Wait, what is Leap Day?
The quadrennial bonus day is meant to balance out our imperfect calendars with the Earth’s orbit around the sun. It takes our planet roughly 365 ¼ days to make that trip, so every four years, we get that extra day to keep the calendar steady.
Feb. 29 occasionally jumps into our pop-culture consciousness, like on “30 Rock,” when Jack Donaghy called it “an extra day to do business.” Or when we try to figure out how old Queens-born rapper Ja Rule — born on Feb. 29, 1976 — is.
In New York, we like any chance to celebrate, so it’s become a day for discounts, freebies and opportunities just to leap into something new. Here’s where to get a jump on things for that extra day.
Leap from place to place
Parkour is more than an Internet craze from the aughts or the improbable choreography in action movies: It’s a whole fitness lifestyle. The city has its own parkour gym — Brooklyn Zoo, in East Williamsburg — where you can leap, bound, jump and throttle your way from one obstacle to another like you’re in a chase scene. The gym looks like a big urban playground (graffiti and all) mixed with the set of “American Ninja Warrior.” You’ll be scaling walls in as little as one class.
Classes start at $25, 230 Bogart St., East Williamsburg; BrooklynZooNY.com
Take an actual leap
For some, Leap Day is a chance to take risks. You could start by facing your fears and doing some very literal leaping. The Trapeze School New York offers regular beginner classes to teach you how to fly through the air from a 23-foot-high platform and pull off circus performer tricks. People are often amazed at what they can do after just one class, such as hanging by their knees off the trapeze bar, says office coordinator Anya Gibian.
“There’s definitely a big adrenaline rush,” she says. “For me, it’s absolute focus, because for that 12 to 30 seconds you’re in the air, you can’t think of anything else. My grocery list, my bills I have to pay, none of that is in my head.”
Beginner classes start at $60. 30 Tompkins Ave., Williamsburg [outdoor classes take place at Manhattan’s Pier 40 (353 West St.) starting in April]; NewYork.TrapezeSchool.com
Take a controlled leap
Rock climbing is not all about the climb: You have to go down at some point, too. Rappelling is a skill in its own right, allowing climbers to gracefully and safely descend from a peak, or reach new spots to explore. The experience for beginners is a trust fall: You gently leap backwards off a perch and know the rope will catch you as you lower to the ground.
“It’s the old saying: The first step is the hardest,” says TJ Ciotti, director of climbing at The Cliffs. “Your brain is telling you not to do that.”
The Cliffs is offering you a chance to jump onto the wall and try out rock climbing overall: It’s waiving membership initiation fees if you sign up at its Long Island City or Westchester gyms on Leap Day.
Rappelling classes are available for $99. 11-11 44th Drive, Long Island City; TheCliffsClimbing.com
Leap to new heights
Kids used to have to travel to the suburbs to use a rusty trampoline in someone’s backyard; these days, you can just go to a trampoline park and jump until your heart’s content. Launch, in Queens, lets kids of all ages go nuts with all types of trampolines: Leap from one tramp to another, bounce off the walls, get involved in a dodgeball game or launch yourself in the air like a stuntman.
163-50 Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach; LaunchTrampolinePark.com
Leap years also coincide with Olympic Summer Games years, which is a good excuse to try out synchronized swimming, a kind of underwater leaping. Team New York Aquatics welcomes everyone with walk-in practices Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Baruch College.
“For me, it’s a way to combine my passion for swimming, dance and theatrics all in one routine,” co-chair Nora Cronin says.
It can feel like ballet in the water, if you’re strong enough.
“You might be challenged to get up as high,” Cronin says. “We definitely use our power we’ve gotten from practices to get as high as possible.”
The non-profit TNYA was specifically founded as a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community, and today it hosts an annual one-hour swim to fund-raise for related causes.
Walk-in sessions start at $20. 55 Lexington Ave., TNYA.org
Watch the pros leap to the hoop
The Knicks are not exactly poised to jump any spots in the standings anytime soon, but maybe the extra calendar day will provide some magic. The team faces off against the Chicago Bulls Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, and the team’s tall center will be the one to watch.
“Come to the Garden to see Mitchell Robinson show off his leaping ability,” says Kristin Bernert, executive vice president of sports operations for MSG. “Nobody finishes off an alley-oop like the Knicks’ 7-footer, who can leap out of the gym.”
Game at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $109 on StubHub.com (also broadcast on the MSG Network). Madison Square Garden, 32nd Street at Seventh Avenue; NBA.com/Knicks
Leap in rhythm
Brooklyn rapper Hoodie Allen is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his acclaimed “Leap Day” mixtape, playing the mixtape live in full for the first time. That’s a decade in real years, not leap years!
Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets start at $10. Elsewhere, 599 Johnson Ave., East Williamsburg; ElsewhereBrooklyn.com
Freebies for leaplings
A “leapling” is the name for a person born on a leap year, which means you only get a real birthday every four years (but you still age normally, sorry!). At least you can get some free stuff, such as free (indoor) skydiving. You don’t have to leap from a plane — you can skydive right in Yonkers. iFLY Indoor Skydiving is offering anyone born on Feb. 29 the chance to experience two flights for free through March 1 in its indoor wind tunnel that simulates skydiving.
849 Ridge Hill Blvd., Yonkers, NY; IFlyWorld.com
Snow much leaping
For free (indoor) skiing, leaplings can hit the slope at American Dream. The new megamall at the Meadowlands, features Big Snow, America’s first real-snow indoor ski slope. Anyone born on Feb. 29 can hop onto the ski lift for free on Saturday: Big Snow is offering a free slope access ticket to celebrate leaplings.
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ; AmericanDream.com/Venue/Big-Snow
Speed thru Leap Day
Celebrate the “lap” year! Take a break from leaps and take some laps instead: RPM Raceway, with locations in Jersey City, NJ, and Farmingdale, LI, is offering a free race in its Italian-made go-karts to anyone born on Leap Day.
Visit RPMRaceway.com for locations and hours.
Source: Read Full Article