29 Fun Local Things to Do This Leap Year on February 29th

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Valentine’s Day isn’t the only special occasion in February. At least, not this year, because 2020 is giving us a 366th day also known as a Leap Year. Leap Years only happen every four years, so if you’re born on Leap Day — AKA February 29th — then you only have a birthday every four years. But it won’t only be the Leap Day babies — AKA leapers or leaplings — celebrating this February 29th. We all have one extra day this year to get ~ish done. 

This is a chance to take that extra day and turn it into an opportunity. There are so many ways to spend your time  —  learn a new skill, try something different, get creative, or indulge in some #selfcare. Leap Year is your oyster!

leap year gif

About Leap Years

frog leaping leap year

The history behind Leap Year is pretty fascinating. We’ve been told our whole lives that there are 365 days in every year, but there are actually 365.242190 days. Since it’s not an even split, our traditional calendar has to compensate for those extra .242190 days and we do that by adding a 29th day to the February calendar every four years.

It gets even more interesting. Anthony, Texas and Anthony, New Mexico both claim to be the “Leap Year Capital of the World,” and during February 29th, both towns host a festival full of square dancing, family-friendly activities, and tours through an Aztec cave.

But Leap Year goes far beyond Anthony, Texas and New Mexico. It was actually the ancient Egyptians who first saw the flaw in our traditional calendar. Egyptians figured out a Leap Year every four years was necessary, but it was the ancient Romans who officially added the day. At the time, Julis Caesar was emperor, so the calendar was known as the Julian calendar. {He’s the same guy who gave us the month of July, named after himself.}

While Leap Years started with the ancient Egyptians and Romans, the Greeks had their say in the matter, too. In fact, in Greek culture, it was thought that getting married on a Leap Year was bad luck. Ireland also has some opinions on Leap Year, but check out no.4 on our list to learn more about that one.

Things to Do On February 29th

Now that the history is out of the way, check out these 29 things to do with the extra day this year.

1. Celebrate the extra day at Happy Hour!

Bin 14 is hosting a Leap Day wine tasting from 2:00PM-4:00PM that day.

2. Try frog legs. 

Oh yes, frog lets. It is Leap Day, after all! Bangkok City Thai, Sri Thai, and New Thanh Haoi all have frog legs on their menu.

3. Get a mani/pedi. 

It’s one more day of the year to practice self-care, duh. Here are a few beauty spots to get you started.

4. Propose to your boyfriend. 

Ladies, listen up! Leap Year is historically known as “the one acceptable day” for women to propose marriage to men. It comes from 5th century Ireland and a before-her-time nun named St. Bridget who lamented to St. Patrick that women had to wait for men to be ready for marriage for far too long. St. Patrick suggested that women could propose every four years. {Side note: Propose to your boyfriend whenever you want; we don’t live in the 5th century anymore and this logic is soooo behind with the times; however, it is kind of interesting to learn the history and it would make a great story to tell the grandkids!}

5. Join a Sip and Paint class. 

The Hoboken Library is hosting “Coffee + Canvas” on February 29th at 1:00PM. Tea and coffee will be available and all participants get to take their painting home.

6. Enjoy breakfast for dinner.

Whether pancakes are getting whipped up in the kitchen or people set off in pursuit of French Toast and other breakfast items, breakfast for dinner just tastes so satisfying and feels right {but let’s be honest, today or any day}.

7. Buy something for $29. 

Exactly. No more and no less. Challenge accepted. Here are a list of brick-and-mortars to get you started.

8. Experience a drag brunch. 

Saturdays at Six26, Jersey City’s all-inclusive LGBTQ+ bar {with a rooftop!}, guests can enjoy specials such as $3 mimosas, $5 bloody maries, $15 pitchers of sangria, and $5 green tea shots until 5:00PM. The drag queens start the show at 1:00PM.

9. Try trivia.

No, it’s not Leap Year-related trivia, but Urban Coalhouse Pizza + Bar hosts weekly trivia every Saturday night at 9:00PM.

10. Ride a rollercoaster at the American Dream Mall. 

Because it’s more than a mall, it’s basically a theme park.

11. Book a cooking class. 

There are plenty of local businesses — Hudson Table, Zesty Basil, Cook Ease Catering, BonAppetour to name a few — that offer cooking classes to singles, groups, and couples.

Read More: 10 Unique Food and Drink-Making Classes Hoboken + Jersey City

12. Indulge in a facial. 

There’s one extra day in the year, so one might as well indulge in some self-pampering.

13. Get ready for March Madness, or at least basketball season. 

OK, it’s not the same thing as March Madness because MM is colleges, not the NBA. But still, there are a ton of games on TV on February 29th. Head to a local bar and watch Bulls vs. Knicks, Nets vs. Heat, Lakers vs. Grizzlies, Trail Blazers vs. Hawks, Pacers vs. Cavaliers, and Magic vs. Spurs.

14. Learn calligraphy.

For those interested in learning a new skill, try calligraphy. Book a Sip and Script party where a calligraphy artist comes to one’s home and teaches participants the art of script-writing.

15. Try a new slice of pizza. 

There are a lot of slices of pizza in Hoboken and Jersey City. Like, a lot, so try one you’ve never tried before. Friendly reminder that Tony Boloney’s offers taco pizza, ramen pizza, and more options.

16. Go on a waterfront walk. 

Sure, it’s cold, but brave the weather and go for a brisk — ahem, very brisk — walk.

17. Check out AR Workshop.

The AR Workshop in Westfield, New Jersey is hosting a family canvas workshop on February 29th. For those new to AR, it’s a DIY project location that offers group workshops. Instead of leaving with a painting like at a paint and sip, guests will be leaving with a woodwork project, blanket, or pillow {among other various home decor DIY projects} that they made themselves.

18. Listen to a local podcast. 

There’s FMBA Nation, IT’S CALLED PORK ROLL With Dan and Jerry, and of course, Tea on the Hudson.

See More: Hudson County-Hosted Podcasts to Stream

19. Decorate cookies. 

Sugar Suckle isn’t hosting an event on February 29th, but one can potentially book their cookie-decorating services for a private party.

20. Cook a new dish. 

It’s fine to celebrate Leap Day by spending an exact amount of money or by booking a class, but not necessary, that’s for sure. Everyone can celebrate at home, simply by cooking something new and different.

21. Make a DIY cocktail. 

It may not technically be spring yet, but any one of these spring-themed cocktails is a perfect way to get comfortable playing bartender at home.

22. Try IV hydration therapy. 

Don’t feel sluggish on February 29th. That’s a waste of an extra day. Check out some local  IV hydration therapy businesses to get some much-needed hydration and nutrients via IV. Vida-Flo is one we love!

23. Start a plant collection. 

It only takes one plant to become a #PlantParent. Buy a plant baby today and plant parents won’t get to celebrate their plant’s “gotcha day” for another four years.

24. Meditate. 

February 29th could be one more chance to center oneself.

25. Adopt a pet.

Liberty Humane Society has locations in Jersey City, Hoboken, and Bayonne, so save a life and bring home a fur-baby this Leap Day.

26. Visit a local theatre for a show. 

This February 29th, the Mile Square Theatre is putting on Five Times in One Night, a hilarious exploration of sex through comedy sketches. The show runs until March 15th.

27. Get a facial. 

Because our faces deserve some TLC every once and a while, too. Check out our facials archives here.

28. Have a drink in the Pilsener House igloos. 

They require reservations in advance but it’s like a little slice of Antarctica right here in the Mile Square, especially with igloos. Book a spot today by emailing reservations@pilsenerhaus.com.

29. Indulge in a blowout.

If you live in Jersey City, these are the best places to get a blowout in Jersey City. If you’re a Hoboken-dweller, these are the best places to get a blowout in Hoboken. #YoureWelcome.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate Leap Year in 2020?

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Written by:

Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.


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