Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill
A magical celebration of wizards and Quidditch
October 21-22, 2016
Wizardry and wonder fills the air each October when Chestnut Hill transforms for the Harry Potter Festival.
The annual blockbuster festival takes over the charming town on Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22, 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.
Harry Potter Festival Guide
Gear up for one of the most anticipated fall festival weekends of the year with our Harry Potter Festival guide over on Uwishunu. From food and drink specials to Quidditch tournament details to pub crawl info, the guide will fill you in on everything you need to know if you plan to pull out your broom and fly over to the fest!
Annual Festival Highlights
Harry Potter Pub Crawl
On Friday night, the sold-out Harry Potter Pub Crawl returns for another year of butterbeer and drink specials. Costumes are highly encouraged. Pub crawl tickets will go on sale on September 28 and will include to-be-announced perks.
The bar crawl runs from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 21 with deals at eight bars in the neighborhood — El Poquito, Iron Hill Brewery, Tavern on the Hill, McNally’s Tavern, Campbell’s Place, Paris Bistro, Chestnut Grill and The Venetian Club.
True fans are encouraged to don their finest Harry Potter-inspired costume (yes, scar and all!) for the costume contest. Judging takes place at the Chestnut Hill Hotel at 8:30 p.m. — the winner receives two tickets to next year’s pub crawl.
Note that 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 look out for the official Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill College, which hosts presentations that are free and open to the public.
The Hogwarts Express and Opening Ceremony
Each year, the Hogwarts Express (a.k.a. SEPTA’s Chestnut Hill West regional rail line), has departed from Jefferson Station and making all regular stops to Chestnut Hill West. Also onboard? Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron and Dumbledore look-alikes to greet guests.
This year, the Opening Ceremony with the Minister of Magic will happen when the 10:51 a.m. Hogwarts Express train arrives at the Chestnut Hill West train station.
Harry Potter Festival On Germantown Avenue
In previous years, the festival has filled the sidewalk along Germantown Avenue and certain parks and public spaces around the street. But this year, Germantown Avenue from Rex to Willow Grove avenues will be shut down to vehicular traffic and open up to festival-goers only on Saturday, October 22.
That’s right, the streets will be closed this year to create an even more festive festival atmosphere. Awesome, right?
The festival is bigger than ever before with even more Harry Potter-themed events throughout the day. Festival guests can look forward to free hayrides throughout the festival grounds, Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, Sorting Hat demonstrations, fortune telling, face painters, Quidditch training, movie-specific crafts at a dozen Horcrux stations, 4 Privet Drive and Hedwig Hollow’s selfie parks, face painters and so much more.
Note that while admission to the festival is free, some activities require payment — be sure to bring cash!
Quidditch Tournament & More
One of the main festival events is the 7th Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament at Chestnut Hill College.
The tournament runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features teams from schools like Franklin and Marshall College, the University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, Stockton University and Philly’s own Philadelphia Honey Badgers. Admission to the tournament is completely free.
Harry Potter Festival Video
Getting There & Staying Over
Don’t worry supplying your own broom.
SEPTA shuttles folks out to the Chestnut Hill West Station via Regional Rail all throughout the weekend.
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