Celebrating Leap Day!

Happy February 29th! I was thinking about this day and wondering, “What kind of fun party ideas can I share for celebrating Leap Day?” And in doing some research, I found a few fun ideas but ALSO got excited thinking about helping you celebrate a friend or family member who has a Leap Day Birthday! I mean, how special is THAT?! I’ll answer my own question: it’s super special and definitely deserves to be celebrated in a BIG way.

Because Leap Day only rolls around every {almost} four years (more on that below), it’s extra special and exciting for the roughly 4 million “Leaplings” or “Leapers”–people born on February 29th–who only get to celebrate their actual birthdate once every four years!

Leap Year Calendar

For those of us NOT born on Leap Day who love our birthdays {raising my hand}, can you imagine your actual birthday not existing for three out of every four years?! I can’t. But guess what?! I learned that many Leaplings celebrate their birthday on both February 28th AND March 1st on non-Leap Years (double-birthday fun!). Of course, there are memes for that:

Leap Day Bday Memes

I’ve also seen a lot of posts from Leaplings who celebrate their “birthday age” as opposed to their actual age, especially when it’s a fun milestone: a 40-year-old getting 10 doughnuts as his birthday cake, a 52-year old celebrating her 13th birthday, or a 64-year-old celebrating her “sweet 16.” You can have so much fun with this! Have a fun, kid-inspired 5th or 6th birthday for your 20th or 24th birthday, enjoy an evening of cocktails or go on a bar crawl with your 84-year-old Leapling grandparent who is celebrating their 21st birthday, have a dance party for your 64th (16th) birthday… the ideas are endless!

The really cool thing is that Leap Day is an extra day for ALL of us, whether it’s our birthdate or not. So, how can you celebrate this special day?! We’ve got some ideas for you!

Everyone Can Celebrate Leap Day

Since this is an extra day in the year, there are countless ways you can celebrate. Do something special just for yourself; host a casual get together with friends; make crafts with kids; decorate with frogs, kangaroos, or ballerinas–the list goes on and on! Check out some of the ideas below, and visit our Leap Day Pinterest board for even more.

Grab Some Leap Day Deals!

I don’t usually talk about sales in general on here, but there are many local and national retailers and eateries that have special Leap Day deals! As I was browsing through Instagram a few nights ago, I saw lots of places offering free meals to people with Leap Day Birthdays, or discounts to anyone on Leap Day! So be sure to search #leapday (and  #leapdaybirthday if it’s your birthday) on Twitter and Instagram for fun deals!

Take a look at some of the cool examples of cool freebies I found on Instagram, especially for Leaplings:

  • Free meal
  • Free slice of cake
  • Free bottle of prosecco
  • Free museum admission for a year
Leap Day Deals
So many freebies for Leaplings (people with a Leap Day Birthday) – be sure to check out local deals for non-Leaplings as well!

Check out this post from The Krazy Coupon Lady – she’s rounded up a whopping 41 deals for Leap Day, including deals from Quizno’s, 7-11, Olive Garden, Popeye’s, Hard Rock Hotel, Great Wolf Lodge, hotels.com, Toms shoes, Sprinkles cupcakes, Pizza Hut, Build-A-Bear, and so many more! Some are exclusively for Leaplings, but there are a lot of deals out there for us non-Leaplings to take advantage of!

Ideas for What to Watch

  • “Leap Day” episode of “30 Rock” (Season 6, Episode 9)
    If you’re not familiar with this episode of the sitcom, it’s where we are introduced to the lore of Leap Day William, the {made up} mascot of Leap Day, who “emerges every four years to trade children’s tears for candy.” It’s currently available for streaming on Hulu.
Leap Day William
My husband dressed as “Leap Day William” in 2012 at a fabulous mish-mash “HoliDaze” party  (more on that party someday soon!)
  • “The Leap Dave Williams Movie” trailer
    After you’ve watched the “30 Rock” episode, check out this fake trailer that the “30 Rock” team made with Jim Carrey and Andie MacDowell for this parody on “Groundhog Day” and a few Jim Carrey movies.
  • “Leap Day” episode from “Modern Family” (Season 3, Episode 17)
    Mitchell feels the pressure to celebrate Cam’s Leap Day birthday in a big way! The episode is available on YouTube (for $1.99)
  • Amy Adams’ Leap Year movie (PG)
    I admittedly have not actually seen this one myself, but I do adore Amy Adams! Check out the trailer. The movie is available on Amazon Prime Video (for $3.99) and probably anywhere you rent movies.
  • The animated movie “Leap!” (PG)
    Ok, it’s not actually about Leap Day, but it’s a fun, family-friendly movie simply called “Leap,” so I had to include it :). Check out the trailer on imdb. This one is also available on Amazon Prime Video and anywhere you get your movies.

Ideas for What to Listen To

  • Upbeat playlist on Spotify
    I thought certainly there would already be a Leap Day playlist out there, but the few I found were not quite what I was hoping for. So, I made a collection of some fun songs myself with “Leap” and “Jump” in the title to celebrate this special day. Enjoy – and let me know what other songs I should add!


Leap Day Playlist
Check out this fun playlist of songs with “leap” and “jump” in their title!


Ideas for What to Learn About Leaping

Check out these fun posts about animals and other leapers:

  • Which animals leap the furthest? from onehowto.com
  • Which animals leap the highest?from onekindplanet.org
    (Spoiler alert: The number one jumper is the flea!! They can jump 220 times their own body length and 150 times their own body height!)
  • World records for leaps by humans! Mike Powell holds the world record for the farthest running long jump, which he set in 1991, moments after Carl Lewis broke the previous world record! Check out this video that takes you back in time to this incredible feat!
leaping squirrel (onehowto)
Photo from onehowto.com

Want More Ideas?

For crafts, fun facts, activities, food ideas, and more, check out our Leap Day Fun Pinterest board. Some highlights:

  • Did you know there’s a special Leap Day cocktail, created back in 1928?! Pretty sure I’ll be trying one this evening.
  • There’s a fun Irish and Scottish tradition dating back to the 5th century, where women could pop the question to their significant other on February 29. If the proposal was refused, the man was expected to buy the woman a gown, fur coat or pair of gloves.” (This is also the basis for the Amy Adams’ “Leap Year” movie mentioned above :)) You can read more about it here and here.
  • Cute froggie foods, like this watermelon carved into a frog from our own Princess and the Frog birthday party, and these adorable doughnuts!

And Wait, What’s This About Leap Year NOT Being Every Four Years?

Remember how I said that Leap Day rolls around almost every four years? Well, as explained by HuffPost, “our calendar skips Leap Day every centurial year (1700, 1800, 1900, etc). The skip means that, in some years, we actually go eight years without February 29th,” except for centurial years divisible by 400.

What?! Why?! I know, it’s super confusing. Here’s some mind-bending, yet simplified math, if you’re interested:

  • The year we now use is 365.2422 days long. So, adding one whole day every four years actually puts us a little bit ahead of the actual amount of full times the Earth has revolved around the sun.
  • By skipping Leap Day three out of every four 100 years (not skipping it in the years divisible by 400), we’ve finally gotten it really, really close to perfect :).

If you’re fascinated by this and want to learn more, here’s an incredibly thorough explanation from Slate. They’ve also condensed it into a 3-minute video for those of us who prefer to keep the math lessons brief.

So, how are you celebrating Leap Day? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. And be sure to share any fun songs I should add to the playlist. Thanks, and enjoy this special “extra” day!


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