- Holidays and Celebrations
Harry Potter Party
What better time for a Harry Potter party than Halloween? From ghosts to goblins and werewolves to witches, the themes and atmosphere of Halloween permeate the Potter books, providing inspiration for party goers of all ages. Since I don't know how old your guests will be, I've included party activities and ideasfor various ages, with everything you'll need to throw a great Harry Potter party, from Hogwarts castle décor to favorite wizard foods (excepting the guests of course!)
Start your party off right with an invitation by owl. Britta Peterson sells downloadable owl invitations that you can buy on Etsy for five dollars.
If you' d rather use your party budget on food and decorations than party invitations, she also as a very nice free Marauders Map invitation that you can get here.
Instructions for folding the free invitation are
Decorating for a Harry Potter Party
- Decorate the doors and walls
- Recreate the great hall's enchanted dome by creating the night sky on the your ceiling
- Float some ghosts
- Hang some candles
- Make a dragons egg centerpiece
- Fly some owls
- Add a troll or two
- Fill witches caldrons with party favors
- Scatter some carved pumpkins - the larger the better
- Set up different areas for each magical class (potions, care of magical creatures, etc.) with corresponding activities in each
Your Home is Your (Hogwarts) Castle
Turn your living room into the Great Hall at Hogwarts with brick walls, torches and wooden doors with these easy to assemble and reusable products from Amazon. When the party's over you can take them down and store them away until next time.
How to Enchant Your Ceiling
There are lots of ways to turn your ceiling into the night sky, from high tech fiber optics and laser projectors to low tech stickers and spray paint. The simplest and cheapest way is to cut out stars and moons from cardboard, spray them with glow in the dark paint and hang them with transparent jewelry wire from the ceiling. If you don't mind something more permanent, you can buy kits of glow-in-the-dark night sky stickers. On the high-tech end, there are laser projectors and planetarium projectors for non-permanent displays, and if time and money are no object you can install a permanent fiber optic starry ceiling.
Make Your Own Floating Ghosts
I searched the web for instructions on how to make floating ghosts, and Shatzi at LoveandLaundry.com has the cutest ghosts with the best instructions I found. They are simple, yet really detailed, with pictures of every step, and she even explains how to make your own starch using cornstarch, in case you can't find, or don't want to pay for, laundry starch. Her ghosts will even stand on their own and look like they are floating, without having to be suspended.
Hang this troll piÃ±ata from the ceiling as a decoration, and for a kids party, later you can have a game troll bashing. Draw the children's names out of a large red goblet (the Goblet of Fire) to see who goes first.
Dragon's Eggs Centerpiece
Why not fill a cauldron full of dragon's eggs and use it for your centerpiece. You can learn how to make KaptinScarlet's gorgeous dragon's eggs here
Or make a lot and give them as party favors. (Keep the eggs when you blow out the shells and serve quiche and pasties at the party).
Or Fill Some Mylar Owls with Helium - and attach rolled up parchment scrolls to them
Elves - What would Hogwarts be without house elves?
(Dirty and hungry I suppose, just like most homes would be without Mom, which does give one pause, doesn't it?)
Food for a Harry Potter Party - I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things about the Harry Potter books is the mouthwatering Brittish food Harry eats
Roast beef, buttered peas, mashed potato and Yorkshire pudding used under Creative Commons from Gene Hunt
(or often,doesn't get to eat, if he's at home with the Dursleys).
Beverages: ,Butterbeer, hot chocolate, pumpkin juice (see below for recipes)
Soups: French Onion and bouillabaisse
Side dishes: Buttered peas, Chipolatas, roast potatoes, jacket potatoes, mashed potatoes, mince pies, Yorkshire pudding
Snacks and treats: Buttered toast, buns, pumpkin pasties (see below), cauldron cakes, chocolate frogs, treacle fudge and a large variety of Honeydukes sweets
The official Harry Potter cookbook has the recipe for every bit of it (with the notable exception of butterbeer, which quite frankly, from the recipes I've seen for it sounds noxious), along with descriptions of where the particular item appears in the books. (Or you can click on the underlined links above to go directly to a recipe for that menu item.)
Pumpkin juice is a Hogwarts favorite. Fresh is always best so you'll need a juicer for this recipe
- 1 small pumpkin
- 1 medium mango or two apples for every four cups of pumpkin
- 1 carrot for every four cups of pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons of honey (more or less to your taste) for every four cups of pumpkin
- Step 1: Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, peel and slice into pieces that will fit into your juicer.
- Step 1: Peal apples or the mangoes, remove the seeds, and slice into pieces that will fit into your juicer.
- Step 2: Run the pumpkin, apples or mangoes and the carrots through the juicer. (You can save the solids for pumpkin pasties or pumpkin cake pumpkin cake if you want.)
- Step 3: Stir in one about teaspoon of honey for every eight ounces of juice (depends on how sweet the apples or mangoes were, and how big a sweet tooth you have).
- Step 4: Refrigerate. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon.
- Click here for other pumpkin juice recipes that don't require a juicer
Serves: Makes about 3 dozen miniature pasties.
Easy Mini Pumpkin Pasties
- 3 T honey
- 1 can pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 box refrigerated pie dough
- or your favorite pie crust recipe
- 2 eggs
- Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Step 2: Line the baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Step 3: Combine the pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl.
- Step 4: Roll out the pie crust to 1/8 of an inch thickness.
- Step 5: Use a wide mouth mug to cut out the pasties.
- Step 6: Put about one tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle.
- Step 7: Moisten the edges of the circles and fold over. Crimp the edges with a fork.
- Step 8: Cut slits in the pasties with a sharp knife, to vent, and place on tray.
- Step 9: Beat the eggs.
- Step 10: When all pasties have been folded, crimped and placed on the baking tray, brush them with the beaten egg.
- Step 11: Bake at 400 degrees for half an hour or until the pasties are golden brown.
Activity Corners for a Harry Potter Party
If you have enough people, you can have someone dressed up as the appropriate staff member for each corner presiding over the activities.
Set the scene in the entry hall with a sorting hat on a three legged stool, a coat stand full of cloaks and witches hats, and a docking station where wizards can tie up their brooms
Activities: Sort the guests into houses. You can do this for a children's party, using a sorting hat placed near a phone on speaker operated by an adult hidden in another room, who calls out the house for each child. For adults you might want to have a bag full of house stickers near the door, and let each guest pick one from the bag as they enter. (I don't think adults will fall for the speaker phone, but then again, you never know.)
Having the guests pre-sorted into groups will come in handy later if your activities include team sports like Quidditch or scavenger hunts.
Equipment: Sorting hat, bag full of Hogwarts House stickers.
Decorations: Stool with sorting hat, broom hitching post, coat hanger with cloaks and witches hats
Photo used under Creative Commons from tibbygirl
Items you can use to decorate your Hogwarts Entrance Hall
Who is your favorite character in the Potter books?
Poll: Best Liked Harry Potter Character
Activities: Blind man's bluff with flying keys as a prelude to a scavenger hunt. (Blindfold everyone and have the players try to catch the flying keys suspended from helium balloons. Have one key for each scavenger hunt team, with the clues written on the key. As soon as one team member catches a key the whole team can start the hunt). Searching for horcruxes makes a great scavenger hunt.
Quidditch. Play a game of real quidditch, or set up a monitor in a corner with butterbeer an cauldron cakes, and watch the video footage of the 2011 Quidditch World Cup.
Here's where you can find out how to play Quidditch or where to watch the Quidditch World Cup
Real Life Quidditch - Brooms Up Muggles!
As all Harry Potter fans know, Quidditch is a magical game played on broomsticks. And yet, as befits a truly magical game, Quidditch has taken on a life of ...
Quidditch World Cup
When you read The Goblet of Fire did you wish you could go to a Quidditch World Cup? Well now you can, April 13th-14th, 2013 in Florida. Tickets to the Quid...
Activities: Identifying constellations in the enchanted ceiling or outside, with prizes when one is correctly identified.
Equipment: A person who knows the sky or the Celestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium, which identifies star constellations, star maps, telescopes
Decorations: Hanging celestial bodies, night sky projector or glow stars
Harry Potter Party Astronomy Corner Activity for Kids - Give Younger Wizards Something to Look for Outside at Night Besides a Good Place to Snog in the Bushes
You can get a free printable sky map here..
Ace the Astromy O.W.L.
This amazing product uses GPS to locate and identify over 6000 stars, planets and constellations. You'll be wanting to use this long past your Harry Potter party. With the Celestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium in your possession, you can cut Astronomy classes for the for the rest of the term, and still ace your Astronomy O.W.L.
Care of Magical Creatures Corner
Activities: Pin the tail on the unicorn, hatching dragon eggs, troll bashing
Equipment: Dragon Fizz N Surprise, printable unicorn mounted on cardboard, yarn for unicorn tails, troll piÃ±ata.
Decorations: Troll piÃ±ata, dragons, spiders and spider webs, bats
Perhaps you can persuade a guest to come as Hagrid
and lets not forget his pets, Aragog and the baby dragon
Defense Against the Dark Arts
Activities: No activities except looking at books. Professor Umbridge didn't let her students do anything else.
Equipment: Books about magic on the table
Decorations: Table with pink lace doilies, pink tablecloth, pink kittens, blackboard with "I will not tell lies" written all over it.
Activities: Fortune telling, card reading, astrology readings, 20 questions beyond the veil (have a guest step beyond the veil and everyone else has to guess what they will reincarnate as)
Equipment: Ouija Board, fortune cookies, Magic-8 Ball, Taro Cards, I-Ching, astrological cards, crystal ball, arch with veil
Activities: Trivia Games
Activities: Drinking butterbeer and gillywater at Rosmertas, tea-drinking at Madame Puddifoot's, sweets selection at Honeydukes (hint: you can find recipes for Honeydukes sweets in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook), selection of muggle magic tricks at Zonkos
Activities: Ice cream bar (kids), alcoholic bar (adults) with recipes for different ice cream Sundays or mixed drinks or even butter beer, printed out or written on a blackboard for the guests to brew up.
Equipment: Ingredients for Sundays or mixed drinks, ice cream scoops, shakers.
Decorations: Bottles of potions (filled with makings for ice cream Sundays like sprinkles and syrups)
Hint: you can find the recipe for Knickerbocker Glories in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook in the free pages that Amazon lets you browse online.
Photo used under Creative Commons from / rob-young
Harry Potter Cocktail Recipes
- Twenty Mixed Drinks Inspired by Harry Potter
Gryffindor shot, Ravenclaw shot, Hufflepuff shot, Slytherin shot, the Albus Dumbledore and more
- More Harry Potter Inspired Drinks from the Backyard Bartender
The Luna Lovegood, the Draco Malfoy, the Neville Longbottom
- Even More Harry Potter Inspired Drinks from the Backyard Bartender
The Hermione Granger and the Ron Weasley
Potion Making Supplies on Amazon
Herbology Inspiration from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo used under Creative Commons from / Jeff Kern
Herbology: Harry Potter Party Favors
How about Some Baby Whomping Willows from Professor Sprout
Activities: If you are a gardener, snip some cuttings from easy to propagate plants or herbs. Make up parchments explaining care, properties and uses for each type of cutting and roll them into scrolls, tie with a ribbon. Set out some soil and seedling flats and let your guests pot them and take them home as party favors. (Have some already potted for guests who don't want to get dirt under their fingernails).
Equipment: Seedlings or cuttings, potting table, potting soil, seedling flats, parchment paper and ribbons for scrolls
Decorations: Hanging plants
More Harry Potter Party Favors - DIY Harry Potter Wands
It's really amazing what you can do with a little paper, paint and glue. That's what these cute wands are made from. To learn how to make these, pop on over to the blog of their clever creator, Amy Lindstrom, and read her tutorial on how to make your own Harry Potter wands.
And here are the fearless wizards putting the wands into action
Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen? (Well I suppose you probably think your own kids are cuter, but you can imagine how cute they'll look with these)
Photos used with permission from Amy Lindstrom
Harry Potter Costumes for Kids and Adults
Harry Potter Creatures Costumes
Are you looking for a Harry Potter costume idea that's a bit out of the ordinary (for example, this magnificent phoenix costume by Danielle Hurly)? Are you t...
Music for a Harry Potter Party
Let Wizard Wrock, featuring characters and themes from the Harry Potter books, cast a musical spell over your Harry Potter party
Wizard Wrock Rocks
If you're not a hard-core Potterphile, you may never have heard of Wizard Wrock. But the ten year old sub-culture has spawned over 700 bands, with names like...
Listen to Some Wizard Wrock - Prefects are Hot!
If you want to be truly inspired visit Britta Peterson's site. I've included a link to pictures of the decorations for her Hogwarts party, because she's got them really buried in the site, and they are hard to get to from the site's main menu, but definitely worth seeing.
Here's just one example of how she decorated her walls.
If you want to find out how she did it all, you can buy her books on Amazon.