I have been desperate to travel to New York City to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway for ages. Brian & I finally scheduled a trip last December to see the show and to visit NYC during the holidays. The show is very exciting and definitely worth seeing even if you aren’t a huge Harry Potter fan.
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Where to Stay & Show Overview
We stayed at the Hilton Times Square on 42nd Street because it is just across the street from the Lyric Theatre where the Cursed Child is showing. It was really nice to be able to go back to our room after eating between the two parts of the show. And yes, if you didn’t know, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is actually two shows; Part I and Part II. Each part is approximately 2.5 hours long and has its own intermission. So if you see both parts on the same day as we did (and as is recommended on the website), you will spend most of your day at the show.
On the weekends, Part I usually runs from 2-4:30pm and Part II runs from 7:30-10pm. This leaves you will about two hours to get some dinner in-between (because you are supposed to be back to the theater about one hour before showtime for each Part). You will also have separate tickets for Part I and Part II as they are treated as separate shows.
Inside the Theater
The Lyric Theatre itself has been beautifully remodeled and refurbished to house the Cursed Child. This means that everything from the carpet to the wall murals are themed to the play. It is a great place to snap some HP-themed photos. There are two entrances to the theater. One was across the street from the Hilton Times Square were we stayed on 42nd Street. The other was on 43rd Street. Both entrances had a line of people forming about an hour before each part of the show.
Within the Lyric Theatre there is a very small refreshment vendor that carries some pre-made sandwiches, popcorn, drinks, snacks, and candy. Nothing is explicitly Harry Potter-themed (I imagine this has something to do with licensing), but we purchased a few snacks for each show. The area housing the refreshments is insanely small and somewhat claustrophobic, but the theater does offer the option to order food to your seat if you download the Ordertorium app on your phone (I recommend doing this prior to the show as the internet is spotty in the theater).
There are also two very small areas that sell Cursed Child-themed merchandise. Nothing looks like the Hogwarts and house crests that we are familiar with (again, I suspect this has to do with licensing), but the re-imagined branding is cute and feels a bit vintage. There aren’t a ton of items for sale- mostly t-shirts, tote bags, key chains and the like- and most of these items can be purchased online at the Cursed Child store. I was told by an employee that the only item you can’t get online is the official show program. There is also a separate stand that sells some dark mark items for the dark witch or wizard in your life.
What to Wear
Although I expected people to dress more formally, I found that most attendees were wearing nice pants or jeans with a nice top. There were a few women in dresses and a few men with sports coats, but generally the attire was ‘dressy casual.’ Just remember that the combined two parts of the show run approximately five hours, so it is important to be comfortable. There were a number of people wearing HP-themed shirts, scarves, and even a few in robes, but I decided just to wear a nice top with my HP-themed Alex and Ani necklace. They also make several other realy great hp-themed pieces including necklaces (links here and here), earrings (links here and here) and bracelets (links here and here).
You will almost certainly want to get some dinner between Part I and Part II if you are seeing them on the same day. The website for the Cursed Child helpfully lists almost 60 restaurants within walking distance of the theater. Because the theater is only three blocks away from Times Square, there are practically infinite dining options. We opted to visit Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. Although it was incredibly pricey, it felt right to go to a fancy restaurant because we were dressed up for the show. The food was good – I especially enjoyed my shrimp cocktail- and I felt more comfortable having a reservation. We were able to eat without feeling rushed and had time to go to our hotel room to drop off our souvenir purchases before heading back to the theater for Part II.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child production strongly encourages patrons to “Keep the Secrets” and not spoil the magic of the show. What I can tell you is that Brian and I both really enjoyed the show. I had read the script before the show, but Brian had not. He was able to follow the plot without any problem. We both found ourselves caught up in the story, characters, and emotions. The play has several really fun special effects and the music is lovely. I hope you enjoy your trip to see the Cursed Child as much as we did!
See what else we did while in New York during the holidays here.
Have you seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? What did you think?
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