Leap Year comes around every 4 years which means we have an extra day in the bank. We think Leap Day should be a national holiday so we can all use it to go out and play.

First a little science and history lesson. Leap Day (February 29th) is an extra (intercalary) day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long. As we all know, our Gregorian calendar has 365 days. So why all this fuss and bother? Leap Years keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. The Earth takes approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle around the Sun. If we didn’t add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost 6 hours every year.

Leap Day has existed for over 2000 years, and is still associated with traditions, folklore and fun facts trivia.  But, let’s get back to this extra day to spend. Many businesses offer Leap Day discounts so plan ahead and cybershop for deals in your community, free food offerings and other shopping discounts. Then take a vacation from technology. Get off the grid, dial it down and charge out to carpe diem.

See all the latest movies, eat out at your favorite slow-food restaurants. Take in the community theatre performances and concerts. Hit the local shops, art museums and galleries. Don’t let winter weather prevent you from enjoying your favorite outdoor activities. Put on your Yaktrax and hike local trails. Elevate those endorphins by ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing and skiing. Some ski resorts offer discounts to “leaplings” and some like Mammoth offer free lodging and night skiing.

If the kids are restless, check-out this National Geographic Special Page for Kids to keep them entertained and involved in the day. Or as a family, use the day to volunteer, like our give back generation, wherever there is a need. You don’t have to be a “leapling” to think about community service on Leap Day.

So now that you’ve got it, what will you do this day to make up for lost time?