Written by J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter books took the world by storm in the late 1990s. The series not only introduced a new generation to the joys of the written word, but also enthralled adult readers with an unusual world full of magic, friendship, good and evil. The books remain quite popular, as do their movie adaptations. Keep the magic alive by hosting a Harry Potter-themed party.
In the Harry Potter world, the ability to use magic does not inhibit the central characters from using what could be considered archaic means of communication. When sending out invitations to your guests, be creative and use your local post office to send out Hogwarts acceptance letters. Check the scrapbook supply section at your local craft store to find scroll-like paper. Either hand-write the invitations yourself or print in a calligraphy font the details of the party (location, time, date and guest of honor). Let the guests know that they have been invited to join the prestigious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and seal the envelopes with an owl sticker to complete the effect.
While Harry and his friends generally enjoy traditional English cuisine, many food items that are unique to the series can make your party extra special. Many candy makers produce confections that are based off the series, such as chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's every flavor jelly beans. If you are culinarily inclined, make pumpkin pasties and "blood" lollipops for dessert. For added flair, serve homemade butterbeer, firewhisky and pumpkin juice in decorative cauldrons instead of a basic punch bowl. If your party is for adults, designate one area of the room to be the "potions laboratory." Wrap bottles of alcohol, mixers and condiments with fun labels that say things like "dragon's breath," "eye of newt" and "mandrake juice."
Proper decorations will give your party a festive feel. Choose a favorite Potter locale to model your decorations after, such as Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade or Hogwarts. For a spooky feel decorate your home with skulls, old-fashioned jewelry and intimidating items, and erect a street sign labeled Knockturn Alley right by the entrance to the party. Alternatively, section off the house into various "classrooms" (such as Charms, Transfiguration, and Herbology) and have appropriate activities and games in each.
Younger Harry Potter fans will enjoy participating in activities that are based on the series. Set up a table with wooden dowels, paint, glitter and ribbons and invite the children to decorate their very own wands. Fill a battered old witch's hat with colored marbles (red for Gryffindor, green for Slytherin, yellow for Hufflepuff and blue for Ravenclaw) and ask the children to pick out a marble with their eyes closed. Once the kids have been "sorted" into teams, award "house points" when the team completes an activity. Affix paper wings to a tennis ball and have an adult hide it somewhere in your home to create a fun game of Find the Snitch. Basing a scavenger hunt off of the Marauder's Map will give the children an opportunity to work together as a team. Once the games are over, celebrate the team with the most points by letting the children frost their own cupcakes in the winning house's color (buy white frosting and use food coloring to tint as necessary).
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images