There’s still a little magic left in the world for us muggles in quarantine after all. 

J.K. Rowling announced a brand-new Harry Potter online universe today called Harry Potter at Home, and that sound you hear is millions of Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, and yes, even the Slytherins rejoicing from their respective appropriately-socially-distanced-houses. 

The site is described as “a free online collection of child-friendly activities, videos, puzzles, illustrations, quizzes, creative ideas, articles and much more, that will help you bring the magic of the wizarding world into your home at this difficult time. The Harry Potter At Home hub aims to help inspire you, your family, your friends, and especially children all around the world to read for pleasure and enjoy the stories, as well as bring some magic-infused joy and entertainment to all the family. But the hub is also a place for those of you who have loved Harry Potter for decades: a place for you to feel the warmth of the fire in the Gryffindor common room or a much-needed hug from Mrs. Weasley.”

Take a minute to put on the virtual sorting hat, learn how to draw a Niffer, look up some spells, do a HP-themed word search . . . the site promises hours of fun for any HP fan.

My tween is halfway through her third reading of the series, so I have a feeling I’ll need to get on learning a Banishing Charm that will send her to her room so I can have a turn!

Haven’t read the HP series yet (basically impossible), or have kids who are ready for their first journey into Hogwarts? You can also now borrow the first book for free from any of Overdrive’s virtual library apps like Libby and Sora.

If you’d rather listen to the book, Audible’s got you covered; the streaming book service today launched Audible Stories, an online collection of books (including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) available for free to help kids continue reading while schools are closed. And head’s up: if you’ve already streamed the first HP book before, you may want to have another listen—this one is the UK version narrated by Stephen Fry (who reportedly does an excellent Dumbledore).

Bloomsbury and Scholastic, the UK and US publishers of Rowling’s series, will also be contributing content to Harry Potter at Home. The site will be continually updated so you’ll want to be sure to bookmark the page. 

As the world continues to navigate this uncertain time, we’d all do well to remember Dumbledore’s sage advice: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” 

Thanks for this little bit of new light, J.K. & co.! 

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom