Let your little witch or wizard take the Hogwarts Express to a magical Harry Potter-inspired birthday party that they’ll never forget.
Does your resident Harry Potter fan have a birthday coming up soon? Make their day with a Harry Potter-themed birthday party, complete with a game of Quidditch and a Hogwarts Hall full of deliciously magical snacks.
The Hogwarts letter of acceptance
What better way to announce a Harry Potter birthday than with an official Hogwarts letter of acceptance? Using aged parchment, inform each attendee that they have been offered a place at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Include the date of the party as the date Term 1 begins and have each guest RSVP by owl. Sign off as Deputy Headmistress and don’t forget to inform guests as to whether they need to dress up in school robes or not.
While you might not be able to deliver the invites by owl, you can certainly make them look authentic by using a calligraphic script on aged parchment. Roll up the invites and tie them with a red ribbon or fold them into an envelope and seal them with red wax to give an authentic Hogwarts feel.
Create your very own School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in minutes by covering your dining table in a rich red satin tablecloth and candles of varying shapes and sizes. If you can get your hands on a candelabra, place it in the centre of the table and drape the walls in Hogwarts-coloured bunting, emblazoned with the four House crests. If you’re throwing an after-hours party, consider bringing the stars to your ceiling by hanging tiny fairy lights across the room and don’t forget to hang a Platform 9 3/4 sign on your front door. For an extra touch, pick up a vintage birdcage, stuff it with a toy owl and stack it on some old vintage suitcases in the corner for a magical touch.
Decorate your party space with some easy DIY bunting >>
Games to play
What’s a Harry Potter party without a game of Quidditch? Simply divide guests into two teams, hand them all flying broomsticks and let them battle it out in the backyard with a few soft balls. You can also turn a treasure hunt into a hunt for Horcruxes — simply get a sorting hat to divide the guests into teams and award a prize to the team that solves the most riddles. Finally, you can organise your very own Triwizard Tournament by getting guests to participate in a few simple party games, such as a three-legged race, a guessing game and a round of musical chairs, and award the winner their very own Triwizard Cup.
From the Muggle Kitchen
One thing the children of Hogwarts had was delicious food in droves. Essential to the success of any Harry Potter party is an endless supply of butterbeer and pumpkin juice, but for the dessert table, anything goes. Pumpkin pie and jellies are favourites from the books, or you could create your own wizardly treats by dipping pretzel sticks into chocolate to make wands or make edible golden snitch rice crispy truffles. Don’t forget to plate up a few Herbology sandwiches or small savoury pies to serve as something substantial. You can take suggestions from any British cookbook — chances are the recipe will have at some point made an appearance at a Hogwarts feast.
A truly magical cake
From tiers to turrets, the cake at a Potter party really needs to shine. If you have time and talent in droves, you could always try your hand at creating a gingerbread Hogwarts. But for something a bit more manageable, why not try a Monster Book cake? You can make it any flavour you like and ice it to replicate the look of The Monster Book of Monsters. Or, why not make a piñata cauldron cake filled with candy for a fun alternative to a traditional birthday cake? But for the diehard Harry Potter fan, a simple round sticky chocolate cake with green lettering will be enough. This was the first birthday cake Harry Potter received — a gift from Hagrid on his 11th birthday.
Make your little witch or wizard’s memories truly magical by providing a few props and a dedicated space for guests to pose for photos. Have a box full of black robes lined with the Hogwarts house colours, wands, pointy hats, round glasses and books for guests to use to dress up and hang a recycled vintage picture frame from the ceiling or a tree branch for them to pose behind.
Send guests home with a little something magical. You can make your own broomstick favours by filling a brown lunch bag with lollies then tying it with twine to a chopstick, or fill glass jars with Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Jelly Beans. Or, simply fill a cauldron-shaped pot with chocolate frogs, coins, licorice stick wands and gold-wrapped truffles with paper wings glued to them to replicate a golden snitch.