Friday, July 8, 2011

Harry Potter the Exhibition at Discovery Times Square

Harry Potter Exhibition

New York City is an amazing place.  I know that I'm lucky to live in a suburb.  There are so many things we can do, and they are only an hour away.  One of my favorite places to bring the boys is to Discovery Times Square Exhibition.  They always have really interesting exhibits that are interesting to both the boys AND their Dad and I, too.

Right now, (and through September 5th) there is a very extensive Harry Potter Exhibition.  If you are a fan in the tri-state area, (or planning to visit)  you won’t want to miss this one!  New York is the last North American stop for this show.

The exhibit is a very impressive collection of  costumes and props used in all of the movies - from the first one, through to  Deathly Hallows, Part 2. (yes!  Part 2!)

As soon as you walk in you will have your photo taken in front of a green screen.  It will be generated into a photo like this one.

Harry Potter Exhibition

Isn’t that a great keepsake?  You’ll be able to view your photos and decide if you’d like to purchase them at the end of the tour.

Entry is granted by small groups at a time.   The first stop is a warm welcome, and some time with the Sorting Hat.  A Few lucky visitors will find out which house they will be staying in as a student of Hogwarts.

After the Sorting Hat, we viewed a video montage pre-show.  It was presented on eight small screens, where some of the most memorable and captivating scenes from the movies were being played out in front of us.   The excitement built, and the film presentation seemed to be coming to a crescendo when we heard a whistle, and the roar of the Hogwarts Express.  The wall was raised straight up and the train was right in front of us, as if we had been transported to platform 9 and 3/4!

From there, we walked through a portrait gallery (that was fun!) and in to the more traditional exhibits.  Our first stop gave us a glimpse into Gryffindor House, and the  props and costumes used by its residents.

Here you see some costumes worn by Harry, Ron, Hermione, and some of their teachers.  You can also see other artifacts, like this board with bulletins that you'll recognize from the movies.

Harry Potter Exhibition

For example, here is Harry’s invitation to Hogwarts, his wand, and of course, his glasses.  It’s definitely his invite..  Can you see the address?  The Cupboard Under the Stairs!

Harry Potter Exhibition

You’ll also see dorm beds, the Marauder's Map and the Howler.

The displays are beautifully arranged, and there are plenty of explanatory plaques describing each one.  You might also want to choose the audio guide, which will describe each one to you after you type the corresponding number.

Harry Potter Exhibition

From the dorms, you’ll move to the classrooms.  These were interesting, and interactive.  The potions area had Professor Snapes' robes along with his bubbling potions.

Professor Trelawney’s crystal ball is on display with her amazing wardrobe.

You’ll find a Cornish Pixie among the costumes and props from the Defense against the Dark Arts area.

We could hear the Mandrakes before we saw them.  I kept thinking , “What is that NOISE?”

When you get to Herbology, you’ll have a chance to pull one from it’s pot.. if you’re brave enough!

Harry Potter Exhibition

Then came the part I was looking forward to!  Quidditch!   We got to see the various Nimbus models, uniforms and equipment,  the Quidditch World Cup, and even a Golden Snitch!

Beofre we left this area, we got a chance to throw a Quaffle and earn some points.

Harry Potter Exhibition

From there, we arrived at Hagrid’s Hut.  I was so impressed by the SIZE of his clothes and his personal items.   We had a chance to sit in his HUGE chair, too!   You’ll see Buckbeak here, and a hatching dragon’s egg, too!
Harry Potter Exhibition

Then, things turned a little Dark.  Just like in the stories, Hagrid’s hut sits at the edge of the Dark Forest.  This is where the tour took us next.  It’s easy to see why it would be off limits – but it’s a perfect lead-in to the Dark Forces exhibit.

Death Eater robes and masks,  A Dementor, Lord Voldemort’s costume and belongings and plenty of other Dark Magic elements that you’ll either love, or want to run from fill the room!

The last setting is absolutely beautiful.  The Great Hall is lit by candles, and the displays are mostly costumes and props from the Yule Ball.

Harry Potter Exhibition

We laughed to see all of the candies and other “treats” in the center display.  It was a perfect ending.  So festive, and bright in contrast to the Dark we had just left.

There are a few extras in here, too, like Lord Gryffindor’s sword, so take your time, and look closely!

Then we exited into a gift shop and souvenir area.

It was a fun day for us.  We took a little over an hour to go through, which is about average.  A very serious fan might want to linger longer.

THERE IS NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED IN THE EXHIBITION! I did notice that there was a book for sale in the gift shop that has beautiful, professional pictures of everything that  is on display.

Discovery Times Square is located on 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.  For tickets and information, visit or call (866)-987-9962.  You can become a fan of  Discovery Times Square on Facebook, or Follow them with Twitter to keep up with promotions and new exhibits.

Admission Prices:   ADULTS, $26.00; SENIORS,  $23.50; CHILDREN $19.50; Audio Guide $7.00

*Group rates are available for parties of 15 or more.  Call  (800)840-1157 for more information.

*In order to provide  an informed blogged review, I was given admission to the exhibit.   I was not paid to write this post  or compensated in any other way.