Culture / Entertainment

Special Harry Potter Experience Takes Over a Magical Houston Venue — Inside the Only United States Location of the Yule Ball

A Wizarding World Come to Life

BY // 11.22.22

There was nary a muggle in site at the Houston opening night of the Harry Potter Yule Ball at Paraiso Maravilla, where candlesticks floated aloft and wands were at the ready. As the only United States location for “well-mannered frivolity” Houston’s sold-out event sets the stage for a season of magical moments for legions of Potterheads, eager for the opportunity to revel like Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Houston joins Mexico City, Milan and Montreal as the locations for the event experience that is happening simultaneously across the globe. It runs through January 20th at the Houston events venue at 5714 Fairdale Lane. Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment and Fever collaborated on the interactive event, choosing Houston as the only United States locale due to “immense” interest and the availability of a location that could be transformed into the Great Hall at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Paraiso Maravilla, a frequent site of Fever events, was the ideal space.

“We wanted to highlight a unique space in a city without building a set,” Fever associate producer Kate Poueymirou tells PaperCity. “It’s a lot of hard work, but we want this to feel like they are transformed at the Yule Ball celebrations.”

The sprawling Spanish meets Italian venue took on a fantastical air for the Yule Ball, channeling the holiday season compliments of Christmas trees of all sizes throughout, soft lighting and silver wintry decor. 

“Guests will experience elaborate decorations and fabrications. Harry Potter fans will get to truly experience something new,” Poueymirou says. “They should come dressed up, be ready to interact and have fun.”

And don’t forget to bring your wand, Poueymirou reminds.

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The Harry Potter Yule Ball
The Harry Potter Yule Ball gift shop offers magical goodies for every Hogwarts house. 

The Harry Potter Yule Ball Experience

Most who attended the opening night gala, not only brought wands and capes but many donned gowns and suits, wearing their respective house colors — Yellow for Hufflepuff, Green for Slytherin, Red for Gryffindor and Blue for Ravenclaw. 

Each of the houses is also represented by actors who interacted with guests, leading dancing and encouraging participation throughout the night. It didn’t take long before the mostly millennial crowd on opening night (at least at the 9:30 pm session) had fully embraced the Potter dreams of their childhood and teenage years. 

The Yule Ball is held daily with multiple sessions per day. Tickets start at $65 for a standard entrance and $104 for a premium ticket which includes Yule Ball admission, priority access entry, a complimentary drink and a special Harry Potter gift. The event sessions run two hours and you need to be 12 or older to attend.

The Harry Potter Yule Ball
Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw are represented throughout the Harry Potter Yule Ball.

Bars are located throughout the event offering cocktails like The Sword of Godric Gryffindor, a ruby-hued bourbon-based drink and The Locket of Salazar Slytherin, a tequila and elderflower sip. 

No Potter gathering would be complete without Butterbeer and the Yule Ball has plenty on tap, as well as British-themed bites and sweet treats. In between photos, dancing and a fashion show, you will find a Potter-themed shop offering gifts, decor, capes and wands.

The Yule Ball is a celebration of not just a bespectacled childhood character, but the magic that comes with. It is all about suspending belief in the every day in exchange for one enchanting evening.

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