It was a full generation ago that kids around the world were drawn into the magical world of potions, spells, dragons, and flying broomsticks introduced by J.K. Rowling in her Harry Potter books. Now that those kids are all grown up, they have children of their own to introduce to these magical worlds. And what better way to do that than through summer camp?
A variety of summer programs in the area offer camps focused on witchcraft and wizardry.
By far the most elaborate is Fiddleheart Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry, located in Stockton.
Founded by Kristin Hara, a life coach and past dancer and dance educator inspired by her own daughters’ love of the Harry Potter series, the camp is staffed by educators, artists, and performers who play the roles of “professors” with such names as “Professor Hobbliknob,” “Professor Bazzleby,” and “Deputy Kaconure.”
Campers are sorted into “houses” and take classes in topics such as potions, featuring edible chemistry experiments, magical zoology and ecology, magical dueling, and the history of magic. They also play magical games and compete at quidditch, played on broomsticks. The camp also has its own Etsy shop where it sells hand-crafted magic wands.
Held on the grounds of historic Prallsville Mills, campers also play outside in the nearby woods — known to them as the enchanted forest — and at the Delaware River.
The camp offers two, two-week sessions for ages 9 to 13 and meets weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sessions are July 20 to 31 and August 3 to 14.
Fiddleheart Academy of Witchcraft & Wizardry, Prallsville Mills, 33 Risler Street, Stockton. www.fiddleheartmagic.com
At Mercer County Community College, there are programs for the magically oriented artist or scientist.
“Wonderful Wizardly Art!” for ages 6 to 14 runs July 13 through 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. and August 3 through 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.
“Calling all Wizards, Muggles, and Half Bloods!” the camp description reads. “Let’s create art projects just for you. Create a mosaic owl, paint a phoenix, a castle and more.”
For the budding scientist, Mercer County offers “Chemical Wizardry” for ages 6 to 10. The Harry Potter-style lab will include experimenting with and creating flubber, silly putty, bouncy balls, a mushroom monster, glowing goo, and more.
Sessions are July 13 through 17 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.; July 27 through 31 from 1 to 4 p.m.; and August 10 through 14 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. campcollege.mccc.edu.
Camp Middlesex, at Middlesex County Community College in Edison, also offers two week-long Harry Potter camps for grades 2 through 7.
From the camp description: “Step into the world of Harry Potter and get ‘sorted’ into the house that is just right for you! Compete in activities to gain (or lose) points toward the House Cup. Make potions, play trivia games, be in your own scene, and learn about fantastic beasts! Create a wand that fits your personality, and learn to duel with it. What was Harry’s first broom? Who was the original owner of the invisibility cloak? What core does Harry’s wand have? All these questions and more will be answered when you join the world of Harry Potter!”
The sessions are June 29 through July 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and August 10 through 14 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Across the Delaware River in Doylestown, Mercer Museum offers five one-week wizarding camps for ages 9 to 12. Campers are encouraged the dress the part, and the camp programming combines aspects of history, literature, science, and magic in the unique setting of the museum. Students are also sorted into houses and compete for the house cup.
Sessions run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon on July 6 through 10, July 13 through 17, July 20 through 24, July 27 through 31, and August 3 through 7.
Mercer Museum, 84 South Pine Street, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. 215-345-0210. www.mercermuseum.org/education/summer-camps.