Tully is currently Harry Potter OBSESSED! I’ve been through this before with my son and it’s such a fun age. Due to it being all about Harry Potter, we had to throw an epic Harry Potter themed party for Tully’s seventh birthday. I think it was the biggest party I’ve thrown – in work and in size. We had about 30 kids here for two hours and it was crazy!
Here’s how I set it all up…
Harry Potter Party Styling
So I love a good set up, I really wanted to create the Hogwarts feel at home. But it’s hard when you live in a suburban brick house instead of a 14th-century castle. To get the Hogwarts experience going, I set up multiple areas.
I set up a mini Diagon Alley on our driveaway. Here, kids got to shop for their magical creature and choose a wand at Olivanders. I bought Beanie Boos as magical creatures and I made 32 wands using chopsticks, a hot glue gun and some paint, using this DIY Wand tutorial. This was one of my favourite activities for the party. There’s something so satisfying about a hot glue gun!
I wanted the kids to have the feeling of arriving at Hogwarts. Originally I wanted to pull a boat across the pool (too extra?) but I just knew one of the kids would think it was fun to tip the boat! So we made platform 9 ¾ at the front of the house and then had children ‘board’ the Hogwarts Express to travel through the pool area to ‘Hogwarts’. My sister even had a wooden whistle that sounded just like a real train whistle, so I got my dad to work as the ‘train conductor’. The kids loved it!
One of the best things I purchased was about 9 meters of brick backdrop that I used to create Platform 9 ¾, cover the front door and create a photo wall. To create the photo wall I also wanted some props to make it look like the kids were getting ready to board the Hogwarts Express. My dad is a collector of vintage things like radios, hats and suitcases, so I borrowed some old school suitcases from him, as well as a giant birdcage from my friend. It looked just like they were off to school!
The party table is always the centrepiece of any party and the thing I like setting up the most. For the backdrop, I hung up black fabric and then attached the house banners (a friend passed these on to me from her daughter’s party). I set up the table using wooden and silver platters and incorporated interesting glass shapes. I used old books and apothecary jars and bottles to give it that magical feel. I bought a little snowy owl for Tully’s birdcage just to top it off!
I bought the Hogwarts house banners that were on sale at Adairs a while back and hung them over each house table. I covered each table with black plastic tablecloths for activities so they were easy to scoop up and throw away.
Harry Potter Food Ideas
I wanted to stay loyal to the books when I served the food and keep it fun for the kids as well. I was looking for a Honeydukes vibe on the main table and then some savoury options for the other table.
For the sweets table, I served a combination of British sweets from Joy’s Delight, some favourites like Killer Pythons, Brite Crawlers and Freckles from Woolworths and I made Golden Snitches using Ferrero Rocher and some print out wings. I also made some chocolate frogs, because what is Harry Potter without chocolate frogs? Jelly Belly kindly sent me a box of Jelly Bellies to use as Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and I made the cake myself.
I loved the look of the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Bean boxes from the movie so we printed out the boxes from a free template and made them ourselves! They took a very long time to make but they looked so good! We gave them as party favours at the end of the party.
Here’s the full list of what I served and where I got them-
Dumbledore’s Sherbert lemons – Joy’s Delight
Apple Bon Bons – Joy’s Delight
Pear Drops – Joy’s Delight
Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes (Flying Saucers) – Joy’s Delight
Golden Snitches (Ferrero Roche) – Woolworths
Basilisks (Killer Pythons) – Woolworths
Griphook’s Jewels (Freckles) – Woolworths
Glow Worms (Brite Crawlers) – Woolworths
Chocolate Frogs – made with Woolworths Essentials Cooking Chocolate Melts
Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (Jelly Bellies) – Jelly Belly
Dragon Eggs (Cadbury Mini Eggs) – Woolworths
House biscuits – made by me
Birthday cake – made by me
Sorting Cupcakes – made by me
Cauldron cakes (mud cake with marshmallow topping) – made by me
Niffler Rolls (Woolworths Sausage Rolls) – Woolworths
Hippogriff Nuggets (Woolworths Chicken Breast Tempura Nuggets) – Woolworths
Troll Toes (Woolworths Cocktail Frankfurts) – Woolworths
Fruit Platter – Woolworths
Cheese, dips and crackers platter – Woolworths
Gilly Water (Water)
Pumpkin Juice – was supposed to be concentrated orange juice but I forgot to put it in the fridge so it was watered down pineapple juice.
Butterbeer (brown creaming soda and cream on top)
I used these editable food labels from Mumlyfe
Harry Potter Party Activities
With 30 kids, I wanted to keep them pretty busy so that things didn’t get too wild. When they arrived and came through to ‘Hogwarts’ we sorted them using the sorting hat. To make sure there were even groups (and that some of the kids got into the houses that would cause the least drama) I sorted them by pulling a folded piece of paper from a bowl. However, to make sure I got the right groups together, I put a little red, green, blue or yellow dot on the folded paper so I knew what it would say at a glance.
Once they were sorted they headed off to one of four activity tables, labelled with a house banner above it:
Gryffindor – Care of Magical Creatures
My original plan was to take care of baby dragons in eggs. As it’s nearly Easter it’s easy to get plastic eggs and Spotlight had animal print ones, which were perfect. However, my mini dragons failed to arrive in time so I had to do an emergency print out of animal adoption certificates the morning of the party. They all created them for the magical creatures they adopted them.
Hufflepuff – Herbology
The Hufflepuff head and Herbology teacher is Professor Sprout, so it’s only fitting that we planted mini pots of sprouts! I got tiny pots, seeds and soil from Bunnings and they all used spoons to fill their pots and plant their seeds. They loved it!
Ravenclaw – Charms
For this one, I assigned my former Harry Potter mad son (who is now 20) to run the charms class and teach the kids how to use their new wands. For someone who spent a solid 10 years in the Harry Potterverse and collected all the wands, I figured he was qualified. They loved learning curses and duelling each other.
Slytherin – Potions
What’s more fun than making slime in potions class? I recruited my 18-year-old daughter and her best friend for their slime making skills and they were run off their feet. Slime was definitely the most popular activity on the day. The kids went mad for it!
One problem we had was that the kids were supposed to rotate tables. But, the slime took longer than the other activities so it ended up as a bit of a free for all at each table.
½ cup good quality white craft glue (we found Mont Marte worked the best, we had cheaper $2 shop glue too but it was rubbish)
½ teaspoon Bi Carb Soda
Contact lens solution*
Mix the glue and Bi Carb Soda together thoroughly and then add colouring. Once they are all combined and super sticky, add the contact solution using a few squirts at a time and stirring. Keep adding until the slime no longer sticks to your bowl or your hands. Then it’s ready!
*When you buy contact solution it can’t be the saline one. We use Re Nu, as that’s what was recommended on the web.
After the table activities, we discovered Gringotts had been robbed so we had to go on a hunt to find the gold. Once the gold coins had been recovered we had to catch the flying keys to find out who had the winning one. For this, I bought a bunch of Steampunk vintage keys online and hung them from the clothesline. The day before I had taken a photo of one particular key as the winning key, and once they had all caught a key, we matched the winning key!
After that, there was time for a quick game of Petrificus Totalus musical statues before it was cake time!
It was such a fun day – the kids had an amazing time and it was definitely a party to remember. Let me know if you have any questions below and I’ll do my best to answer them!
*this party was thrown with the help of Woolworths and Jelly Belly