29 things to do this leap day in Edinburgh and Glasgow

29 things to do this leap day in Edinburgh and Glasgow


Take full advantage of this year's extra day with music, comedy, workshops, exhibitions and much more

30 days has September, April, June, and November… But do you know what's special about February this year? That's right, that all-elusive leap day has come around once more, and it's all the more special in 2020 because it falls on a Saturday. A whole 24 hours offers a lot of possibilities when it comes to entertainment, so we've done most of the work for you, and selected all the best things you can do this leap day in Edinburgh and Glasgow.


If the weather is not in your favour, the Scottish capital has plenty of indoor activities to offer. A great option for the entire family would be a trip to the Edinburgh Playhouse for The Lion King (until Sat 18 Apr), as the tale of lion cub Simba comes alive before your very eyes. Other options for theatre lovers include Dial M For Murder (King's Theatre) and Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti (Royal Lyceum Theatre, until Sat 21 Mar).

Still indoors, there are also plenty of exhibitions across a variety of topics that will surely appeal to all ages. You can celebrate the life of the acclaimed painter at Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing (The Queen's Gallery, until Sun 15 Mar), be in awe of the ferociousness of the great Tyrannosaurs (National Museum of Scotland, until Mon 4 May) or browse through Portuguese artist Paula Rego's work at Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Two, until Sun 19 Apr). Edinburgh is your oyster!

If you'd rather be out and about, you can have a giggle at the Edinburgh International Improv Festival (until Sun 1 Mar), explore the city and search for hidden gems with the Edinburgh Scavenger Hunt: The Fairy Tale Capital (The Scottish Parliament Building), venture through the haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults with Doomed, Dead & Buried (Mercat Tours, until Tue 31 Mar), try out the Holyrood Distillery Tour, or even visit the iconic filming locations for TV series Outlander with the Edinburgh Outlander Experience (Mercat Tours, until Sat 28 Mar).

For those with creative and inquisitive little critters, take your 5–11 year old to learn about clarinets at Families Programme: Weird and Wonderful Woodwind (St Cecilia's Hall), or, if you have a little scientist on your hands, Accidental Science (Dynamic Earth) is just the place to be.

You can also celebrate the extra day with a boogie and a shimmie at the Burly Ceilidh Club (Ghillie Dhu, every Fri & Sat), or sit back and enjoy some music with The Big Moon (Summerhall), Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus (Greyfriars Kirk) and Soul Jam (Sneaky Pete's).

29 things to do this leap day in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Dial M for Murder


Further afield in Glasgow there is also plenty to do this leap day. The Glasgow Film Festival is taking over the city until Sun 8 Mar with plenty of screenings for all tastes, whilst young book lovers can mark the leap year by making some slime at a Leap Year Party (Waterstone's Argyle Street). Want a colourful and animated leap day? Then why not head along to Boteco do Brazil for their carnival Mardi Gras party, or celebrate Japanese culture at the Hina Matsuri Japanese Spring Festival (Kibble Palace).

If the weather isn't great, you can head indoors for a variety of events. Sit back and take in some great storytelling with We are in Time (Tramway), a unique production about a transplanted heart, Kieran Hurley's critically acclaimed look at class consciousness in Mouthpiece (Tron Theatre Bar), or take the little ones to Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre's Three Bears (Scottish Mask and Puppet Theatre).

Speaking of the kids, there's something for them to do this leap day too. Let them discover the secrets of Mitchell Library at Mitchell Children's Trail (until Sat 9 May) or be creative at the Saturday Art Club (Gallery of Modern Art, until Sat 28 Mar) and Charlie Mack's Playtime Orchestra: Make a Slide Whistle (Scotland Street School Museum, until Sun 1 Mar).

Once the kids go to bed, why not go along to Leyla Josephine: Daddy Drag (Tron Theatre Bar), as she attempts to understand what it means to be a father through drag. For a good old laugh, there is always the Rotunda Comedy Club (Rotunda Bar & Diner, every Sat).

There is definitely no excuse for you not to enjoy this leap day, so go out and explore!

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

The Big Moon

London four-piece whose debut album Love in the 4th Dimension was shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Prize.

The Leadmill, Sheffield

Mon 7 Mar 2022

£16.50 / 0114 221 2828

Manchester Academy

Sat 5 Mar 2022

£16.50 / 0161 275 2930

Tramshed, Cardiff

Wed 9 Mar 2022

Cancelled / 029 2023 5555

Dial M for Murder

When Tony discovers that his wealthy wife Sheila has been having an adulterous affair with crime writer Max, he decides to go to extreme lengths to keep his hands on her money. But will his plans survive their execution?

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Tue 13 Jul

£15–£45 / 0114 249 6000

Wed 14 Jul

£15–£45 / 0114 249 6000

Thu 15 Jul

£15–£45 / 0114 249 6000

…and 2 more dates until 17 Jul

Glasgow Film Festival

Since 2005, Scotland's fastest-growing film festival has become a force to be reckoned with in the movie world. The 2021 festival will be presented in a new online format.

Various venues: Glasgow

Wed 2 Mar 2022

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

Thu 3 Mar 2022

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

Fri 4 Mar 2022

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

…and 9 more dates until 13 Mar 2022

The Lion King

  • Directed by: Julie Taymor
  • Written by: Roger Allers, Elton John (music), Tim Rice (lyrics), Mark Mancina (music & lyrics), Lebo M (music & lyrics), Hans Zimmer (music & lyrics), Julie Taymor (lyrics), Irene Mecchi

Julie Taymor's puppet-powered stage version of Disney's spectacular tale of a dead king and an errant son is a feast of exuberant theatre for the whole family, with show-stopping visual effects, gripping drama and plenty of laughs. It reinvents the film for a whole new audience.

Lyceum Theatre, London WC2E

Tue 7 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0844 871 3000

Wed 8 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0844 871 3000

Thu 9 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0844 871 3000

…and 175 more dates until 3 Apr 2022

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Thu 8 Sep 2022

£20 / 023 8071 1811

Fri 9 Sep 2022

£20 / 023 8071 1811

Sat 10 Sep 2022

£20 / 023 8071 1811

…and 30 more dates until 15 Oct 2022

Palace Theatre, Manchester

Thu 27 Oct 2022

Times vary / £20–£30 / 0844 847 2275

Fri 28 Oct 2022

Times vary / £20–£30 / 0844 847 2275

Sat 29 Oct 2022

Times vary / £20–£30 / 0844 847 2275

…and 56 more dates until 24 Dec 2022

Mercat Tours: Doomed, Dead & Buried

Explore the haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults and the Canongate graveyard.

Mercat Cross, Edinburgh

Mon 17 May

£19 (£17) / 01312255445

Tue 18 May

£19 (£17) / 01312255445

Wed 19 May

£19 (£17) / 01312255445

…and 193 more dates until 28 Nov

Hina Matsuri Japanese Spring Festival

Take part in this celebration of Japanese culture by checking out a spot of taiko drumming, trying your hand at origami and sampling some Asian sweets.

Soul Jam

Old school, real deal soul, funk and hip hop.

The Burly Ceilidh Club

Join in the weekly Burly Ceilidh Club where you can be energetically entertained with one of the finest live ceilidh acts around and have a delicious hearty meal of local produce in the evening package.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus

The SCO Chorus, when not performing with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, gives infrequent performances of the classics of the choral repertoire.

The Edinburgh Outlander Experience

Visit locations from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander novels as visited by characters Claire and Jamie. Hear stories of the Jacobites, the Stuarts, witchcraft, clans and how the fictional story intermingles with history.

Mitchell Children’s Trail

The Mitchell Library is a big building with over a million books inside! We have lots of floors and corridors and we opened our door on this site in 1911. There are have been two extensions (including incorporating the St Andrew’s Hall’s facade in the 1980s. We have a children’s trail for you to discover the secrets of…

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing

Exhibition in celebration of the life and work of the great artist and scientist, showcasing drawings that span the breadth of Da Vinci's interests.

Leyla Josephine: Daddy Drag

Leyla attempts to understand what it means to be a father through her witty performance style, drag costumes and complex but unconditional love for her dad.


Comprehensive exhibition all about the ferocious dinosaur predator.


  • 4 stars

Kieran Hurley looks at class consciousness and Edinburgh's creative scene through the relationship between an older writer and a young man who struggles with a difficult home life.

Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti

A gender-bent adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's class comedy by Denise Mina, which centres upon landowner Mrs Puntila's drunken mishaps and her chauffeur Matti, who has his eye on Puntila's daughter Eva.

We Are In Time

A unique theatre production about a transplanted heart. Prepare for a contemporary piece with music, words and songs.

Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance

A major retrospective of the print work of Portuguese artist Paula Rego, bringing the politics of her work to the foreground.

Holyrood Distillery Tour

A fun and informative tour exploring the distillery with a whisky and gin tasting.

Edinburgh Scavenger Hunt: The Fairy Tale Capital

Search through the capital for hidden gems.

Edinburgh International Improv Festival

EIIF returns for the second time with the best improvised comedy theatre shows as well as workshops, open mic nights and more.

Rotunda Comedy Club - Saturday Show

Scotland's largest comedy club - dine, laugh and party

Saturday Art Club

Join us every Saturday morning for these fun family sessions. This year, Saturday Art Club Goes Green! To celebrate our Green Tourism Award (Silver - help us make Gold!), a new points system will awards those who walk, cycle or take public transport here! Ages 3–12yrs old | Donations welcome

Charlie Mack's Playtime Orchestra: Make a slide whistle

Bring in 2020 with a bang! (Or a shake, or a whistle…) Charlie Mack’s Playtime Orchestra invites you and your family to our regular workshop sessions. Make, play and collect a new Mackintosh-style musical instrument in each session. Bring in 2020 with a bang! (Or a shake, or a whistle…) Charlie Mack’s Playtime Orchestra…

Families Programme: Weird and Wonderful Woodwind

We have one of the largest collection of clarinets in the world, as well as several different types of flutes from across the globe. Learn about some of these instruments and make your own pan flute to take home with you. Suitable for children aged 5 - 11. All children should be accompanied by an adult. Please book in…

Three Bears by Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre

Porridge, porridge, porridge, the three bears love it! Goldilicks lives above a syrup factory and has never tasted this delicious dish until she visits the Three Bears!

Leap Year Party!

This year is a leap year! They only happen once every 4 years and we think that's pretty special so to mark the occasion will be making… Slime! What better way is there to celebrate an extra day than with some fun! So join us at our crafts table on the second floor, this is a free event and all are welcome!

Accidental Science

Science workshop for kids.

Mardi Gras

Boteco Do Brasil is bringing the best carnival party in the world to Glasgow

Post a comment