While you're waiting for the Potter finale
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Midnight, Thursday -- that's when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," the eighth and final movie in the popular series will open. As fans of all ages tick down the minutes for the final reunion with Harry and the gang on the big screen, here are a few ways to fill the time:
1. WATCH 'HALLOWS, PART 1'
You'll want to get reacquainted with exactly what Harry, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named were doing at the end of the last movie. Brush up this week by watching "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" again. The movie is available on DVD, but watching with a crowd of fellow "Potter" lovers is far more festive.
To that end, the Town of Babylon is hosting an outdoor screening of "Hallows Part 1" at 8:30 p.m. tonight (rain date Tuesday) on the Town Hall Lawn in Lindenhurst. Admission is free -- bring your own blankets and chairs -- and picnicking is encouraged (631-893-2100, townofbabylon.com).
On Thursday, select AMC Loews movie theaters are screening "Hallows Part 1" at 9 p.m. -- you'll stay in your seats for midnight debut of "Part 2." Admission is $20, which includes both films -- you'll want to buy your tickets far in advance. Participating theaters include Huntington (631-425-7682), Roosevelt Field (516-741-4008), Westbury (516-745-6937) and Levittown (516-731-5422).
2. LEARN 'POTTER' MAGIC
Tricky Business, the magic and balloon shop in East Meadow, is giving Muggles (that's non-wizarding folk) a lesson in casting spells like Harry at two free one-hour workshops today. "We're going to teach them how to do magic tricks using everyday objects around their house," says owner and magician John Reid. Six tricks will be taught, including linking paper clips, mind-reading and making things "float." Participants will receive a wand.
3. TEST YOUR 'POTTER' TRIVIA
On Wednesday, Lindenhurst Memorial Library is hosting a free viewing party of "Hallows Part 1" that kicks off at 2 p.m. with a round of trivia before the screening. The event is open to ages 17 and younger, no registration required, free admission tickets available in the children's room starting at 1:45 p.m. (631-957-7755, lmlonline.org).
Meanwhile, Port Jefferson Library cardholders are invited to the teen department's "Pandemonium" bash at 3 p.m. Thursday that includes trivia, wand-making and a screening of "Hallows Part 1" (631-509-5707, pjteen.org).
"These kids have grown up with Harry," says Erin Schaarschmidt, head of the Teen Center. "We just didn't want the kids to have such a big letdown with the end of the movies."
Stay with Explore LI all week as we prep for the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2":
TUESDAY "Potter" stars through the years
WEDNESDAY LI's "Potter" fans in costume
THURSDAY "Potter"-inspired recipes
FRIDAY Take our "Harry Potter" trivia quiz
For videos of Long Island "Potter" fans and more, head to newsday.com/harrypotter.