Once every 4 years the calendar gifts us an extra day in February. In 2020 fortunately this 29th day falls on a Saturday. As all 30 Rock fans already know: “Real life is for March” and “Nothing you do on Leap Day counts.”

This year everyone is jumping in on the Leap Day action. (And it’s about time!)  You have no excuses to not celebrate! I personally will be hosting a hot chocolate party for my friends and hyping all their children up on sugar before sending them home. Because, why not? It’s Leap Day! It doesn’t count! 

Here are ways to mark this special day. What hopportunities will you be jumping on?

(PS. If you hate puns you’re gonna hate this list. But please keep reading. These events are toad-ally awesome!)

Get Outdoors

@westernpa_specialolympics
@westernpa_specialolympics, Instagram

Head to Art Rooney Ave at Heinz Field to support the Special Olympics and to take in sights of grown men and women leaping into freezing cold water during the Pittsburgh Polar Plunge! Starting at 9a free hot chocolate, free coffee, free hot dogs, and free entertainment at 11:30a. Looking for a solid Leap Day memory? Why not take the plunge? Registration is still open! 

Get outdoors and also help raise awareness for Rare Disease Day by participating in a 2.29 mile virtual race! You aren’t required to hop the whole way and you get to pick where/when you start it. Then you will be mailed an adorable leapfrogging frogs medal.

Head over to Frick Park for a dog-friendly, leisurely-paced 3-to-5 mile hike from 11a-2p. Or get a guided tour of local public art with Public Art Run: Uptown – stroller-friendly, 5K, starts at 3p, lasts 1 hour, 12 stops, pre-registration required.  

For more avid hikers the Allegheny County Parks has “Hit the Trail for a Hike” options: North Park 5-mile hike at Noon or a 4-mile South Park one starting at 2p – cost is free, register online. 

Get Loud at a Library

@shalerlibrary, Facebook

Only the “March-should-already-be-here” curmudgeons will be shushing at the library on Leap Day. Libraries are actually encouraging kids to get loud! Kids from preschool to grade 5 should check out the Carrick Library for jumping games, crafts, and a create-your-own time capsule from 3p-430p. The Greentree Library is having Hoppy Leap Day: Toad-ally Awesome Frog Crafts from 10a-5p. Those in grade 6+ should head to Mt. Lebanon Library at 3:30p to work on a Teen Leap Day Time Capsule (which won’t be opened til next Leap Day)

Show up to a Show

Image via pittsburghsymphony.org
Image via pittsburghsymphony.org

If you want to lodge some faux-murder memories into your post-2/29 reminecences then head over to It’s My Leap Year Party & I’ll Die If I Want Too! Murder Mystery Dinner – $37.50, dinner buffet, cash bar available, starts at 7pm. Or, for those who prefer a lighter mood for their bonus day, before you head back to your lily pad at the end of a leaptastic day check out The Music of Leap Day – a musical comedy show for $12, lasts 75 mins, is BYOB, and starts at 9pm.  

For a more-classical-but-not-classical take on festivities head to Heinz Hall for a one-night-only performance of Lift Every Voice – Reflections on Freedom through words and music with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and members of the Pittsburgh artistic community. 

For those looking to be in a show head to Beats & Bikes Open Mic Night which is raising funds for the Hollow Oak Land Trust – $10 in advance, $15 at the door, craft beer, local food, performers need to sign up in advance. 

Indulge in Cultural Experiences

Image via chathambaroque.org
Image via chathambaroque.org

“Go for baroque” when the Venice Baroque Orchestra comes to town and performs Vivaldi at Carnegie Music Hall (tix prices vary based on your age).

There are some ongoing events which don’t skip over Leap Day. Feed your intellectual side with these events: 

Maker & Muse: Women and Early 20th Century Art Jewelry at The Frick Pittsburgh 

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art features several exhibits, including: Pop/Op, Contemporary Visions, African-American Art in the 20th Century

ReNew: Louise Silk free exhibit at the BNY Mellon Satellite Gallery (in the lobby of the Steel Plaza T-station)

Simone White, (T)rap Music & Poetry at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (at a cost of “pay what makes you happy”)

Cry It Out’s opening night at City Theatre (those under 30 get a special price; but you must call for tix) 

Get Your Groove on with a Band

Photo by zachrie friesen on Unsplash
Photo by zachrie friesen on Unsplash

From 3p-11p the Leap Fest fr. Scratchy Blanket album release, 11 bands, and more is happening at The Glitter Box Theater. From 8:30p-11:30p catch a Leap Day Party with Jimmy and the Frogmen at Moondog’s. Or head to The Warhol for Sound Series: Beyond Microtonal Music Festival featuring Ray-Kallay Duo and MikroEnsemble – doors open at 6:30p. If you’re into funky jams then Club Cafe has you covered with Stationary Pebbles, HABATAT, and The Moat Rats to help Lump celebrate the Leap Year – doors 7:30p, show 9p. 

Scare yourself right into Leap Day 2024

Image via calendar.pitt.edu
Image via calendar.pitt.edu

One of the more obscure activities of the day is at the Omni William Penn Hotel’s Haunted Pittsburgh presents: An Evening with Pittsburgh’s Scare Masters featuring the titans of all things scary in Western Pennsylvania. It’s a one-night-only spooky symposium – doors open at 6p, starts at 7p,  tickets $10, come early to meet the speakers. 

Also swing by Pitt’s Hillman Library for Oh the Horror! Movie Posters Starring in the George A. Romero Archival Collection on exhibit now thru April 23 to delight in some fright. 

Drink Beer

Photo by Julianna Arjes on Unsplash
via Julianna Arjes on Unsplash

While not particularly novel to Leap Day, it will do. The most festive event is the Pittsburgh Beerfest at the David L Lawrence Convention Center – prices vary ($45+), multiple sessions. There’s also a Wine Shine & Mac ‘n Cheese Fest at Monroeville Convention Center – prices $10-$15, multiple sessions, mac ‘n cheese themed food trucks (for an additional cost). 

To round out the list of 29… Educate yourself on Why Leap Year? Or you could always host your own Hot Chocolate party. 

Merry Leap Day everyone! 

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Mo Macel

Mo is a pun-loving Pittsburgher who likes to take photos and write. She blogs at givegodyouryes.com and fullhipster.com.

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