You don’t have to go to Platform 9 3/4 anymore to travel to Hogwarts.
Every Harry Potter fan will now get the opportunity to attend wizard school for a night and represent his or her favorite house at COSI After Dark: Wizard School.
Joe Wood, manager of adult engagement at COSI, said last year’s inaugural “Wizard School” had the highest attendance for an “After Dark” event. It sold out with 2,500 guests total.
“With the success of last year’s [event], we assume this one is probably going to sell out again,” Wood said.
Wood said the Wizard School idea came from another after-dark “magic” theme that progressively evolved into a hub for Harry Potter fans.
“We did a theme a few years ago called ‘magic’ and a lot of guests helped it kind of evolve into a Harry Potter event,” Wood said. “By combination of what the guests were interested in and with us having a lot of team members that are very big fans of the lore themselves, the next time we did it, we went full on with wizards.”
With attendance expected to exceed 2,000, there will be multiple bars stationed around the building. Harry Potter-themed drinks will include the “Gryffindor,” a mix of Jim Beam Apple with fruit punch, “Hufflepuff,” a mix of lemonade and vodka, “Ravenclaw,” a mix of blue curacao, triple sec and Sierra Mist and “Slytherin,” which is a lime-flavored Truly with green food coloring added.
COSI will also offer an all-you-can-eat buffet that will serve Hogwarts-themed entrees such as “arachnid balls,” “Hogwarts pork and cornbread pie,” “Weasley’s pinwheel sandwiches” and vegetable samosas.
The main attraction at Wizard School will be the numerous Harry Potter-themed activities including “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in Dinosaur Gallery,” “Muggle Studies,” “Hocus Pocus with a Science Focus,” “Wingardium Leviosa! Electricity and Magnetism” and more.
One of the more popular events available will be the “flight class with paper rockets.” Woods said that with this event, COSI tried to structure all of its activities around classes participants would take if they actually attended Hogwarts.
“Your first year at Hogwarts, you have to take flight class to fly on a broom and eventually play Quidditch, but in our flight class you build a rocket out of paper and use these launchers made from bicycle pumps to launch the rocket,” Wood said. “We personally developed it for one of our programs for kids, and it’s super fun so we thought, ‘Why should kids have all the fun?’”
Wood said they hold after-dark events because COSI is predominantly geared toward kids, so they wanted to create more adult-oriented events at COSI. With adult events held in the evening, it’s easier for people to attend.
Wood also said that with every after-dark event, they try to select partner organizations that are either related to that theme or might have a vested interest in it.
Some of the partner organizations sponsoring Wizard School include Excesss Trivia, the Columbus Idea Foundry, The Ohio State University Herbarium in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology and the Ohio State anthropology department.
This event is Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. for ages 21-plus. Different ticket packages for “Wizard School” can be found at cosi.org. Tickets begin at $14 for COSI members and $18 for the general public.