Welcome to the first day of BEDA! Which I will begin by describing how I spent the last day in July.
I went with a friend into NYC to see Harry Potter: The Exhibition. We both had HP related items with us (me, a Harry Potter related T-shirt, pin and my Ravenclaw tie, worn as a headband and my friend had her Harry Potter book bag with her). There were a lot of kids dressed up in uniforms and things which was adorable.
The exhibit itself was really good. We weren't allowed to take pictures unfortunately, but I can describe what we saw. There were a lot of the costumes that the characters have worn over the years as well as textbooks, wands and other staples of Harry's world. The level of detail was amazing. It's interesting, because they put in all that effort we don't really notice it in the movies, but if they had skimped out and not put the work in we would have really noticed how lame it would have looked.
Highlights of the exhibit for me was pretty much anything we were allowed to touch. Most of the items weren't under glass but still had signs saying not to touch. (This led to my friend and I repeatedly reenacting this scene from Spongebob [without actually touching of course]). I loved getting to pull mandrakes (though no earmuffs were provided), sit in Hagrid's chair and throw Quaffles through the Quidditch hoops. The other highlight for me was when we saw and and Harry's bedroom sets, Ron's bed had a hand knit quilt on it that I'd never noticed before. As a knitter I felt ashamed. I also really wanted to touch it (but didn't).
There was one funny moment when we were looking at the fake animals. I commented that the Hungarian Horntail looked more real than the centaur. Then I realized the silliness of what I'd said.
The gift shop had a lot of cool things. My friend and I looked through one of the display books about "film wizardry", and promptly had our childhood's ruined by seeing a lot of truth behind how things were filmed.
Over all it was a really fun day. I recommend the exhibit, which is open through early September.