Christmas is fast approaching. And with all the advent calendars getting released, our excitement is only growing.
But this year, aside from the usual range of chocolate, beauty and booze filled offerings, there are also a great variety of Harry Potter-themed advent calendars, perfect for the Potterhead in your life.
From socks to light up buses, we’ve been testing these magical calendars to see which ones are truly worthy of your golden Galleons. Although, we’d probably take the lot.
How we tested
We’ve looked at how exciting and beautiful they are to put up in your home, how good the delights are inside and if they’re good value for money. Most importantly, will they delight serious fans?
We let adults and kids rip open the windows and delight at the surprises inside – and here’s what we found...
The best Harry Potter advent calendars of 2021 are:
Best overall – Funko ‘Harry Potter’ advent calendar: £45, Funkoeurope.com
Best reusable calendar – Primark ‘Harry Potter’ LED the knight bus calendar: £18, available in store
Best for wow factor – Kap Toys ‘Harry Potter’ magical infinity box advent calendar: £29.99, Kaptoys.com
Best for pre-teens – Paladone ‘Harry Potter’ advent calendar: £25, Menkind.co.uk
Best for adults – Boots ‘Harry Potter’ Hedwig beauty advent calendar: £40, Boots.com
Best for price ratio – Insight Editions ‘Harry Potter’ holiday magic advent calendar: £18.39, Whsmith.co.uk
Funko ‘Harry Potter' advent calendar
This Funko calendar is so much fun for both adults and kids. The front panel folds down to reveal 24 doors, and behind each one is a Harry Potter pocket pop vinyl figure. These seriously cute collectable figures can be used to make a scene, join a wider collection, or you can prop them up on the fold-down panel to reenact your favourite scenes.
Which characters do you get? We don’t want to give away all of the surprises, but there’s the familiar trio as well as Professor McGonagall, Dobby, Luna Lovegood and Fred Weasley. Each figure is painstakingly designed to look just like a character from the Potterverse – but, dare we say it, a cuter version of them. They all have spot-on nods to the films, such as Hermione’s bandaged hand.
We thought for the gifts inside, this calendar is decent value and anyone who loves collecting would be in heaven with this one. It’s perfect for dedicated Potter fans.
Buy now £45.00, Funkoeurope.com
Primark ‘Harry Potter' LED knight bus advent calendar
Best: Reusable advent calendar
Primark’s Harry Potter advent calendars have become a big thing for Potterheads every year. Each year we’re treated to a different reusable wizarding themed calendar from the brand, and this year is no different.
Offering something a bit different and totally magical, this years design is that of the wooden knight bus, complete with sliding drawers and windows on the triple-decker bus. Harry, Hermione and Ron are riding the bus, along with some other familiar faces. The front windows of the bus light up, as do the headlights.
This advent calendar doesn’t come pre-filled, which we quite liked as we could tailor the surprises to our child’s interest – great if you don’t want full-on Harry Potter every day. There’s enough space in each drawer to put a fairly small trinket or treat. Once advent is over it will make a lovely decoration on the shelf for the rest of the festive season. And it can become part of your family’s tradition as you can reuse it year after year.
The knight bus advent calendar is available in store only.
Buy now £18.00, Primark.com
Kap Toys ‘Harry Potter' magical infinity box advent calendar
Best: For wow factor
Wow, this box feels magical before you even open any of the treats inside. The box folds out into two columns which then rotate, revealing more drawers to unwrap. We are fans of advent calendars that make you work a bit for your surprise, and this calendar definitely does that. It took our tester a good few minutes of wonder to find each drawer.
Once you’ve located the right number, inside the drawers are all manner of Harry Potter-themed delights from plush toys to washi tape, bookmarks and stickers. Everything inside the box will never be available to buy elsewhere, which is a huge bonus for true Potter fans.
Our tester loved that each day was different and they really couldn’t guess what the prize would be. Plus, some of them are a really decent size for “just” an advent calendar gift.
Buy now £29.99, Kaptoys.com
Paladone ‘Harry Potter' advent calendar
Best: For pre-teens
This is perhaps one of the slightly more traditional calendars in this round-up. But we don’t mean it’s any less fun than the rest. The calendar is pretty hefty, and that’ll be thanks to all the goodies that lie within.
Behind the different sized doors there lies pencils, a heat-changing coaster, stamper and wand pen. The calendar says it’s suitable for those over eight, and we’d agree. A pre-teen Potter fan would love the cool swag inside, and nothing feels too collectable or precious that you can’t actually play with it.
Our tester was more than happy with the prizes, and enjoyed ripping through the calendar like no one’s business. Plus there’s a pull-out “I’m waiting for my letter from Hogwarts” door hanger on the back. The advent calendar is currently out of stock, but we hope to see it back in time for the Christmas countdown.
Buy now £25.00, Menkind.co.uk
Boots ‘Harry Potter' Hedwig beauty advent calendar
Best: For adults
How cute is this Hedwig calendar? Open the front and 24 delightful little boxes lie in wait. Each box slides out and inside each is a Harry Potter pampering product. Sit back in the bath with these products and a Potter tome and you’ve pretty much reached wizarding nirvana, right?
The goodies inside include bath fizzers aplenty (one even looks like the golden snitch, 500 points for bathtime!). There’s also fragrance rollerballs, a shimmering body scrub, an eye mask and a fluffy-as-you-like Hedwig head band. While the beauty products aren’t super sophisticated – they are mostly candy sweet and glitter is king – they are very fun. This will be launching soon, so keep an eye on Boots’ website.
Buy now £40.00, Boots.com
Insight Editions ‘Harry Potter' holiday magic advent calendar
Best: For prize ratio
Not content with just 24 days of advent? Then this one goes right up to the big 2-5. Yep, 25 days of Harry Potter goodies lie in wait. The calendar folds open like a book to reveal pockets of different sizes, all with something exciting awaiting discovery inside. The envelopes are printed cards, so perhaps not as glossy and premium as some others we tried, but we liked that it felt a little less plastic-y.
The gifts inside are a great mix of mini books, stickers, greetings cards and recipe cards. They are mostly paper-based gifts, but they feel really cute and exciting. There’s even a chocolate-frog sticker that smells like chocolate, and a wooden Deathly Hallows Christmas tree decoration. Many of the days have more than one gift, which we felt made it feel good value for money – it had the most gifts out of any we tested.
Buy now £18.39, Whsmith.co.uk
The verdict: Harry Potter advent calendars
We loved the Funko advent calendar – the goods inside are really good quality and will keep even the most die-hard Potterhead happy. If something more simple and purse-friendly is what you’re after, then the holiday magic calendar available at WHSmith is fab.
For more holiday recommendations, see our review of the Body Shop’s 2021 advent calendars