This was originally posted on the now defunct Chicago Moms Blog.
Chicago Moms Blog Post, I'm happy to do a little Windy City ass kissing boostering for the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. We recently reupped our membership for the sole purpose of seeing it. I wasn't that excited, even though the Stars Wars exhibit a few years ago was a lot of fun, but my kids could could hardly wait for the Hogwarts Express to come rumbling into town.
Moms everywhere should be Harry Potter fans. First, the books got kids reading. Then the movies came along to keep them entertained. Now, there's an exhibit to lure them to the museum — a place where actual learning may occur. So, some of the marketing and product pimping has gone a little overboard — OK, a lot overboard. What mom among us wouldn't love to use a few of the spells found in the pages of Harry Potter?
How about Accio binky — when the baby is screaming and you don't have a free hand to pick up the pacifier; or Episky leg, to heal that skinned knee after a bike-riding mishap; or maybe Geminio, the duplication charm, for those times when two kids want to play with the same toy at the same time.
I admit it — I have loved the films almost as much as the books, and not just because they are fun to watch. Three of the first four Harry Potter movies were released in November, within days of my boy/girl twins' birthday, and they helped avoid a great deal of birthday party angst. Thank you, Warner Bros.
I think the casting directors and set/costume designers did an amazing job of recreating Rowling's world. Could anyone else except Rupert Grint have played Ron? (BTW, the actor is apparently recovering nicely from his bout of H1N1 flu). Every detail seems to have been carefully observed, and many of those same detailed props and costumes comprise the museum exhibit.
If you are a fan of the books or the movies, don't miss the chance to see a life-sized Buckbeak, sit in Hagrid's giant chair and even, if you're as lucky as my son, have the sorting hat confirm whether you are a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin (he was a Ravenclaw). If you haven't read the books or seen the movies, however, maybe you should skip it and hang out by the model trains. I'm not sure the exhibit would mean much to you.
We also got our tickets for the latest movie, Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, which will be shown in the museum's Omnimax theater between the July 15 release date and the conclusion of the museum's HP exhibit on September 27. Fair warning — these movies are really scary. If your children are too young for the books, they are definitely too young for the film. I'm not even sure I want to see He-who-must-not-be-named in the huge IMAX format. Hmmm, maybe I should wait for the DVD.
This is an original Chicago Moms Blog post. When Susan Bearman isn't haunting the halls of the Museum of Science and Industry, she can be found writing at Two Kinds of People and The Animal Store Blog.