Sunday, September 19, 2010

Harry Potter Birthday Party

Last year about this time I was planning a birthday party for our two youngest boys. They were turning 6 and 4. They both loved all things Harry Potter and asked for a HP themed party. It sounded fun to me so we went for it.

Last fall was even crazier than normal for us. Besides 4 birthdays in less than 6 weeks and halloween we were also in the process of moving and getting the new house ready to move into. Crazy busy people. Not my best hour, but it was my babies birthdays and I was determined to make it special. In the end I went overboard like always but it was fun work in the midst of a bunch of not fun work. I did a lot of research on the internet and found tons of great ideas, most of these ideas are not mine. A bunch of the links I saved no longer work, but here's two that do.
sewhooked had a couple posts worth of ideas
more ideas

We ran the party like the first day at Hogwarts for new students. Our new house was empty as we worked on it and there was plenty of space for the party, so we held it there. We met the party guests in the front yard. Of course there wasn't any snow yet in the beginning of november, but I don't have any photos from that day outside, imagine fall leaves on the ground. My oldest son dressed as harry potter and led them into the house (carrying a lantern) through the basement door and up the stairs as our entrance to Diagon Alley.

The first stop was Madam Milken's robes for all occasions, where each student was fitted for a robe if they weren't already wearing one and made their own house crest for attaching to the robe. The crests were made out of felt and pre cut by my step mom. The kids just chose one and glued it together. Next we proceeded to Ollivanders wand shop for their wands. I made the wands from dowels and added some wooded beads and drawings to some for added detail. My dad had given me an heirloom desk just before the move and we used that as a prop for Ollivander portrayed by Daddy. He went to great theatrics to find the proper wizard for each wand.

I'm not sure on the order, but I think we next went into the kitchen which was set up as Honeydukes sweet shop, of course honeydukes is not in diagon alley, it's in hogsmeade, but for the pretend party we pretended it was in diagon alley :)  In Honeydukes each guest made their own goodie bag with goodies I had prepackaged with labels I made on the computer and printed onto striped scrapbook paper. There were chocolate frogs (home made from a candy mold), lemon drops, spindels spiders (gummies), jelly slugs and worms, acid pops (rewrapped suckers), drubels best blowing gum (covered bubble gum), and atomic fire balls. We put the kids name on the back of the honeydukes tag that was on the baggie closure. I don't have any photos of the set up, but I had glass containers i'd gotten from the good will that i filled with candies. I described each candy to the kids and then my helpers passed around the container and each guest took one and put it in their baggie.



After honeydukes we began the classes. We had care of magical creatures class. Daddy had spray painted some large plastic easter eggs grey. We squished up some plastic lizards and closed them inside the eggs, place them in a $1 store cauldron and set them by the fireplace to keep warm. I told the kids they were dragon eggs and that we had gotten special permission from the ministry of magic to raise these baby dragons. 

There was defense against the dark arts class. My dad, Papa, dressed all in black with a black fabric over his head and i told them he was a Boggart. He came into the room and they were to use the spell "Ridikulus" and think of something funny weaken the boggart. They did very well and sent him running several times. Papa made some crazy noises and was very funny.


We also had a potions class where they made slime. The kids each got a bowl and mixed their own batch with supervision. Our kitchen remodel wasn't finished yet as you can see, but it worked for our purposes. There was supposed to be more decor here, but as with a lot of things, I ran out of time. That's me dressed as the evil professor Umbridge.


And of course no Hogwarts celebration would be complete without a feast in the Great Hall. While we were working on classes my mom set up this table with all the food I had prepared. We had cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties, treacle fudge, licorice wands, candy covered marshmallows, butter beer, pumpkin juice and Hagrid even made cakes for the boys. Professor McGonnegal (my mom) was even on hand to help out. I found the recipes for the drinks online, but now that link is gone and I don't remember how I did it. 

and one more picture of the aftermath and the ceiling. We used blue tablecloths taped to the ceiling and covered with stars to simulate a night sky like the magical ceiling of the great hall.

It was great fun, and I'm so glad I took the time to do it. Now I've got to plan a Percy Jackson party, a dress up halloween bday party and a avatar the last airbender party (or maybe toy story). Look out internet, I've got some ideas to borrow!


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About Me

a SAHM living the good life in northern Illinois