The world of Harry Potter comes alive at Franklin Institute this winter

Harry Potter Exhibition

Philadelphia is already a magical place to be, but come this winter, it might just be the most magical place in the whole country.

On Feb. 18, 2022, the world premiere of ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ will be setting its sights on the Franklin Institute and bringing the charming antics of Hogwarts, its students and all wizards and witches in the world of the wildly popular book and movie series to life.

As the release states, the all-new behind-the-scenes exhibition will celebrate the iconic moments, characters, settings, and beasts as seen in the films and stories of ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and the expanded Wizarding World, including ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.’ How the new creative installation plans to do that is through crafted environments that honor the iconic moments, characters, settings, and beasts known from the series. Using best-in-class immersive design and technology, the experience promises to deliver an unforgettable personalized experience and spans thousands of square feet and features 10 distinct areas—from the Hogwarts castle and The Great Hall to Hagrid’s Hut and The Forbidden Forest. Guests will transition into the exhibition from King’s Cross Station, much like the characters do, and then enter through a spellbinding entry to officially select their house and wand and begin their personalized journey.

So, if you’ve ever wished to be a witch or wizard, here is your chance.

Representatives from the Franklin Institute, Visit Philadelphia and the Harry Potter Exhibition, along with Mayor Jim Kenney were among some of the speakers at the announcement on Nov. 3. Provided

Visitors will get up close and personal looks at authentic props and original costumes from the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ films, and an opportunity to engage with innovative, unique and magical environments and installations in ways never before experienced in a touring exhibition. In fact, ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ has even been called the most comprehensive touring exhibition ever presented about the Wizarding World.

The exhibit itself was created and developed by Imagine Exhibitions in partnership with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment, and EMC Presents. The Exhibition is slated to tour globally and in addition to Philadelphia, the magical experience will land in Latin America, the Asia-Pacific Region (APAC), Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). But luckily, Philadelphians will be among some of the firsts to really immerse themselves.

And speaking of firsts: Already there has been amateur quidditch players joining in with the pre-exhibition ‘Seek the Golden Snitch’ touring installation, which will provide one lucky fan with the chance to experience the installation for the first time themselves. As the release states, designed as a photo-op to prepare fans for the magic, the impressive installation stands as a 13- foot-tall illuminated Hogwarts castle front with four accompanying Golden Snitch pedestal pieces. This particular installation will travel to popular events and locations through the exhibition’s opening. Each features a QR code that, when activated by a mobile device, launches an interactive “Seek the Golden Snitch” experience using AR technology. Fans are challenged to catch the quick-moving Golden Snitch to be entered to win the grand prize—a two night hotel stay in Philadelphia and four tickets to be the first to experience the world premiere of ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’. Plus, there’s a $500 cash prize, ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ merchandise, and a family membership to The Franklin Institute (which comes out to be $4,000 in prize value).


Those looking to throw their wand into the ring can head to the Independence Visitor Center, The Promenade at Sagemore in Marlton and Peddler’s Village in New Hope on certain dates to compete—check online for exact locations. Fans are also encouraged to follow ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as all social media channels for The Franklin Institute. Tickets are timed and dated, and advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended.

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