Thursday, June 23, 2016

Harry Potter weekend at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary

I've been a big fan of the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary for years and have taken numerous tours since we moved into the area. One thing I didn't know was that the museum hosts a Harry Potter event every July. 

The Apothecary even has the "Dragon's Blood", as featured in Harry Potter. There are other interesting ingredients for potions as well located at the museum.

This year's event takes place on July 30 (Sat.) and July 31 (Sun.) The Saturday event is for ages 21+ and is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. It's an hour-long tour, reservations are required. The Sunday event is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is for all ages. Tickets go on sale July 1 and from what the museum says, they go fast! 

Additionally, in honor of Harry Potter and the new book release, there will be a scavenger hunt offered on both Saturday and Sunday with many local merchants participating with hiding the bottles. Beginning July 13, you can download the Scavenger Hunt at or pick one up at the museum or Hooray for Books.

If you want to see more photos or learn more about the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary, I invite you to read my detailed post on its history and visitor experience.

Meticulously maintained, this museum is, in a word, amazing

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Free summer movies in the Washington DC region

One of the cool things about summer in this region is there are many outdoor events taking place. Throughout the District and the surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland, you can easily find free or inexpensive entertainment. Movies are a popular theme and there are many free screenings to be found throughout the area. 

Image credit: Pixabay

Movies in Washington D.C.  

There are a lot of free events often going on downtown and summertime brings out the movies. Many kid-friendly and other classic films are shown throughout the city. 

"Screen on the Green" - Sponsored by HBO and Comcast, this annual summer Monday night tradition, which ran for 17 years, looks to have unfortunately come to its conclusion. If this changes and a new host steps in, I will update and add details.

"Films at the Stone" – Outdoor Movies at the Martin Luther King Memorial. Launched in 2014, the Thursday night event shows films that "display the best of human strength, love and courage," according to Harry Johnson, Sr. President and CEO, The Memorial Foundation, Inc. (see the above link to find out shows, dates and times).

"NoMa Summer Screen Presented by REI" - Every year the NoMa (North of Massachusetts Avenue) neighborhood (located between Union Station, the Capitol, Shaw, and the H Street) offers its series of summer movies. NoMa Junction @ Storey Park (1005 First Street, NE). The series has previously kicked off in June and continues into August. Check out the official website for the full lineup. A few movies are PG, but there are also PG-13 and R-rated shows also, so be sure to check if you plan to bring the kids.

Movies in Virginia

There are many free movie events throughout Northern Virginia from Arlington out to Loudoun County. 

Alexandria hosts its "Comcast Outdoor Film Festival" down at the waterfront for a weekend in July. Usually, the lineup includes some big name movies.

"Centreville Starlight Drive-in Cinema". This is a tradition every year during the month of August (located at 5875 Trinity Parkway in Centreville). The movies are always popular kid-friendly features, many of which are relatively new. 

"South Riding Movie Night" runs from June - August, kicking off in June. Tuesday night movies are held at the South Riding Center and Wednesdays at Town Green, located at 43055 Center St., South Riding. For more information, check their website to see the other flicks scheduled.

As an additional mention, Northern Virginia Community College's Manassas campus has previously offered films throughout the summer on its "Family Fridays". Admission is $3, but free for NOVA students, faculty and staff. See the full schedule at Dulles Moms (they typically have the latest info). In past years, the showings start in May and run through October.

Also, the Regal Entertainment Group usually offers its "Summer Movie Express" with special showings at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at $1 per ticket. (This appears to be a nationwide event.) There are two films shown on both days - the films change weekly and the specials usually begin sometime in June.

DC Outdoor Films has also nicely put together list of free movies in the District and Northern Virginia; they also share a number of other free movie showings throughout Maryland too. Worth a look!