July 2011 sees the final part of the Harry Potter saga released, but with J.K. Rowling releasing the online website Pottermore, it is clear that the love affair with the boy wizard is still going strong. Budding witches and wizards, or adult aficionados, will all enjoy these ideas for bringing the world of Harry Potter to your very own backyard.
Honeydukes Lolly Table
We'll take a look at the food, decorations, games, and costumes, that will help bring your Potter Party to life.
Whether you're buying from the Hogwarts Express food trolley, dining in the Great Hall, or filling your face in Hogsmede, it is clear that the wizarding world has some great food. For a filling feast grab some cooked chickens from the supermarket and roast some potatoes, this will help you get the look of an authentic feast without all the effort.
Try some of these other great Potter ideas:
Chocolate Frogs are one popular wizarding treat, and so easy to make. You can buy ready made frogs from lots lolly shops, or unwrap a few Freddo Frogs. To make your own buy yourself some frog chocolate moulds and fill them with melted chocolate. It is so easy. To really spruce up your wizarding wares print out this template for a Chocolate Frog box, make sure you're adding in information cards about the most well known wizards around.
Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice are some tasty brews that are commonly drunk in Harry Potter. If you scour the internet you can find thousands of different recipes. My favourite Pumpkin Juice recipe is from MuggleNet. You can also find some Buttebeer recipes here, but I recommend playing around and creating your own. Create labels on your computer and stick them on using double sided tape, I recommend using Coopers PET bottles. Purchase some round polystyrene balls from Spotlight, and cut a hole in them so they will fit on top of your PET bottle lids. Then paint them orange with brown stripes, and add a small twig to the top. These can now fit on top of your Pumpkin Juice bottles for that authentic look.
Some Hogwarts express favourites are Pumpkin Pasties and Cauldron Cakes. To make Cauldron cakes bake some chocolate cupcakes. Once they have cooled, scoop out the centre of the cupcake. Fill this with caramel. Dip the bottom of the cupcake in melted chocolate, this will help create the base of your cauldron, and place them on baking paper to harden. Pipe handles onto melted chocolate and put in the fridge to set, once they are hard, pipe a rim around your cauldron using melted chocolate and use this to secure your handles.
Chocolate Frogs, Cauldron Cakes & Lollies
For more wizarding treats fill lolly jars with candy and give them names from the Potter universe like Fizzing Whisbees, Acid Pops, Licorice Wands, Drooble's Best Blowing Gum and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. There are plenty of regular candies that can be given magical names.
Decorations Another very important part of the Potter Party is decorating. To create the right effect try and get a small marquee to place outside, this can be decorated with bunting in the Harry Potter house colours and fairy lights to create the night sky effect of the Great Hall. Cages and toy owls can be scattered around your party, and large silver platters from second hand stores will help set the scene.
Great Hall Decorations
Some great scene setters are these oversized magic books, and they are really easy to make. Grab some cereal boxes and sheets of A2 Cardboard. Trace around the cereal boxes (including the front, back, and one spine) and then add 2cms around the outside of your tracing. Cut this out of your cardboard and paint the cardboard dark colours of red, blue and black and paint the spine of your cereal box a beige colour. Then use double sided tape to secure the cardboard around your cereal boxed, much like you would when contacting a school book. Check out these Harry Potter text box for some inspiring names, and use silver and gold markers to design your book covers.
Harry Potter Bunting can be made using triangles of materials with a coloured strip through them, representing the Hogwarts house colours. These can be hung through your party room, or outside. Strange bottles filled with different coloured liquids will create the effect of bubbling potions.
Games and Activities Kids will love feeling that they can get involved in the magic, try getting them involved in a game of quidditch or a scavenger hunt to find the Deathly Hallows. You can also check out some kid friendly chemistry experiments to create your own potions class.
For a game of quidditch you'll first need to get yourself some brooms and quidditch goals. You can use any old brooms, but to make your own find some thick sticks and smaller twigs. Bind the twigs to the stick using string, and spray paint your broom handles black. For your quidditch hoops, take some old broom handles and attach hoops to them using duct tape, you can use hula hoops or create your own from wire or rubber piping.
You have three hoops at both ends of your field. Use three balls (one red and two black), the red ball must be thrown between one of the hoops to score points. If players are hit with a black ball, they must throw the ball to another player which could then be intercepted. Meanwhile, have a player from each team go on a hunt around the garden to find the golden snitch, once one of them find it the game is over.
Luna Lovegood Costume
There are so many costume opportunities at a Harry Potter party. Don a pillowcase or sheet to dress up as Dobby the house elf, or pull out the old school uniform to dress as a Hogwarts students. Anything magical goes, and with a range of varied and interesting characters there are countless options.
For a fun end to the party, send kids home with their very own wand. Take a small stick and spray paint it black, then sprinkle with glitter. You can also include a party bag with some magical sweets.
Let us know if you have any Potter Party tips, or if you have any questions about pulling off your own party.