I need a Butterbeer ASAP.
After watching the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special on HBO Max, you’re ready to revisit the Wizarding World once more. Whether you’ve read all the books, saw every movie in the theater opening night, or are a new Potterhead, there’s no denying Harry Potter’s influence. You may even still be patiently waiting for your acceptance letter to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Until your owl arrives, you can check out these 15 Harry Potter events and experiences around the globe.
Since we first said hello to Harry, Ron, and Hermione in theaters 20 years ago, the world of Harry Potter has expanded in so many ways. Of course, Harry Potter’s Hogwarts is a fictional place where wizards go to take classes in magical courses like Herbology and Transfiguration, but there is a Hogwarts castle at Universal Studios you can visit IRL. You could even get a Butterbeer from the Harry Potter New York store, or stop by the Great Hall to get sorted in Burbank, California.
Plus, there are plenty of Harry Potter bars and pop ups all over the country as well as across the pond. However, if you aren’t planning on visiting London anytime soon, there are also plenty of Harry Potter virtual experiences so that you can experience the magic from your own home.
So, if you’re looking to “Wingardium Leviosa” the wizarding world into your everyday life, here are some of the best Harry Potter events and experiences to check out for yourself.
Very Harry Winter Pop-Up In Chicago
Right now Replay Lincoln Park in Chicago is hosting a Harry Potter-themed pop-up for the winter season. At the Chicago Very Harry Winter pop-up, you and your friends can enjoy something to eat, like Hogwarts House Cup chicken wings, Huffle Pizza Puffs, and Pretzel Wands, while drinking from a specialty cocktail menu that includes Buttered Bier and Marauder’s Mull.
The pop-up also has Insta-worthy photo opportunities in The Great Hall, Ollivanders, and The Ministry of Magic, which will be guarded by Dementors. Tickets start at $20 each and the pop-up lasts until Jan. 31.
Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Studios
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is where you can really feel like you’ve stepped inside the Harry Potter films. At both Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando, you can explore Hogwarts castle and have a wand choose you at Ollivanders Wand Shop in Hogsmeade.
If you’re in Orlando, take the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley to visit Gringotts or treat yourself to some ice cream from Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour. Basically, Universal Studios should be on every Potterhead’s travel bucket list. Just don’t forget to try the Butterbeer.
Harry Potter London Virtual Tour
Every Friday, this virtual Harry Potter Airbnb virtual experience tour gives fans some insight on the films. While hearing behind-the-scenes stories from your guide, you’ll virtually take your broomstick to several filming locations. Tickets for this Airbnb experience start at $17 per person.
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
The Wizard’s Den
For an immersive experience, The Wizard’s Den Harry Potter pop-up offers you a chance to brew your own cocktails. If you think you’d excel in Potions class, this is the experience for you. In the 90-minute mixology session, you’ll get to make two of your own drinks. The Wizard’s Den will be announcing their 2022 locations soon.
Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour
For more behind the scenes movie magic, you’ve got to check out the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. While the films were shot in the UK, the Hollywood studio tour includes a stop at the Magic Made Here immersive experience where you’ll get to mix your own potions, get sorted by the Sorting Hat, and snap pictures in the Dursley’s home, including Harry’s cupboard under the stairs.
The London tour, though, lets you walk on some of the iconic sets like The Great Hall and Diagon Alley while looking at authentic props and costumes from your fave films. Tickets for both the Hollywood and London tours start around $69 per person.
If coffee and Harry Potter are two of your favorite things, you must stop by Nimbus Coffee in Los Angeles. This Black-owned coffee shop in Downtown LA serves Harry Potter-themed drinks, like a Mischief Macaroon and Notorious Black lattes.
Tour For Muggles
If you want to explore the filming locations of the Harry Potter films IRL, this two-hour Tour For Muggles in London is perfect. On your Harry Potter tour, your guides will share some behind the scenes stories and point out some of the less obvious locations from the films that you may not be able to see on your own. Tickets start at just £16, which is about $22.
The Harry Potter Film Concert Series
Want to watch the Harry Potter films in a theater once again? Well, the Harry Potter concert series not only allows you to rewatch your fave movies projected on the big screen, but there’s also a full symphony orchestra there to play along. Check out the upcoming dates to see if the tour is coming to you. There’s also some videos you can watch at home to get that same magical experience without ever leaving your couch.
Harry Potter New York Store
For a fun shopping experience, stop by the Harry Potter New York store in Manhattan. At Harry Potter New York, shop the latest merch while interacting with the immersive space. There’s also VR experiences and a Butterbeer Bar, which offers takeout of the Wizarding World’s most popular drink — Butterbeer.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition
If you’re unable to travel to Hollywood or London to go on a studio tour, the Harry Potter: The Exhibition gives you a chance to see props and costumes from the films in a city near you. There are even some immersive installations to make you feel like a wizard. The traveling exhibition will be in Philadelphia starting Feb. 18 with tickets starting at $30.
Stay At A Harry Potter-Themed Airbnb
For a more cozy experience, you and your besties can rent a Harry Potter-themed Airbnb. There are many decorated Airbnb stays across the U.S. that you can find close to home for just a magical weekend getaway. Of course, you can also visit this Harry Potter Airbnb in the IRL Godric’s Hollow for as low as £180 or roughly $245 a night.
Georgian House Hotel London
Another once-in-a-lifetime magical stay is at the Georgian House Hotel in London. For Harry Potter fans, they have a wizard experience where you’ll get to sleep in a room that looks like the Gryffindor dormitory. There’s also an Enchanted Afternoon Tea and Wizard Potion Making experience you can book during your stay. Rooms are priced around $289 to $398 a night.
Alnwick Castle Filming Tour
Alnwick Castle was used for Hogwarts in both the Sorcerer’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets, so a visit to the castle should be a must for any fans of the films. You can even snap a jumping pic where Harry first learned to fly on his broomstick, so it looks like you’re flying as well. Tickets can be bought in advanced for £19 pr person or around $25.
The CDC recommends traveling only after you’re fully vaccinated and your vaccine has become fully effective. If you’re not fully vaccinated and must travel, check the CDC guidelines before you book. Check your destination’s vaccination and testing requirements before you depart.