Wands up! Chestnut Hill has been hard at work brewing up exciting additions and managing mischief for the 2017 Harry Potter Festival. Here’s what you need to know maximize your magic…

Photo Credit: Deborah J. Huber

1. The Basics

  • The Harry Potter Festival returns to Chestnut Hill on Friday, October 20 (6 – 9 pm) and Saturday, October 21 (10 am – 4 pm) – rain or shine!
  • Admission to the festival is FREE. Pay as you go for some activities, concessions, and merchandise. Maps of the festival grounds, schedule of activities, and visitor information will be available throughout the festival.
  • The Eighth Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament takes place at Chestnut Hill College, 10 am – 4 pm, free to attend.
  • Public transportation is the most convenient way to travel to and from the festival. Click here for train and parking details.
  • Costumes are not required, but are encouraged. Hogwarts diploma not necessary but having fun is mandatory! And MAGICAL WRISTBANDS will totally be the spellbinding accessory of the year – more on that below.

Photo Credit: Darryl Moran for CHBD

2. New, Bigger, Better

  • This year, the festival will fill 12 blocks of Germantown Avenue with more room to roam, more treats to eat, and more fun for all.
  • Festivities begin Friday evening with WANDS AND WIZARDS NIGHT ON THE AVENUE offering live performances, shopping, and food and drink specials at participating bars/restaurants.
  • Registration is now open for the 2017 HARRY POTTER COSTUME CONTEST, also taking place on Friday evening. Click here for details and registration information.
  • Making their festival (and fashion) debut, MAGICAL WRISTBANDS grant Potter fans exclusive access to the new MAGICAL MAKE AND TAKE ZONES designed for the 2017 festival. The Zones will offer 10 (+) interactive activities designed for kids ages 4-12, but able to be enjoyed by all. Wristbands are now available for purchase. Score yours before they vanish! 
  • TWO NEW BEER GARDENS: A pop-up Beer Garden will magically appear at Woodmere Art Museum, hosted by McNally’s Tavern. The new Chestnut Hill Beer Garden (Located at Market at The Fareway) will also serve sudsy potions.
  • Hungry wizards and muggles alike can enjoy treats of all kinds from 10 (+) visiting festival food trucks. Local restaurants will also offer more outdoor dining options along Germantown Avenue.

Photo Credit: Darryl Moran for CHBD

3. Events, Activities, Performances – Where to Go & When

  • Mix and mingle with Harry Potter and several of his friends at SEPTA’s Jefferson Station from between 8:30 – 9 am on Saturday, October 21. Afterwards, board one of the trains (service runs all day) and get whisked away to the 2017 festival. All aboard!
  • Dumbledore’s Greeting will take place on the Upper Festival Stage at 11 am followed by a photo opp. Professor Umbridge will give a greeting at the same time at the Lower Festival Stage.
  • Join Harry and company for the Defense against the Dark Arts Demonstrations, taking place at 2 pm at Jenks Academy Auditorium.
  • At the Lower Festival Stage catch falconry and animals from the Lehigh Valley Zoo between 1 and 3 pm.
  • Strap on your dancing shoes and join the Wizards Dance Party all day at The Fresh Market.
  • Sorting Hat Demonstrations will take place all day, between 11 am and 4 pm. House assignments will be given by Dumbledore, Professor Trelawney, Professor McGonagall, Minister Shacklebolt, and more.
  • Photo opps with a rotating cast of characters will be available throughout the day at both festival stages. For an Insta-worthy photo with all of the characters, head to the Upper Festival Stage at 1:15 pm.
  • Now plot your perfect Potter day and share the magic on social media with #harrypotterfanfest and #chestnuthillpa.