Last weekend I went to the Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill – a neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. I thought since yesterday I shared my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I would share some photos of my day at the festival and tell you all about it.
First off, I was so excited to wear my Harry Potter themed tank top I ordered from Etsy. I didn’t go in costume, but I did want to wear something Potter related.
Cardigan: LOFT | Tank Top: Painted Arrow Designs via Etsy | Jeans: LC Lauren Conrad via Kohl’s | Shoes: Keds via DSW
I wore my Gryffindor scarf and this super cute tank top. There is also a picture of a champagne glass next to the text but my scarf and cardigan are blocking it. Anyone familar with Harry Potter will get the reference!
It took my friends and I about an hour and a half to get there and we met up with my good friend. After getting stuck in festival traffic (or as my friend called it “muggle traffic”) and looking for parking, we finally arrived just as I was on the verge of getting carsick. The weather was chilly and rainy but we managed to make it through the afternoon there unscathed. Luckily it never started actually raining or pouring, but there was a persistent (and annoying) drizzle the entire time.
The festival was packed with people. Literally. There would be times when you could hardly move down the streets because there was just that many people. They closed off multiple blocks, had stands everywhere such as Horcrux stands and turned most of the businesses on the street into some sort of Harry Potter themed place. People were dressed up in costume and it was really fun to see. So many little kids had on cloaks and ties and I saw many death eaters and other fun costumes. My friend and I took our picture with Rita Skeeter and Gilderoy Lockhart for example.
As you can see from the map, the festival ran for quite a few blocks. Every time we thought it must be coming to an end we’d see it kept going. The street was lined with little stands and kiosks to buy things or do arts and crafts. You could buy things like Quidditch brooms and butterbeer! Speaking of Quidditch, according to the program there was supposed to be a Quidditch match but I didn’t know where and I’m not sure if they still had it because it was rainy. The arts and crafts stations were called “Horcrux” stations and consisted of things like decorating a postcard from Hogsmeade or making golden snitches, which I did – see below!
As mentioned above, they turned regular businesses into Harry Potter themed places. They transformed this hardware store into Ollivanders. I didn’t go in so I’m not sure what they had inside.
Some other stands had demonstrations. This one was a Potions Class demonstration which had a lot of kids excited.
I thought they would take more advantage of the fact that Halloween is coming up, but I didn’t see a lot of Halloween decorations except for some spider webs and a few small displays of hay and pumpkins. I loved these Dementors in the trees though!
As previously mentioned, one of the Horcrux stands was for making your own golden snitch. It was so crowded at this booth and it was very assembly line-esque, but less organized. Essentially, there were 2 workers. One girl who had a whole box of these gold styrofoam balls and she would poke two holes and then hand it off to the guy next to her. He would squirt some glue in each hole and then hand it to whoever had their hand out. The table had an assortment of feathers on it. So I grabbed one, stuck some feathers in the two holes and that was my golden snitch! Sadly, I tossed it out soon after because it was hard to hold on to and there was no way the glue was going to dry anytime soon so I didn’t want to put it in my purse.
The Platform 9 3/4 display was a bit thrown together, but that’s ok – it served its picture purpose.
After a few hours of wandering around and trying to find Voldemort (we saw him when we first came in and wanted to get a picture with him but he disappeared) we were absolutely starving. All the food places at the festival had ridiculously long lines and we were getting tired of the crowds so we decided to head out and drive a little ways away for food. We ended up at a restaurant about 10 minutes away and lo and behold most of the people inside were outfitted in Harry Potter gear! I guess everyone had the same idea as us.
Overall, we all had a good day but agreed that it would’ve been so much better if the weather was nicer and it wasn’t so crowded. Although if the weather was nicer it may have been even more crowded! Now I just need to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.