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How to Channel 'Harry Potter' in Chester County

by Rebecca Poole |

In honor of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' being released this past weekend, we were inspired to bring you some local HP recommendations if you feel like stepping in the Wizarding World for a day or two. Break out the Nimbus 2000 from the back of your closet and head to these spots if you're feeling particularly nostalgic. Or I guess driving works too.

For the Leaky Cauldron atmosphere...

The Whip is a enjoyable environment for the muggle in all of us, featuring traditional pub food sourced from right here in Chester County as well as Lancaster County. Menu items include Bangers and Mash, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Welsh Rarebit. Walking in is pretty much equivalent to teleporting to the English countryside. Dumbledore's Army would approve.  

For Hogwarts Express treats... 

Believe it or not, Barnes and Noble has a fair selection of HP goodies. Browse for books while munching on Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and picking up your favorite house's scarf. Head to the cafe and order the secret menu Butterbeer Frap while you're at it. Know what to ask for here

For a Honeydukes dupe...

If you're unable to go to Hogsmeade in Universal Studios on the reg, head to Sugartown Country Store in Malvern for old-fashioned candy, soda, and more. You can even walk around and pick your own strawberries or pumpkins in the fall (for pumpkin juice perhaps?). 

For 'troll in the dungeon' Halloween scares... 

Bates Motel is a favorite destination when October 31st rolls around. Hop on the Haunted Hayride to test how much your heart can handle, or go in the Motel for Hollywood-level props and character impersonations. You may not find a troll in the girl's bathroom, but the Death Eater energy makes up for it. 

For Diagon Alley charm...

Not in Chester County, but worth the drive, Jim Thorpe, PA is known as the "Switzerland of America" and for good reason. With a scenic railway that gives you serious Hogwarts Express feels, vespa tours, and small town charisma, this place is where to travel to if you want to feel connected to those OG Harry Potter vibes.