Wilton Library transfigures into Hogwarts for a day

On Thursday, Aug. 8, the Wilton Library will be transformed into a veritable Hogwarts Academy for rising third through sixth graders. Complete with volunteer Hogwarts professors and classes from J.K. Rowling’s celebrated series, children will be able to attend a Hogwarts summer school event that combines the fantasy of the Harry Potter series with reading, learning, and fun.

The day will begin with drop-off at 9 after which “sorting” will commence in the Brubeck Room.

“When the kids come in they will be sorted into their house, either Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw,” said Andrea Falkner, head of the children’s library. She added, “There will be about 10 kids in each house and they will rotate to the different activities together.”

Accompanied by costume-clad volunteers including Ginny Weasley, Professor Trelawney, Tonks, Professor Snape, and Professor Dumbledore, the groups will stop at stations such as Potions, Herbology, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Divination and the Great Hall for lunch.

“In Potions I think we’ll experiment with Mentos and soda and in Herbology we’ll go out into the children’s garden,” Ms. Falkner said. “In Defense Against the Dark Arts, the kids will also get to practice fending off dementors and they’ll learn how to tell the future in Divination.”

After lunch, the houses will have the opportunity to participate in other Potter-inspired events, dabbling in Quidditch and attending an owl program organized by Earthplace of Westport in homage to Harry’s ever-popular snowy owl Hedwig.

Throughout the day the kids will also get to create some Harry Potter-inspired crafts to use in their activities.

“The kids might have a chance to make their own wands and maybe their own brooms for Quidditch,” Ms. Falkner hinted. Whether constructing the latest Firebolt or creating their very own elder wand, each honorary Hogwarts student will get to take home a piece of J.K. Rowling’s world with them.

The day will come to a close with a few rounds of Harry Potter trivia and a group reading session of excerpts from the series. “The kids will also get a surprise goody bag at the end,” Ms. Falkner added with a laugh.

This program is not only a chance for local students to delve into the world of Harry, Ron, and Hermione but a library fund-raiser replacing the sleepover fund-raiser offered in previous years. Ms. Falkner explained this switch from sleepovers to dementors, owls, and rounds of Quidditch, saying: “We love Harry Potter at the library and it’s been quite a while since we’ve had an Harry Potter event.” The influential series’ 1990s publication also fits in perfectly with the library summer program’s 90s theme for next week.

The 9-to-5 event is $55 per child and dressing up as a favorite Harry Potter character is certainly encouraged.

“Unfortunately we can’t register through the Web right now,” said Ms. Falkner, so parents may either register their children for the event in person by stopping by the front info desk of the library where either cash, credit, or checks will be accepted or over the phone by credit card.

Those interested in volunteering for the event and playing Filius Flitwick, Minerva McGonagall, Hermione Granger, or any other available Harry Potter character for the day may call or email Ms. Faulkner for more details.

This event is sure to cater to all young lovers of Harry Potter’s world, giving students the opportunity to become witches and wizards in training where all the magic happens: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — the Wilton Library branch.

Information: 203-762-3950 or email Ms. Falkner at afalkner@wiltonlibrary.org.