Before embarking on a Harry Potter birthday party, start the magic by asking guests to come dressed as characters from the books. Some essential characters include: Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley (and the rest of his family), Neville Longbottom, Draco Malfoy, and of course, Harry Potter. Have older family members dress as professors from Hogwarts, such as Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, or even Hagrid. Begin by having guests choose scenes to act out from one of the books for a fun activity that will put everyone in an enchanted state.
Harry Potter Birthday Party Tips:
Set the scene with candles, broomsticks, toy snakes, fake owls, and bats. For a magical touch, paint ping-pong balls gold, representing the Golden Snitch from the game of Quidditch. Hang them around the room with clear thread or fishing line. Display banners shaped like pennants with the house names printed on them. The house names and colors are: Hufflepuff (yellow and black), Ravenclaw (blue and bronze), Slytherin (green and silver), and Gryffindor (scarlet and gold).
- Food and Drink
Set up an area as the Leaky Cauldron. For Butterbeer, make root beer and ginger ale floats, pouring the soda over a scoop of ice cream in a clear cup or mug. Label food with magical names — cupcakes become "cauldron cakes" and malt balls are "chocolate frogs." And naturally, you'll need some jellybeans to stand in for Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. You can also put some jellybeans in a separate jar and have guests guess how many are inside.
- Make Your Own Wand
Have a crafts table stocked with straws and chopsticks for children to decorate and conjure up some fun. Creatively label yarn, feathers, and sequins with names like "Unicorn Hair," "Phoenix Feathers," and "Dragon Scales." You'll also need safety scissors, cardboard stars, colored markers, and glue.
You can also have guests create their own wizard hats by making cones out of cardboard and decorating them with the same materials as the wands.
- Magical Treasure Hunt
Before guests arrive, hide golden eggs, a Sorcerer's stone, plastic rings, Wizard's gold, and other surprises around your house and/or yard. To make it challenging, hide riddles in easy-to-see places that give clues to where certain items are hidden. You or another family member can act as a "gate keeper" for one-of-a-kind items like the Sorcerer's Stone or a Goblet of Fire, requiring those who seek the prize to answer a riddle, give a certain amount of Wizard's gold, or answer a trivia question. If you choose to challenge with Harry Potter trivia, make sure to have the books handy so kids can search for the answers.