February 29 is day that only comes around once every four years. Leap Day was invented long ago by Julius Caesar as a way to fix the calendar, because it turns out that the journey of the Earth around the sun is not a simple 365 days. It’s more like a 365.24219 day long trip. If we didn’t have Leap Day, the calendar would get several weeks out of sync with the seasons over the length of an average person’s lifespan. Adding an extra day every four years is a bizarre way of setting the calendar straight.
Leap Day also gives us a “bonus” day once every four years. How will you spend your extra day? You could spend it sorting your socks or putting your DVD library back in order, but Patch has a few better ideas.
Learn to cook an exotic dish (without leaving your computer): Cooking School has how-to videos on its site with several uncommon, yet tasty looking dishes. Sure, you can learn how to BBQ a chicken or deep fry a turkey, but the lessons also include baking a Guinness Cheesecake, churning your own popcorn ice cream or prepping a rhubarb crisp. Yum.
Have a cookie (for free): Subway is giving away a free cookie on Leap Day with any purchase. Sweet!
Savor your Leap Year (on ice): Dust off the little gem from London’s Savoy Hotel bartender’s guide, dubbed the Leap Year Cocktail. According to SlashFood the cocktail was invented in 1928 and has resulted in many a successful proposal. The drink has gin, sweet vermouth, Grand Marnier and lemon juice (see the full recipe here.) If you don’t have the ingredients on hand, you could always drop by and ask them to make one for you.
Propose marriage (if you’re a gal): Irish tradition holds that Leap Day is the one day where it’s proper for women to turn the tables and propose marriage to that special someone. Missouri also happens to be one of the few states where you can get a marriage license and wed the same day. Use that information wisely!
Take a walk in the woods (and look for buried treasure): Geocachers the world over are trying to set a record for the most caches logged in on one day, beating the record of 78,313 caches logged on 10-10-10. If you don’t know about geocaching, now is a great time to learn about the sport. Need a place to start? There’s quite a few caches in Fenton!
Discover your inner artist (in just two hours): Sign up for a creative class at and learn to make jewelry, decorate cakes, paint landscapes, knit or paper craft like Martha herself. The classes are inexpensive and supplies are sold right in the store. Want to get crafty right now? They also have project plans for a wide variety of crafts online for free.
Reclaim your inner child (he or she is getting bored): Use your extra day to get back in touch with your inner child. It can be as easy as picking up a hula hoop or jump rope—if anyone asks, just tell them you’re exercising. If you have kids in the house, teach them a game you played growing up. Freeze tag anyone?
Get happy (in 15 easy steps): Launch your own personal Happiness Project. Yes, there’s a website to teach you how to be happy. Tip number one? Make other people happy, it’s contagious.