What will you do with your extra day this month?

If you have ever found yourself lamenting the fact that there are not enough hours in the day or days in the week, this is not the month to whine. 2016 is a Leap Year, so we have 29 days instead of the usual 28 in February to pack in those to-do list stragglers. In place to compensate for inconsistencies with the calendar and lunar events, this small 24-hour buffer every four years keeps us on track. The next Leap Day will be Saturday, February 29th, 2020.

What will you do with your extra day on Leap Day? We asked area business owners, artists, and leaders for some inspiration if you’re still planning. It’s not surprising that in a city like Charlotte, many said they would make time to try a new restaurant or visit a favorite with their extra Leap Day time. Spending time outdoors, with family, or bettering one’s self were popular choices as well.

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Kristi Martin, Owner and President of FEAST Food Tours that offers culinary experiences in Charlotte, would spend her day “trying out all the awesome new restaurants, bakeries, markets, breweries, and distilleries that Charlotte is now lucky to have.”

Kings Kitchen


Another Charlottean you won’t find slaving over a hot stove on Leap Day is Jon West, co-founder and CEO of AddShoppers, a Charlotte start-up that provides social analytics tools for e-commerce websites. “I’d begin by grabbing a delicious pour-over coffee from Not Just Coffee along with breakfast from the 7th Street Market,” says West. From there, West would hit the Charlotte Athletic Club for an “extra” workout before meeting friends at the French Quarter Restaurant in Brevard Court. Having worked up an appetite “doing entrepreneur things,” West would end his Leap Day at the Cellar at Duckworth’s with a steak and craft beer.

Cellar at Duckworths
Cellar at Duckworths


It’s a good thing that reading about great food doesn’t add to your calorie count. But, in case you indulged over the weekend, some Charlotteans would spend their Leap Day burning calories in some fun and interesting ways. Almost as fun and interesting as steaks and craft beer… almost.

Genie Hufham, Owner of Charlotte Crown Guides which offers tours of Charlotte, would spend her day visiting her favorite places in town: Exit Strategy, the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, the Wells Fargo Museum, and the Foundation for the Carolinas.


Alessandra James, dancer with the Charlotte Ballet, has Leap Day off so her ideal day is actually attainable. Starting the day at Atherton Mill for breakfast at Luna’s Living Kitchen and a little shopping at Anthropologie, James would later take her son on an adventure to Discovery Place and Freedom Park. Her day would (or maybe will) end cozy at home with her husband and son.

Alessandra by Jeff Cravotta


Charlotte’s favorite Mixologist, Bob Peters of The Punch Room at The Ritz Carlton in Uptown, said that he “can only imagine celebrating the extra day that comes with leap year spending it with my two favorite people in the whole world, my wife and my daughter, doing something to create a memory worthy of this gift.” The US National Whitewater Center is at the top of Peters’ list for a place to make a family memory.

Send the kids to hang out this summer. #SummerCamp

A photo posted by USNWC (@usnwc) on Feb 24, 2016 at 1:33pm PST

 Local artist Kent Youngstrom would also spend his extra day with the ones he loves. After waking up early, working out, and napping, Youngstrom would spend the evening at a neighborhood dinner with plenty of food choices (and adult beverages) before a “late night movie at home on the big screen and [falling] asleep with the windows open and stars sprinkling the sky.” 140723_KentYoungstrom-7-X3    

As the President Elect of the 90 year-old Junior League of Charlotte and an attorney, you might expect Shannon Vandiver to say she would spend her Leap Day catching up on precious rest and relaxation. To a degree, that is true, as Shannon would make the Ritz Carlton spa a stop on her Leap Day adventure, but the rest of her day would be spent perusing the racks at the Junior League WearHouse thrift store, volunteering, going on a walk with her silver lab, Nolen, and ending the day with her family at a basketball game for their adopted home team, the Davidson Wildcats.


No matter how you would choose to spend an extra 24 hours, one thing is true for all of us: Charlotte has a wealth of options and variety or choices for everyone. So why wait four years to accomplish your “Leap Day bucket list?” If there is anything to learn from something that might seem as mundane as the question of “What would you do with an extra day?” it is that we can (and should) treat every day like a Leap Day. Spend time with the people you love, do the things that are important to you, pamper yourself a little, because life is short.



Nicole Brantley
Nicole is a native Charlottean that loves the Queen City almost as much as running, writing, and type-A organization.