From favorite literary characters to innovative junk, 5 family activities for the weekend

     Head to the Harry Potter Festival this weekend to check out, among many activities, the Quidditch Tournament. (Lauren Gruber/for NewsWorks, file)

    Head to the Harry Potter Festival this weekend to check out, among many activities, the Quidditch Tournament. (Lauren Gruber/for NewsWorks, file)

    From Alice to Harry, from opera to archeology, this weekend is chock full of great options for families in Philadelphia.

    Friday: Opera on the Mall 

    Opera on the Mall presents a big screen broadcast of Verdi’s classic La traviata on Friday. Bring a blanket and swoon under the stars to Verdi’s operatic masterpiece at the Independence National Historic Park. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are free but registration is required. (Tickets for the canceled Oct. 3 showing will be honored.)

    Saturday: Harry Potter Festival 

    Enter the world of Hogsmeade Friday and Saturday at Chestnut Hill’s annual Harry Potter Festival. As the neighborhood transforms into the acclaimed enchanted village, be sure not to miss all the best witch and wizardly fun. Friday features a free all-day conference at Chestnut Hill College. And after shopping down Diagon Alley on Saturday, families will find many activities throughout the neighborhood on Saturday including a Hunt for the Horcrux scavenger hunt, Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, a giant straw maze at Woodmere Art Museum, a Quidditch tournament and much more!

    Saturday: Archeology Day 

    Come celebrate International Archaeology Day at the Penn Museum on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Immerse yourself in archaeological splendor during a full day of special programs and activities. Speak with experts, complete an Indiana Jones style obstacle course, and explore 3D printing. Delve into the mysteries of mummification, and take a tour of the new state of the art Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials. Free with museum admission.

    Friday through Sunday: Alice in Wonderland

    Celebrate 150 years of Alice in Wonderland at the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s exhibit Down the Rabbit Hole! Learn more about your favorite characters, Lewis Carroll and the story of Alice in Philadelphia through interactive displays and special programs. Free with museum admission.

    Friday through Sunday: Junk Rethunk 

    Autumn is a great time to visit the Philadelphia Zoo and while there, take advantage and catch the innovative art exhibit Second Nature: Junk Rethunk! Each exhibit tells the story of an endangered animal and has been fashioned using recycled, reduced and reused materials. Featuring an international array of artists, the exhibit includes an alligator sculpture made of chewing gum, a gorilla sculpted of car parts, and rhino made of plates. This exhibit will be displayed through the end of the month.

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