Report on the Harry Potter Exhibit in Chicago

As I said in the previous post, I just moved back to Iowa after living in the Chicago suburbs for a year and a half.  So what did I do during my first weekend back in Iowa………….I went back to Chicago of course!!!

I went to say one last goodbye to my co-workers (full of lots of tears) and also to go to the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.  Abby and I bought our tickets ages ago, so I wasn’t going to miss this no matter how tired I was from moving.

Well, the one really disappointing part of the exhibit was that I was not allowed to take pictures.  I had a mini hissy fit when I saw the giant sign proclaiming that there was no photography.  I had promised a lot of people (including my fellow nerdgirls) that I would take pictures so that they could see what it was like, but alas, I failed them.  I honestly can’t think of any reason why we weren’t allowed to take photos except that they wanted to move us through the exhibit pretty fast.  Here is a site that does have a lot of pictures because Leaky is special and can do whatever they want.  There is also a very detailed description of the exhibit here.

After that tremendous downfall, I really did enjoy the exhibit.  The beginning part is pretty cheesy, so be prepared.  All of the staff members talk in varying degrees of fake British accents and give somewhat painful pep talks to the crowds waiting to cram inside.  But after the initial cheesiness, the awesomeness begins.

The only pic we could take because it was outside the exhibit.

The only pic we could take because it was outside the exhibit.

You are ushered into a room with video screens that show clips from all six movies (that’s right, I said six).  The montages are great and the music swells at just the right time and it totally gave me goosebumps.  Then the doors fly open and you are standing right in front of the Hogwarts Express.  That’s when I knew that I was going to be in for something great.

The exhibit itself is very “look but don’t touch,” but that was fine by me.  It is composed of costumes and props from all of the movies.  Some of the highlights include Yule Ball attire of all the major characters (hello screaming Twilight fans!), Ron’s trunk from school, Kreacher, Buckbeak, Umbridge’s office, and Oliver Wood’s quidditch robes (oh how I miss him).  There were three interactive parts of the tour.  You could shoot a quaffle, pull up a screaming mandrake, or sit in Hagrid’s chair (very uncomfortable).

I loved looking at all of the different props, but especially the costumes.  It was just really cool thinking that I was standing feet away from something that Alan Rickman or Emma Thompson had worn.  And yes, I know that makes me a giant nerd, but I don’t care.

I would recommend going to the exhibit for anyone who loves the movies because the rest of the museum is so awesome that it is completely worth the price of the ticket.  The exhibit doesn’t take very long, but make sure you allow a whole day to explore the rest of the museum.  But I will say that the exhibit is ONLY about the movies…….if someone is a fan of the books and hasn’t seen the movies, it probably wouldn’t mean much to them.

So if you are going to be in Chicago from now to September you should go and check it out.  We bought our tickets way early, but they were still selling tickets for it that morning, so I don’t think you have to worry about it selling out.



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