Keene Merchants Team Up for a Magical Week
Downtown Keene Celebrates Harry Potter's Birthday by transforming into Diagon Alley
To mark the birth of the Boy Who Lived, Keene merchants have transformed the city’s downtown into a recreation of the cobblestoned shopping district where Hogwarts-bound students stock up on all manner of fantastic goods.
Starting Tuesday, July 28, downtown Keene becomes Diagon Alley – a place where visitors can discover treats and treasures as they explore a variety of shops, creating a convincing, immersive and engaging world.
“This week in particular is Harry Potter’s birthday in the books,” says Amy Christiansen-Schoefmann, owner of Eat More Cake and one of the prime movers behind the event. “It’s fun for us because during a pandemic there’s not a lot to do. We really just wanted to elevate it from candy store celebration to full celebration. Food and celebrations of his birthday is a big deal to Harry in the books because he never had them. We wanted to play off that and focus on the things he loved at Hogwarts and Diagon Alley.”
Christiansen-Schoefmann says visitors will be strongly encouraged to wear masks (two different shops are creating Harry Potter-themed masks) and maintain social distance. Shop owners will work to ensure they host the appropriate number of customers for the space they have.
“We planned it for whole week so we could spread it out,” Christiansen-Schoefmann says. “We wanted people to have the ability to come for the whole week and visit different locations, preventing a cluster in one store during a one day event.”
Here’s what visitors – magic and muggle alike – can expect:
- Grab some of your favorite sweets and baked goods as Life Is Sweet transforms the store into Honeydukes. Enjoy a Butterbeer Float, Dudley’s favorite Knickerbocker Glory and make your own Chocolate Pretzel Wand. (32 Central Sq.)
- While you’re there, stop by Eat More Cake and grab some of her favorite baked goods from the books, including Sorting Hat sweets in various forms like cake pops, cupcakes and chocolate frogs, Liquid Luck Cheesecake, House Flavor Macarons, Sorcerer’s Stone cake truffles and more. (32 Central Sq.)
- You can get potions and tonics for your beauty needs from B&B Salon, including the Hermione Hair Potion. (31 Central Sq.)
- Vicky Smith Artistry offers a full Pick your Potion menu including the Draught of Peace Scalp Treatment, Amortentia Deep Condition Treatment, or even Felix Felicis Gift Card Special. Please note that in-service treatments will need an appointment. (36 Central Sq.)
- You can visit Slug and Jigger’s Apothecary at Soul Emporium where you can learn all about magical herbs and stones, and even purchase a real spell casting kit. Don’t forget to look up for those flying brooms. (35 Main St.)
- If you’ve ever wondered what Flitterbloom or a Dirigible Plum look like, you can visit the Secret Herbal Division of Catbird Flower Farm‘s Enchanted Gardens inside Soul Emporium. Grab the limited edition Magical Healing, Potions & Draughts and Hogwarts bouquets – all of which will include a paper rose made out of pages from the books. (35 Main St.)
- A few doors down you’ll find Twilfitt and Tatting’s at Beeze Tees where all of your clothing needs can be met, and special Harry Potter face masks will be available. (117 Main St.)
- Mon Amie Fine Jewelry and Mon Amie Giftables has added a bit of magic to their beautiful stores. (87 Main St.)
- BadmamaBear creates hand made Harry Potter jewelry, signs and trinkets.
- Hannah Grimes Marketplace transforms into a magical world where you’ll find Madam Primperelle’s Beautifying Potions and Butterbeer creations. (42 Main St.)
- You can even grab stone necklaces representing stones from the book such as the Resurrection Stone and Sorcerer’s Stone from Geo-Graphic Gems.
- Espresso Patronum and much more will be available at Terra Nova Coffee, (48 Emerald St.), and just across the street you can grab magical treats for Wizards and Muggles alike at Firedog Breads. (79 Emerald St.)
- When you’re ready for that visit to the Three Broomsticks, you can visit Machina Kitchen & ArtBar for a full menu including drinks for each of the four houses. (9 Court St.)
- Find some of the Hogwarts House Elves preparing the Great Hall meals at Luca’s Mediterranean Cafe. (10 Central Sq.)
- Marauders Maps are available with any purchase at Life Is Sweet, and have a map to all participating vendors.
What: Harry Potter’s Magical Birthday Week – downtown Keene transforms into Diagon Alley
Who: Merchants throughout downtown Keene
When: Tuesday, July 28 to Sunday, Aug 2
More: It’s Harry Potter’s Magical Birthday Week