On July 30, it's time for an event we never thought would come around again: midnight release parties for a new Harry Potter book!
Actually, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is the script of the play that serves as the eighth part of the saga, catching up with Harry, Ron and Hermione 19 years after “Deathly Hallows.” Not all seems well, as Harry grapples with some persistent demons and his son, Albus Severus, is haunted by his family’s legacy at Hogwarts. Still calling it children’s lit, J.K. Rowling?
The Potter characters aren’t the only ones who have grown up, which means many of Saturday's parties will have fun for kids and adults. Just be sure to buy your book ($29.99) ahead of time.
Word Bookstore at Villain
50 N. Third St., Williamsburg
Because the book’s official release date (July 31) is also Harry Potter’s birthday, this party combines two great things into one night of nerdy fun. Celebrate in a space dressed up to look like the Great Hall (with floating candles!) starting at 9:30 p.m., with a Triwizard Tournament of trivia, a Quidditch Beer Pong tournament, three custom cocktails (including Butterbeer!), and, of course, birthday cake. Your receipt for the book is your entry ticket, and one child under 12 can accompany each parent for free.
143 Seventh Ave., Park Slope
This is the party for those of you who remember just how real Harry’s world could get. “Those nostalgic for their cursed childhoods and those still living through them” should head here beginning at 10 p.m. to nosh on sherbet lemons (“a gift from your mentor who is lying to you about nearly everything”), cauldron cakes (“to share with your only friend”), and the time-tested salve of beer (and/or Butterbeer). There will be happy events, too, like getting Sorted into your Hogwarts House and collaging.
Barnes & Noble Union Square
33 E. 17th St.
Most Barnes & Noble locations are holding Countdown to Midnight Magic parties with costume contests, trivia and giveaways starting at 8 p.m., but Apparate to the Union Square location for some next-level fun. All four floors will host Potter-related events for everyone from young children to adults, including a wand-making station, face painting, magicians, a live owl talk, storytelling and more. And if you’re planning to stay up all night reading, head back to the store when it reopens at 9 a.m. for discussions and more activities.
828 Broadway, Union Square
The city’s largest indie bookstore will also be burning the midnight oil. Wristbands will be given out in order of arrival starting at 8 p.m., after which you’ve got access to the entire store — including the usually locked rare books room, which for the evening’s purposes will serve as the Hogwarts library’s Restricted Section. Hit up the coloring station, come in costume to mug in a special photo booth, make your house proud in a trivia contest and keep your energy up with goodies from, appropriately, Fat Witch Bakery.
536 W. 112th St., Morningside Heights
If you’re looking for a kid-lite party, Book Culture is the place. Their evening, which kicks off at 11 p.m., is geared toward older teens and adults — think of it like an alumni gathering of the Harry Potter Fan Club, with wine and cider to go with some themed eats. Academics can have fun, too. Answer some Hermione-worthy trivia questions, get Sorted into your Hogwarts House, and costumes get you an entry into a raffle — and also improve the House-themed photo op set up in the bookstore.
31-29 31st St., Astoria
Wondering what your future holds? If you’re open to the Divination branch of magic, then a Tarot card reader can help light your path at Astoria Bookshop’s party. Whether the news is good or bad, one thing is for certain: wizarding treats like Butterbeer and Pumpkin Pasties await, plus a costume contest and trivia. This all-ages event starts at 10 p.m.
Books of Wonder
18 W. 18th St., Flatiron District
Anyone not in costume will feel left out of all the Potter magic packed into Books of Wonder (though there will be a face painter to get you on-theme). Beginning at 8 p.m., roving illusionists, a juggler and even a mentalist will wow guests with some real-world magic, and you’ll be able to get up close to some of the series’ stars with three live owls on hand. Each book also gets you a bunch of Potter swag and an entry in the Books of Wonder Sorting Hat raffle, with a grand prize of a signed edition of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”