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All the NYC parties for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release this weekend

Written by
Rebecca Fontana
Wands at the ready. The book version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the new play that’s basically the London Hamilton, will be released at midnight on Sunday, July 31. It’s already broken the record for most pre-ordered book at Barnes & Noble—a record set by none other than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows back in 2007. If you’re the kind of person who owns a wand and cloak and thinks hanging out at a bookstore until midnight while binge-eating chocolate frogs and yelling “Accio, book!” sounds like a good time (it is), then you’re already on the list for the eighth installment in the Harry Potter saga.
The only more exciting than this book is entering the show’s lottery—if you win, it’s only $21 (plus, you know, the cost of an overseas flight). But if you can’t make it to London for the show or even to Los Angeles to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, at least NYC has Daniel Radcliffe Off Broadway—and these magical book-release events:
Barnes & Noble, Sat 30 8pm, free, various locations
At nine locations in NYC, party like it’s the Yule Ball until the book release at midnight. There will be giveaways and games and so many nerdy Potterheads.  
Strand,Sat 30 8pm–12:45pm, free, 828 Broadway
After pre-ordering your book, head to Strand to pick it up. Costumes are highly recommended, and there will be a photo booth (get that lightning bolt in place) and appropriately named snacks from Fat Witch.
Books of Wonder, Sat 30 8pm–1am, free, 18 W 18th St
This party goes all-out with a magic theme, hosting multiple magicians, a juggler and a mind reader. There will also be live owls in attendance, because all the best parties have live owls.
Villain, Sat 30 10pm–12am, $29.99, 50 N 3rd St, Brooklyn
The booziest Potter bash, this one is offering Rosmerta’s Firewhiskey and Butterbeer Pong. The ticket price includes a copy of the book and birthday cake for Harry.
Community Bookstore, Sat 30 10pm–midnight, free, 143 7th Ave, Brooklyn
There’s a feast fit for the Great Hall at this shindig, with sherbet lemons, cauldron cakes, chocolate, butterbeer and regular beer.
The Astoria Bookshop, Sat 30 10pm–12am, $29.99, 31-29 31st St, Queens
The ticket price is for the book, but there’s also costume and trivia contests, a tarot reader and treats like Pumpkin Pasties.
BookCourt, Sat 30 10:30pm, free, 163 Court St, Brooklyn
While you wait for your reserved book here, play HP trivia, sample snacks, work on a Harry Potter coloring book and get sorted.
Book Culture, Sat 30 10:30pm, free, 450 Columbus Ave
The Columbus location of this shop is hosting an all-ages party. If you wear a costume you’ll be entered in a raffle, and you can get sorted here too.
Book Culture, Sat 30 11pm, free, 536 W 11th St
This Book Culture location has the adults-friendly party, which we assume means the Butterbeer will be spiked.
The BookMark Shoppe, Sat 30 11pm–1am, free, 8415 3rd Ave, Brooklyn
Opening late so you can get your book right when the time-turner strikes midnight, there will be games and prizes too.
Stories Bookshop, Sun 31 8:30am–6pm, free, 458 Bergen St, Brooklyn
The shop’s opening extra early so you can go get your copy. There are also activities like arts and crafts and Harry Potter storytelling for young muggles.
Barnes & Noble, Sun 31 9am or 10am, free, various locations
If you’re not a messenger night owl—or if you spent the early morning hours reading the entire book in one sitting—Barnes & Noble is hosting another round of celebrations the morning after.
PowerHouse on 8th, Sun 31 11am–1pm, free, 1111 8th Ave, Brooklyn
This new Park Slope bookstore is hosting a morning-after event with snacks, crafts and games.
MCU Park, Sun 31 2:45pm, $14–$17, 1904 Surf Ave, Brooklyn
It’s not exactly the same as baseball, but the Brooklyn Cyclones are honoring the Seeker with a pre-game Quidditch exhibit before their 4pm game against the Aberdeen Ironbirds.  

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