Make a day out of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' in New York
New York has plenty of Harry Potter- and magic-themed activities and experiences to help Potterheads get in the wizarding mood before seeing the play.
If you’re a Potterhead who’s planning to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, why not transfigure your trip into an entire spellbinding day? There are numerous magic- and Harry Potter-themed activities in New York City to make you feel like you’re living in the Wizarding World, whether by testing out wands at the Harry Potter store, brewing bubbling potions, or listening to spooky ghost stories.
To help you plan the most magical day, we’ve rounded up some of the best Harry Potter activities, restaurants, and experiences in New York that will satisfy a wide range of interests and age groups. Then, get tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre, and take a trip through the Wizarding World like never before.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition
There’s no better way to start your Harry Potter day than with this exhibit that makes you feel like you’re walking the halls of Hogwarts. Enter the Wizarding World with this interactive exhibit that offers behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the movies, full-sized set recreations you can step inside, and even firsthand spell-casting practice.
Get sorted into your Hogwarts house, find out your Patronus, practice your Quidditch skills with an actual Quaffle, and much more. Plus, Harry Potter: The Exhibition displays stories and props from the Cursed Child play, including two wands used by Albus and Scorpius.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition is located on 34th Street, just nine blocks south of the Lyric Theatre. Harry Potter: The Exhibition tickets are available on TodayTix.
Harry Potter Store
If you want even more HP merchandise besides the offerings at the Cursed Child shop, check out the Harry Potter flagship store in the Flatiron building, 20 blocks south of the theatre. Browse exclusive items and plenty of clothing so you can show off your Hogwarts house pride when you see the play.
You can also treat yourself to Wizarding World sweets at the Honeydukes-inspired section, or tap into your inner Slytherin in the Dark Arts cellar. Before heading out, visit the Butterbeer Bar, where you can sip on the frothy drink or enjoy a Butterbeer soft serve.
The Cauldron NYC
Step inside Professor Snape’s potion-making class at The Cauldron — conveniently located by the Harry Potter store — where you’ll brew delicious magical concoctions. This mixology experience includes a magic wand and your own cauldron, plus an instructive class where you’ll learn how to make two bewitching cocktails (alcoholic or non-alcoholic).
This 1 hour and 45-minute immersive experience makes you feel like you’re brewing a magical potion, with fun effects and hands-on practice. Then, you can taste the fruits of your labor afterwards. You can also opt for the magical Wizard Afternoon Tea if a hot brew is more your speed.
Ghost Stories: A Mysterious, Macabre Interactive Tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Any Harry Potter lover knows ghosts are a key part of life at Hogwarts, whether you’re chatting with Nearly Headless Nick in the stairwell or being pranked by Peeves the poltergeist on your way to class.
Those looking for some paranormal fun before seeing Cursed Child will appreciate the Ghost Stories experience at the Met, which blends art and the supernatural through a guided tour. Learn about famous specters like the Flying Dutchman, study spooky artwork, and hear more about different cultures' ideas of what scares us and why.
The Met is located 40 blocks northwest of the Lyric, on the east side of Central Park. Be sure to build in ample travel time via subway, bus, or car if you don't have a Portkey.
Get Ghost Stories tickets now.
A Salt and Battery
For the Anglophiles at heart, grabbing a bite at an authentic British “chippy” (a.k.a. fish and chip shop) is a great way to fuel up before your show. Head down to A Salt and Battery in the West Village to enjoy crispy battered fish and thick-cut chips, served with malt vinegar and mushy peas to feel like you’re sitting down at the Three Broomsticks and enjoying a classic British meal.
If you’re after more British bites, head over to the adjacent shop, Tea and Sympathy, which serves authentic afternoon tea. And, nearby is the Myers of Keswick, a British store where you can buy imported sweets and snacks, as well as freshly baked pastries, sausage rolls, pies, and more.
The West Village is a direct 15-minute subway ride south of the Theatre District.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Of course, the main event of your Harry Potter day must be Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. This hit show, which has played on Broadway since 2018, is a spellbinding adventure that traverses the past, present, and future of the Wizarding World. The story mainly follows Harry Potter’s son Albus and Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius, but you’ll still get to spend time with the famous trio and experience alternate realities that arise from messing with the past.
Perhaps the most captivating aspect of the show is the incredible special effects, which make it look like magic is actually happening all around you — both on stage and throughout the theatre. Cursed Child is an experience Potterheads will never forget.
Photo credit: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)
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