43 Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: Harry Potter-themed Sights, Activities, Tours, and More

Catch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Catch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy
2/3/24 - By Rebecca Singer

Wands at the ready, Harry Potter fans! If you’re looking for a way to experience the magic of Harry Potter but can’t make it across the pond to the boy wizard’s home in England, you’re in luck: We’ve rounded up some of the best places stateside where you and your budding Potterheads can live out your wizarding dreams.

Mount your broom, grab some floo powder, or head for the nearest portkey—whatever your preferred means of magical transport—to take you on an enchanted adventure to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. From theme parks and exhibitions to wand shops and Harry Potter themed vacation homes, here are 43 places in the US where you can make your wizarding fantasies come true.

If you are up for an international trip, check out our review of the Harry Potter studio tour near London. Then visit our Family Travel Guide for more great family vacation ideas.


Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort is a must-visit for any Harry Potter fan. Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

Harry Potter Theme Parks, Traveling Exhibitions, and Immersive Experiences

1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood — Orlando, FL & Hollywood, CA

Thrilling rides, spellbinding shows, and magical shops bring Hogsmeade Village and Hogwarts Castle to life in both California’s and Florida’s Universal theme parks. In Florida’s more extensive re-creation of Harry Potter’s world you can also ride the Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley, where you’ll find even more attractions. Stay tuned: Universal Orlando is scheduled to open a new park, Epic Universe, by summer 2025, and rumor has it that it will include a trip through the floo network to the Ministry of Magic.

2. Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience — Little Elm, TX

Enjoy an evening walk along an illuminated woodland trail through an immersive, theatrical setting. The Forbidden Forest is possibly my family’s favorite Harry Potter experience we’ve done so far, with many interactive elements including a chance to bow to a hippogriff, fight a wizard’s duel, and cast a patronus. It's currently available in Texas, but sometimes returns to past locations as a seasonal event. Read our reviews of the Harry Potter Forbidden Forest during past stops in Westchester, New York and the Washington, DC area.

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Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: Harry Potter: The Exhibition
Cameras—and wands—at the ready for Harry Potter: The Exhibition. Photo by Jody Mercier

3. Harry Potter: The Exhibition — New York, NY

This touring exhibition, currently in New York City, celebrates the wizarding world of Harry Potter through interactive experiences including the opportunity to see your name on the marauder’s map, pot a mandrake, and banish a boggart. The exhibition re-creates settings from the stories including Harry’s cupboard under the stairs and Hagrid’s hut, and many props and costumes from the films are on display. Check out our review of Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

4. Harry Potter: Magic at Play — Seattle, WA

Recently in Chicago (where my family and I visited it) and now open in Seattle, Magic at Play provides an immersive exploration of the wizarding world. You can follow Harry’s journey from Platform 9 ¾ to Hogwarts where you’ll visit the Great Hall, sit under the sorting hat, and cast spells. We had fun levitating a feather with the wingardium leviosa charm and playing quidditch. You can also buy Butterbeer, sweets from Honeydukes, and other wizarding merch. Read more in our review of Harry Potter: Magic at Play from Chicago.

5. Harry Potter Exhibit at the Hollywood Museum — Hollywood, CA

Though this exhibit is small, it includes several notable props and costumes from the Harry Potter film series. The highlight of the collection is Harry’s broom from the Sorcerer’s Stone movie. The display also includes a pair of Harry’s glasses, two wands, a feather quill, and wizard’s robes worn by Harry and Professor Dumbledore.

6. Watson Adventures Wizard School Scavenger Hunt — Multiple Locations

Offered at several museums around the country including the National Gallery of Art in DC, the Getty Center in LA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, young witches and wizards go on a magical journey through the galleries to discover mystical mermaids, fierce dragons, majestic unicorns, powerful sorceresses, and many more characters in the artworks who would be right at home in Harry Potter’s magical world.

RELATED: 100 Kids' Books Every Child Should Read Before They Grow Up

Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: LeakyCon
LeakyCon holds a three-day convention for fans of magical worlds and their stories. Photo courtesy of LeakyCon

Harry Potter Wizarding Festivals & Conventions

7. LeakyCon — Portland, OR in 2024

Named for the Leaky Cauldron, the bridge between the magical and muggle worlds, this convention is a gathering for fans of all ages (the organizers recommend ages 11 and up, though all are welcome). There’s plenty for kids to do with hands-on projects, fun photo ops, a marketplace with vendors selling handmade crafts, and guest appearances from actors from the Harry Potter films. This year’s convention takes place in Portland from July 5-7, 2024.

8. Arts and Curiosities Fest — Sunbury, PA

Date for 2024: Saturday, September 24

Sunbury’s Stroh Alley becomes Diagon Alley for the day during this FREE annual festival, lined with over 40 local artists and vendors as well as visitors decked out in wizarding robes. Activities include face painting, balloon art, dance performances, and a presentation showcasing fantastic beasts.

9. Queen City Mischief & Magic — Staunton, VA

Dates for 2024: Saturday & Sunday, September 28 & 29

Thousands of visitors travel to this family-friendly festival to experience 12 blocks of immersive entertainment as downtown Staunton is transformed into the world of Harry Potter. Activities include costume parades, character meet-and-greets, reptile shows, quidditch matches, dance parties, wand dueling, and feasts. The festival is FREE to attend, but some activities are ticketed.

10. CONjuration — Duluth, GA

Dates for 2024: Friday - Sunday, November 15-17

A convention for fans of Harry Potter and other fantasy stories, this event was deliberately designed to appeal to all ages, from kids through adults. Packed with activities including trivia challenges, sing-a-longs, crafts, live game shows, quidditch matches, vendors, performers, and live music, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

RELATED: Best Children's Theaters in the US: Why Bringing Young Kids to the Theater Is So Important

Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: Potted Potter
Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody condenses all seven Harry Potter books into 70 hilarious minutes. Photo courtesy of the production

Harry Potter Theater, Performances, & Sporting Events

11. Harry Potter Film Concert Series

A live full symphony orchestra plays along while a film from the Harry Potter series is projected onto the big screen, creating a magical experience as you relive your favorite stories in a new light. Harry Potter in concert is traveling around the globe, including many US locations like Atlanta and Orlando, so check the website to find when it will be near you.

12. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway and Touring

Harry Potter’s story continues when his youngest son, Albus, heads off to Hogwarts and gets swept up in a time-traveling adventure full of magic spells and epic battles. Now playing on Broadway in the Lyric Theatre, in late 2023 the show announced it will also be touring for the first time. It is scheduled to play in Chicago in September 2024, with more venues to be announced in the future. Click here to buy tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway.

13. Potted Potter

Billed as “the unauthorized Harry experience,” this parody features two actors who take on the roles of 360 characters from the Harry Potter series, condensing all seven books into 70 minutes of non-stop hilarity. The show, recommended for ages 6 and up, promises you’ll see a fire-breathing dragon and live quidditch played on stage. Mommy Poppins founder Anna Fader loved it when she saw it in NYC in 2012, as you'll learn from her write-up. Check the Potted Potter website for the show's touring schedule.

14. US Quadball Events

Quadball is a muggle sport inspired by quidditch. The game is a mix of dodgeball, rugby, and tag played by a team of seven players who must keep broomsticks between their legs at all times. You can watch quadball teams compete in tournaments at various locations around the country, culminating in the annual US Quadball Cup, the largest quadball event in the world.


Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US"  Break the Spell at The Riddle Room of Corpus Christi
For a magical day, visit Break the Spell at The Riddle Room of Corpus Christi. Photo courtesy of the venue

Magical Escape Rooms and Wizarding Quests

15. Break the Spell at The Riddle Room of Corpus Christi — Corpus Christi, TX

At this escape room, players are tasked with finding the dangerous red skull stolen from the Ministry of Magic by a Dark Wizard.

16. Harry Trotter at Escape Room Adventures Spartanburg — Spartanburg, SC

As part of a team of secret magicians, you’ll fight black-magic wizards to discover an antidote to free a friend from an ancient spell. This escape room is fun for children and adults and is recommended for ages 8 and up.

17. The Headmaster’s Heist at Escapades — Sioux Falls, SD

Rescue the Headmaster of your school of magic by opening a vault in Greengotts Bank to retrieve important evidence that will set the Headmaster free in this escape room that's recommended for ages 8 and up.

18. The Wizard’s Chamber at Escape Zone Long Island — Saint James, NY

Break out of Wizard Prison to collect magic stones that will help you defeat the Dark Lord and save your friends. This escape room is recommended for ages 8 and up, and children under 5 are not permitted.

19. Wizard’s Tower at Trapped Puzzle Rooms — St. Paul, MN

Dark wizards are taking over your school of wizardry and witchcraft. You must search the Headmaster’s office to find the world’s most powerful wand and save your school. While this escape room was designed with adults in mind, kids are welcome and can contribute.

20. The Wizard’s Secrets at Project Escape Room — Conshohocken, PA

Escape from wizard prison and navigate magical potions and spells to discover the dark wizard’s secret. Be prepared that this escape room is dark and may not be suitable for all youngsters.

21. Wizard Quest — Wisconsin Dells, WI

This unique experience is designed for families to do together while exploring fantastical settings full of secret passageways, tunnels, and labyrinths. Along the way, you’ll meet magical creatures like fairies, dragons, goblins, and trolls who will send you on quests that you’ll complete by solving puzzles and deciphering riddles.

22. Professor Spindlewink’s World of Wizardry — Salem, MA

This indoor adventure brings the fantasy world to life as you explore magical realms including an enchanted forest, wizards' chambers, a crystal cave, and more. This is a seasonal attraction, open April through November.

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Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: Seashore Lines Wizard’s Express
The Seashore Lines Wizard’s Express will transport one and all into the magical world of the Pinelands on a train journey while meeting some of your favorite wizard characters!

Historic Train Rides (Almost) Like the Hogwarts Express

23. Heber Valley Railroad Wizard’s Train — Heber Valley, UT

Enjoy a scenic, 90-minute round-trip ride aboard a steam-powered train through the Heber Valley. The Wizard’s Train experience takes place a few times a year and includes costumed characters, wizard trivia, and tasty snacks like chocolate frogs and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans.

24. Seashore Lines Wizard’s Express — Woodbine, NJ

Each year in October the Wizard’s Express takes riders on a magical, scenic 75-minute journey with some of their favorite wizarding characters.

25. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad — Durango, CO

While there are no specific wizarding-themed events, this historic steam train ride featuring stunning scenery and iconic canyon views will make you feel like you’re aboard the Hogwarts Express. The full round-trip excursion is a bit on the long side, so consider taking the half-day express route, and make sure to bring plenty of snacks and activities with you.

26. Strasburg Rail Road — Ronks, PA

Visit the oldest continuously operating railroad in the United States for a 45-minute round-trip ride on a historic steam train through Lancaster County. Various themed rides throughout the year include the family-friendly Easter and Christmas train experiences. You wizards can don their robes and pretend they're riding to Hogwarts!

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Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: Mercer Museum staff for the Wizarding Academy Summer Camp
Join Mercer Museum staff for the Wizarding Academy Summer Camp filled with magic and excitement. Photo courtesy of the museum

Hogwarts-like Castles

27. Mercer Museum — Doylestown, PA

This museum is housed in a six-story castle designed by Henry Mercer in the early 1900s. Explore the castle’s nooks and crannies with the World of Wizarding Scavenger Hunt. In summer the museum offers a week-long Wizarding Academy Summer Camp for witches and wizards ages 7-12 with classes in potions, herbology, quidditch, and more.

28. Hammond Castle Museum — Gloucester, MA

This medieval-style castle was built in the 1920s as the home and laboratory of inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. The grandeur inside is reminiscent of Hogwarts, including the magnificent Great Hall and the Library’s whispering gallery, which feels almost magical. Guided and self-guided tours are available, and special events including a kids’ free day, live music performances, and movies on the lawn place throughout the year.

29. Mount Greylock — Lanesborough, MA

According to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, Mount Greylock is the site of Ilvermorny, America’s wizarding school. A majestic 92-foot-tall granite tower (a veterans memorial) stands on the summit, which is the highest point in Massachusetts. The surrounding park is a great place for hiking, camping, picnicking, and more outdoor activities.

RELATED: 100 Best Family Vacation Destinations

Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: Wizard’s Way
Welcome to Wizard's Way in Champion's Gate, FL and find a home designed to take you to a wonderland of magic, fantasy, and folklore. Photo courtesy VRBO

Home Sweet Hogwarts: Harry Potter Themed Airbnbs and Vacation Home Rentals

30. Wizards Way — Champions Gate, FL

If you’re traveling with a large group, this eight-bedroom, five-bath home can sleep 20 guests. It is fully decked out with custom-made Harry Potter themed designs and is about a half-hour drive from Universal Orlando Resort. The rental home includes a heated pool and theater room, and its location in Champion’s Gate Resort provides access to amenities including a water park, a game room, golf courses, and more.

31. Wizarding Home — Kissimmee, FL

Located in a quiet, residential neighborhood, this Airbnb is just 10 miles from Universal Orlando Resort and provides a magical home base for families visiting Universal’s Wizarding World. Each bedroom is themed to a different Hogwarts house, and candles float above the dining room table. Amenities include an outdoor pool, a fully equipped kitchen, and on-site laundry.

32. The Dorm Room — Chickamauga, GA

This guest suite includes two single beds and a foldout queen-sized sofa bed in the living room. Though small, it's filled with magical details and stocked with Harry Potter games, books, and movies. Reviewers comment about how much children enjoy the scavenger hunt that the host created as part of the experience.

33. Wizard’s Escape — Adamstown, MD

For overnight accommodations with built-in entertainment, book a stay at the Wizard’s Escape, where a self-run wizard-themed escape room with online clues is part of the experience. Explore the Great Hall, the potions classroom, the cupboard under the stairs, and the game room for more wizarding fun. This large home, built in the 1870s, has five bedrooms and can accommodate 15 guests.

34. Wizard House — Oak Hill, WV

This two-bedroom home is decorated with lots of fun Harry Potter themed details, including a whimsical kitchen inspired by Honeydukes candy shop and a living room with floating candles and many portraits lining the walls.

35. Earth & Sky Dwellings — Asheville, NC

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this collection of seven unique, whimsically designed accommodations has beautiful surroundings and stunning views. The two dwellings that will most appeal to Harry Potter fans are the Wizards Hollow, a 600-square-foot miniature castle in the mountains, and Alchemy, a re-creation of the tent Harry and the Weasleys stayed in during their trip to the Quidditch World Cup.

36. The Forgotten Forest — Kodak, TN

You’ll feel like you’ve truly been transported to a magical realm when you visit this collection of charming fairy homes, castles, and forest burrows situated in the scenic foothills of the Smoky Mountains. You can book a stay in the purple Wizard’s Trolley, which looks just like the Knight Bus and provides a two-bedroom, one-bath dwelling with a fully equipped kitchen and dining area.

Harry Potter Fan Vacation Ideas in the US: Harry Potter Store New York
Sorting hat-shaped cookies, chocolate frog-topped cupcakes, Butterbeer, and more await in the cafe at the Harry Potter Store New York. Photo by Jody Mercier

Wizarding Shops, Potion Bars, and Tearooms

37. Harry Potter Store New York — New York, NY

The flagship Harry Potter store is located in NYC’s Flatiron district. More than just a store, it’s an experience. My family took a day trip to New York last summer with this as our main destination, and we had a fantastic time exploring every detail from the Wizarding World incorporated into the store’s design. It also has one of the best collections of unique Harry Potter merchandise in one location. Take a peek inside the store with our video and post.

38. OrchardWorks Magic Wands — Stafford, CT

This wand shop specializes in hand-carved wooden wands made with extraordinary craftsmanship and attention to detail. You can work directly with the wandmaker to commission a custom-made wand, designed just for you.

39. Wynotts Wands and Remember Salem Gifts — Salem, MA

These two stores are side by side on Essex Street just beyond the pedestrian mall in the heart of Salem, a town that celebrates all things witch-related. The gift shop is stocked with all sorts of wizard wares and the wand shop looks like it would fit right in on Diagon Alley, with shelves stacked high with thin wand boxes.

40. The Cloak and Wand — Mystic, CT

The Cloak and Wand can supply all your wizarding and witchcraft needs with cloaks, wands, brooms, and more magical items for sale. It also has a potion bar where you can order custom-brewed potions in hot (flavored hot chocolate) or cold (flavored soda) varieties. Choose from a selection of unique concoctions with fanciful names like Blue Dragon, Mermaid Tears, and Giggle Juice.

41. The Cauldron Co. — NYC, Philadelphia, & Chicago

This fantasy-inspired bar, restaurant, and entertainment venue brings magic to life through interactive technology, molecular food science, and immersive design. While many of its experiences are geared toward the 21+ crowd, kids can participate in its signature potion-making class at specific times and are welcome at seasonal events like Halloween pumpkin-carving and the magical hot chocolate experience. The two NYC locations also offer a family-friendly Wizard Afternoon Tea.

42. The Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium — Beaverton, OR

This self-described “steampunk tearoom” offers a unique experience, combining a Victorian aesthetic with 19th-century industrial touches. For four weeks surrounding Harry Potter’s birthday (July 31) the tearoom hosts a Wizarding Tea, and it also holds Witching Teas in late October. Note: there must be at least one adult accompanying every two children younger than 16.

43. Drink Me! Tea Room — Tempe, AZ

This charming tearoom regularly hosts a Magical World of Afternoon Tea event that celebrates all things Harry Potter. Enjoy tasty treats like pumpkin scones, golden snitch maple cake, and Dobby’s shortbread-cookie socks. Dressing up is highly encouraged, and special decor provides fun backdrops for photo ops.

Places featured in this article:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre

Harry Potter Store NYC

The Cauldron Magical Pub

Mount Greylock State Reservation

Escape Room Adventures Spartanburg

Professor Spindlewink’s World of Wizardry

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

OrchardWorks Magic Wands

Wynotts Wands and Remember Salem Gifts

The Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium