Nov 8, 2022 - Things to Do

Harry Potter comes to Mag Mile

Photo of a woman on a broom with a green screen behind her.

Photos: Monica Eng/Axios

👋 Hey, it's Monica. I'm feeling pretty magical for a muggle.

What's happening: I got a sneak preview of "Harry Potter: Magic at Play" yesterday afternoon.

  • Chicago's latest interactive experience, this time in the old Macy's in Water Tower Place, offers spellbinding fun for Potter-heads and plenty of entertainment for mild fans.
  • Much like "The Office" and "Prince" experiences, this one presents plenty of trivia and Instagrammable photo ops — but focuses much more on kids, families and interactive activities.
Photo of a woman at a museum exhibit.

The highlights: With three floors of sets, games and hands-on exhibits for "witches and wizards of all ages" it's hard to choose a favorite moment. But here are a few:

  • Touring the potions classroom where I saw, touched and smelled magical ingredients.
  • Testing my skill at various Quidditch positions with interactive games and posing/flying on a broom.
  • Tossing back a Butterbeer (spoiler: it tastes like butterscotch root beer).
  • Wandering Hagrid's forest and the hedge maze enchanted with characters from "Fantastic Beasts."
  • Checking out Harry's room under the stairs.
Photo of a bottle of beer.

What's more: The show's inevitable gift shop offers items ranging from key chains and scrunchies for under $20 to a Lego Hogwarts Castle for $469.99 — with lots of T-shirts, capes, wands, mugs and brooms in between.

The bottom line: For mild to obsessed Harry Potter fans, "Magic At Play" delivers a thrilling experience that's likely to become a hot holiday ticket, one that could even soften the blow of losing a famous store in this iconic Chicago shopping spot.

If you go: Opens Friday and runs through May. Tickets range from $29.50 to $59.50..


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