Tell your kids to put on their sorting hats, change into their robes, and grab their wands, because Watson Adventures is putting on their Wizard School Scavenger Hunt at our very own National Gallery of Art!

Photo: Wizard School Scavenger Hunt via Mark A. King

How does this work?
Unlike some scavenger hunts, this one does not involve collecting items. Rather, kids and adults will have to find answers to questions—think Hermione eagerly waving her hand, not finding ingredients for the Polyjuice potion. During the hunt, players will explore National Gallery of Art exhibits looking for art that connects to the Harry Potter books and movies, such as a unicorn like the one in the Forbidden Forest. Don’t worry if you’re more of a stationary Beater than a quick Seeker—the hunt is not a race, though there is a deadline for finding the answers. If you’re not schooled in the world of wizardry, you can still participate—there will be a cheat sheet for muggles who aren’t familiar with the Harry Potter books or movies.

Sign me up!
The scavenger hunts are held year-round (mostly on Saturdays), so if you want to go, be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible. Who knows—you may even earn the small prize given to the winning team! And no, before you ask, it won’t be a small vial of “Liquid Luck” like the one from Professor Slughorn—but with your fellow Potterheads by your side, you won’t need it!

Know before you go
The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt is recommended for kids almost old enough to attend Hogwarts (they suggest ages ten and up), and unlike most of Harry Potter’s adventures, this one requires adult supervision. Cost is $17 per kid and $19 per adult.

The hunt is ninety minutes long, plus fifteen minutes at the beginning and end for preparation and scoring.

Be sure to dress comfortably and consider leaving that Nimbus 2000 at home, since you won’t want to carry a lot with you.

No need to make a trip to Diagon Alley for supplies. Since this is a kids hunt, you don’t need a smart phone, and pencils will be provided.

Teams must have between two and six members, though unlike some of Watson Adventures’ hunts, the Wizard School Scavenger Hunt allows all-adult teams as well as adult-kid teams (Good thing, since there are a lot of adult Potterheads here in D.C.!).

The detailed location description where you will meet your host and other details will be on the final page of your transaction ticket, so be sure to print everything and bring it with you. There won’t be a Marauder’s Map, but if you need help finding your host, you can always call thenumber on your ticket.


—Kelly Ann Jacobson