Programs & Events at the Apothecary Museum

The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum offers a number of public programs and special events throughout the year. From Harry Potter's birthday to special behind-the-scenes tours, the Apothecary has something for all ages and interests.

Page updated on Jul 17, 2017 at 8:31 AM

The Wonders of Science For current dates of programs & events, check the calendar of events or see below for additional information.

Open Houses

The Apothecary is open several times a year for free or reduced admission. In honor of National Pharmacy Month, the Museum hosts a free open house in October. The Museum also offers free tours the afternoon of President’s Day. On Mother’s and Father’s Day, the honored parent tours free.

Wonders of Science

In the 18th century, people’s understanding of the world around them and the medical sciences was rapidly changing as more discoveries were made. Experience the awe of these discoveries through Wonders of Science, a program that brings to life the experiments and discoveries that were shocking the world. Topics range from the natural sciences to “quack” medicine and are presented by Project Enlightenment, McLean High School's historical reenactment society. This program is ideal for grades three and older. Cost is $6 per person and tickets can be purchased through the online store.  

Potions and Lotions

Groups can book a special one-hour program that includes a tour of the museum and the making and packaging individual vials of hand lotion.  Ideal for scout groups, camps, and homeschool groups.  Topics can be tailored to the interest or area of study of the group.  Cost is $6 per person making lotion and $3 for accompanying chaperones. Please  contact the Curator of Education to book this program. 

The Real Science Behind Harry Potter

Every year, in honor of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthday on July 31, the Museum hosts special tours exploring the real world of science and medicine behind the books.  Find out if dragon’s blood and mandrake root are real and bring a camera for great photo opportunities. 

Mad Science!

What do super heroes, crazy animals, and explosions have in common?  A mad scientist probably made them!  In these 45 minute tours, explore where real science and mad science collides.  The tour features historic medicines with surprising side effects.  Upstairs, groups meet the Museum’s very own mad scientist bringing to life some hands-on experiments and the science behind them.  Cost is $6 per person ages 5 and up.  Girl Scout and Boy Scout groups welcome (program almost completes the Brownie Home Scientist badge).  Purchase tickets through the  online store.  

Behind the Counter Tours

Want to see parts of the Museum most people never do? Always wanted to go behind the barriers? This tour is for you! Adult groups of up to eight people can book a 1.5 hour Behind the Counter tour of the Apothecary, which allows you to go behind the barriers and take an in-depth look at the Apothecary and objects usually not on display. Cost is $15 per person, with a maximum of eight people; minimum charge of $80. Reservations are required and should be booked at least one month in advance. Please  contact the Curator of Education to book your tour.

Attics and Alleys

Find out what mysteries lie behind the closed doors of four of Alexandria’s historic sites!  Attics and Alleys is a three-hour walking tour featuring the rarely seen spaces of four sites—the Lee-Fendall House, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, and Carlyle House Historic Park—revealing the remnants of stories otherwise hidden.  This behind-the-scenes access is in honor of National Preservation Month (May).  Purchase tickets through the  online store

Children’s Birthday Parties

Take the stress out of planning a birthday party—appropriate for children ages eight and older, Apothecary Museum birthday parties are a unique way to combine science and history with plenty of fun! The kids become apothecary apprentices as they learn the basics of making and marketing their own brand of medicine. The party includes each child mixing a special “potion” to take home. Kids who love Harry Potter can also choose the “magical” birthday party, which highlights ingredients found in the Harry Potter series.  The 1.5 hour parties include a museum teacher, engaging tour of the museum, activities, and all the supplies to make your party a success. All parents have to worry about is bringing a birthday cake and the kids! Cost is $250 for 10 children, $15 per additional child (maximum of 15 total). Purchase goody bags for an additional $3.50 each. Please contact the Curator of Education to schedule your party.