So a Valentine’s party it was. Actually, a pre-Valentine’s Day party because it was still January. But no one seemed to mind.

In fact, since December is usually so busy with cookie exchange parties and family Christmas traditions, hosting a pre-Valentine’s Day party in January might just need to become a yearly tradition.

Everyone had a blast eating, chatting (uninterrupted mind you because our kids were in bed!), and exchanging Dates-in-a-box. I’ll explain more of that below.  I loved coming away with a whole lot of new date ideas and I can’t wait to use our date box soon.

I think this may have just been the first of many girls parties. And I’ll never complain about having a party to plan.

Here’s a few  lot of photos because I just was having too much fun with all the pinks and whites.

Galentine’s Day Party Details

The Invitations

Ok…first the invitations. I whipped up these printable invitations, which you can download free here.

I included the date, instructions to bring a date-in-a-box (or bag) … basically everything you need for a date. Real invitations are not always practical, but if you have time, giving a handmade invitation can set a good tone for your party and get your guests excited!

I printed off the invitations, put them inside some mini kraft paper bags and sprinkled in some Valentine’s M&Ms.


Galentine’s Day Party Decorations

Since I love throwing parties, but hate spending a lot of money on decorations that will probably end up in the trash, I’m always trying to think of cheap ways to make a big statement!

While I was browsing the dollar store, I came across a package of giant heart doilies. I didn’t know when I bought them how I would use them exactly, but I knew I’d come up with something.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to pick up cheap decoration items when you find it, even if you aren’t sure how you’ll use it. The ideas will come!

And a giant doily backdrop it was!

You, too, can create a super simple party backdrop by using large heart doilies from the dollar store. I used some gift-wrap tape (that won’t rip my paint) to attach the hearts to the wall. Easy peasy!  You can make a big statement for $1. Hip Hip Hooray!

DIY Dollar Store Craft-Party Backdrop-Valentine's Party Ideas

Cheap Dozen of Roses

The perks of planning a Valentine’s Day party in January is that grocery stores haven’t jacked up their prices on roses yet. I got an entire dozen for under $10 at Smith’s/Kroger. The dozen doubled as a fun centerpiece and a party favor for all the ladies!




Simple Food Ideas

I had 2 little ones at home (and pregnant with my 3rd), so my energy to create tons of delicious Valentine’s Day party foods was non-existent. Instead, I opted to serve red, pink, and white foods. And there are no shortage of those!

Here’s a few ideas:

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I made these red velvet cupcakes from a box and spread some homemade cream-cheese frosting on top.



Valentine’s Sugar Cookie Bar

I made a big batch of Valentines Sugar cookies (our freezer-friendly recipe here ). And then I set out a few toppings so that my friends could decorate their own with frosting, festive candies, and sprinkles.

And…you’ll notice the doily on my cake stand…the decorations that keep on giving. 🙂


Don’t forget the sprinkles!


Easy Bruschetta

Our party started after kiddos were in bed, so I didn’t need to serve a full dinner, but I did want to have a savory option since there was plenty of sugar on the food table. I made this yummy easy Bruschetta from Our Best Bites .


Other Simple Treats

And don’t underestimate what popcorn, Valentine’s Day M&Ms, and gummy cinnamon lips can do for your galentine’s day party dessert spread.


Set out some pink straws (these come in a giant and cheap bag from IKEA) and drinks.





And one other note: I didn’t have the budget to buy a new Valentine’s Day tablecloth, so I used a white one I already had and then bought one yard of fabric to use as a runner. It was a cheap way to add some color!


“Date in a Box” Exchange!

Besides eating from this festive spread of course, we did a “Date in a Box” exchange.

Here’s how we did it:

On the invitations, I told everyone to bring a Date-in-a-Box under $10. They needed to include everything for a date in the box or bag with instructions.

We placed all of our date boxes in the center of the room.

When it was time to exchange, I drew a name out of a bowl. Whoever was selected, got to choose a date. They opened it up and the person who brought it could explain the date.

When the next name was drawn out, they could choose a date from the center of one that had been opened.

Date Ideas

  • Indoor s’more kit with indoor flame, stick and ingredients
  • Movie night- redbox codes and treats
  • Candlelight dinner- candles, candlesticks and an easy meal
  • Game night

Let me know if you plan a Date-in-a-Box Exchange! And leave a comment if you have any more questions!

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