Cornerstone Books in Salem, the Witch City, will hold an all-evening Harry Potter extravaganza on Friday, July 20, prior to release of the seventh and final book in the series at midnight. There will be a wizard doing magic tricks, along with costume and trivia contests, games, food, and prizes. The store will screen earlier movies in the series from 2 p.m. until midnight. Cornerstone Books is also sponsoring a writing contest based on the Potter stories, for kids aged 11-15. cornerstonebooks-salem.com
Barnes & Noble at Boston University will host a costume party on Friday, July 20, to celebrate the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." The festivities begin at 9:30 p.m., and are free. Between then and midnight, guests can eat jelly beans, popcorn, and other snacks while enjoying
games, crafting their own wands, and having their fortunes told. Adventurous guests will enjoy a Quidditch Tournament, while the creative will be challenged by song-writing and costume contests. Besides testing their Potter knowledge through a DVD game and a Potter Scavenger
Hunt, partygoers can enter to win a Harry Potter gift basket. Barnes & Noble at Boston University is located at 660 Beacon St. in Kenmore Square. Phone 617-267-8484 for information. bu.bncollege.com
The Front Street Book Shop, 165 Front St., Scituate, will host a Harry Potter Magical Midnight Party on Friday, July 20, starting at 11 p.m. Come dressed as your favorite Harry Potter character and hob-nob with fellow wizards. The new book goes on sale at midnight. For more information, call 781-545-5011. frontstreetbookshop.com
Harvard Square becomes Hogwarts Square on July 20 in advance of the new book, with a batch of events beginning at 5 p.m. The book goes on sale at midnight at The Harvard Coop, The Harvard Bookstore and Curious George. Many Harvard Square stores and restaurants plan to stay open until midnight, with special Potter-themed menus, windows, events, and surprises.
Here are the highlights:
-- There will be music in the Harvard Yard area from 7 - 9 p.m., featuring Harry & the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, the Hungarian Horntails, and others. Bring a blanket and friends and family and enjoy the music. The concert area will feature a display of artifacts from the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
-- The Harvard Museum of Natural History invites visitors to explore the 17 exhibition galleries at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in a scavenger hunt to find owls, bats, and an extraordinary red stone called crocoite, with sparkling crystals. Look closely in the Blaschka 'Glass Flowers' gallery to find carnivorous plants. Find an owl's egg in the new exhibition "Nests & Eggs." The museum is a five-minute walk from Harvard Square at 26 Oxford St.
-- The Harvard Coop will distribute wristbands for reserved orders for the book starting at 5 p.m. Those who have placed reservations will be able to be early in line. Wristbands must be picked up in person and are not available before 5. Anyone in line must have a wristband. The line will form after the concert. The first 500 people with a reserved order will receive a free Harry Potter gift bag when they pick their wristbands. There'll be other prizes too. store.thecoop.com/coopstore/estore_home.jsp
-- Eat at UpStairs on the Square. From 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., the restaurant will feature a special kids and family friendly menu inspired by all things Potter, with alcoholic and non-alcoholic butter beer and Pollyjuice flowing. The cost is $25, half price for kids under 12 (main course and dessert). The full a la carte menu will be available throughout the evening as well. UpStairs on the Square is at 91 Winthrop St. upstairsonthesquare.com
The Coolidge Corner Merchants Association and Classic Realty will present Potterpalooza, a Potter themed indoor-outdoor festival on July 20. Fans can enjoy dozens of themed activities including trivia contests, performances, a look-alike contest, and special menus at local restaurants. The party goes from 8 p.m. until midnight, when the final book of the series is released at the Brookline Booksmith. All attendees will receive a "marauders map," which will serve as a guide to activities and events around Coolidge Corner. The historic Arcade building is the venue for the Hogwarts Yule ball, which will feature a family-friendly D.J. with dancing and contests.
Visitors can purchase a $5 Goblin GoldCard, which features special offers from participating businesses. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Brookline Teen Center Fund, which supports the planning and realization of a center that will foster the healthy development of Brookline's teens social and emotional functioning, physical and recreational activities, and academic enrichment.
Potterpalooza was conceived by a group of Coolidge Corner merchants. Together with Jennifer Saphier, head of Saphier Events, they are working toward a special event. Participating sponsors include: Classic Realty, Brookline Booksmith, Magic Beans, Eureka Puzzles, Studio Elle Pilates, Party Favors, Bank of Canton, Advanced Digital Media Replication, Inc., Paris Creperie, Zipcar, the Coolidge Corner Hub, Mattei Galleria, Anna Mulholland, LMT Therapeutic Massage Services, the Brookline Courtyard by Marriott, the Coolidge Corner Theater, Finale, Fresh Tilled Soil, Upper Crust, JP Licks, and the Town of Brookline Economic Development Department. Potterpalooza.com
The Book Rack will host a Potter party on July 20 from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. at the historic Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. in Arlington Center. Activities and events include a family street fair from 6 - 10 p.m., including a magician, street performers, a caricaturist, crafts and sales. From 10 until 1, the book release party unfolds inside the theater and will include raffles, games, a costume contest and trivia. The book goes on sale at midnight, which is when the first chapter will be read to the audience. Admission to the 500-seat historic theater is on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who pre-order copies from the Book Rack can bring up to three guests and gain admission at 10. Doors open for the remaining seats at 10:30. Participating merchants include Janiak's Shoe Store, Artbeat, the Chilly Cow, La LadyBug Boutique, and Inside and Co. book-rack.com
Water Street Bookstore in Exeter will host a Potter launch party on July 20 at 10 p.m. It will feature fun activities for kids and adults that include magic tricks, a treasure hunt, fortune-telling, potion-making, wand-making, and more. If you prepay for a book, you'll get a $7 gift certificate and a chance to win a gift bag. But the event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 603-778-9731.