Five Harry Potter Parties in Phoenix

The end is nigh -- and no, we're not talking about the supposed Armageddon of 2012 or any of crackpot Harold Camping's shaky predictions. 

Fans of the Harry Potter film series based on J.K. Rowling's mega-successful book franchise are about to see the decade-long setup for the final battle between good and evil -- aka Harry and Lord Voldemort -- come to an end when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 releases in theaters Friday, July

In the meantime, Phoenix-area Potterheads are finding ways to experience the magical wizarding world of the teen idol before the final flick's release. Here are a few of the local events to check out so you'll get your fill of Harry, Hermione and Ron before the climax:

1. Hallows and Horcruxes Potter Party @ Pat O's Bunkhouse

gpoo via Flickr
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: Yet another excuse to dress up when it's not Halloween.
SWAY events is transforming the popular local gay bar into the Leaky Cauldron for a Harry Potter-themed bash this Friday night at 8 p.m. Wand jokes aside, it's the perfect place to replicate the darker themes of the franchise's final films -- private, shadowy and filled with all manner of interesting characters. Costumes are encouraged (though no one would dare call you a mudblood if you show up in muggle wear), and the bash is free.

Jester'Z Improv Harry Potter Comedy Shows
Because they rely on audience suggestions to get the show rolling, anything can happen at a Jester'Z show. But this time, the improv troupe is ready for you. "There are several of us that are Potterheads and would be able to roll with the punches," says Jester'Z performer and instructor Preston Smith. "Others, not so much. But it's improv, so something awesome will

If you can manage to drag yourself away from the big screen, Jester'z is hosting five Harry Potter shows on Friday, July 15, and Saturday the 16th. Tickets are $10 to 12. Many of the cast members will be in Hogwarts gear, and audience members can don Potter costumes to win free tickets to an upcoming show.   

3. Harry Potter Week @ Harkins Theaters
The mother of all Harry Potter events is taking place next week at select Valley-area Harkins Theaters including those at Tempe Marketplace and Scottsdale 101 with all eight films in the franchise on the big screen. 

Since Phoenix's biggest fans already scapped up these deluxe tickets well in advance, everyone else will have to content themselves with the remaining $18 Double Dose tickets, which include Deathly Hallows Part 1 followed by the midnight premiere of the new flick. Visit the Harkins website for tickets and info.

4. The Westin Kierland Resort's "Stay for a Spell" Package
you can accurately draw Sirius Black's family tree and own a replica of Hermione's Time-Turner (or better yet, built your own!), it could be worth a splurge for the luxury hotel's two-day Harry Potter "experience." 

For $294 and up, you'll get a two-night stay along with screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and the earlier films, themed dinners, rides on the Hogwarts Express, and entry into a live Quidditch match -- sans flying brooms.

5. Harry Potter Scene It? Trivia Contest @ Ironwood Library
The muggles will really be separated from the pack when the public library breaks out the challenging video trivia test from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, July 12. 

Admission is free, but if you don't know Buckbeak from butter beer, you'd better be prepared to have your booty kicked by some more seasoned fifth grader. Because the Weasley twins ain't comin' to rescue you from this test.

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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden

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