You don’t have to run through a wall at King’s Cross Station to board the Hogwarts Express. For one weekend in October, you can hop on at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
From October 21-22, Philly’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood will transform into the magical village of Hogsmeade for its annual Harry Potter Festival. In the words of SNL’s Stefon, this festival has everything.
Festival-goers can be sorted by the Sorting Hat, practice their spells in Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, and cheer on their house at the “Brotherly Love Cup” Quidditch tournament. Chestnut Hill College will be hosting a Harry Potter conference, which seems fitting, given that their campus looks like a modern-day Hogwarts.
Chestnut Hill is shutting down traffic to a six-block area where festival-goers can visit the shops of Hogsmeade and participate in a butterbeer pub crawl.
To get to the festival, hop aboard the Chestnut Hill East or Chestnut Hill West “Hogwarts Express” trains. Although the trains will have a distinctly SEPTA feel to them, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Dumbledore look-alikes will be on board to greet you and escort you to the festival.
Admission to the street fair and quidditch tournament is free. The academic conference is also open to the public, although a $10 registration fee is required. Tickets for the pub crawl go on sale on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 10am, so mark your calendars!
Dust off your cloaks, hats and broomsticks and give that Halloween costume a trial run this October.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article suggested Chestnut Hill was north of Philadelphia. In fact, it is in the city of Philadelphia, north of downtown.