platform 9 3/4
Photograph: Shutterstock

Tour the real-life locations of Harry Potter's world with Google Earth

Platform 9 3/4 really exists! (Kind of)

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Attention Potterheads: Diagon Alley is real! Well, sort of. The busy London street that's packed with wizards—and invisible to muggles—is based on a real-life Leadenhall Market, a shop-filled covered passageway that dates to the 1400's.

You can go to Diagon Alley (er, Leadnehall Market) and visit a dozen real-world Harry Potter locations thanks to this amazing virtual tour from Google Earth. From Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station to the castle that was transformed into Hogwarts for the movies, this gorgeous virtual tour makes Harry Potter's world come to life.

"Hogwarts"

Photograph: Shutterstock

This is a golden age of online Harry Potter activities: JK Rowling has unveiled a magical new online Harry Potter experience on Wizarding World—and it’s free; you can tour the “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibit from the British Library at home; and an enterprising librarian made this Harry Potter-themed digital escape room that lets you wander through Hogwarts. That's a lot of magic to access with a couple of clicks of a trackpad.

You can also take advantage of this time in, and return to the source material for all this Harry Potter-tinted fun. This is a great time to stream the Harry Potter movies, which are among the 50 best family movies to watch together.  And you can reread the original books: The NYPL's e-reader lets you download Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and hundreds of thousands of other books for free.

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