Flying over to Chestnut Hill's Harry Potter Festival? Send us your pics using the hashtag #HarryPotterFestPA

Chestnut Hill's Harry Potter Festival returns for its sixth year this weekend to celebrate J.K. Rowling's magical world of wizardry.

Chestnut Hill will turn into the fictional town of Hogsmeade, featuring Northwest Philadelphia's take on the Leaky Cauldron (McNally's Tavern), Hog's Head Pub (Tavern on the Hill), Honeydukes Sweetshop (Zipf's Candies), and Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop (Night Kitchen Bakery). Visitors can pick up Harry Potter-themed goodies from Pennsylvania General Store, Baker Street Bread Co., and Night Kitchen Bakery.

What's new? Unlike previous iterations of the festival, six blocks of Germantown Avenue will close to cars, from Rex Avenue to Willow Grove Avenue, but the festivities will run for 10 blocks, to Mermaid Lane. Also, don't forget to come hungry and dressed to the nines: This year will also feature food trucks and photo ops.

"Just beware of the dementors in Hedwig Hollow Park," said Martha Sharkey, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Business Association.

Friday's events include an opening reception at the Harry Potter Art Gallery (5 p.m., 8614 Germantown Ave.) and a family movie night with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill (6 p.m., 8855 Germantown Ave.)

On Saturday, visitors can participate in Sorting Hat demonstrations from noon to 4 p.m., "Horcrux" activity stations with crafts and games throughout the day, and the Harry Potter CityHUNT scavenger hunts at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Other themed events include the Jenks Firebolt 5k Run and one-mile Nimbus Walk at 8:30 a.m., the Science of Wizarding with the Franklin Institute, and the Tri-Wizard Straw Maze at the Woodmere Art Museum.

While Iron Hill Brewery will serve "Dumbledore's Dubbel" and "Voldemort's Wrath" and Weaver's Way Co-op will serve "Polyjuice Potions," why not make this year's fest a BYOB(utterbeer) situation?

Don't know how to concoct Harry, Hermione, and Ron's beverage of choice? Dinah Bucholz of Northeast Philadelphia, the author of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory, shared the recipe with us.

"Cream Soda" Butterbeer


Makes syrup for 16 servings


1½ cups granulated sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

4 cups water, divided

2 tablespoons corn syrup

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Ice, for serving

Cold seltzer, for serving


1.   Place the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, cream of tartar, and 2 cups of the water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Wash the sides down with a pastry brush dipped in hot sugar. Clip a candy thermometer to the pot, and cook on medium heat until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F. As the mixture approaches 300 degrees F., stir to prevent burning.

2.   Turn off the heat, add the remaining 2 cups water, and stir quickly. Turn the heat back on, and continue to cook until any hardened parts of the mixture are liquefied again. Turn off the heat, and stir in the vanilla.

3.   Transfer the syrup to a container, and cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.

4.   To serve, fill a tall glass with ice. Add three tablespoons of the syrup, and top with 1 cup cold seltzer. Stir gently.

- From The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook series, by Dinah Bucholz (F+W Media Inc.)