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Three Harry Potter Book-Release Parties for Miami's Wannabe Wizards

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Harry Potter has returned, and he’s officially adulting. Strange as it sounds, the boy who lived is 36 years old and embarking on a whole new adventure. One that involves a cursed child, apparently.

A new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2, written by Jack Thorne and based on a story written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne, is about to launch at London's Palace Theatre. But you don't need a ticket to Heathrow to reenter the world of wizards. The play's source material will be released in book form July 31 at midnight — and just as in the early '00s, people are ready to party.

If you're as excited about Hogwarts as ever, now is your chance to don those dusty house robes and relive your youth. Several Miami book hubs will host release parties, so you can indulge in that millennial magic. Here's what's happening and where:

Books & Books, Coral Gables
"Our Harry Potter party is the work of an entire team of people at Books & Books," says Cristina Nosti, the store's director of events and marketing. "Mostly millennials who read the books in their youth. Us old grownups, are thinking along the lines of J.K. Rowling and what happens when you grow up!"

The party will kick off at 10:30 p.m., when the iconic bookstore will undergo a seemingly magical transformation. There’ll be games and food, live music, dancing, a costume contest, and other Potter-inspired activities. "We've tried to tailor-make a special experience in an atmosphere of fun and celebration," Nosti says. "Never in book-release history has a book being published caused such excitement and frenzy as the Harry Potter books, so we're remembering all the fun we have had in the past with these books and excited about this new release."

10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. A ticket for two is free with purchase of Rowling’s new book, which costs $29.99. Visit booksandbooks.com or call 305-442-4408.

Miami-Dade Main Library, Downtown 
The library is totally letting its hair down for this special occasion. Partygoers will get to see a mythical-creature show courtesy of Zoo Miami; meet Hedwig’s cousins, barn owls Hera and Emrys; check out a magic show; make magical crafts; play Harry Potter trivia; drink butterbeer; and experience lots of other fun stuff. 

At this shindig, there's no need to shell out money for the book. All you need is a library card. The first 300 patrons who placed their book on hold ahead of time will get to check it out, and at 11:45 p.m., tickets will be drawn from the Goblet of Fire, giving an additional 300 guests the chance to borrow one. (If you fancy your own copy, there'll be 100 books for sale.) Oh, and there'll be free parking in the Cultural Center Parking Garage, because you probably don't own a Nimbus 2000.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Miami-Dade Main Library, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami. Admission is free. Visit mdpls.org or call 305-375-2665.

Barnes & Noble, Sunset Place
The megabookseller will go all out for the reemergence of Mr. Potter. The Sunset Place location will host a party featuring a trivia contest, a drawing, painting, and other activities, all beginning at 8 p.m. Plus, there'll be a special Muggle Wall where attendees can share treasured memories of Harry Potter mania.

8 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Barnes and Noble, the Shops at Sunset Place, 5701 Sunset Dr., #196, South Miami. Admission is free. Visit stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2878 or call 305-662-4770. 

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