“Harry Potter: The Exhibition” is making its grand debut in Philadelphia, and what better place than at the Franklin Institute, one of the coolest museums in the US.
Whether new to Harry Potter or an old fan, be prepared to be immediately transported to the wizarding world. Upon entering the exhibition, you’ll be sorted into one of the Hogwarts’ four houses, then, you’ll pick a wand and a patronus. Smile for a picture to complete your profile. From there, you’ll board the Hogwarts Express to start you on your journey to the fantastic world of Harry Potter.
Once inside, this immersive experience will captivate the original Potterheads, and will convert other ones into fans. While the movies may be older than your children, they will leave “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” understanding why so many are bewitched by the world of Harry and his friends. The high-tech exhibit is fun and a couple parts are a little scary, giving every age group something to enjoy. In Franklin Institute fashion, prepare to use all of your senses, as well as your imagination, during your visit.
“Harry Potter: The Exhibition” tour dates
“Harry Potter: The Exhibition” opened in Philadelphia in February 2022 and will run until September 18, 2022. Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute is the world premiere location of the “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” tour. There is currently no other location or date announced for the exhibition.
Where is “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” in Philadelphia?
The Franklin Institute is located at 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, at a walking distance from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Free Public Library. There is limited street parking on the parkway and 20th Street, but there are plenty of garages and lots nearby.
The #1 piece of advice before visiting “Harry Potter: The Exhibition”
Plan to spend a few hours walking around the exhibit. With so many other attractions in the area, it may be tempting to try to see them all in a day. However, while you can get through the Harry Potter exhibition itself in 60 to 90 minutes, the entire Franklin Institute is worth a visit. Exhibits explore human anatomy, mechanics, space, and more. Visitors can even walk inside of a giant anatomically correct heart.
The best time to visit the “Harry Potter: The Exhibition”
The best time to visit the “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” is during the week, but with the timed tickets, you’ll find the crowd to be well-paced. Day and evening tickets are available, but know that the price is the same no matter what time you go. To see the entire museum, it is $43 for an adult ticket and $30 for a children’s ticket. For just the Harry Potter exhibition, it is $30 each, and all tickets are timed. Tickets can be purchased on the Franklin Institute’s website. You can also give the gift of the Harry Potter experience.
Note that between May 1 and September 11, 2022, if you book your getaway to Philadelphia via the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, you get two untimed tickets to the Harry Potter exhibition.
Where to start your visit of “Harry Potter: The Exhibition”
Start your visit by taking your photo with the 20-foot high marble statue of Benjamin Franklin in the beautiful lobby of the museum – it’s a tradition. Then, continue to the Harry Potter exhibition which is located on the first floor, and accessible in the back left corner. There is only one way through the exhibit, and your first stop will be to board the Hogwarts Express.
After you go through the Harry Potter exhibition, there are still four floors of the museum to visit, so make the most of your time and check them all out.
The best things to see at “Harry Potter: The Exhibition”
The exhibition is full of props and costumes all displayed in sets that bring the books and the movies to life.
Battle for the House Cup
Make sure you use the wristband you were given upon entry. Find the golden snitch on each display, then wave your wrist over it before you complete one of the magical tasks asked of you during the visit. Once the task has been completed, whether that be casting a spell or preparing a potion, you earn points for your house.
Are you Ravenclaw with a Hufflepuff friend? Make your visit into a competition, and towards the end you can actually try out your magic with a friendly battle.
Give Quidditch a try
If you’ve ever attended a Harry Potter-themed festival (Philadelphia had one for years) then you understand how serious people can be about Quidditch. at “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” you can try your hand at Harry’s favorite sport. See how well you can toss a quaffle into six hoops, which sit far back on the wall like the electronic basketball hoops at your local arcade. Then watch the Quidditch World Cup through a peephole.
Make Professor Snape and professor Slughorn proud in potion class
During the entire exhibition, you’ll be treated as a Hogwarts student, so you’ll be tested on your ability at performing magic. In the potions room, you can test your apothecary skills by working with unusual ingredients like rat spleen. Read the ingredients and follow the instructions carefully if you’d like to graduate with an Outstanding.
Get a close look at the Harry Potter movies’ best costumes
From Umbridge’s corny pink suit to Snape’s sinister robes, some of the most iconic costumes of the Harry Potter movie franchise, along with some fun facts about each, are on display in this exhibition. For instance, did you know that Minerva McGonagall’s robes and capes were darker in some films to reflect the somber themes?
Take a peek at some of the movies’ most-loved sets
Make a call from a phone booth supposed to take you to the Ministry of Magic, revisit Harry’s room under the stairs, and have a seat in Hagrid’s hut. The displays put you right into some of the most memorable movie scenes.