Back to Hogwarts Teatime and Photoshoot
When: September 1st, 2014 – 4pm-5:30pm
Where: By and By coffee shop and Staunton Train Station
What: It’s time to get back on-board the Hogwarts Express! Who knew it made a stop in Staunton, Virginia? On September 1st (Labor Day), we will gather for a pre-boarding teatime at By and By (formerly Coffee on the Corner, at the corner of Beverley and Market) to enjoy libations and to chat about our summers and upcoming events in the wizarding world. At 5pm we will adjourn to the Staunton Train Station. We will celebrate the start of the school year by taking some photos in the golden late-summer light with the lovely train station as a backdrop.
Cost: Whatever you choose to spend on tea, coffee, or treats at By and By.
Other Stuff: Wear your Hogwarts-ready best! Whether that means student or professor is entirely up to you; we’ll also try to have a few spare scarves and ties on-hand for the Nevilles among you.
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Care of Magical Creatures Field Trip
When: September 21st, 2014 – 11am-3pm
Where: National Zoo, Washington, DC
What: A trip through the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park! The animals on view to the Muggle public may not seem like they have magical properties, but remember — nature is itself the greatest and grandest magic of all!
Cost:Park admission is FREE!
- We’ll announce a specific meeting place within the zoo a little closer to the event; we’ll also make a cell phone number available so any latecomers can find us once we’re in there!
- Learn more about the zoo and its exhibits on the website. Special exhibits and features include the Speedwell Conservation Carousel, the new American Bison exhibit, and animals from a wide variety of biospheres.
- How to get to the zoo; if you will be driving, the zoo recommends that you reserve your parking space ahead of time.
- While appropriately-themed T-shirts and jewelry are appreciated, our awareness of Muggle security makes us suspect that they may not take kindly to an open display of magical power (not to mention the threat to the International Statute of Secrecy), so it may be best to leave the formal robes, school uniforms, and wands at home.
- We’ll also be celebrating your Slytherin Head of House’s 29th birthday. ;) She promises not to make everyone spend the entire day watching the big cats.
Fortescue’s Fro-Yo: Dessert and Book Discussion
When: October 4th, 2014 – 7pm-9pm
Where: Zinga! Frozen Yogurt shop, Waynesboro, VA
What: On Friday, October 3rd, we will meet at the Zinga! Frozen Yogurt shop in Waynesboro, VA. For those who’ve never been, this is a choose-your-own dessert buffet, where you can ultra-customize your sugary (or sugar-free!) treat. Florean Fortescue would be proud. They also have a lovely sitting area with comfy chairs where we can gather and have a chat. Since we did Stone of Your Choice a while back, at this meet-up, we’ll be discussing HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS — book and film! This book often ranks near the bottom when people list the series from favorite to least, but in it, we do learn a lot more about the wizarding world — including the first information about blood status, Azkaban, and just what happens if you over-enchant Muggle devices like Ford Anglias, as well as deeper information about the Founders and the history of Hogwarts Castle — so there’s still a lot to celebrate about it! Come prepared with questions, polls, or discoveries to share with the group!
Cost: Whatever you decide to spend on yogurt — they measure it by weight, so whether you spend $1 or $10 is really up to you. ;)
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Harry Potter Festival
When: October 17th, 2014
Where: Chestnut Hill College, Germantown, PA
What: An academic conference focusing on Harry Potter! Our own Louise Freeman Davis will be presenting. The neighborhood supports the festival by transforming itself into a wizard-friendly environment for the weekend!
More information about their 2014 events will be forthcoming on their website.
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When: October 25th, 5pm-10pm
Where: Belvedere Plantation, Fredericksburg, VA
(Roughly 2 hours from Staunton, 1.5 from Charlottesville, 1 from Richmond, and 1.5 from DC)
What: Muggles and wizards alike recognize the importance of marking the changing of the seasons, so join us for a good old-fashioned farmyard celebration of fall! Featuring a corn maze, pumpkin patch, a play-barn (like a playground… but in a barn!), hayrides, pettable barnyard creatures, a mountain slide, pig races (yes, pig races), and more!
Cost: $17 gets you admission to all of the above. Rumor has it they have a sale in late August — we’ll keep you posted! You can also get $1 off with a non-perishable food item for the local food bank.
- Learn more on the Belvedere Plantation website (not yet updated for 2014, but should be soon)
- Follow their FB page for information about ticket discounts and other news
- While outside food and drink is not allowed in the festival area itself, there are picnic tables near the parking lot, if you would like to bring along dinner. There is also a market where you can purchase dinner, including carnival favorites like turkey legs, funnel cake, and hot spiced cider.
- Dress comfortably. Even if it’s still warm (one never knows with Virginia weather), I recommend closed-toed shoes, at the least. Personally, I’m hoping it’s chilly enough for a cozy flannel shirt.
- The corn maze stays open after dark, so bring along flashlights and/or glow sticks to help you find your way! (Remember: we can’t use lumos in view of Muggles).
- You may also wish to bring insect repellent, since we will, after all, be wandering through a cornfield.
- If anyone in the area has suggestions of other Fredericksburg-local things we could do earlier in the afternoon, let us hear them! Those of us traveling from far afield may as well make a proper day of it.