We have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day, but we can’t deny its appeal for many folks. Still, we don’t think you should settle for a lame prix fixe dinner. You know, the one that includes a chocolate-covered strawberry and a glass of “Champagne.” Or maybe you recognize Galentine’s Day, the February 13 holiday created by Amy Poehler’s Parks and Recreation character, Leslie Knope, to celebrate women’s friendships. However you observe the days and with whomever you observe it, here are some delicious and original ways to celebrate both holidays.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day the Waffle House Way:  For the twelfth year, nearly two hundred Waffle House locations across twenty-five states will hold special Valentine’s dinners, complete with candles, white tablecloths, and flowers. The full menu is available, from pecan waffles to Bert’s jazzed up chili to a T-bone steak. In the Triangle, the Morrisville (1006 Airport Blvd.) and Wake Forest (991 Durham Rd.) locations will be participating this year. To make a reservation for the Morrisville location, call Tangy Cook at 919-633-8691, or for the Wake Forest location, call 919-554-2501 and ask for Mandy, TJ, Cindy, or James.

Bake, Sip, and Decorate with Gege the Neighbor: On Friday, February 15, Geniece Bey, aka Gege the neighbor, is holding her first Valentine’s Day-themed Bake and Sip event from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Leap of Faith Academy in Durham. Sip wine while she teaches you to decorate a layer cake with a combination of piping, sprinkles, and small fondant cutouts. Drinks and light appetizers are provided from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. and are included with your ticket. For more information, visit the Facebook event page, or to purchase tickets click here ($40 for singles and $75 for couples, advance ticket sales only).

Treat Yo’ Self to Wine and a Couples Massage Class: Certified massage therapist Megan Millard will conduct couple’s massage classes on February 14 and 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Durham. Treats and sparkling wine will be served while you learn to give and receive a novice’s version of a professional Swedish massage. The ninety-minute class will conclude with two door prizes, including a massage-themed gift basket and a thirty-minute massage. Tickets are $30 and must be purchased in advance here.

Ring in Galentine’s Day With a Waffle Bar and Breakfast Brews: One of the Triangle’s most Parks and Rec-centric Galentine’s Day celebrations will be held at The Glass Jug Beer Lab in Durham on February 13 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. There will be a waffle bar and special breakfast brews on tap from The Glass Jug Beer Lab, Legal Remedy Brewing, and Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cidery. Activities include Leslie Knope bingo with prizes, a Ben Wyatt playlist, and Rent-a-Swag rack and donation drive. They’ll also be accepting donations for the Durham Rescue Mission. Admission is free; for more info, visit the Facebook event page.

Grab Your BFF’s for Galentine’s Merrymaking at Acme Acme Food & Beverage Co. in Carrboro is throwing a rosé-fueled soiree on Wednesday, February 13. During regular dinner service, there will be special dishes on offer such as lobster mac and cheese, as well as festive extras such as cotton candy cocktails, chocolate fondue, boozy gummy bears, and a take-home breakfast in bed to get start your Valentine’s Day on a delicious note. Plus, save your Acme receipt from the 13th to receive 13% off products and services at Wax Poetic. Call 919-929-2263 to make a reservation (or just show up ready to party).

Paint and Sip with Your Galentines: On Sunday, February 10, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Growler’s USA in Raleigh, Artist Tracey D. Graves will instruct you and your best girl friends in creating your own original artwork. A $40 ticket buys you canvas, paint, supplies, and one five-ounce Growler USA beverage, or you can upgrade to a five-beverage flight for $53. To purchase tickets, click here.