Calling all witches, wizards and muggles: Chestnut Hill is bringing back its bewitchingly popular Harry Potter Weekend for 2012, once again magically transforming the neighborhood’s businesses along Germantown Avenue into restaurants and shops straight off the pages of J.K. Rowling’s books.
A whole weekend’s worth of spellbinding events will transport you to Hogsmeade with delicious butter beer, a “The Hunt for the Horcrux” scavenger hunt, a Knight Bus trolley and even a quidditch match.
And it all goes down this weekend, Friday through Sunday, October 26-28.
Start sharpening your wands and honing your broomstick skills. Harry Potter Weekend is back.
Restaurants and retailers transformed:
• The Night Kitchen Bakery will turn into Madame Puddifoot’s Tea Shop with manager Turquoise Taylor as Madame Puddifoot. Special menu items include the wildly popular Butter Beer, chocolate frog cupcakes and lightning bolt shortbread cookies.
Chestnut Hill Farmers Market will turn into Diagon Alley.
• Woodmere Art Museum will transform its front lawn into Straw Maze Diagon Alley.
• McNally’s Tavern will become The Leaky Cauldron (this one’s not a huge change…).
• Tavern on the Hill will become Hogshead Tavern.
• Chestnut Hill Sports will become Quality Quidditch Supplies.
• O’Doodles Toy Store will transform into Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
• Chestnut Hill Local is The Daily Prophet newspaper headquarters for the weekend.
• Zipf’s candy store will turn into Honey Dukes Sweetshop.
• Graver’s Lane Gallery will become Knockturn Alley, the Dark Arts-themed offshoot of Diagon Alley.
The Knight Bus: The Knight Bus free trolley will transport wizards and witches along Germantown Avenue from Mermaid Lane to Rex Avenue. There’s also a free Platform 9 3/4 Shuttle whose route is from Chestnut Hill College to Sugarloaf and the Chestnut Hill Newstand.
Harry Potter Cast of Characters: Look out for the following beloved Harry Potter figures: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Lord Voldemort, Severus Snape, Rita Skeeter, Dolores Umbridge and Albus Dumbledore. (They all come courtesy of Chestnut Hill College’s Mask & Foil Theater Troupe.)
Opening Ceremony: Professor Dumbledore will kick off the weekend with a special Opening Ceremony on Friday, October 26 at the Top of the Hill Fountain Plaza, complete with live music and an appearance by all the Quiddich Tournament players plus more costumed characters out of the pages of the world of Hogwarts.
Harry Potter Pub Crawl: Friday night from 7-9 p.m. also sees the highly anticipated Potter Pub Crawl along Germantown Avenue. Participating restaurants include: Chestnut Hill Grill, Roller’s Expresso, Bredenbeck’s Bakery, Chestnut 7, McNally’s, Tavern on the Hill, Flying Fish and Iron Hill Brewery. Advanced reservations are required; call (215) 247-6696.
Hogwarts Classes: Harry Potter-inspired classes will take place on Saturday from noon-3 p.m., like a Defense Against the Dark Arts workshop in Buckley Park (at noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday) and a Sorting Hat class led by Dumbledore in Meditation Park. Weaver’s Way will offer a Care of Magical Creatures class.
Third Annual Brotherly Love Quiddich Tournament: This year’s quidditch match takes place on the majestic ground of Chestnut Hill College (a free shuttle will transport patrons from the Germantown Avenue festivities to the college and back) and features 16 collegiate and community Quiddich teams from across the nation. Catch it from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on the college’s softball field.
Harry Potter movie screenings: The Chestnut Hill Hotel (8229 Germantown Avenue) will be showing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for free at 7 p.m. on Friday, and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“Hunt for the Horcrux” scavenger hunt: This free family-friendly scavenger hunt takes place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 27, led by Dumbledore throughout Chestnut Hill.
Sorting Hat Demonstration: Want to see which Hogwarts house you belong in? Check out the sorting hat demo from 1-2 p.m. on Saturday at the Chestnut Hill Hotel Market.
Northwestern Stables: The barn at Northwestern Equestrian Center is getting in on the H.P. action by transforming their steeds into Thestrals, a magical breed of horse. On Sunday, meet Tenebrus, Hagrid’s favorite Thestral from Hogwarts, and learn more about the winged beasts. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. the stables will be open to the public for the annual Halloween costume parade, open house and arena games.
Halloween on the Hill: Concluding Harry Potter Weekend 2012 will be Chestnut Hill’s merry Halloween on the Hill, including a costume parade (begins at 1 p.m. at O’Doodle’s) and trick-or-treating on the avenue from 1-4 p.m.
Last year’s Harry Potter Weekend was sensational, and we can not wait for its return.
For a complete day-by-day schedule of events, plus an official Marauder’s Map of all the participating restaurants, shops, bars and attractions, see below.
Harry Potter Weekend 2012
When: October 26-28
Where: Throughout Chestnut Hill
Cost: Free; some activities carry nominal fees
More info: www.chc.edu
Previously: Harry Potter Weekend In Chestnut Hill Returns! The Neighborhood To Transform Into Diagon Alley With A Quidditch Tournament, Harry Potter Pub Crawl, Sorting Hat Ceremony, Horcrux Scavenger Hunt And Much More, October 26-28