20 Fabulous Ways to Take Advantage of Leap Day

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Kir Tuben

There's beauty to a leap year. Every four years you get granted a little extra time. But the only question is: How are you going to use it? The gift of an extra 24 hours comes in the form of the date February 29...one that only comes about every four trips around the sun. So, though you're used to thinking of a year as 365 days, you're actually granted that extra-special 366th.

The opportunities are endless when it comes to how you're going to spend that February 29th, but one thing is for sure: If you waste it, you won't get another for four more years. It could be as simple as calling in sick and treating yourself to a spa day, or maybe you want to get a bunch of your friends together for an impromptu dinner party. No matter how you spend the extra day, wasting it is not an option.

Go for it: we're officially giving you permission to be as wild...or as chill...as you want. Today is for you. Do something special that you'll remember for the next four years and tomorrow start planning for the next one that will be here before you know it.

Still stumped? Here are 20 ideas of fabulous ways to spend your leap day. The world is your oyster!

01 of 20

Throw an Impromptu Dinner Party

Older and younger woman talking at a dinner party

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The secret to doing it in less than two hours? Chinese takeout and fine china. It's really all about the presentation and getting your friends together for a glass of wine and some good conversation.

02 of 20

Buy a Super-Cute New Dress

woman shopping

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Go to Zara and buy something fun that channels spring. Wear it out of the store with booties and make some plans to take that new look out on the town on a whim. Whenever you wear it in the future, refer to it as your leap day dress.

03 of 20

Treat Yourself to a Manicure or Blowout


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Start the week out with a beauty pamper session. Take that extra day and use it for yourself, fully. Go bold and you might even want to get a massage or full-blown spa treatment!

04 of 20

Have a Photoshoot

selfies on beach

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Grab your friend who is a photographer and stage a leap day shoot. Get your power animal in balloon form, then have your friend snap photos of yourself in front of your city’s major tourist attractions. Need more inspiration? Take action shots of yourself leaping for joy in front of the attractions.

05 of 20

Bake Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon roll

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Lay everything out in your kitchen and get ready to make that breakfast-turned-dessert you love so much. Bring them to work as a morning surprise for your colleagues the very next day—unless, of course, you want them all for yourself....Wish everyone a happy leap day through food!

06 of 20

Call Someone You Love

woman on phone

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Take the extra day to catch up with friends you might not have spoken to in a while. Consider Leap Day to be a whole 24 hours that you didn't have the year before and use it to just sit down and, well, chat.

07 of 20

Plan a Trip

woman planning trip

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...or at least, start planning a trip. There's plenty of days to travel left in the year and this is the extra push you need.

08 of 20

Take a Sick Day

woman in cafe with book

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Call in sick to work, just because. Don’t check your email or social media feed. Instead, treat yourself to a fancy lunch with a new book. Order champagne and oysters!

09 of 20

Cook Something

women cooking

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Pull out a cookbook you haven't used in forever. Find a dish that sounds delicious, and make it for dinner. Whether you're alone and want some leftovers or invite a bunch of friends over, it's a fun (and delicious!) way to spend the day.

10 of 20

Buy Something for Your House

woman house shopping

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Shop for something new and decorative for your house. Purchase a new throw pillow, coffee table book, candle, plant, or crystal, then turn it into a leap day collection. In four years buy another pillow, coffee table book, candle, plant, or crystal. Do this for the rest of your life and you’ll have a cool leap day collection!

11 of 20

Write Yourself a Letter

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Put pen to paper for your future self. Write down what you hope to happen in the next four years and set the delivery date for the next leap day.

12 of 20

Start a Meal Service

woman cooking at home

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Not sure what you want to try? Consider signing up for a free trial of a program like Blue Apron. Even if you don’t like to cook, who wouldn’t want three free meals?!

13 of 20

Talk to Strangers

women talking on street

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The topic on hand? Tell everyone you meet something interesting about leap years. Here are a few: Did you know that the U.S. presidential election and the Summer Olympics always occur in leap years? In 10,000 years the calendar system will have to be reconsidered. Ja-Rule is a leapling, the term given to people who are born on February 29.

Kidz World might be geared towards children, but it's a fair bet that most of their leap year facts are fit for people of all ages. Study up on their website now!

14 of 20

Take Advantage of Travel Deals

Cropped image of young woman holding passport and suitcase walking in the international airport hall

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There are plenty of travel deals you can snag once every four years, like an extra gift you didn't know you needed. Book a hotel in a city you’ve never visited before because...why not.

15 of 20

Propose to Your Significant Other

woman proposing

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Legend has it that leap day is the one acceptable day for a woman to propose marriage to a man. It dates back to the 5th century when an Irish nun, St. Bridget, complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose. St. Patrick supposedly said women could ask every four years during a leap year.

16 of 20

Watch "Leap Year"

women watching movie

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If there was ever a day to hunker down and watch the romantic comedy, "Leap Year," today is the day. In the movie, Amy Adams and British hottie Matthew Goode travel across Ireland in search of Adams's boyfriend, to whom she plans to propose.

17 of 20

Eat Tex-Mex


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The leap year capital of the world is the city of Anthony, which straddles Texas and New Mexico. Whether you are close by and want to take a little road trip, or simply toast the area from farther away, today is the day. Celebrate this town by eating queso, fajitas, and blood orange margaritas!

18 of 20

Get a Puppy

woman with puppy

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If you’ve decided you're ready to get a rescue dog, do it today. Don't make it a spur-of-the-moment decision, though. While it might be the push you needed to finally take the leap, make sure that you've given it a lot of thought, as it's a huge responsibility you're about to take on.

19 of 20

Go Jumping


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Grab your kids and head to the nearest trampoline center. Celebrate leap day by literally leaping. If your kids are little, surprise them with a bouncy house and let them leap around in it. And hey, if you don't have kids, that's more than ok, too! Call up some friends and do the same.

20 of 20

Try Something New


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Take a leap of faith. Do something you’ve never done before. Sign up for that floral arranging or improv class you’ve been wanting to take.

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