16 Leap Year Date Ideas
Since a leap year only comes around once every four years, you might as well make the most of it! Here are some of the most romantic and memorable ways to ring in February 29th with your partner.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Unique ideas for that special someone
Every four years, we get an extra day—February 29th—to add to the calendar. While its purpose is merely to keep the calendar in balance (since the Earth doesn’t orbit around the sun in exactly 365 days), many people consider Leap Day to have spiritual significance. “Because it happens every four years, it’s numerically a number of awakening, a powerful time for love, an opportunity to leap forward, to take risks, and to make note of synchronicities,” says psychologist Paulette Sherman, PsyD, director of My Dating & Relationship School and author of Dating from the Inside Out. Though every day spent with your partner can be considered special, there’s no harm in celebrating this day that comes around just once every four years. Here, experts share some of the best Leap Year date ideas.
Take a “leap” of faith together
Book an adventure date that challenges you both! “Whether you choose an activity like rock-wall climbing, sand duning, or a trapeze class, getting outside of your comfort zones together can increase commitment levels and be an incredible bonding experience,” says relationships expert Antonia Hall, author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life. “Couples can make it even more meaningful by choosing an adventure that symbolizes as a metaphorical ‘leap’ they want to make together.” Check out these other date ideas that are better than a Netflix binge.
Create a time capsule
Many people choose a special event or day of the year to create a time capsule, such as the turn of a new year or, better yet, a decade. Since Leap Year only comes around once every four years, it’s the perfect opportunity to make one; just make sure you put it in a location that you’ll be able to retrieve it from years down the line. “Consider an attic or basement location that’s hidden from easy view, and be sure to make some notes to yourself,” says Kathy McMahon, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and president of Couples Therapy Inc. Of course, you could also bury it in your backyard; just make sure that the container is weatherproof. Here are 11 creative outdoor date ideas to try when the weather’s nice.
Splurge on a spa day
At this time of year, many spas are offering discounts to get more people in the door. There’s no better way to relax with the one you love than to book yourselves a treatment, whether it’s a body scrub, a massage, or something less expensive that also allows you to enjoy the spa’s other offerings, such as the saunas and ice rooms, suggests Stef Safran, a Chicago-based matchmaker and the founder of Stef and the City. If your budget allows, head to one of these most luxurious spas in the world.
Attend a hot yoga class
Ready to reap the benefits of those feel-good endorphins that surge through your body after a hot and sweaty yoga class? Yoga is not only a great physical activity for your health—it’s also a great way to bond and can improve your intimacy, according to Katie Ziskind, a holistic marriage and family therapist and the owner of Wisdom Within Counseling in Niantic, Connecticut. “Yoga with your partner can increase playfulness, as well as flexibility in your spine—plus, it can bring some humor and cheerfulness into a busy workday,” she adds. By the way, these soothing yoga poses can actually help you sleep better.
Root for player #29
Not many sports games are held on February 29th, but you can find a few. And when you do, root for #29 on the 29th—together! “Germany’s Leon Draisaitl wears number 29 for the Edmonton Oilers, who take on the Winnipeg Jets on February 29th this year, and currently sits second in NHL scoring,” says Dave Bowden, an online-dating expert and confidence coach. “If you’ve never watched a hockey game before, Edmonton is a great team to start with because they play an exciting and high-scoring style.” And since laughter is key in any relationship, try these sports jokes to get your significant other smiling.
Cook a four-course meal
If cooking is more of your thing than watching sports, plan a four-course meal that you and your partner can prepare together. To make it even more interesting, Bowden recommends choosing two ingredients and asking your partner to choose another two, then looking for recipes that combine all four of your choices. “This idea works well because it turns dinner into a fun game and gives you and your partner a common cause that you can easily turn into a tradition every four years,” he says. Stay warm and toasty on cold nights with these winter date night ideas.
Book an Airbnb in a place you’ve never visited
It doesn’t have to be any place far, but consider February 29th the perfect weekend to travel somewhere you and your partner have always wanted to go. “The end of February is usually a slower time to book travel and can be cheaper, making it perfect for a simple weekend getaway to a location just a few hours away,” says Safran. “Getting away can have you learn new things about the person you are with and have quality time together without interruptions.” Before you book, though, read up on the secrets that Airbnb hosts will never tell you.
Go all-out for dinner
February 29th is the perfect opportunity to dust off that expensive bottle of wine or champagne you’ve been saving for rare occasions. “Most of us can swing a really great meal if we know that it only comes around once every four years,” says McMahon. “Enjoy a blow-out, once-every-four-years, outstanding meal, either at home or at the restaurant that’s best at supplying your favorite foods.” These are the most romantic Valentine’s Day restaurants in every state.
Hit the slopes
A lot of people keep saying they’ll go skiing at some point this season, but before they know it, the ski season has come and gone. Here’s your perfect excuse to commit to a date. “When you ski, there should be snow on the ground—ideally real snow,” says Safran. “Not only is it great exercise, but there’s also something undeniably romantic about getting your adrenaline going down the mountain and finishing the day with hot chocolate and cuddling by the fire.” Need a little travel inspiration? These are the 14 best ski resorts you need to visit in 2020.
Take advantage of the old Irish tradition, St. Bridget’s Complaint
“This tradition states that February 29th is the one day women can propose marriage to their man,” explains Amanda Stemen, a licensed clinical social worker in Los Angeles. Of course, that notion is extremely outdated, so the genders can easily be switched or this idea can used by a same-sex couple. “If proposing isn’t in your future, or you’d prefer your partner to do the asking, you could still use the day to plan a surprise date for your significant other,” Stemen suggests. Check out these outrageous marriage proposals you have to read to believe.
Renew your vows
Not hitched? Don’t pass this one by. You don’t have to be married to take advantage of the opportunity to reestablish both old and new promises to your partner, notes Jacob Kountz, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in Bakersfield, California. “Verbalizing what you will continue to do for your partner and what you plan on doing in the near future with your partner can become an ongoing ritual you do every Leap Year moving forward,” he says. If you are planning a bigger celebration, read up on these vow renewal dos and don’ts.
Create a date that includes events starting with the letters L, E, A, and P
Get in touch with your creative side by coming up with a date that allows you to make use of the key letters involved in this day that comes once every four years. For example, Michele Moore, a licensed professional counselor and relationship expert at Marriage Mojo, suggests visiting the library and enjoying a coffee before going apple picking at a local orchard. “If you don’t want to go all over town, just visiting your local zoo and looking at the elephants at play would still count,” she says. For the rest of the year, try these one-hour relationship boosters that really work.
Take a cooking class
Consider utilizing this extra day in the year to brush up on your cooking skills—something that will come in handy for the rest of the year, too. “Not only will you have fun taking a cooking class, but you and your partner will be working together cooking—creating memories all the while,” says Amanda Ruiz, a licensed professional counselor and the founder of The Counseling Collective. Just watch out for these cooking mistakes that could ruin your food.
Indulge in a sacred bath together
“Many cultures use sacred baths to mark cosmic or cultural events and celebrations, and you can do so in the privacy of your own home,” says Sherman. She suggests using different essential oils that each provide a different health benefit and mixing Epsom salt and crystals to represent what you’d like to create together over the next four years. “It can be romantic, relaxing, spiritual, sensual, and inexpensive,” she adds.
Create goals for the next four years
One fun date idea that couples can do on leap year is to share ideas of what the next four years could be like. “This is what most couple counselors call identifying a shared meaning,” says Kountz. “Though we can’t predict the future, it’s always a good idea to start a healthy dialogue about what you both would like the future to be like with one another.” While you’re at it, make sure you know these 11 communication rules every couple should follow in their relationship.
Try something new
Picking up an activity or attending an event that’s a new experience for you and your partner can be fun and enlightening, as well as help to strengthen your connection and bond with each other, notes GinaMarie Guarino, a mental-health professional at PsychPoint. “Whether it is hiking or a painting class, taking a step out of your norm and doing something new together can be a great way to strengthen the relationship and create fun memories,” she says. Check out these 15 amazing experience gifts that you can do together.