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Harry Potter: The Exhibition comes to NYC

The wizardly world of Harry Potter makes its midtown debut.


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The books are done and the film saga concludes in July, but mourning Muggles, take heart—"Harry Potter: The Exhibition" opens at Discovery Times Square on April 1. After making stops in four cities over the past two years, the immersive display now offers New Yorkers this portal into J. K. Rowling's enchanted universe. Fans get to travel to Hogwarts and beyond as they visit tableaux filled with more than 200 models, costumes and props from the movies. Here are seven things (in honor of the series's most magically powerful number) we can't wait to do.

1 Listen to the Sorting Hat spout housing assignments
Before entering the exhibit, a handful of volunteers are invited to sit under the Sorting Hat, which quickly assesses their strengths and declares whether they're bound for Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor or Slytherin.

2 Run the gauntlet in the portrait gallery
Hogwarts' gregarious paintings jeer, gossip and mumble to themselves as visitors pass by on their way to Harry and Ron's dorm room.

3 Unearth a Mandrake
In the re-created Herbology greenhouse, kids can pull Mandrakes from their pots to hear the plant-creature hybrids let out their signature shrieks. Be warned: Professor Pomona Sprout will not be handing out protective earmuffs.

4 Play some Quidditch
Once kids eye equipment (including the Golden Snitch and Harry's Nimbus 2000) used to play the wizarding world's favorite sport, they'll be dying to join the Gryffindor team. Fortunately your children can test their skills by tossing Quaffles through goal hoops.

5 Wander through the Forbidden Forest
Hogwarts students aren't permitted to tread through the murky woods, but visitors can roam among the Acromantula, centaurs and thestrals that live just outside the school grounds. You'll see the life-size models used to create the CGI renderings of Buckbeak and the movies' many other mythical beasts.

6 Peep a never-before-seen Horcrux
Aficionados can see the actual Helga Hufflepuff Cup, then watch Harry grapple with the bewitched chalice in the final HP flick. Other scary paraphernalia of the Dark Arts—like Death Eater masks and a Dementor—will also be on display.

7 Browse robes, wands and chocolate frogs
The gift shop has been tricked out to look like an establishment you might stumble upon in Diagon Alley, offering movie-themed trinkets and high-end replicas of costumes and props.

"Harry Potter: The Exhibition" is on view Apr 1--Sept 5 at Discovery Times Square.

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