Saturday, 11 February 2012

All Aboard the Hogwart's Express!

It's time to get your cape, hat and broomstick at the ready for the National Railway Museum's Wizard Week this half term until February 19th.  Wannabe Wizards will be flying in from miles around for the main attraction...a chance to ride on the Hogwart's Express without having to go to Platform 9 3/4!!  The steam train star used in the Harry Potter films is the Olton Hall, an impressive engine that conjures up all the magic from the movies.
Hogwart's Express
The National Railway Museum in York was looking lovely with a spattering of snow and it was very chilly, but that somehow added to the magic!  The museum is open from 9.30am to 6pm daily and has a packed programme of spell-binding activities to keep everyone entertained.

All-Action Wizard Duels see good battling evil in exciting daily performances.  The Magic Hatter is performing amazing magic tricks and making model balloon wands for the kids. Derek the Dragon is chatting to visitors in the Station Hall.  A display of beautiful owls are on display.  You might even be lucky enough to hold one of Hedwig's birdie buddies!

There is an opportunity to have your photo taken flying high on a broomstick!  With the magic of green screen technology, you and your family can take home a photograph of yourselves soaring over the countryside thanks to the clever people at (a small fee applies).

Children can get crafty and make their own Wizard ID badge on a lanyard to wear (small fee applies) and reveal their inner wizard!  Other activities include the NRM Simulator (small fee applies), the outdoor play area, and the daily shows, talks and demonstrations including the new Science show 'Bubbles'.  The Land Train takes you into the heart of York if you want to pay a visit to the Shambles or see Yorkminster.

The highlight of the day was of course climbing aboard the Hogwart's Express for a ride in the carriage used in the Harry Potter films.  This is a rare opportunity for fans to experience a taste of Harry Potter mania and ride in the very same train as Harry, Ron and Hermione!  The cost is just £2 per person and worth every penny!

Children are encouraged to come dressed as witches and wizards and enter the "Best Dressed Wizard" competition.  You could win a magical prize including a magic lesson and an owl experience by uploading your wicked photos to the NRM Facebook page.  Winners will be judged by a panel of staff and a magical guest judge.  It was lovely to see so many little ones in costume!

Engine Driver
Entry to the museum with its collection of over 100 locomotives is completely free.  Small charges apply to some activities during Wizard Week, but it is a great value fun family day out.  Perfect to keep the little ones busy over half term.  We had a wonderful day!

On smiles onboard the Hogwart's Express
Me and my girls
Lunch in the Restaurant

For full details about the event, check out the website at

*We were treated to a day out at the NRM to try out all the Wizard Week activities* 


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