Leap Year. Due to an oversight in the Gregorian calendar thousands of years ago, Western civilization is still granted a 29th day in February once every four years. It’s been said that every day is a gift, but—not unlike penicillin or bran cereal—Leap Day is a gift born from a mistake.

Yes, it falls during the worst month of the worst season and has a five-in-seven (or approximately 71.43 percent) chance of happening on a weekday, but if you distill the “holiday” to its bare essence, the intercalary occurrence is the most literal example of a free day bestowed upon a society that so often fails to stop and enjoy the moment. February 29 signals a direct recognition of time’s quick passage. It’s 24 extra hours to make that recent resolution stick, to do something crazy, and to squeeze a little more fun into that particular year.

In addition to all the concerts, comedy shows, and other events that just so happen to be occurring this February 29, metro Milwaukee will also host a few Leap Day-specific happenings and promotions that will make this extra day extra special. Here are 10 Leap Day things happening in and around Milwaukee.

Quantum Leap Day @ Up-Down Milwaukee
It’s all fun and games during Up-Down Milwaukee’s “Quantum Leap Day” promotion. If you have a February 29 birthday, come in Thursday for 160 free birthday tokens. If you don’t have a Leap Day birthday, make sure to be one of the first 100 people through the doors so you can get 29 free tokens. Customers must be 21+ with ID to enter.

Hibernation Day @ Great Lakes Distillery
Get in the Leap Day…spirit (get it?!) at Great Lakes Distillery’s “Hibernation Day” this Thursday. Starting at noon, the Walker’s Point tasting room will be selling bottles of its “extremely limited” Hibernation Series Batch 4 and Hibernation Series Batch 5 whiskey varietals. There will be a special cocktail menu (including some drinks featuring the aforementioned Hibernation whiskeys) available for the occasion. There will also be music provided by Joe Wais of The MilBillies and Jordan Kroeger of Chicken Wire Empire from 6-9 p.m.

Leap Day Celebration @ Third Space Brewing
In honor of Leap Day and because “real life is for March,” Third Space Brewing will add a bonus beer release to its 2024 calendar by putting out its beloved Java Blanca this Thursday. Patrons are also encouraged to follow the traditions mentioned in a Leap Day-related episode of 30 Rock when they drop by the taproom.

Explorium Leap Day Party @ The Explorium Brewpub (both locations)
On Leap Day, both Explorium Brewpub locations (Third Ward and Greendale) will go all out with holiday-specific food offerings, drink specials, and raffles. Beyond the regular beer offerings on hand, Leaping Lemonade—made with LeRoy Butler’s Leap Vodka—will be available for $5. “Leap-themed” raffle drawings will occur hourly. And, if you’re into that sort of thing, brined and fried frog legs “tossed in your choice of sauce” can be purchased in half-pound and one-pound portions.

Leap Day at Leff’s @ Leff’s Lucky Town
Head to Wauwatosa this Leap Day to enjoy $2.29 bottles of Miller Lite at Leff’s Lucky Town all day and night. Folks with Leap Day birthdays will get a free T-shirt and will get free tap beer. People who come by to watch Thursday’s Bucks game will be $4.29 taken off their tabs. Leff’s will also be serving a special “F29” cocktail they’ve created for the occasion.

Leap Day Sale @ Volta Records
You should leap on over to Greenfield to take advantage of the Leap Day Sale at Volta Records. This Thursday, the store’s entire “LP dot sale” section will be 75% off and all pre-owned CDs (priced $30 or less) will be half off!

Leap Year Literacy And Free Laundry Event @ Villard Quick Wash Laundromats
This Leap Day event/promotion at Villard Quick Wash Laundromats has a lot going on, but we think the business’ heart is in the right place. If we’re understanding this right, people can get free use of the laundromat’s washers and dryers from 3-5 p.m. Meanwhile, authors will be reading to children, and kids can get free books if they attend. Oh, and there’s apparently also a raffle for prizes like TVs, a bike, and a year of free laundry. So come by Villard Quick Wash Laundromats to do laundry and/or promote literacy and/or potentially win a door prize. Got it?

Holy Shit! + Blue Balls, Panic On Panic, Robits @ Bremen Cafe
Because “it’s that time every four years they add and extra day to the very obviously worst month of the year,” Holy Shit! will do what they do every four years: play music and eat Chili Mac. Blue Balls, Panic On Panic, and Robits will also play this free Bremen Cafe show. Any donations the show brings will go to help pay Joey Turbo’s medical expenses.

Leap Year Table Tennis Tournament @ Puddler’s Hall
When is the last time you played ping pong? Probably a while! So why not use the bonus day as an excuse to pick up a paddle again? The Bay View Table Tennis Club is hosting a Leap Day tournament at Puddler’s Hall with a random seeding bracket. Stop by for a chance to win some prizes and claim Leap Day table tennis glory.

The Leap Beer Release @ Sahale Ale Works (Grafton)
As originally reported by OnMilwaukee, Sahale Ale Works in not-so-nearby Grafton is releasing a beer this Thursday that was FOUR YEARS in the making. Each year since early 2020, “The Leap Beer” was aged in a different type of alcohol barrel, which gives this limited release a complex flavor and a staggering 17.2% ABV. Starting at 4 p.m. this Leap Day, the beer will be served in the taproom and 100 bottles will be released (limit two per person) for purchase. Yeah, Grafton isn’t exactly Milwaukee-adjacent, but a beer this special and time-intensive is worth traveling to obtain.

National Corporation Leap Day Bonus

Leap Day Oil Change Special @ Jiffy Lube
Last and absolutely least, this Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Milwaukee Jiffy Lube (3604 West Lincoln Avenue), as well as locations in Muskego (S64 W15890 Commerce Center Parkway) and Oconomowoc (1610 Water Place) will knock $29 off all oil changes when the coupon you see below is presented or the “LEAP29” promo code is used. No appointment is necessary. Valid February 29 only!

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.