Harry Potter the Exhibition; who could resist? Clearly not me. Seriously, I work in a bookstore and at a museum. I’ve read and re-read the Harry Potter books many times and seen the movies religiously, so yes, my sister and I made the trip to the Museum of Science in Boston to see the exhibit.
As costumed actor/docent/guards corralled our entrance timed group into a small waiting area they brought out a sorting hat and asked for volunteers (I held back to allow the children and teens to go) to learn their house from a loud speaker in the corner. When our entry time arrived the doors opened and we walked into another holding-pen room of TV screens and a few minutes of movie clips. Then, finally, we entered the actual exhibition space. Filled with costumes and props the exhibit did not offer any information beyond the movie and characters props and costumes belonged to. Granted, desiring a social experience, my sister and I chose not to get the audio tour, but we were disappointed by the lack of interesting label text. The props themselves are incredible, the attention to detail and the variety of objects is fascinating. The costumes were fun to look at up close and see how different the fabrics look live versus on the big screen.
The pitiful interactive elements of the exhibition barely warrant mention here except to bemoan them. As I understand it, the museum begged the exhibit company to add interactives and unfortunately all they came up with was a Quidditch toss-the-Quaffle through the goal post game and a pull-up the mandrakes and hear them cry stations. After the exhibition visitors are funneled into the gift shop, arguably the most enjoyable part of the exhibition. Sadly, they didn’t have a Gryffindor coffee mug, the only item I would have allowed myself to buy, but there was a nice selection of wizzarding candies.
Photographs were not permitted in the exhibition, but the museum had one of the giant chess pieces in the lobby for photos. Thanks to photo shop, they finally had a good interactive element!
The exhibition runs til Sunday February 28th at the Museum of Science in Boston. Check it out!