If you’ve ever wanted to ride the Hogwarts Express, you won’t have to travel to the U.K. (or pay to visit Universal Studios!) to get your chance. This October, a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill, will turn into the spellbinding world of Harry Potter for one weekend.
The Harry Potter festival and Quidditch tournament will take place in Chestnut Hill on October 21-22, 2016. The Philadelphia locale will shut down traffic on six blocks as the city corridor transforms into Hogsmeade, the quaint shopping village from the series. The festival coincides with an academic conference dedicated to the cherished series at Hogwarts-lookalike Chestnut Hill College. The fifth annual meeting discusses the scholarly aspects of J.K. Rowling’s literature and fictional world. The symposium is open to the public, but there is a $10 ticket cost. Otherwise, the street festival and most activities are free.
Those who want to ride the Hogwarts Express can hop on regional trains Chestnut Hill East and Chestnut Hill West, which will transform into the enchanting railway. Fans can ride alongside character look-a-likes of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore. At the street celebration, you can take part in a myriad of Potter-themed activities like a Quidditch Tournament, Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, Sorting Hat demonstrations, and the Tri-Wizard Straw Maze. Shops will also offer Butterbeer, Bertie Bott’s Beans, and Muggles Brew, alongside other special treats.
For adults who grew up with the book series, there’s a special Harry Potter pub crawl on Friday night. If you'd like to reserve a space (and receive surprise perks) tickets will be available to purchase starting September 28.
For more details and updates, check out the festival page on Chestnut Hill’s website.