Wondering what to do this Christmas with a Potterhead in the family? You might like to join the surprising number of fans building replica sets at home.
In 2016, Charlotte and Andrew Kyriakou spent 18 months and £13,000 changing the dining room of their home in Shrewsbury into the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Complete with wood panelled walls and limestone floors, the room is awash with other tributes including a replica marauders map, Dobby and Hedwig, as well as flags and a suit of armour.
In 2017, Jonathan Chambers spent nearly three weeks recreating Diagon Alley in the driveway of his home in Seattle. The inspiration came from his daughters, who thought it would be fun to raise money for charity by attracting visitors between Halloween and Christmas. Mr Chambers built six shopfronts including Flourish & Blotts and Ollivanders wand shop. Gringotts and The Leaky Cauldron were later added as children’s play houses.
At one stage a visit by local fire officers caused a few worries, but it turned out they hadn’t come to enforce the buildings’ fire regulations but just to enjoy the spectacle.
In 2019, Dave and Ruby Dunlop built a massive Harry Potter themed playhouse in the garden of their home for their grandchildren. The 350 sq ft house features elements of Hogwarts Castle, Ollivanders, Platform 9¾ and the Dursley’s Privet Drive home. Watch the building going up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn8DD0biQx8
If you’ve only got around 4 sq m to play with, you might prefer this more modest build. In 2020, Dylan built a replica Diagon Alley in the wardrobe of his daughter’s bedroom at their home in Berkshire. Eeylops Owl Emporium and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour sit alongside ever popular Ollivanders, and dad has even been known to dress up as Hagrid. You can see how the project evolved here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5MC_YyyHDA
If building replica buildings is perhaps too much for you, have you considered placing your pet in its natural Hogwarts house? This is what an animal shelter in Orlando did as a way to identify the personality traits of its dogs. The shelter wanted to give new owners a better idea of the type of pets they would be taking home with them, so used a combination of toys, obstacles, and interactions with people and other dogs to assess the dominant personality traits of its puppies.
Curious to know what Hogwarts house your own dog might be in? Try the Hogwarts house online quiz: https://petallianceorlando.org/pawgwarts-sorting-quiz/