Seven ways to celebrate Harry Potter's birthday
Fans of the Harry Potter book series can easily be identified each year on July 31, as they usually wish the fictional character a happy birthday on their favorite form of social media. But, fans who really want to celebrate can go all out with one or all seven of these ideas.
Throw a party
Why not? For children on summer vacation, it can be a great activity-filled play date. Kids with summer birthdays will love the unique theme. Parents simply turn their house into Hogwarts and sort the kids into houses for games and "classes." For a complete how-to, see Harry Potter theme party puts a spell on kids.
Sure, official wands can be purchased at book stores and the Harry Potter theme parks in Florida, but it can be much more meaningful (and cheaper!) to make them at home. All that's needed is multi-colored pipe cleaners to represent the different elements needed to make wands. For a how-to, see Making hand-made wands for little wizards.
Both adults and kids will love playing the muggle (non-magic) version of quidditch. Harry was the seeker on the Gryffindor team, and the game played a supporting role in many of the books. While the game is traditionally played with seven players on each team, the game can be altered to suit the number of people who choose to play. To learn how to set up a game, see Muggle Quidditch.
Eat chocolate frogs
Muggle chocolate frogs will not jump out a window like magical ones can, but they are fun to make and eat. Just melt a favorite chocolate, pour it into a frog-shaped mold and let it harden. For more detailed information, see Making Harry Potter's Chocolate Frogs the muggle way.
Search for Horcruxes
Okay, so maybe there won't be actual Horcruxes to find, but that book was just one giant scavenger hunt. Both adults and kids can enjoy scavenger hunts, whether the hunt is all around town or just around a house. The hunt can also be for commonly found items or can be for items pre-hidden for the hunt. If the items cannot be removed from their location, a photo record on cell phones or tablets is a great way to prove the items were found. For one variation on the game, see Hunting for Harry Potter and friends around the house.
(FYI- A neighborhood scavenger hunt for kids can be a great way to help kids learn important landmarks and feel safer in the neighborhood.)
Butterbeer is a non-alcoholic drink wizards enjoy to drink. Fortunately, the Food Network has provided this recipe for butterbeer so we muggles can enjoy it at home.
For those who would rather order a butterbeer like they're in Hogsmeade, there's always Starbucks. Really. To order one, follow the directions on the Starbucks Secret Menu page.
(In the fall, some grocery stores sell pumpkin ice cream. Blended with milk, it can make a nice pumpkin juice milkshake.)
Relive the magic
Sometimes the newest books and series out there keep us away from our old favorites. Reread the series this weekend.
Or, to relive the series with a group of friends or family, watch a marathon of the movies. Be sure to have some buttered popcorn jelly beans on hand for a movie snack.