It’s been almost 20 years since J.K. Rowling published her first Harry Potter book and magically whisked us muggles into the realm of witchcraft and wizardry. And around the world, the Harry Potter vibe is still strong.
1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Stage Play – London, U.K.
There’s been a lot of hype about the new two-part Harry Potter stage play, which is set 19 years after the novel. Opening at London’s Palace Theatre on 07/30, it tells the story of Harry, all grown up, and the magical struggles he and his family continue to face. If you plan on heading to London, book early. Tickets range from £15-65, and will likely sell out fast!
2. International Quidditch World Cup – Frankfurt, Germany
Prepare to be dazzled at this year’s International Quidditch World Cup, which takes place in Frankfurt on 07/23 and 24. Teams will be competing from countries like France, Uganda, South Korea, Mexico and Australia – and yes, there are chasers, keepers, beaters, and even a Golden Snitch!
3. The Lockhart Harry Potter Bar – Toronto, Canada
Fancy a potion or elixir? This tiny tapas and cocktail bar in Toronto is dedicated to all things Harry Potter, from the neon love heart sign with the phrase ‘all was well’ to its logo featuring Harry’s own patronus. The bar is even designed to look like an apothecary.
If you plan to go, aim for the first Tuesday of every month, which is officially Harry Potter Trivia Night.
4. A Celebration of Harry Potter – Orlando, U.S.
You’ll truly step into the Wizarding World at this special event, which features panel discussions, movie-maker Q&A sessions, and more (stay tuned for the next specific dates; it’s set to take place in early 2017).
Around the park, you’ll also get to stroll down Diagon Alley (you can purchase a wand, if you want!), visit Hogsmeade and the Leaky Cauldron, and even board the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9¾!
5. Broomstick Lessons – Alnwick Castle, U.K.
Hold on to your broomstick, folks, because this one’s great for kids! Alnwick Castle was the location used as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies, and kids can partake in a brief broom ‘flying’ lesson on the very same grounds.
There’s also a chance to meet some Potter-inspired characters, as well as tour the castle itself. You’ll find Alnwick in the Northumberland region, about an hours’ drive from Newcastle.
6. LeakyCon 2016 – Los Angeles, U.S.
Inspired by the name, the ‘Leaky Cauldron’, LeakyCon is a celebration and discussion of all things in the Harry Potter realm.
This year, it takes place at the Marriott Burbank from 10/19-23, with general passes costing US$250 (US$500 Marauder passes have already sold out).
7. Harry Potter Exhibition – Brussels, Belgium
This world-touring movie exhibition brings to life settings from the Harry Potter films and can be found in Palais 2 of the Brussels Expo.
Just imagine sitting in the Gryffindor common room or in a real-life Potions classroom! Others who want to get more hands-on can also pull a Mandrake Root, toss a quaffle in the quidditch ‘ring’ or even sit in Hagrid’s huge chair.
Be quick though – the exhibition only runs through to early 09/.