If you know me personally, you probably already know that this family is full of Harry Potter fans. Well almost full… my husband hasn’t totally jumped on board with the whole thing yet.
It started with my (now) 11 year old. He has been a Harry Potter fan for years. He began reading the books in second and third grade and I’ll never forget the look on his face the night he finished the series. He had stayed up until midnight (unbeknownst to us) and had been reading by the light of a flashlight. He wandered into our room with tears in his eyes like he needed someone to share the moment with.
The first 5 books he read were from a box set I received for Christmas the year the first 5 books had been released that way. I wanted them so badly… read the first three chapters and then set it aside. I held onto them, always meaning to read them, and was glad when I could pass them along to him to enjoy.
I’ll confess I did watch the first few movies, but I think because I hadn’t experienced the journey of the story through the book, they were good, but didn’t make me a big Potter fan.
This year we decided to schedule a big trip to Universal Studios mostly because of my oldest’s love of all things HP. I thought it would be fun to read the stories with my kiddos, knowing my 7 year old with be my main audience as he experienced the books for the first time… and something happened… I fell in love with Harry Potter. Not just the character but the whole story. I’ll make another brief confession, we’re only on book 3… but we are moving along bedtime storytime by bedtime storytime.
Last year my parents and younger sisters went to Universal and said that the Harry Potter part was amazing… but they had never read the books OR even watched the movies. After some investigation into the parts of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley that Universal has recreated, we decided they needed to see at least the first movie before they go back again this year…. and our Harry Potter Watch Party was born.
We really made preparing for this party a three day event with activities, arts and crafts, and decorating. So whether you’re throwing a Harry Potter birthday party, classroom party, or you’re just looking for some fun HP themed activities, check out these ones we used for our party!
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10 Fun Activities for Harry Potter Themed Parties
DIY Wands –
We decided to make these super cool DIY wands using things from our kitchen. While they were a little short (I was definitely schooled by my oldest in the wand/ arm length ratio)… they worked well and served as a fun project for us to prepare before the party. If you have older kids and the supplies, you could even have them make these as a party activity.
We created these by taking chopsticks (like these chopsticks) but you could also use wooden dowel rods. Then we added layers of hot glue around the top of them to make different styles of handles. I handed this off fo the kiddos to do and they had SUCH a fun time! I helped them make swirls of hot glue around the bottom of the wand and when they were done, we used some craft paint to add the colors. They painted solid and then added accents once that paint had dried. These were definitely a hit!
This is another super fun activity that you could do ahead of time for decoration, or kids could do at the party! Basically we blew up white balloons and then decorated them to look like owls. We didn’t have any helium but it would be super fun to have the owls held down by a rolled up paper message like in the books and moves!
Golden Snitch Snacks
This was definitely a hit and lots of fun as a snack. We used these Ferrero Rocher Chocolates and then I just manually cut some golden Cricut party foil and attached it to toothpicks. I stuck the toothpicks right into the chocolates and they looked so cute!
Chocolate Dipped Wands
Our first wands were great for keepsakes, but these second ones were delicious for munching on! I just took pretzel rods and dipped them into melted chocolate chips. I tried to sprinkle the sugar type of colors of each of the houses onto the wands, but the sugar crystal type of sprinkle really didn’t hold up well. If I make these again I’ll definitely try sprinkles like these ones.
Butter Beer Cupcakes
These cupcakes are SO sweet but SO delicious! The teacher and mom in me makes baking one of the most fun things I do with my kiddos. I love to help them measure, calculate fractions, and I even let them lick the spoon! I found a number of recipes for butter beer cupcakes online, this one is the one I most closely followed, however I did no use butter extract, cut the amount of brown sugar in half, and didn’t add caramel or butterscotch to the actual frosting (I left it up to the guests whether the wanted to drizzle on top or not).
Leaky Cauldron Mugs
These were a definite hit for our party guests. I used them to serve delicious drinks during the party, but they also made for great favors. I actually was able to find these mugs at my local Dollar Tree and used some permanent black Cricut vinyl to apply the decal. They looked super cool with the butter beer inside too!
Butter Beer Floats
We kind of bailed on fancy butter beer recipes. Instead, we did old fashioned floats. I gave people the option between cream soda floats and root beer floats. Although they weren’t super fancy, the cup and the occasion made them just right (and super simple!)
Hogwarts Acceptance Letters
We printed some generic Hogwarts Acceptance letters and wrapped them in twine for each of the people coming to the party. They were a cute touch and a hit, even for the grown ups! If I had some helium it would have been really cute to have the Hedwig balloons holding a string attached to these letters.
Harry Potter Glasses
We got these super cute plastic glasses at Walmart (click here for the link), but I also found some that look similar on Amazon which are sold in sets of 24 which is great if you’re having a larger party. They made for super cute picture props. (Do mind the mess in the background… this is what my house looks like every time we’re getting ready to entertain… and the craziness is inextricably connected with my wingitmom status).
One of the tasks that we had was to find some really meaningful quotes for the party from the first book (enter more teacher-mom moments) we went through and found some of our favorite quotes, typed and printed them and then hung them from the table using clothespins. They added an extra special touch to the party!
Of course in order to fully engage in a Harry Potter party, one must know which house they belong to! You can either have your guests make Pottermore accounts and go through their sorting (this is my favorite) or there are tons of other sorting quizzes you can take if you just search for them online.
Some other fun ways you can sort people are by using this super cute sorting hat
You could also, for the sake of fun, use the Hedwig balloons to hold sorting letters, and people pick their owl and find out their house.
One more way you could sort is by rolling brown paper to create a cone, then place it on a circle for a brim. Place either colored confetti, M&Ms or some indication of which house the person has been sorted into.