Harry Potter and the Midnight Release Party
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” will be available at midnight on Sunday, July 31, but Barnes and Noble’s magical midnight release party will start at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Although it will be very tempting to don my graduation robe and a striped scarf, and to dress up my own tiny muggle as a house elf (dish towel toga—can’t be too hard, right?), I sadly can’t guarantee that I will make it to Barnes and Noble’s Countdown to Midnight party this Saturday. The aforementioned little one’s bedtime is 8:30, and chances are that he wouldn’t last longer than 30 minutes before turning into something that screams like a mandrake root. Alas.
Among other activities like wand-making, Hogwarts classes, a sorting station and trivia games, Barnes and Noble’s party will feature a Muggle Wall, where Harry Potter-loving muggles can share their favorite memories of the series. Here’s one that comes to mind: As the oldest child of three, I was always the lucky one growing up when it came to the latest Harry Potter release. I got to read the books first, “screening” them to make sure they didn’t contain anything too objectionable for the younger sibs. But of course, then came the year (I don’t remember which book had just come out) that my five-years-younger brother grabbed the book first and was old enough that I couldn’t really use that excuse anymore. Thank goodness he was a fast reader! This may not be my favorite Harry Potter memory, but it does provide a snapshot of how long the books have been a significant, enchanting part of our lives.
The Countdown to Midnight party will also give guests the chance to win a set of seven, limited edition Harry Potter cover prints as well as other giveaways.
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—Parts I & II” is not a novel but the script of a stage production premiering in London on July 30. The play is written by Jack Thorne and is based on a story written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Thorne. It takes place nineteen years after the events of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and focuses on the relationship between Harry and his youngest son, Albus.
The party, at the Southroads Barnes and Noble, 5231 E. 41st St., begins at 8 p.m. and lasts until the final book is sold, sometime after midnight. If you miss Saturday’s celebration, there will also be Harry Potter-themed activities throughout the store on Sunday. If you miss both, drown your sorrows in a glass of butterbeer—visit here to discover a variety of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic recipes—while watching my favorite sketch from (the sometimes crass) Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise.