Mugglemania! Where to celebrate the new Harry Potter release in Brooklyn

Casting a spell: Michelle Chen of Greenpoint’s Word Bookstore will help throw a huge release party for the newest installment of the now eight-volume Harry Potter saga at Villain on July 30.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

He is the boy who lives on!

Harry Potter will again cast a spell on Kings County, when the latest installment in his saga, a play script titled “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is released on July 30. Celebrations of the boy wizard will happen all over the borough, including at Williamsburg venue Villain, which will throw a bash that promises to be more fun than the Yuletide Ball. One of the party wizards says the party will give robed fans a chance to relive the magic of the novels’ midnight release parties.

“Harry Potter is such a part of our childhood,” said Michelle Chen, event coordinator for Greenpoint’s Word bookstore, which will host the extravaganza with blog Hypable. “Even though it’s been so many years since Harry Potter was newly published, we still have so many people who are interested in spending their Saturday night hanging out with each other to reminisce about when they were kids and loved the series.”

The latest installment tells the story of grown up Harry — and the party will include appropriately mature touches, including spiced rum butterbeer and a fruity vodka cocktail called “Amortentia,” named after the wizarding world’s most powerful love potion.

The night will also feature a “tri-wizard trivia tournament” and butterbeer pong — though organizers are still working out the specific details of that wizarding pastime, said Chen.

Other bookstores across the borough will hold their own midnight release parties. Park Slope’s Community Bookstore will serve up spell-binding delicacies such as cauldron cakes, sherbet lemons, and butterbeer for muggles waiting for the release. Book Court in Cobble Hill will sort visitors into their Hogwarts houses and have trivia contest and refreshments. And Bookmark Shoppe in Bay Ridge will screen one of the Harry Potter films, serve butterbeer, and give out prizes to the first few visitors of the late-night event.

But eager readers should not stay up too late! The afternoon after the release parties, the Brooklyn Cyclones will have “Harry Potter Day” at MCU Park, complete with a demonstration of the wizarding world’s number one sport, Quidditch, by broom-riding members of the “Group that Shall Not Be Named” fan club. For the less athletically inclined, the group will also host an “Intro to Spells” class at the stadium.

The leader of the group — which meets every week in Manhattan — said that he cannot wait catch up with Harry’s latest antics with the new script, and most importantly, immerse himself back in Potter’s make-believe world.

“Even though it’s fantasy you can relate to the characters,” said John Rosenthal. “J.K. Rowling crafted this really amazing world that feels like ours, but with a little something special to it.”

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” midnight release party at Villain (50 N. Third Street between Kent and Wythe avenues in Williamsburg, www.wordbookstores.com). July 30 at 10 pm. Fans must pre-order book to attend the party. $29.95.

Release party at Community Books (143 Seventh Ave. at Carroll Street in Park Slope, www.communitybookstore.net). July 30 at 10 pm. Free.

Release party at Book Court [163 Court St. between Pacific and Dean streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 875–3677, www.bookcourt.com]. July 30 at 10:30 pm. Free.

Release party at BookMark Shoppe [8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833–5115, www.bookmarkshoppe.com]. July 30 at 11 pm. Free.

Harry Potter day at MCU Park (1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, www.brooklyncyclones.com). July 31 at 4 pm. $14–$17.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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