Last weekend, we took my mom and the boys to New York to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. We’re huge Potter fans around here, and I’ve been trying for the last two years to score some tickets. I mean….OK. I was initially trying to finagle tickets to the London production, but that was a level of complexity (and expense) on a whole other scale. So when Harry Potter (finally) opened on Broadway, I was thrilled. I had put my name on a list, and was notified when tickets went on sale…..twice. Maybe three times. I missed the first few rounds of ticket sales (I had to catch their notification email in time to join an ‘online waiting room’ with 22,397 of my closest friends, and then have exactly one hour to make a purchase…), but in any case, after months and months of waiting, I got lucky.
It took our family a couple of years, but we listened to all seven of the Harry Potter books on tape. Mostly while we drove back and forth from skiing. I’m not exaggerating when I say that one of the greatest joys of motherhood has been sharing the world of Harry Potter with my boys. It really is magical. But we had to work hard to avoid spoiler alerts. There were several playdates/sleepovers where I was all NO HARRY POTTER MOVIES like some crazy person. And then there was the time I got into a fight with a liftie at Breck because he wrote “WHO KILLED DUMBLEDORE?” on the big whiteboard next to the lift lines, and then gave me some sanctimonious speech about how our boys should’ve already KNOWN because “the movies are, like, way old“. Way to ruin it for everyone, dude. What a dick.
In any case, NYC. Broadway. Harry Potter. We jumped on the train in Philly, and cruised into NYC for the day.
I think my Mom, as big of a Potter fan as she is, was actually more excited about Going To Broadway. This is a very big deal, this Going To Broadway. While I am not a big Broadway fan in general, my parents, sister, and big brother are HUGE FANS. (That’s a joke — my brother hates ’em -— just checking to see if he ever reads.) In any case, when Mom realized that the Lyric Theater was merely blocks from Times Square…I Thought She Was Going To DIE.
Raines, on the other hand, is turning into a true Philadelphian. Which basically means that the entire time we were in New York, his face looked like this:
You can just see him thinking, “I’M DOING THIS FOR NANA.” And then Dirty Elmo & The Gang came out to try and force a photo, and that was juuuuust about it for Raines. “Why do people want to live here, Mom??? This place is terrible.” And then he asked for some ‘wooter‘ and talked about how he sawl something over there, and basically his transformation was complete: There is no Denver left in this kid. He is all Philly.
On the other hand, Pax was very impressed.
The good news, if you are taking the train to Penn Station, is that it’s an easy walk to most Broadway shows, especially Harry Potter.
Ten Things To Know About Harry Potter and The Cursed Child On Broadway
- There are secrets and big reveals and special effects and MAGIC. I will spill nothing. #keepthesecrets
- It’s not a musical, thank god.
- The Cursed Child is actually two full-length shows (2.5 hours each). You can choose to split them up, but we saw both shows on the same day. We had juuuuust enough time to grab a quick bite between shows. I was initially worried that the boys wouldn’t be able to sit still for that long TWICE…but it was fine.
- Pax (almost 8) was one of the younger kids there.
- You can buy food and booze in the theater, which was a nice touch. And the gift shop has some pretty cool options, so get there early enough to browse (they kick you out pretty quickly after each show).
- Some audience members dressed up as Hogwarts students. We were jealous.
- Best seats in the house? Balcony, front rows.
- It’s almost better if you haven’t read The Cursed Child book/screenplay. Gasping along with the other audience members at the plot twists was half the fun.
- Refreshing your memory of the original Harry Potter series before you go isn’t a bad idea.
- Tickets to this show would be the most epic gift ever. There’s still good availability for the really expensive Premium tickets (which are roughly $300 pp for each show – so $600 total per person), but if you want lower ticket pricing, try attending during the week, or look 6-7 months out for better availability. Search for tickets to the NYC show here.
Between shows we walked Mom to Times Square for the requisite photo op, and then grabbed hot dogs from a cart.
The last show ended around 10 PM, and we had just enough time to walk back to Penn Station and catch the 11 PM train back to Philly.
Which was delayed. By three hours.
Totally worth it.
What We Wore to Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
If you’re interested…here’s what we wore. Comfy enough for all day, but a little fancy, too.
I love the idea of dressing up jeans with mismatched metallics. It’s just…fun.
My Mom’s NYC Outfit
This was totally a team effort. Mom’s top and jacket, everything else was mine. (So fun dressing my Mom!)
The Boys’ Almost Fancy Outfits
We find that sneakers, jeans, and a tie goes a long way. (And affordable leather jackets from H&M are a yearly staple for us.)
I love this post!! My son (age 25) and I are HUGE Harry Potter fans and this resonates so much with me!! I’d love to go see HP on Broadway!!
hahaha. My 10-yr-old said the same thing last year when we took him to see Aladdin at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. (We live 30 min south). “Why would anyone want to live here?”. The show was awesome; the theatre is in the not good part of the City (to say the least), but all we did was walk across the street from the BART station and he already wanted to go back to surburbia. I will wait for the touring show of Harry Potter. I, though, love Broadway and miss it!
‘Youse guys’ are so lucky to have gotten tickets! I read the books when they came out, again when my kids read them. They were not allowed to watch the movie until they read the book. My daughter has since read them all again. Last year, I listened to the audiobooks and LOVED it as an audiobook. The narrator was excellent. Since you love HP, check out the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. They go through each chapter and look at it in the framework of a sacred text and it is really interesting.
Balcony seats? Really? I usually go for the front of the mezzanine. It often feels like those balcony seats can’t see the whole stage. We’ve hesitated on this show just because of the sheer length of the 2 shows – feels like a long time sitting in a theater. So I’m happy to hear that wasn’t an issue at all for the 4 of you!
Love this post! Your family is perfectly city-chic! I love taking kids to shows in the city. Here the city is Pittsburgh, but we’re thinking of taking them to Chicago for Spring Break to see Hamilton! Great outfit choices for a dressed up but still casual vibe. I am jealous of your proximity to public transit and NYC! One question: I know you are a big backpack fan, but how do you feel about that in big cities? I noticed you and your Mom are both wearing backpacks. I always feel I need to switch to a cross body for city walking.
This post made me smile! As a Brooklyn-dweller who works in Times Square, please let me assure Raines that NO one who lives here actually enjoys Times Square. He’s got good taste. 🙂
I love this post. I admit that I really like Broadway. My mom, mother in law and I took my girls to see Wicked when it was here last year and it was such an awesome experience. The girls totally got it. They thought it was as magical as I do! Also, love that the boys wore ties. Too cool! And tell Raines, he’s not alone. I lived in New York for about a year and a half and took the train home to Philly all the time! It’s just enough of a big city for me! Not NYC, but not small town either!
I love this post! My son and I are huge fans. S I am interested in ordering your boys denim but the link shows the denim only goes up to size 2yrs. Thanks for any help..my son needs bigger sizes. L.
I love usually love your posts and I’m totally jealous you scored Harry Potter tickets! But I love Broadway and musicals. I live near Washington DC and people really don’t wear torn jeans to the theater. It’s more of a dress up vibe. Dresses, dressy pants, bling, jackets for men, and some cocktail wear. Also, some theaters don’t allow large backpack like bags. The Kennedy Center was definitely dressier today for a matinee. My family always enjoyed dressing for shows.
I love seeing your cute mom in this post. As an older reader, I’d love to see her featured more often…
As a born and raised Philly girl with 10 years in NYC and now living in New Haven, I loved your son’s take on NY and Philly! It took me a long time (after living in Philly for 23 years) to get change my pronunciation of water from “wooder” but my “Phillyisms” and accent still come out many years later and I embrace it!