This fall, Chestnut Hill renews its seasonal tradition for the charming urban village that unites mischief and ghosts of wizards past with family fun for an action-packed Witches and Wizards Festival weekend. Kicking off with the Brews and Broomsticks Pub Crawl on Friday, Oct. 18 and continuing with a day full of family-friendly programming on Saturday, Oct. 19, the 2019 Witches and Wizards Festival promises spooktacular entertainment and activities in a whimsical community setting.
Fun for the entire family, Witches and Wizards is a day full of autumnal festivities for a pre-Halloween celebration. Locals and visitors can enjoy hands-on craft activities, live entertainment, themed shops and more throughout the Chestnut Hill community. Other perennial favorites include the 10th annual Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament and Woodmere Art Museum’s Straw Maze.
Wizarding Run: Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m., 8000 St. Martins Ln.
The Wizarding Run is coming to Chestnut Hill! Grab your wand, hop on your broom and join fellow witches and wizards on a magical one-mile or 5K journey through Chestnut Hill with wizardly sights and sounds along the way. Every registrant receives a one-of-a-kind event shirt in four color options, a custom wand, a commemorative bib and a free butterscotch soda. Participants of the 5K will also receive an amazing owl finisher medal at the finish line.
There is also a virtual option for those who cannot attend the 5K directly. Virtual participants can run their race at any time during October or November and can then post their times on the event page starting on Oct. 19. A packet containing the shirt, wand, bib and medal will then be mailed to each virtual participant. You can register online today. The one-mile race is $30 to register before Oct. 1 and $35 after, the 5K is $50 before Oct. 1 and $55 after and the virtual 5K is $55.
10th Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament: Saturday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Chestnut Hill College, Cost: Free to attend
The 10th Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament returns with teams from visiting colleges and the local community team competing in round-robin style Quidditch matches. Visit CHC.edu/Quidditch- Tournament-Information for additional details and a list of participating teams.
8th Annual Harry Potter Academic Conference: A nonprofit annual academic conference hosted by Chestnut Hill College, this interdisciplinary conference provides a forum for scholarly presentations arising out of J.K. Rowling’s literature. The conference is open to the public with a registration donation required. See HarryPotterConference.com for more information.
The Jenks Academy for Witchcraft and Wizardry will feature bouncies, a DJ, arts and crafts stations, games, food trucks, a bake sale, wizard chess, face painting and cotton candy.
The Chestnut Hill Escape Room will test your fear level with a haunted adventure in The Haunting of Chestnut Hill, the spine-cHILLing mystery room. If you’re a fan of scary movies or TV shows, this is the adventure for you. It features just the right mix of fun and fear in a ghostly adventure you won’t soon forget. Visit ChestnutHillEscapeRoom.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
Woodmere Straw Maze: Built from massive straw bales, this year’s maze is fun for all ages. The maze is designed by architects Peter Everett Brown and Barbara Ann Sprague of BrownSprague LLC and sponsored by Michelle McFarland. Children ages 4-11 are permitted with an adult. Admission is $8 per child and $6 for members. Families of three or more pay $20 and $18 for members. Multiple weekend passes are also available. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Entrance to the Museum is free to parents and guardians whose children have tickets to the Straw Maze.
Hocus Pocus Headquarters: Returning for a second year, the Festival’s immensely popular children’s craft and activity area will include seasonal stations for slime-making, potion-making, pumpkin-decorating and more. Hocus Pocus Headquarters sold out in 2018, so pre-register to guarantee your space at Chestnut- Hill.TicketLeap.com/Hocus-Pocus- Headquarters-2019. Tickets are $10 each ($11.50 after fees).
Costumed actors on the Avenue: An annual tradition from festivals past, our troupe of professional actors fan out across Germantown Avenue in spooky and magical attire, offering free scares and photo ops for participants.
Professional caricaturists: Take home a keepsake sketch from one of our two professional caricaturists.
Secret Circus aerialists: An annual tradition returning again in 2019, our circus aerialists put on an impressive street show featuring aerial feats, trapeze and dance.
Slow Motion Booth: Act out scary and magical fantasies with your friends in slow motion at this unique video booth by SlowMo2Go. Additional props and costume accessories are available on-site.
Fire-breathing: Spinning torches and blowing fire are some of the daring feats demonstrated by our stunt performer, a fan favorite last year.
Face painter: Kids can impersonate their favorite spooky or magical character with the help of our two professional face painters.
Philly Ghostbusters: Complete with their unmistakable car and costumes, the Philly Ghostbusters are returning to the 2019 festival to rid Chestnut Hill of supernatural visitors.
CH DanceFit Performance: Don’t miss the talented dancers of Chestnut Hill DanceFit.
The Franklin Institute: See the real-life magic of science at The Franklin Institute’s special festival booth in Chestnut Hill.
The Insectarium: If creepy and crawly is a must for your Halloween fun, don’t miss this station by The Philadelphia Insectarium, the city’s only bug-centric science museum.
Dark Magic Scavenger Hunt: There are sinister stirrings in Chestnut Hill at the Wizards and Witches weekend! A series of dark and cursed items have made their way into the shops and stores, and your help is needed to locate them all before the evil awakening spell is activated. Grab your wand, broomstick and friends, and prepare to race through the streets, follow the clues and find all of the items before it’s too late.
Tickets include: Game admission, a magical map of the area, a “Magic Words Daily” newspaper containing clues to the locations, a magic spell sheet with information about the dark objects you’re searching for, prizes for successful completion of the game
Note: there is no limit to the number of participants who can work together, but each individual must purchase their own ticket. Tickets are $13 for kids 13 and under ($16.74 after fees) and $20 for adults ($21.99 after fees), and can be purchased online at Brown- PaperTickets.com/event/4326991
Chestnut Hill is hard at work creating another year of fun for visitors during Witches and Wizards. As in 2018, please note that Germantown Avenue will not be closed to traffic for the 2019 event.
Five public paid parking lots will be open throughout Chestnut Hill during the event. Lot locations and pricing can be found at ChestnutHillPA.com/Parking. Limited street parking is also available. Parking for the Quidditch Tournament will be available on the grounds of Chestnut Hill College. As parking capacity is limited, visitors traveling to Chestnut Hill for Witches and Wizards are strongly encouraged to utilize public transportation.
Public transportation is the most convenient way to travel to and from Chestnut Hill. SEPTA has two station stops in Chestnut Hill located just a short walk from the heart of the community: Chestnut Hill West and Chestnut Hill East. This train system provides roundtrip transportation from Center City Philadelphia and Chestnut Hill. Visit ISEPTAPhilly.com for complete schedules and details.