Fans on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill

💡 Get Philly smart 💡
with BP’s free daily newsletter

Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

Quidditch, anyone?

Harry Potter fans will descend on Chestnut Hill in late October for the annual Harry Potter Festival and Quidditch Tournament.

Huffpo has described the locale as a town north of Philadelphia. How precious. The charming little neighborhood of Chestnut Hill probably won’t leave you feeling like you’re directly in the movie, but this’ll be cute, for sure. The Chestnut Hill West will transform into the “Hogwarts Express.” Which as far we’ve seen means there will be impersonators of characters from the books riding the regular Regional Rail train with you.

1. Academics!

But, guys. This isn’t just fun and games. There is an actual academic conference. It’s $10 and will be held at Chestnut Hill College. A segment of its programming will be dedicated to high schoolers.

Oh yes, the young jawns will be all over this. Why wouldn’t they be? Our 13-year-old inner-selves want a minute with that sorting hat. (Ravenclaw all the way.)

2. Bar crawl

But the other paid event, aside from the conference, is the Butter Beer pub crawl. The features, according to Visit Philly, are TBD, but we hope destiny allows for a Schmitter/Butter Beer combo at McNally’s. If you are new to Philly, please know, the Schmitter is everything.

The Schmitter at McNally’s Tavern
The Schmitter at McNally’s Tavern

3. Street fair and Quidditch matches

The six-block street fair is free. The Quidditch Tournament is free.99 as well. We’re non-magical mugglefolk, so you might be wondering how this works. Chestnut Hill College has a page that describes it as “a cross between dodgeball, basketball and rugby.” Here’s a video of folks playing, with their broomsticks of course, from a prior tourney.

YouTube video

The festival, conference, tournament and pub crawl will take over Chestnut Hill on Fri., Oct. 21 and Sat., Oct. 22.

Cassie Owens is a reporter/curator for She was assistant editor at Next City and has contributed to Philadelphia City Paper, Metro, the Jewish Daily Forward, The Islamic...