Borders Books & Music/Phoenix (Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th Street and Camelback, Suite 200) hosts "Hogwarts School is Now in Session!" -- with a Wizard from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the opportunity to have one's picture taken with a Harry Potter "standee" -- at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 8. Admission is free.
The most elaborate celebration is at Borders Paradise Valley (4555 East Cactus Road, Suite #2), which, à la Toys "R" Us and the Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace toys, stays open until midnight on Friday, July 7, to account for the sales. The store then reopens an hour early, at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 8, with the whole store dressed up all day as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Festivities for kids ages 6 to 12 kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a buffet lunch for the kids, featuring such dishes as "Sorcerer's Sandwiches," "Potter's Potion," "Enchanted Chips," "Witches' Sticks," "Bertie Bott's Every-Flavor Beans" and "Pepper Imps." The store also will use "The Sorting Hat" to put each kid into his or her "class." (I'm assured that anyone who reads the Potter books will understand what all this means.)
Borders is also partnering with Amazing Magic Shoppe at Christown Mall; staff from that store will be performing and conducting classes in magic, and there will be a chance to win a professional-quality magic set. The lunch costs $6 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and younger. Classes and materials are free. Reservations are required; call 602-953-9699 by noon Friday, July 7. Each kid receives a report card and a Harry Potter lightning bolt temporary tattoo, as well as a graduation certificate from the school. The curriculum will include such classes as Illusions, Divination, Potions and, in a topic The 700 Club would no doubt approve of, Defense Against the Dark Arts.