Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill
A magical celebration of wizards and Quidditch
October 18-19, 2013
There will be wizardry and wonder in the air this October as Chestnut Hill transforms for the Harry Potter Festival.
On October 18-19, the Chestnut Hill neighborhood will play host to a weekend’s worth of spellbinding events that will keep children and adults, and wizards and muggles, entertained.
The popular event features familiar characters from the world of Harry Potter, special activities for fans of all ages, live entertainment, food and more. Hunt for Horcruxes, watch local colleges face-off at a Quidditch tournament and more during the magical weekend celebration.
Friday, October 18
Dumbledore will preside over an opening ceremony on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Top of the Hill Fountain Plaza with a Quidditch team pep rally, a “thestral” from Northwestern Stables, and characters from the Harry Potter books. After the conference presentations during the day, fly to the Top of the Hill Fountain Plaza on Germantown Avenue to kick off the festival weekend. Later in the evening, adult wizards and muggles will hit the town for the Harry Potter Pub Crawl.
Neighborhood-Wide Costume Party
Friday & Saturday, October 18-19
Chestnut Hill literally transforms into Harry Potter-land all weekend long and attending the festivities in costume is highly encouraged. (Just check out the video below to see some of the awesome costumes from last year, including Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Alastor Moody, Draco Malfoy, Bellatrix, Lucius, Luna and many more.) But Friday night is the unofficial costume party night — for both adults and kids coming for the opening ceremonies or the Potter Pub Crawl. Costumes also encouraged on Saturday too.
Harry Potter Pub Crawl
Friday, October 18
From 7-9 p.m., ticket-holders to the now sold-out pub crawl will pop in and out of pubs along Germantown Avenue like McNally’s Tavern, Campbell’s Place and the Tavern on the Hill. Note: even though the pub crawl is now sold out — it was limited to 300 people — all seven participating bars and restaurants will be open for regular business on Friday night during the Pub Crawl and after the crawl technically ends at 9 p.m. So even without a Potter Pub Crawl hand stamp, you can still stop in one of the neighborhood establishments to enjoy a wizardly snack and a Magic Hat #9 or a butterbeer(!!).
Potter Pub Crawl participants: Hog’s Head Tavern, i.e. Tavern on the Hill; The Leaky Cauldron, i.e. McNally’s Tavern; The Great Hall, i.e. Iron Hill Brewery; The Three Broomsticks, i.e. Campbell’s Place; Hogsmeade Grill, i.e. Chestnut Grill; The “Burrow”, i.e. Chestnut 7; and The Port Key i.e. Roller’s at the Flying Fish.
Harry Potter Festival
Saturday, October 19
The Harry Potter Festival continues with special activities including a “Hunt for the Horcrux”, Dumbledore’s Powers Maze at Woodmere Art Museum, Defense of the Dark Arts Classes, sorting hat demonstrations and more. Wizards and muggles will have no problem getting around town thanks to the complimentary Knight Bus Trolley. The festival comes to a close with a special ceremony at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy.
Hunt for the Horcrux
Saturday, October 19
Join Harry, Dumbledore, Hermione and Ron on the Avenue for a family-friendly scavenger hunt and fun activities from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Saturday, October 19
Cheer on your favorite Quidditch team at the 4th Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup at Chestnut Hill College starting at 9:45 a.m. Free and open to the public, the tournament showcases local college Quidditch teams facing off on the Softball Field and Summer House Lawn. Food and special Harry Potter inspired treats (butterbeer!) will be available along with special souvenirs including t-shirts, broom pens and more.
Beyond flavors from the world of Harry Potter, Chestnut Hill neighborhood businesses and shops on and around Germantown Avenue also transform into familiar locales from Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade like Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheeezes and many more.
Harry Potter’s Philadelphia
Be sure to check out Harry Potter’s Guide To Philadelphia, our special Hogwartsian Itinerary in honor of Chestnut Hill’s Harry Potter Festival.
In it, we compiled the bars, restaurants, museums and other attractions the young wizard would visit if he came to Philadelphia. We even matched photos from Harry’s world with places in Philadelphia like the Hall of Prophecy at the Ministry of Magic with the Mutter Museum. Click here to check out the full guide.
Harry Potter Festival 2013 Video
How to Get There
The festival includes complimentary Knight Bus Trolley transportation all over town on Saturday, October 19 (no service on Friday). The shuttle will be making stops at the Chestnut Hill West Station all day, with stops at Chestnut Hill College and the Top of the Hill.
On Saturday, there is parking available at Chestnut Hill College, but it is extremely limited. Use of SEPTA and the shuttle is strongly recommended.
Limited overflow parking will be available at Mount Saint Joseph Academy, located just under one mile from Chestnut Hill College. A shuttle running to and from the College and Mount throughout the day.
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