The world of Harry Potter continues to live on, and whether
you’re a diehard fan looking to relive the adventure or you’re an average
muggle searching for some enchanting fun, you can satisfy your need for
both at the Harry Potter:
The Exhibition at Discovery Times Square here in New York.
After travelling internationally for most of 2012, the Harry Potter exhibit is back at Discovery Time Square in NYC. While we missed it the first go around when it was here in 2011, we were glad to have another opportunity to check it out -- particularly since the kiddo is older and could better appreciate the exhibit having since visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando.
There was a lot we loved about the exhibit, and here are some of our favorite kid-friendly highlights and suggestions from our recent visit:
The Sorting Hat
After a brief video montage, the experience begins as you're escorted into a room with the Sorting Hat (as seen in the first Harry Potter film), during our visit three kids were picked to be "sorted" into their appropriate house at Hogwarts. If you have kids with you, make sure they’re standing in front of the group so they can be more easily noticed. The Sorting Hat even talks, and it’s a fabulous way to set the mood and experience for the rest of the exhibit.
Here is one of a couple of interactive sections of the exhibit which features a growing garden of Mandrake which you can lift up out of their potted home and hear them scream. This is amusing to watch as an adult, but clearly younger kids are even more entertained.
As you work your way through Hagrid’s Hut, you’ll come to a whole section dedicated to the Game of Quidditch, including the actual clothes, equipment and instructions on how to play the game. Here you can have your own fun by throwing a Quaffle through three different hoops to score a goal. The Kiddo had fun (successfully) throwing the Quaffle through each of the hoops.
By far the scariest section of the exhibit, there’s a full range of the evilest of creatures from movie, set looming in the dark room on both the ground and above. If you have kids on the younger side, it’s easy to bypass this section if you fear that your child will wake up in a cold sweat thinking a Dementor is chasing after them. The Kiddo's in first grade and weathered it unphased.
The Great Hall
While this is the last section of the exhibit, there's still quite a bit to see, including many more of the costumes and knickknacks from the movie including all of the candy made famous from that that first train ride that Harry and Ron took to Hogwarts. Dobie is hiding in the back and you’ll see him if you look carefully as you’re seamlessly dropped off into an artfully constructed gift shop, a mini version of the retail store at Universal Studios.
Here you can buy everything from wands to Gryffindor merchandise to photos of yourself set against a number of backgrounds (your pic is snapped against a green screen before you even enter the exhibit). You’ll be so consumed with the magical world of Hogwarts that I dare you to resist leaving without having bought at least one Chocolate Frog. ;-)
The breadth of clothes, wands, spell books and knick knacks from the seven movies is impressive, and if you have the time, you can spend a good part of your day reading all of the descriptions of the items on display.
Tickets are $27 for adults, and $19.50 for kids 4-12 years old. If you’re a true Potter-phile, there’s an audio tour for an additional $7 that goes into even further in depth behind the history and significance of each item. If you’re an American Express holder, you can get the audio tour for free.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition will be at Discovery Times Square through April 7, 2013.