Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill
A magical celebration of wizards and Quidditch
October 21-22, 2016
Note: The information below is from 2015. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s event as it becomes available.
There will be wizardry and wonder in the air this October as Chestnut Hill transforms for the Harry Potter Festival.
The annual blockbuster festival takes over the charming town on Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17, for two days of spellbinding events that magically morph the neighborhood into the much-loved fictional world created by author J.K. Rowling.
Potter fans of all ages can enjoy an enchanting weekend of film screenings, sorting hat demonstrations, a scavenger hunt and more.
Friday Festival Highlights
Harry Potter Pub Crawl
From 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday night, ticket-holders to the now sold-out pub crawl will pop in and out of pubs along Germantown Avenue like Tavern on the Hill, McNally’s Tavern, Iron Hill Brewery, Campbell’s Place, Paris Bistro, Chestnut Grill, King’s Garden, and El Poquito. Costumes are highly encouraged, and T-shirts, wands and wristbands will be distributed to all participants.
Note: Even though the pub crawl is now sold out — tickets were limited — all participating bars and restaurants will be open for regular business on Friday night during the pub crawl and the crawl technically ends at 9 p.m. So, even without a pub crawl wristband, you can still stop in one of the neighborhood establishments to enjoy a wizardly brew!
Literary Events & More
Lovers of the literary side of the world of Harry Potter should report earlier in the day to the official Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill College, which hosts presentations that are free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
An academic conference exploring themes in J.K. Rowling’s literature, lecture topics range widely, but all respond to the books and their characters. Check here for the complete schedule of conference events.
And from 6 to 8 p.m., bring the little ones to Woodmere Art Museum to explore the 2015 Straw Maze:The Serpent of Woodmere, an installation sculpture made from massive straw bales and designed by architect and designer Peter Brown and Barbara Ann Sprague of BrownSprague LLC., and on view daily at Woodmere through November 1.
Saturday Festival Highlights
The Hogwarts Express and Opening Ceremony
To take full advantage of the day’s festivities, and climb aboard The Hogwarts Express (a.k.a. SEPTA’s Chestnut Hill West regional rail line, train number 815), departing from Jefferson Station at 10:15 a.m. and making all regular stops to Chestnut Hill West. Also onboard? Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron and Dumbledore look-alikes to greet guests.
At 10:50 a.m. (or whenever the number 815 train arrives), the train arrives to officially signal the kickoff of the festival with the Harry Potter Festival Opening Ceremony at the Chestnut Hill West SEPTA station on West Evergreen Avenue.
Harry Potter Festival On Germantown Avenue
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the entire neighborhood of Chestnut Hill on and just off of Germantown Avenue morphs into Hogsmede. A host of activities run throughout the day, and take place all along Germantown Avenue. It’s a Harry Potter town takeover!
Of particular note, don’t miss: the Hunt for the Horcrux scavenger hunt, Hedwig’s Hollow Selfie Park at Buckley Park, the Straw Maze at Woodmere Art Museum, Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, Sorting Hat Demonstrations at The Market at Fareway, and a Muggles Read-a-Thon featuring a live reading of Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets.
Plus, check out fortune tellers, face painters, magicians, caricatures, pumpkin decorating, glitter tattoos and much more. Truly, the entire town joins in the magical celebration.
Quidditch Tournament & More
The 6th Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament runs all day on the fields of Chestnut Hill College and is free and open to the public. Spectators can check out two Quidditch pitches with games played simultaneously from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For those who’d like to run themselves, check out the Firebolt 5K and Nimbus Walk, which kicks off with registration at 7:45 a.m. and is hosted by the Friends of J.S. Jenks Elementary School.
Harry Potter Festival 2015 Video
Getting There & Staying Over
Don’t worry supplying your own broom.
SEPTA will run The Hogwarts Express from Jefferson Station to Chestnut Hill West Station on Saturday morning. Riders can look out for Harry Potter and several of his friends, who will be on board during the short trip from Center City to Chestnut Hill (a.k.a Hogsmead).
Plus, the festival includes complimentary Knight Bus Trolley transportation all over Chestnut Hill.
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 the button below to check out the full guide.
In the neighborhood
Museums & Attractions
Restaurants & Dining