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Harry Potter Exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago - A First-hand Report

Posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 9:16 PM

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On Friday (August 7, 2009), my wife and I took four kids between the ages of 8 and 13 to visit the Harry Potter Exhibit that is currently at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago, Illinois.

Press Photo of the Harry Potter Exhibit

Aside from a painfully long drive through Chicago traffic and way too much road construction (both ways), everyone had a great time! The exhibit contains plenty of costumes and set pieces from the movies, including multiple costumes for many of the characters (casual clothes, school clothes, and even the dresses and tuxedos from the Yule Ball in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), as well as a full-sized Hagrid costume and hut, Buckbeak, Dementors, Death Eaters, and more.

The gift shop at the end of the tour was painfully over-priced, but that's par for the course for such things. An example of this is the Blu-ray disc for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was $49.99 in the Gift Shop, whereas Amazon.com has it most every day for around $21. There were some exhibit-specific branded items, but a simple T-shirt with the Exhibition logo was $35. Who said Harry Potter wasn't a rock star?

The one item I was hoping for in the Gift Shop was nowhere to be found, and that was a series of photo postcards of the exhibit itself. They didn't allow photography or videos to be taken in the exhibit, and it would have been nice to have a memento of the trip.

We skipped the showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the Omnimax Theatre at the Museum, as it didn't make sense to see a non-Omnimax movie projected onto its dome. The distortion is often too much to enjoy fully. Unfortunately, we needed to get out of town before the traffic really got bad, or we would have taken in the 3D show at Navy Pier IMAX Theatre.

It was well worth the cost, and well worth the time to visit this exhibit. I highly recommend going to see it while it is still in Chicago (until September 27th) or when it reaches the Museum of Science in Boston in October! Mental note: next time, take Amtrak!

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