Rochester museum gives kids on winter break an afternoon of 'Harry Potter'

05:45 PM, Feb 18, 2013

Meagan Martin, 11, of Hamlin, donned her Dumbledore costume to attend February Movie Magic at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Monday was Harry Potter day at the museum. (Jamie Germano/Staff Photographer)/

Written By Sean Dobbin Staff writer

If you go

What: Movie Magic, a series of programs exploring the technology in favorite films.
Where: Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave.
When: Noon to 4 p.m. through Saturday.
How much: Free with museum admission ($13; $12 for seniors; $11 for youths). ItÂ’s also free if you have a museum membership.
For more information: Call (585) 271-4320; or go to online.

Though Professor Snape was nowhere to be found, Rosie Anderson-Zych still sat mesmerized in her “Potions” class at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, staring at the detergents and lemon juice that she was about to mix together.

Rosie, 9, who was sporting a pointy black hat, started combining the ingredients, and watched as her potion turned bright yellow. It was almost as cool as the experiment she’d just seen the instructor conduct, wherein two tiny amounts of liquid were mixed and the reaction quickly caused the tall container to overflow with foam.

It started out with just this much,” said Rosie, squeezing her thumb and finger close together as she closed one eye. “Then she added something in and it just went ‘Whoosh!’ “

On Monday, a variety of Harry Potter exhibits kicked off a week of movie-themed activities at RMSC. Typically, February break is the busiest week of the year for the museum, which offers parents a desirable mix of education and amusement with which to entertain their young ones during the week off.

Attendance averages around 1,200 daily visitors during the break, more than double an average weekday, said Debra Jacobson, director of marketing and community affairs for RMSC. But the wildly popular J.K. Rowling franchise brought in even more families than usual on Monday, as nearly 1,500 visitors had entered the museum by mid-afternoon.

Nine-year-old Jared Sokolik traveled with his family from just outside Buffalo to attend the special exhibit. Though he said that Harry Potter is only his second favorite series — The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini is his favorite — he still arrived at the museum in full costume, including the lightning-shaped scar worn by the title character.

I got a picture with Hagrid, did a spells class and made a wand,” said Jared.

The week continues with a cartoons exhibit on Tuesday, followed by a Pirates of the Caribbean theme on Wednesday, a Twilight day on Thursday, and a superheroes day on Friday. Saturday and Sunday will feature exhibits from the Star Wars universe.

Museum staff will cater educational events to each day, said Calvin Uzelmeier, director of education for RMSC. For example, the museum will show youngsters how to make cartoon flip books on Tuesday, and will bring in wolves for the Twilight day on Thursday.