Smithsonian Museum Day September 21, 2019

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, September 21, 2019

Free Admission to Participating Museums

Smithsonian Museum Day September 21, 2019

What is Museum Day?

Participating museums across the country will give free admission to anyone with a Museum Day ticket. Tickets are good for two people (bring a friend) and are for September 21, 2019.

Which Museums are Participating?

You will have to search the Smithsonian Magazine database to find a museum you want to attend. Search Here.

Right here in Loudoun County, the following museums are participating:

George C. Marshall’s Dodona Manor, Leesburg

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, Sterling

Morven Park, Leesburg

National Sporting Library & Museum, Middleburg

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly *Still pay $15 for parking.



Best Shopping Deals in September

Hooray, its September! If you are a thrifty shopper, you’ve been waiting for summer to be over so that you could start saving big again. According to Time Magazine, retailers will start working harder this month to get shoppers back into their stores. Here’s some of the deals to look out for.

Outdoor Furniture

Stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s won’t want to hold on to these bulky items until next spring. You’ll be able to get great discounts on furniture pieces, maybe even complete sets. Even stores that sell outdoor furniture year-round will have sales in September to make space for next year’s models. Be on the look out for grill deals now, too.

National Parks

Shenandoah National Park No Entrance Fee Days 2019

April 28, 2019 is the first day of National Public Lands Day. In celebration, admission to all National Parks is absolutely FREE! For a list of all the National Park Service’s free admission days, read our earlier blog post.


Bushes and perennials will likely be marked down as garden centers prepare to close for the cooler months. Wait for October if you’re wanting mums. If you live in Leesburg, don’t’ forget to stop into the Academies of Loudoun Fall Plant Sale for some great deals.


There’s no holiday in September that gets people buying jewelry. As a result, sales tend to slump this month. Shoppers will see lower prices and maybe able to negotiate better deals.

Summer Left-Overs

Remember the rule of supply and demand? Who’s looking for Citronella candles and sunscreen once the weather starts to get cooler? As school starts back up, be on the look out for everything summer to be marked down. Sun hats, pool toys, picnic gear, you name it, it’ll be marked down. The bigger the item, the more likely it will be clearanced out to make room for autumn items.


And other in-season produce will be at their lowest prices when Loudoun’s local farmers are loaded with crates of apples, cider, beets, cabbage, carrots, corn, cucumbers, eggplants, garlic, green beans, kohlrabi, lettuce, melons, onions, peppers, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes should be at the market in September along with meats, eggs and breads. Sign up for e-mail from the market closest to you for weekly updates.

Fall 2019 Consignment Sales in Loudoun County, VirginiaFall 2019 Consignment Sales

Consignment sales are where some of the best deals can be found for children’s clothes, baby gear, toys, and more. You can fill an entire closet for a fraction of the price of purchasing new.

I realize that most my readers will be satisfied with sales in Loudoun County, but I’ve also posted a few that in neighboring counties that might be worth the drive for you. Before you jump in the car, please check out the sales’ websites for detail. Some have admission to the sale, others restrict children, and many have a half price selling period – all good to know.

Consignment sales are also a great way to make some extra money selling your gently used stuff. For example: that baby swing in the basement that none of your kids would sit in for more than a few minutes could bring you in big bucks. This list is also good to get you started if you’re thinking about becoming a consignor. Remember, busier longer sales might give your items more shoppers, but smaller sales give you less competition.


While not strictly a consignment sale, you can save big on children’s clothes, sports gear, books and much more at the 81st Annual Ladies Board Rummage Sale at Morven Park, Saturday & Sunday, October 19-20th, 2019.


How I Make Extra Money with the ibotta app

I really like the ibotta app as a tool for getting back a little extra cash from my shopping trips. The main reason I like it is because it is easy to use and I really have made some actual money using it.

How ibotta works:


Find Offers

Before shopping, check what offers are available where you are going. Most of the large grocery chains in our area are included. (Sorry, Aldi lovers. You can’t make extra money with ibotta app when you shop at Aldi.) There are lots of specialty stores and even some restaurants, too. ibotta offers generic item rebates, too.


Go Shopping

Buy the products you’ve selected. Don’t forget to use your store card and take your receipt.


Redeem Your Offers

Take a photo of your receipt. It’s easy with ibotta. You may also need to scan the bar code on the matching item. I love the distinct “BEEP” my phone makes when I’ve scanned the correct item.


Get Cash

Once you’ve earned a minimum of $20, you can choose how you want your payout. PayPal is one easy way to get your money.

As of publishing this blog post, I’ve made $440.79 buying things that were already on my shopping list.

Here’s what I want you to do . . .

  1. Download the ibotta app to your smart phone.

  2. Open an account. Attach store cards for stores that use them, like Food Lion.

  3. Earn your first rebate easy by entering my referral code TRJGMRJ and redeeming at least one rebate.

**This blog posts contains affiliate links. If you click on the link and makes a purchase, I make a commission at no added cost to you.

32nd Annual Leesburg Car Show

32nd Annual Leesburg Car Show September 14, 2019

Presented by Academies of Loudoun (previously Monroe Technology school,) this annual car show is right on the streets in the heart of downtown Leesburg. Cars older than 25 years are shinned up for competition.

Park in any of Leesburg’s municipal lots, or on limited street parking. Plan ahead as some roads are closed during event hours. Enjoy one of Leesburg’s many restaurants while you are there.


This event is rescheduled from last May, which was cancelled due to rain. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

12pm – 4pm

Downtown Leesburg, Virginia

Suggested donation $2/per person.

Downtown Leesburg during annual car show
Downtown Leesburg, VA. Crowded streets during annual car show to support students at Academies of Loudoun.

9/11 Motorcycles Ride Through Leesburg

America’s 9/11 Foundation annual commemorative motorcycle ride will come through downtown Leesburg on Friday, August 16, 2019.  The ride, which will begin in Somerset, PA, and stop at the Pentagon before ending at the World Trade Center site, honors the memory of the heroes, volunteers and victims who lost their lives in the attacks on September 11, 2001.

The parade of motorcycles is expected to enter Leesburg heading south on Business Route 15 around 1:15 p.m. and will travel down King Street through the historic downtown The motorcycles will proceed from South King Street to the Route 7/15 Bypass and onto the Dulles Greenway. 

The time the riders will enter Leesburg is approximate, based on traffic, road construction, and weather. King Street will be closed to traffic as the motorcycles pass through town. All King Street intersections will be closed to east-west pedestrian and vehicular cross traffic. The road closures are expected to last 30 to 45 minutes until the motorcycles are clear of town.

Where to Park:

Anyone wishing to come downtown, watch, and cheer on the riders as they pass through Leesburg are encouraged to arrive no later than 1:00 p.m. Parking will be available in several areas around downtown, including the Town Hall Parking Garage, the Church Street Parking Lot, and the Liberty Street Parking Lot. Spectators are asked not to hand anything to the motorcycle riders or passengers, for safety reasons.   

For more information, visit



August 2-4, 2019 is Virginia Tax Free Weekend

Skip the tax on qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, and more!

During the sales tax holiday, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax.

What is eligible?

To get a complete list of what is, and is not, eligible check the Virginia Dept of Taxation website.
School supplies, clothing and footwear
  • qualified school supplies – $20 or less per item
  • qualified clothing and footwear – $100 or less per item
Hurricane and emergency preparedness products
  • Portable generators – $1,000 or less per item
  • Gas-powered chainsaws – $350 or less per item
  • Chainsaw accessories – $60 or less per item
  • Other specified hurricane preparedness items – $60 or less per item
Energy Star and WaterSense products
  • Qualifying Energy Star™ or WaterSense™ products purchased for noncommercial home or personal use – $2,500 or less per item


Free Summer Music Venues

Where to find the best free concerts in Loudoun County, Virginia


If you’re a lover of live music, then you live in the right place. Loudoun County if full of places to catch the notes, indoors and outdoors. Here are just some of the places you will find a free concert:

Lansdowne Town Center Village Green

Main performances start at 7pm, Pre-show presented by Bach2Rock student bands start at 6:30. Bring picnic blankets or low lawn chairs. This is family friendly.

Performances subject to change. In the event of inclement weather, please visit the website

Acoustics on the Green in Leesburg

Acoustic on the Green is held every year on the Leesburg Town Hall Green.

Saturdays June 8th – August 3rd, 2019, 7pm. Bring your Lawn chairs and blankets. Pack a picnic or pick up something from one of downtown Leesburg’s restaurants.

No smoking or alcohol will be permitted and no pets, please. in case of inclement weather, the show will be moved inside the Town Hall Building.

Dulles Town Center Concerts on the Plaza

Concerts are every Saturday in June and July outside on the Plaza at the Dulles Town Center mall (near PF Chang’s and The Cheesecake Factory). Bring chairs! There will also be games and giveaways from 7-9pm. See the calendar for concert lineup.

Dulles Town Center hosts kid-friendly Playdate Thursdays with a free concert at 10am on various days throughout the year. Check their site for dates and performers.

Leesburg First Friday

Leesburg First Friday, downtown Leesburg, each first Friday of the month 6-9pm. There are many opportunities to listen to tunes of all kids throughout the town. Check the website or Facebook for venues or just wander around. You’re sure to find something that you enjoy.

One Loudoun

Every Monday from 11am-noon, Rocknoceros will rock the plaza at One Loudoun. Runs June 3rd-August 26th.

Broadlands Live!

This free concert series at Hillside Park in Broadlands is held on the second Friday of May-August from 6-9:30pm. Family-friendly, bring your own food and drink (bring your ID if you want to BYOB) Food is also sold on-site for those who want to pack light. No pets. See calendar for more dates.

Brambleton Summer Concert Series

This free event is held in Legacy Park. Bring your blankets and chairs. Bring a picnic or grab dinner from one of the food trucks. Bring a photo ID to enjoy adult beverages. 

Gates open at 6. Kid-friendly opening acts from 6:30-7:15pm. Headliners from 7:30-9:30pm.

*Shows are intended for only Brambleton residents and their guests. More info here

Village at Leesburg

VAL’s Pals at Village at Leesburg is a weekly program for children every Wednesday at 10am from June  12th through August 14th, 2019. Occasionally, performers include kid-friendly musical acts: Rocknoceros, Tony M., Rainbow Rock Band, and 123 Andres.

Hillsboro Music in the Gap

Join the Town of Hillsboro this summer for great music on most Fridays from June 8th-August 23rd. Admission is FREE is doors opening at 6pm. Music starts at 7pm. 

Lovettsville Summer on the Green

Music starting at 7pm June 15th and July 27th. more info.

More Music

Loudoun wineries often have free, live music.

Looking for FREE tunes for listening at home or while on a summer road trip. Yup, you can get that, too. Freegal is offered through Loudoun County Public Library and gives you three FREE download each week that are yours to keep. There is a pretty decent selection, too. The library also has free, live music for all ages. Check their event listings to see who, what, when and where.

Free Summer Movies

Where to find free movies this summer in Loudoun County


Lansdowne Town Center Village Green

Movie start at 7pm, Starting at 6:30 there will be face painting and a moon bounce. Bring picnic blankets or low lawn chairs. This is family friendly. 

Performances subject to change. In the event of inclement weather, please visit the website

Cobb Theatres

Cobb Theatres is hosting FREE movies Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, June 11-August 1, 2019. See their website for show listings or visit the Village of Leesburg event page for a list of the summer’s movies. 

Leesburg Movies Under the Stars

Bring a blanket and a snack to the Loudoun County Courthouse Grounds for movie nights in Leesburg.  blanket and a snack. Coolers are welcome. Glass containers and alcohol are not permitted. No pets please. Hosted by the Town of Leesburg.

June 21, Kid Night: Trolls

July 19, Date Night: Grease

August 16, Family Night: Instant Family

Lovettsville Summer on the Green

Movies start at dusk on June 22, June 29, July 13, July 20, August 3, and August 17th. More info.

Lucketts Family Movie Night Under the Stars

Lucketts Community Center is hosting one outdoor movie this summer on August 16 from 7pm-9:30pm. The movie is “FROZEN” sing along. Bring blankets and chairs. Come early to picnic. There will be popcorn provided. No alcohol.

10 Reasons to Love the Loudoun County Public Library

Today I brought the kids to the library for a class; a totally free, educational, age-appropriate class. There were only a few kids in the class, perfect for my daughter who does best in small groups. They had a story read to them, discussed the theme, and then worked on a project.

The library, in my opinion, is one of the least utilized resources in Loudoun County. In addition to books, libraries have lots to borrow, free programs for adults and children, and access to online databases that you’d otherwise have to pay for.

Why the Library is Great

Borrow instead of buy.

The library loans out books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, video games, magazines, video players for children, and even eBooks and eAudiobooks. If you do want to buy books, check out some of the great sales in our area.  New in August of 2019, Loudoun County Public Libraries eliminated late fees for borrowed items. You can check out 50 items at a times, keep DVDs for a week and every thing else for three weeks. Any items you have checked out will automatically renew up to three times unless someone else is waiting for it.

Get it & keep it free.

  • Did you know that you can download free MP3s with your library card? The download service is Freegal and limits you to 5 downloads per week.
  • The library has free Wifi. You can sit there all day if you want without paying for internet or feeling like you need to keep buying lattes and muffins as you would at some Wifi hot spots.

Access to lots of databases.

I counted over 50 different databases when I wrote this. The database section is worth perusing when you have time. While some might seem geared toward students, there is lots more, too. Many of the sites would cost you money to use, but you can use them for free with your library card. Sites include: Value Line Research Center for investment guides, Small Business Resource Center, Mango Languages (there is actually a pirate language class,) Legal Forms, Consumer Checkbook, Chilton Library for DIY car repair.

Maker Spaces.

Four of Loudoun’s libraries have maker spaces outfitted with equipment such as sewing machines, sergers and embroidery machines. There are electronics to tinker with like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Create hard to find pieces yourself using Tynkercad and bringing the file to print on one of their 3D printers (pay by weight – and it really is totally affordable.)

Classes for Children.

Kids can pick up social skills while learning, and it doesn’t cost you a penny. From drop-in story times for babies to classes for older elementary students, theres lots to choose from. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Programs for adults.

There are fewer of these, but there is usually something each week geared towards teen and adults. Subjects range from book clubs, historical lectures series, to computer classes and writing workshops. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Teen Centers.

A couple libraries in Loudoun County feature teen centers. These are safe gathering places for teens where they can just hang out, play games, be creative, study, and even sign up for volunteer hours in other parts of the library. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Free Shows.

This is especially true in the summer. Libraries around Loudoun County have hosted live shows including: Reptiles Alive, The Great Zucchini, Wildlife Ambassadors, Rocknoceros Band, Wizard of Oz by the Hamstead Stage Company, Life in Space by the Franklin Institute of Science. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Volunteer Opportunities.

Loudoun County Public Libraries provide opportunities for volunteering for teens as young as 12. The variety of tasks and flexibility in scheduling means there is something for most ability levels and interests.



Well, really, they are the ones that make it all happen, They are a great resource. Hats off to the librarians!