The day finally came. The Harry Potter Party actually happened and now that it has, I am kind of glad it’s over. It was fun though and I am thankful for the Internet and Pinterest because I pretty much stole all of the ideas from there. There was so much we could have done that we didn’t do, it was hard to simplify enough and not go overboard with all of the great ideas. But this is what we ended up with and it turned out to be a great party.
First we started with the invites, of course. I already had tons of this parchment-looking paper so I used that to print out the invitations and looked at other peoples invites online to come up with the text. I also found the Harry Potter fonts online and downloaded them for the text. We included a Hogwarts Express ticket in each invite. I actually bought those at Kings Cross Station in London this summer and scanned and printed copies of them. I made the envelopes out of the same paper and addressed each kid and included, “The Cupboard Under the Stairs” just like Harry Potter’s first letter from Hogwarts.
We are pleased to inform you that you are invited to a Hogwarts School birthday celebration for ____________.
The party and dinner feast will be at the Gryffindor Common Room located at (our address). It will take place on Saturday, October 19 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Please bring your broom for Quidditch practice. Dressing up as your favorite witch or wizard is encouraged, but not required. Wands will be provided.
We await your owl no later than October 17 (or you can email ________ or text _________.)
The invites definitely got Sam and his friends excited about the party. They were all planning out what characters they would come to the party as.
One of our biggest challenges planning this party was the lack of Harry Potter supplies in the store. A few years ago, when the movies were still coming out, there was tons of stuff, but now we really had to search for the glasses and other things. Thankfully, it is October and all the Halloween stuff is out and that helped a lot.
I found a lot of free printables online for the signs and banners. My printer ran out of ink or I would have had more labels. My favorite printables are at this site. We are going to use them after the party to decorate Sam’s room. The cake balls are supposed to be golden snitches.
The Butter Beer was just creme soda- but the kids didn’t know that and called it Butter Beer all night. The Elixir of Life was water. The cake was purposely misspelled. It is like the cake Hagrid gave Harry Potter in the first movie. The picture on the stairs is supposed to be The Portrait of the Fat Lady that lets Gryffindor’s into the common room. Abigail and her friend painted it. She also stood behind the painting (which was pinned to a curtain) and asked the kids for the password- “Cockroach Clusters”- and then she would let them through.
We did make all the wands. It wasn’t as hard as I thought and we decided they looked better than the plastic one we bought. They are made with wooden dowels and a glue gun. The instructions are here. The wands were a huge hit. Although in the book “the wand chooses the wizard” we let the wizards and witches choose the wand so they would be happier. They played with them all night and were constantly doing spells on each other. Thanks to Luna (Abby) who wrote a bunch of them on the chalkboard.
We started with Quidditch. I found some basic rules online and we just went for it. We found some softer balls around the house to use as the quaffle and bludgers. We also painted as small ball gold to be the snitch. We hid it somewhere in the yard and assigned someone a “seeker” to go hunt for it. The rules were:
1- Keep the broomstick between your legs, 2- If you have the quaffle, you can only take 3 steps before you pass it to someone on your team, 3- If you get hit with a bludger then you freeze for 3 seconds, 4- When a seeker found the snitch, the game was over.
Abby and her friend threw around the bludgers and Mike and I usually held the hoops. The game mostly worked. The broomsticks were hard to play with though so toward the end we let them ditch the broomsticks and they actually played a good game.
After dinner we opened presents and then had “Transfiguration Class.” Basically they “transformed” into some animal with the “Fera Verto” spell. Then the other kids had to guess what animal they were pretending to be. We had magical as well as real animals.
Finally it was time for Potions Class, taught by Snape of course. For the potion we gave each kids a black cup (a cauldron) with dried food coloring at the bottom. Then they added ice, some Pop Rocks (although they didn’t know what it was) and we added “Hippogriff Saliva” which was Sprite disguised in a different container.
The reactions to this were hilarious. When the Sprite went in the “potions” all turned different colors and the kids were amazed. Then Mike told them to drink their potions. Some kids were like, “NO WAY!! I’m not drinking that!” and others, “O.K.! Sure!” Snape also tried a different potion with baking soda and vinegar that was supposed to bubble all over, but it didn’t work well. We think our ingredients might have been old. Oh well, the kids had fun anyway.