Guide To Chestnut Hill's Harry Potter Weekend

Muggles, rejoice! The always-enchanting Chestnut Hill turns downright magical this October with the fourth annual Harry Potter Weekend. From a fast-paced Quidditch tournament to hunting for Horcruxes to delicious Butterbeer, all your wizarding world fantasies come to life – no wand necessary. – Chelsea Karnash

(Credit: Randall E. Scott)

(Credit: Randall E. Scott)


WHAT: Chestnut Hill transforms into Hogsmeade for two days only. Hundreds are expected to attend the all-ages festival, which includes an HP-themed pub crawl, the Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament, "Hunt for the Horcrux," food and drink specials, magic demonstrations, fortune tellers and more.

WHERE: The festivities span from Chestnut Hill College down Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia's charming Chestnut Hill neighborhood.

WHEN: Friday, October 17th and Saturday, October 18th – just in time for Halloween, so come in costume if you want!

(Credit: Randall E. Scott)

(Credit: Randall E. Scott)


With so many events on the schedule, you might need to borrow Hermione Granger's time-turner to hit 'em all. Here's a taste of what you're in for:


Harry Potter Conference
Chestnut Hill College
2 – 5:30 p.m.

Get your nerd on at this academic conference centering on J.K. Rowling's best-selling series. Presenters range from high school students to professors and the event includes a keynote address at 5:30 p.m.

Harry and the Potters Concert
Sorgenti Arena at Chestnut Hill College
7 p.m., $7

They're not the Weird Sisters, but music-loving muggles and wizards can spend Friday evening listening to some magical tunes from Harry and the Potters, who use their music to "fight evil."

"Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone"
Teenagers, Inc. Center
6:30 p.m.

Catch the first HP movie at the Teenagers Center on either (or both!) Friday and Saturday nights.

Dumbledore's Dubbel Release Party
Iron Hill Brewery
5 p.m.

Potter-approved food and drinks make their debut at Iron Hill, including the "Dumbledore Dubbel," a mahogany ale that infuses the sweetness of Belgian candi sugar with the distinct aromas of plums and pears.

Harry Potter Pub Crawl & Costume Contest
Various bars along Germantown Ave
7 – 9 p.m., 215-247-6696 for reservations (SOLD OUT, but public still welcome at pubs)

Enjoy a fresh Butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron or The Three Broomsticks during this pub crawl to Tavern on the Hill, Iron Hill, Campbell's, McNally's and other Chestnut Hill watering holes – just don't turn into a blithering mess like Slughorn in the "Half-Blood Prince."


Firebolt 5K
Starts at Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
St. Martins Lane at Willow Grove Ave
Registration starts at 8 a.m.

There are no brooms, but you can still fly on your feet during this fundraising race for Jenks Elementary in Chestnut Hill.

Brotherly Love Quidditch Cup
Chestnut Hill College
Starting at 10 a.m.

Watch as college Quidditch teams from all over the East Coast battle to see who will catch the Golden Snitch. Participating squads comes from places like Lafayette, Kutztown, Penn State and Chestnut Hill College, and the final three teams will compete for the Cup. While you're watching the games, expect fun diversions including fall foods, Quidditch merchandise and even potions demos. Just beware – Confundus charms are strictly forbidden, unless, of course, it's Slytherin on the pitch.


"Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone"
Teenagers, Inc. Center
6:30 p.m.

Catch the first HP movie at the Teenagers Center on either (or both!) Friday and Saturday nights.

"The Hunt for the Horcrux" & Bales of Cornwall Straw Maze
Woodmere Art Museum
Friday from 6 – 8 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Don't worry – this hunt isn't nearly as taxing as Harry, Hermione and Ron's search for hidden pieces of Voldemort's soul. Instead, wizard-wannabes can find their way through the Bales of Cornwall straw maze in an attempt to find the faux Horcrux.

(Credit: Randall E. Scott)

(Credit: Randall E. Scott)


Sadly, you can't just apparate or hop on a Threstral to get from Center City to Chestnut Hill, but taking public transportation is always encouraged. To get to Chestnut Hill, take SEPTA's Chestnut Hill West Regional Rail line or the 23 bus. Or, take the L bus from Olney Transportation Center.

Once you've arrived in Chestnut Hill, the event's sponsors have conjured a free Knight Bus Trolley to convey lucky witches and wizards up and down Germantown Avenue. And on Saturday, the Hogwarts Express shuttle (also gratis) will be making frequent stops at the Chestnut Hill West Station, with additional stops at Chestnut Hill College and the Top of the Hill.

For more information on Chestnut Hill's magical Harry Potter weekend, visit: