By TRINA RUNNER
News & Journal Staff Writer
Right outside of Philadelphia each October, a wizardly world of wonders comes into focus during the Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill. On October 21 and 22, the town will host spellbinding activities galore as they magically morph into the fictional world created by J.K. Rowling.
Potter fans of all ages are welcome to attend the festival, and costumes are encouraged but not required. Throughout the weekend, restaurants and retailers will feature special offers on Golden Snitches, Butter Beer, wand making, owl decorating, fortune telling and more.
Patrons won’t have to run through a wall at King’s Cross Station to board the Hogwart’s Express, as it will be available for rides at 30th Street Station. Festival goers can be sorted by the Sorting Hat, practice their spells in Defense Against Dark Arts Classes, and cheer on their house at the Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament.
Chestnut Hill College, which already looks like a modern-day Hogwarts, will be hosting a Harry Potter Conference throughout the festival, with live readings and presentations open to the public. Children can enjoy the Hunt for the Horcrux, among other activities sponsored by The Franklin Institute.
Six blocks will be shut down in Chestnut Hill so that attendees can stroll through the shops of Hogsmeade and participate in the Butter Beer Pub Crawl. The Woodmere Art Museum will feature a Cornwall Straw Maze and the Jenks Academy of Wizardly and Witchcraft Kid Zone will be full of crafts, live wizard chess tournaments, herbology tours and Professor Sprout. There will even be live owls and falcons on site and an opportunity to take selfies with other characters.
Madame Puddifoot’s Tea Shoppe will be hosting a tea party and a Harry Potter-themed 5K will take place on the grounds. Perhaps the most exciting part of the weekend festival will be the opportunity to meet Harry, Ron, Hermione, and more as they sign autographs and hop on the Hogwart’s Express as guides.
Whether you are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin, the Harry Potter Festival will make you feel right at home. More information for the festival can be found at https://chestnuthillpa.com.