Presidents Day falls this year on Monday, Feb. 19, making this a three-day weekend for many. If you’re not going to travel, take advantage of the extra day (or two) off at home to plan a trip, practice a hobby or paint a wall — or an entire room. And with National Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17) and National Love Your Pet Day (Feb. 20) both coming up, it’s also a great time to go out of your way to show some extra compassion to your furry friends and fellow humans.
1. Paint an accent wall (or a whole room). Painting a single wall a rich, vibrant hue can transform your space — and it doesn’t take nearly as long (or cost as much) as painting an entire room. Or, if you’ve been wanting to repaint a room, this long weekend could be a good opportunity to get it done.
2. Do a big cooking project. If winter weather still has you socked in, why not take advantage of your house-bound status to cook up something delicious? Slow-cooked stews, braises and baked goods might seem like too much to bother with on an average night, but these cooking projects can make for fun long-weekend activities — and stock up your fridge and freezer for the week ahead, to boot.
3. Carve out some time for a favorite hobby. Keep meaning to find time to practice that musical instrument, pick up your knitting needles or read more books? Make this the weekend you give your favorite pastime top priority.
4. Treat your pets. National Love Your Pet Day is Feb. 20. Why not treat your furry or feathered friend to a little something special? A cozy new bed, fun toy or tasty treat will make your pet’s day. But of course, the best gift is your undivided attention, so consider giving your pet a trip to the dog park or an extra-long snuggle session.
5. Catch up on some Oscar-nominated films. If you’ve missed some of this year’s Oscar contenders (the Academy Awards will be held on March 4), this is a good weekend to start getting caught up. A few are still in theaters, but many of the Oscar-nominated films released earlier in 2017 are available now from online streaming providers. Pop some popcorn, snuggle under a cozy blanket and cue up the movie marathon.
6. Practice a random act of kindness. National Random Acts of Kindness Day is Feb. 17. Celebrate by bringing flowers, a sweet note or a home-baked treat to your neighbors; putting quarters in expired parking meters; leaving a bigger tip for your favorite barista or simply making an extra effort to smile.
7. Book a summer trip. Whether you’re planning to rent a house by the beach or lake, go camping or make an international trip, booking early will give you the most options. Even if you don’t have a sizable chunk of time off in the summer, consider planning a series of fun summer weekend trips to make the most of the season.