Calling all witches, wizards, squibs and muggles! The Harry Potter Festival is returning to Chestnut Hill, and this year it will be bigger than ever, with the world of witchcraft and wizardry taking over 12 blocks. Mark your calendars for Oct. 20–21 and don’t forget your robes, wands and house scarves for this magical weekend.
The festival kicks off Oct. 20, from 6 to 9 p.m., with Wands & Wizards Night on Germantown Avenue. Enjoy a night of performing aerialists, costume contests, a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Movie Night, fortune tellers and astronomy presented by the Franklin Institute. Participating Chestnut Hill restaurants will provide food and beverages. Among them is The Night Kitchen Bakery & Cafe, which will also host a fortune teller à la Professor Trelawney and will serve butterscotch beer and shots of firebolt for witches and wizards over 21, as well as stew with mashed potatoes, pulled pork sliders and cupcakes.
The following day will begin with the Firebolt 5K and 1-mile Nimbus Walk, where costumes are encouraged. Registration is required. Later on, there will be stage performances and demonstrations like Potter Quizzo, a Harry Potter Cake Show and the Sorting Hat, plus an abundance of pay-as-you-go booths. Stop by St. Paul’s Great Hall to meet your favorite Hogwarts teachers and enjoy a luncheon of shepherd’s pie, pasties and butterbeer (vegetarian options will be available). For $10, you can enjoy the all-day pancake feast, complete with pumpkin juice, in the Great Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will be screened.
In addition, there will be the day-long Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament at Chestnut Hill College. Now in its eighth year, it will showcase visiting college and community teams battling to be this year’s Quidditch Champion.
Admission is free, but those with kids ages 4 to 12 who plan to attend the Magical Make & Take Wristband Zones—they include activities like make-your-own golden snitch, owl decorating and choose-your-own patronus—will need to purchase a wristband.
Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, (215) 247-6696.