- There are quite a few blogs and websites that graciously offer free printables for Harry Potter invitations; here is a good one.
- Or, check out this letter from Hogwarts.
- For the "where" on the invitation, invite your friends to come to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, with your home address of course.
- Let guests know they are encouraged to dress like their favorite character.
- Place a "9 3/4" sign over the front doorway; paint a brick wall design (use a large sponge to stamp the brick pattern) on an old bed sheet & cut a slit up the middle; hang the bed sheet in the doorway so guests must walk "through" the brick wall to enter the party (just like Platform 9 3/4 to the Hogwarts Express!) Thanks to My Harry Potter Party for this idea.
- Plastic cauldrons, brooms, and toy owls are all good decorations.
- Consider using house colors for balloons, streamers, and table cloths: red and gold for Gryffindor, yellow and black for Hufflepuff, blue and bronze for Ravenclaw (blue and gray in the films), and/or green and silver for Slytherin.
- Potion Jar Centerpieces: Gather jars from the recycling bin, clean them and remove labels. Make your own labels and fill accordingly: Dried Beetles (prunes), Gillyweed (weeds in water), Veritaserum (molasses), Bat Eyes (black lentils), Blind Cat Eyes (cocktail onions), Blood Worms (spaghetti in tomato sauce), Felix Felicis - liquid luck (maple syrup), Amortentia - love potion (cranberry juice), etc.
- Attach paper wings to old keys; hang the keys from the ceiling - just like in The Sorcerer's Stone.
- Encourage costumes! They're not decorations, but they add to the festivities! Just check out Severus Snape at my niece's party:
Broomstick goodie bags! Use two brown paper bags per child; place one bag inside the other. Fringe the top few inches by cutting straight lines through both layers, about halfway down the length of the bag. Fill each bag with goodies of your choice, then place a large pretzel rod in each bag. Gather the fringe around the pretzel and use a length of gold ribbon to secure it in place. Tie the ribbon and curl the ends. Voila!
For the goodies, you could include some jelly beans in a bag with a label that reads "Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans." A few other candies from the books and movies are "Licorice Wands" (Twizzlers), "Drooble's Best Blowing Gum" (any bubble gum), lemon drops (Dumbledore likes them), and "Fizzing Whizbees" (Pop Rocks).
You could also make a magic wand for each guest out of chopsticks, beads, paint, and glue. Check out the step by step instructions here.
What Harry Potter party would be complete without Butterbeer?!? You can easily make a larger batch of this recipe by multiplying the ingredients by the number of guests; melt the butter and syrup on the stovetop; remove from heat and stir in the soda just before serving.
Wizard Hat Cupcakes
Ingredients needed: cupcakes(favorite flavor; made from scratch or from a box mix), silver cupcake liners, frosting (favorite flavor; could be dyed with food coloring to match house colors), sprinkles (again, could go with house colors), ice cream cones, tube of yellow decorator icing.
Prepare cupcakes in silver liners, according to package directions. When cool, frost the cupcakes and add sprinkles. Place one ice cream cone on top of each cupcake (if desired, you could roll the cones in melted chocolate first, to get darker wizard hats). Use the yellow decorator icing to draw lightning bolts on each cone.
To save on time, purchase frosted cupcakes and simply add sprinkles and ice cream cones.
For the Grown-Ups
For an adult Harry Potter party, consider serving some of these Harry Potter Cocktail Concoctions, including The Fred & George Weasley, The Luna Lovegood, The Neville Longbottom, The Draco Malfoy. Or one of the Goblet of Fire Concoctions, including The Goblet of Fire, The Fleur Delacour, The Viktor Krum, or The Cedric Diggory. Or one of the Death Eaters Cocktail Concoctions, including The Death Eaters, The Bellatrix Lestrange, The Lucius Malfoy, or The Peter Pettigrew. Or one of the Pureblood and Mudblood Concoctions, including Butterbeer, Firewhiskey, Pureblood, or Mudblood. Or one of the Hogwarts House Concoctions, including Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. There are also The Albus Dumbledore, The Remus Lupin, The Minerva McGonagall, or The Severus Snape. Then there are The Rubeus Hagrid, The Hermione Granger, The Ronald Weasley, or The Sirius Black. Or, finally, The Lord Voldemort, The Horcrux, The Harry Potter, or The Golden Snitch. So many choices...yum!
For more food ideas, check out the Top 10 Harry Potter Related Recipes or these Harry Potter Recipes.
Supplies Needed: a large witch-like hat, one house badge per child (optional: two walkie talkies; attach one to the inside of the hat); a bag or container for the house badges. To make the house badges, search the internet for "hogwarts house crests printable"and print the crests; attach to name tags, or use a button maker (if you have one) to turn them into buttons.
Each guest is sorted into a house, just as the students at Hogwarts are sorted. Have each child take a turn sitting in a special chair, and place the Sorting Hat on his or her head. The child reaches into the container, without looking, to choose a house badge.
OR, if you are able to use walkie talkies, the one inside the hat should be turned on. When the sorting begins, one adult should leave the room with the other walkie talkie. When each child puts on the Sorting Hat, the person working the other walkie talkie can pretend to be the voice of the Sorting Hat and call out a house name. Then, the child takes the corresponding house badge.
Supplies needed: toy or candy creatures (rats, frogs, snakes, owls, dragons, insects)
Before the party, hide the creatures around the house.
Children split up into their house teams, based on the sorting. Assign each house a different room or area for the hunt; each house tries to find and collect as many magical creatures as possible. Each person adds up the number of creatures they caught; the person with the most gets to choose a prize first, and so on. Fun prizes could be a magic-trick kit, magic wand, Harry Potter-ish glasses, etc.
Before the party, place 2-3 drops of food coloring at the bottom of each party cup and let dry; use a variety of colors. Just before serving drinks, fill each cup with ice to hide the food coloring. Hand out the cups. As each child watches, pour water or lemon-lime soda over the ice and it will magically turn to a colored beverage.
Since this is Divination Class, assign a meaning to each color and predict each child's future. Yellow means they are going to have a happy day, green means a lucky day, red means they will fall in love, blue means they are going to be surprised, etc.
Supplies needed: 3 Hula Hoops spray-painted gold, 3 stakes of varying heights to attach to the hoops, a ball. Variation: if you can't play outside, consider transforming an indoor ball-toss game, and use a beanbag or soft ball.
Teams take turns throwing the ball through the hoops; assign different point values for each hoop.
I hope your little muggles enjoy these ideas for a Harry Potter party! As always, thanks for reading.