This weekend we celebrated my daughter's eleventh birthday. So of course, being huge Harry Potter fans, she wanted a Harry Potter birthday party!
There are so many great ideas out there to put on an epic party. I had a hard time narrowing it down. I ended up following this post from One Creative Mommy for most of the party. She has some great ideas and printables, plus links to other things that were very helpful.
I didn't get pictures of every thing because my husband was gone and it was just me running the party by myself. So, here we go!
When the guests came they were greeted at the door with this sign.
I really wanted to make a brick wall they could "run" through, but I ran out of time. This sign was a hit anyway and much less work!
Once inside Diagon Alley (ie my living room), they visited Flourish and Blotts to pick up spell books and potion sheets.
Then they got a wand from Ollivander's. I wanted to do a whole "wand chooses the wizard" thing but many of our guests showed up late so I just let them choose a wand.
To make our wands, I picked up wooden dowels from Hobby Lobby, then melted hot glue all over the ends in various patterns.
Once dry, I painted them brown. Then I painted the handle and decorations gold. The wands were definitely a hit!
Finally, they visited Madame Malkin's. I would've loved to make robes for everyone, but instead we just used it as a photo booth opportunity.
Next, we moved over to the Great Hall to be sorted into houses. I ordered this Sorting Hat, which worked pretty great. I printed off badges from each house and just randomly drew them to sort them into houses. (I did let them re-choose if they didn't want that house. No one wanted Slytherin....)
We headed to the patio for Potions class. We did a very basic experiment where they put 2 tsp crushed Bezoar (baking soda) into a balloon with a funnel, and then 2 inches of acromantula venom (vinegar) into the bottom of an empty mini water bottle. When you put the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and spill the baking soda into the vinegar, the reaction will make the balloon blow up. This was definitely a hit and super easy to do. You can get the download from One Creative Mommy (linked at top of post).
Then we went on a Magical Creatures Hunt. I bought some cheap safari animals and painted them so they looked less "safari-ish". Then I gave them a copy of this list and had them work together to find all of them scattered through the back yard.
Next was Quidditch. My husband built a Quidditch pitch in our small back yard. He used 6ft PVC pipe for the poles, t-connectors, and hula hoops from the dollar store. They had three different size hoops at ours, which was perfect. Simply cut open your hula hoop, feed it through the T-connector, then duct tape the hoop back together. We also had to duct tape our hoop to the T connector, as every time you hit the hoop with a ball, it would tilt all the way back.
There are lots of ways to play Quidditch- but this is what we did:
A soccer ball was the Quaffle, two large bouncy balls were the Bludgers, and I painted a Ping Pong Ball to be the Snitch.
The person holding the quaffle may only take three steps and then must pass it to a teammate. Members of the opposing team will try to hit you with a Bludger. If you are holding the Quaffle when hit with a Bludger, you have to drop it and it is fair game for anyone to grab.
You score ten points by getting the Quaffle through the opposing team's hoops. The Keeper tries to block any goals from scoring.
While the game is going on, one person is chosen to hide the Snitch. Once I announced the Snitch was in play, the Seekers could look for it. Whichever team found the Snitch got 150 points and the match ended. Whichever team had the most points won the match.
They played Quidditch for quite awhile, so it was the perfect time for me to grill up some hot dogs and burgers for our "feast".
Quidditch worked up an appetite, so they came back to the "Great Hall" and ate burgers and dogs, chips, and watermelon. I had "Elixer of Life" (ice water) and Butter Beer to drink, which they LOVED.
An easy version of butterbeer: cover the bottom of a cup with caramel syrup. Add cream soda almost to the top. Top with whipped cream and serve with a straw. It's delicious and easy!
We finished with opening presents and eating cake. We made a version of Hagrid's birthday cake for Harry from the movie, bad spelling and all. This is the easiest cake to make since it doesn't matter how it looks!
The party took almost exactly two hours, and while they waited for parents to come, they played more Quidditch and practiced spells from their spell books.
On the way out, I had them fill up a treat bag from Honeydukes. We had all sorts of candy for them and they cleaned me out! This may have been the highlight of the party. Sorry parents :)
We had a great time and my daughter loved every minute of it. As some of her friends walked to the car, I heard them say "That was a really fun party." That made me happy! I don't often go all out for parties but since I love Harry Potter too, this was actually fun to do, and I'm glad everyone seemed to have fun!
I hope you have some great ideas for your Harry Potter party. If you have any questions, email me or drop a note in the comments!
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