This is going to be the first in a series of throwback posts to themed parties my family and I have held over the years, along with an idea or two that we still have for additional parties (when we eventually have time).
I was talking with Ally about book-themed food, and it came up that my family and I have hosted several themed parties but I’ve never posted about them. So, here’s a look at the various Harry Potter parties (yes, plural) that we’ve had. The first one was for Harry’s birthday. It’s also been a great theme for kids birthday parties (and aren’t we all kids at heart?) and Halloween parties. I’m not going to differentiate between the various parties, but here’s a look at what we’ve done in the past.
The food table was both the easiest to do and yet the hardest to make choices about. There are so many ideas and recipes that you just have to pick and choose for yourself.
Some of the recipes & food ideas we used:
- Pumpkin Pasties
- Butterbeer Cookies
- More Butterbeer Cookies!
- plates of assorted cold cuts, vegetables, and fruits and a bowl of boiled potatoes (for some food beyond sweets on the table)
- ginger newt cookies (regular gingerbread cookies, but using this cookie cutter)
- donut holes + paper wings = edible golden snitches
- Pretzel Wands and Licorice Wands
- Treacle Tarts
We also got a bit ambitious with the decorations. We used electrical tape and theatre lighting gels to make “stained glass windows.” (If you do this, a warning: take them down again right away. Don’t leave them up “because they’re pretty” for long enough that the tape doesn’t want to come off the window cleanly.) We also got some scene setter backdrops to make the stone walls for our “potions classroom” area of the house, and draped stuff we didn’t want seen with random fabric depending on the mood we wanted to set in any given room. And the washable window pens they make for writing on car windows work really well on bathroom mirrors for writing creepy messages.
There are various games you can play with a Potter Party, of course. We did a version of Quiddich that was on a soccer field and was a cross between (American) football and basketball. It was confusing, but that’s Quiddich! We also designed “potions class” where you have ingredients set out and instructions for how to mix some potions; “divination class” where you try to read tea leaves; and “herbology class” where students planted a (jelly) bean in a dirt made of crushed Oreo cookies, and then later it had grown into (candy) spearmint leaves. It was a ton of fun.
herbology lesson after the beans had “magically” sprouted
For the birthday Potter Party, we also had fun goodie bags. They included the obvious store-bought Harry Potter candies (chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott’s Beans), but we also made magical seed packets (containing beads) and portable potions (using hand sanitizers) with the help of some print-outs we found on Etsy. We also made chocolate Golden Snitches out of Ferrero Rocher chocolates and printed wings. We enjoyed the preparation almost as much as the party itself.
Also, if you need other great ideas for a Harry Potter party of your own, I highly recommend checking out Epbot’s posts on the subject. That’s where we got several of our ideas, including recipes for Treacle Tarts and the Pensieve Punch (though we didn’t have the time or ability to make the bowl for it. Alas).