Celebrate the virtual event with these magical must-haves

Emilee Geist

Avid fans can still participate in the annual festivities with a free virtual event: iStock/The Independent
Avid fans can still participate in the annual festivities with a free virtual event: iStock/The Independent

In the UK, the start of September marks a return to the school gates for a new year in the classrooms.

For Harry Potter fans, children and adults alike, September 1 also welcomes another tradition. Usually, fans gather at Kings’s Cross Station, London, to celebrate the famous departure on the Hogwarts Express form the Platform 9 ¾, waving their hands at 11am, the time the fictional train set off with Harry on his first trip to wizarding school, Hogwarts.

However, as the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, this year’s celebrations are taking place virtually with a free event hosted by Wizarding World.

A live stream will be hosted as part of the online festivities, and fans will get to see actors from the movies take part, including James and Oliver Phelps, aka the Weasley twins, and Jason Isaacs who played Lucius Malfoy, along with the cast of the West End play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

There will also be trivia games and fans are encouraged to dress up and send in pictures to be included in a digital mosaic.

If you’re keen to celebrate, we’ve picked our favourite buys to get you ready for the magical event, from clothes to books and everything in between.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Books

If you have yet to read the series (we’re jealous), have a young relative who you want to introduce the books to, or just want to re-live the magic all over again, this Harry Potter complete paperback collection (Argos, £35) is perfect way to enjoy the tale of Harry and his time at Hogwarts and beyond.

Re-read the full Harry Potter series with this paperback set (Argos)
Re-read the full Harry Potter series with this paperback set (Argos)

The best-selling books make for brilliant bedtime stories, reading on the train or on the sofa during a rainy, cold weekend spent inside.

Robes

If your little ones are joining in on the event, this Harry Potter deluxe robe children’s costume, 5-6 years (John Lewis & Partners, £22) is ideal to keep them decked out and involved with the fun.

Get all the family involved and kitted out with a house robe (John Lewis and Partners)
Get all the family involved and kitted out with a house robe (John Lewis and Partners)

Put it on and watch them transform from muggle to wizard in an instant.

If you want to join in on the fun, this personalised authentic Gryffindor robe for adults (Warner Bros Studio Tour, £74.95) is as good as it gets.

You can personalise this adult robe with your name too (Warner Bros Studio)
You can personalise this adult robe with your name too (Warner Bros Studio)

With scarlet lining, hidden pockets for your wand and an embroidered house crest, you can create your own magic from the comfort of your home by playing dress-up with the whole family. Plus, it’ll make a great outfit for fancy dress parties, or Halloween.

You can customise the robe to have your first name, of up to 14 characters, adorned on it too, making it the perfect gift idea for an avid fan.

Stationery

One of the most exciting things about starting a new school term is the new stationery, with everything you need to equip you for class. It’s no different for wizards, which is why you can inspire little imaginations with Harry potter-themed gifts.

We love this Harry Potter Hogwarts desktop stationery set (Very, £19.99) that is packed with the essentials to see you through another school year.

Pick up a shiny new stationery set to get your organised for a new school term (Very)
Pick up a shiny new stationery set to get your organised for a new school term (Very)

In it, you’ll find a 128-page pocket journal, 20 sheets of letterhead paper, 20 envelopes with the Hogwarts crest and a quill pen.

A new notebook is essential for budding wizards to jot down spells, potions and plans, especially if they have their newt exams coming up.

A notebook will always come in handy in the classroom (Waterstones)
A notebook will always come in handy in the classroom (Waterstones)

Keep this dark arts defence: basics for beginners journal (Waterstones, £12.99) close by for meticulous studying outside of quidditch practice.

Wand

All wizards need a wand, and while it’s not quite as one-off as those found in Ollivanders, this light painting wand Hermione (Aldi, £12.99) is the next best thing.

Cast hexes and spells with this LED light wand (Aldi)
Cast hexes and spells with this LED light wand (Aldi)

Practice your spells with this light-up design that you can sync to the accompanying free app to record your creations and share with friends.

Food and drink

Settle in on your sofa to join the Back To Hogwarts celebration with a steaming cup of tea.

Better yet, drink it from this Harry Potter marauder’s map heat changing mug (Harrods, £9.95).

Embrace the magic of the marauder's map with this colour-changing mug (Harrods)
Embrace the magic of the marauder’s map with this colour-changing mug (Harrods)

When filled with hot liquid, the image on then mug changes, echoing the way the map in the film revealed hidden figures and secretive passages to the reader.

If you get peckish during the virtual journey to Hogwarts for a new term, snack on some chocolate frogs just as Ron and Harry did on the Hogwarts Express.

Snack on a chocolate frog during the virtual event (Tesco)
Snack on a chocolate frog during the virtual event (Tesco)

Scoff down these Harry Potter chocolate frogs (Tesco, £5) for a fun and sweet treat.

Ticket holder

While the event has moved online this year, next time you get public transport, bring along this ticket card wallet (Harry Potter 934, £1.95) to add some magic into your own journeys.

Keep your train tickets safe in this magical wallet holder (Harry Potter 934)
Keep your train tickets safe in this magical wallet holder (Harry Potter 934)

It’ll also come in handy if you’re prone to losing your belongings, as it’ll keep an oyster card safely stowed away.

Escape Room

After the event is over if you still want to have some fun with friends online, play this free Hogwarts Digital Escape Room created by an American librarian in Pennsylvania​.

You can explore the school of witchcraft and wizardry without leaving the sofa. The game begins right where it should, with first-years who have just been assigned to their houses.

There are team-building exercises, trivia questions to answer and puzzles to solve that you can do as an individual player, or in a team with your friends.

For more games and activities, read our guide to the best virtual escape rooms to play with friends

Read more

10 best school backpacks that kids will love to show off

Back to school essentials: Everything kids need for the new term

Where to buy kids’ face masks in the UK for the new school term

Source Article

Next Post

Critics want Twitter to halt its trending lists. Instead, Twitter will make tweaks.

Twitter said Tuesday that it plans to make small changes to its trending topics feature to improve the quality of information users see, a decision that sidesteps growing calls for it to remove the lists altogether for fueling hoaxes and conspiracy theories. To start, Twitter said in a blog post, […]