What’s Happening at This Year’s Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill

Everyone's favorite boy wizard brings two days of magical activities to town.

Did you miss the train to Hogwarts this year? Well, you can at least join the other wizards and witches (and Muggles, of course) at this year’s Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill, on Friday, October 17th, and Saturday, October 18th.

The festival is full of magical activities for all ages. The fun begins Friday with Chestnut Hill College’s Harry Potter Conference from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. This annual academic conference brings together scholars to discuss J.K. Rowling’s series. The conference is free and open to the public, though registration is required. At 7 p.m., Harry and the Potters, a “wrock” band (wizard rock, naturally), will perform songs inspired by the novels at Chestnut Hill College’s Sorgenti Arena. Tickets are just $7.

Families can enjoy The Teenagers Inc. Center showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or travel through Woodmere Art Museum’s straw maze, which will be transformed into a dark magic-infested landscape from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

The Harry Potter Festival is also host to a ticketed Potter-themed Pub Crawl, which, like each year before, sold out in just hours. The participating pubs will still be open to the public, however, as will various other bars along Germantown Avenue. You may be missing out on some official festival goodies, but you’ll still be able to people-watch to your heart’s content and enjoy some spell-binding treats.

Saturday kicks off with the J. S. Jenks Firebolt 5K at 8 a.m., leading to an opening ceremony at 9:45 a.m. at the Chestnut Hill West Septa Station (aka, the Hogwarts Express.) Chestnut Hill College then hosts the Fifth Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Quidditch Cup Tournament from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Watch club and college teams from all over the East Coast play this dodgeball-basketball-rugby mash-up and compete for the Cup.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the neighborhood explodes with activities for witches and wizards, including a “Hunt for the Horcrux” game, Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, a Sorting Hat demonstration, fortune tellers, face painters and more. There’s even a complimentary Knight Bus Trolley to take you all over town.

For a full list of festival activities and information, visit ChestnutHillPA.com.