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Harry Potter at the Franklin Institute in 2022: How to get tickets and more

Muggles can win tickets by trying to catch Golden Snitches throughout the Philly region.

A Golden Snitch on display during an announcement about the opening of "Harry Potter: The Exhibition" at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
A Golden Snitch on display during an announcement about the opening of "Harry Potter: The Exhibition" at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.Read moreMONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer

The Franklin Institute cracked open a veritable chamber of secrets Wednesday when it revealed the first details about Harry Potter: The Exhibition, a traveling show organizers hope will stupefy even the most hardened of Slytherins when it premieres in Philadelphia in February.

From wizards and witches to giant traveling Golden Snitches, the Franklin Institute is going all out to drum up excitement for the exhibition, which museum leaders and city officials hope will bring more money to Philly than exists in all of Gringotts Bank.

“When we went out to get this exhibition, we really looked broader because we knew this city needed some things to help in its economic recovery as we come out of COVID,” said Franklin president and CEO Larry Dubinski. “The impact an exhibition like this can have, not just on the Franklin Institute but hotels, restaurants, and other arts and culture venues, will be a boon for the entire region.”

More than 21,000 tickets to the exhibit were sold in pre-sale before Dubinski announced ticket sales were open to the general public Wednesday during a media event at the museum’s Great Hall.

As the Philly Pops played the theme music to the Harry Potter movies, flying Golden Snitches were projected overhead and Hogwarts house sigils were displayed on the walls. All guests in attendance — from city officials to Daily Prophet reporters — were asked to choose a house scarf before entering the event (for those wondering, Mayor Jim Kenney is a Ravenclaw). No sorting hat was on hand to make the process easier, but there were boxes of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans to up the thrill factor (it was unclear if Kenney’s aides warned him about the booger-flavored ones).

While some details are still being kept as closely guarded as Azkaban Prison, here’s what you should know about the exhibition (and if you forget, may your Remembrall remind you).

When it opens and where to buy tickets

Harry Potter: The Exhibition will open to the public on Friday, Feb. 18.

Daytime tickets, which include general admission to the museum, cost $43 for adults and $39 for kids. Evening tickets, which do not include general admission, are $30 for adults and children. VIP tickets —which offer anytime access on the date chosen at purchase and include a photo op, an exhibition lanyard, and a discount on the audio tour — are $59 for kids and adults.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 215-448-1200.

No end date has been announced for the show, but organizers said it is a “limited engagement.”

Win tickets by seeking Golden Snitches

Through a series of interactive photo-op installations that will travel throughout the Northeast over the next few months, one lucky Muggle will have the chance to win four tickets and be the first to enter the exhibition when it opens.

A 13-foot-tall display featuring a Hogwarts Castle and a floating Nimbus 2000 broomstick that fans can hop on for a photo-op will be displayed from Nov. 3 to 10 in the ticketing area of the Franklin before it travels to other, as of yet, unannounced locations. When fans scan a QR code on the display with their phones, it takes them to an augmented-reality game called “Seek the Golden Snitch,” where they must try to catch a Golden Snitch as it flies in and out of their screen (I got it in under 30 seconds, take that Cedric Diggory!). Once the QR code is scanned, Muggles can enter their email for a chance to win tickets.

Four giant, Hagrid-sized Golden Snitches on pedestals will also tour the Northeast and feature the same QR code and interactive game. The first four Golden Snitch locations will be at the Franklin; Independence Visitor Center in Center City; The Promenade at Sagemore in Marlton; and Peddler’s Village in New Hope and will appear within the next seven to 10 days.

To find out upcoming dates and locations for the displays, fans are urged to follow Harry Potter: The Exhibition and the Franklin Institute on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The winning Muggle will also receive a two-night hotel stay in Philly, a $500 cash prize, merchandise, and a family membership to the Franklin.

What to expect at the exhibit

Entering at King’s Cross Station (mind the gap and your head at Platform 9 3/4), fans will have a chance to choose their own house and wand and take a “personalized journey” through a 20,000-square-foot immersive experience featuring 10 different areas, from Hogwarts Castle to Hagrid’s Hut, according to a news release.

There will also be props and costumes on display from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film series.

The show, billed as “the most comprehensive touring exhibition ever presented about the Wizarding World,” is a production of Imagine Exhibitions, the Atlanta company behind other previous shows at the Franklin like Jurassic World and The Titanic.

While the exhibit has no ties to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the Harry Potter film series, is a partner of the exhibit, said Tom Zaller, CEO of Imagine Exhibitions.

About 60% of the exhibit will be iconic, immersive moments, while the other 40% will feature behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the films, Zaller said.

“It’s going to be amazing. It’s a very comprehensive show,” he said. “It’s all of the Wizarding World. There will be beasts, props, costumes, moments to celebrate, and personalized experiences.”