You’re invited to Hogwarts
Imagine a child’s excitement at receiving an invitation to spend the night at Hogwarts from Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall.
There’s no limit to how creative you can be when hosting a Hogwarts experience that your child and his/her friends will be talking about for months!!
Out of all the theme parties I have thrown for my children’s birthdays, this is still my favorite and the one the kids remember most. That could be because I, too, read all the books and am a huge fan of the series.
With the release of the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” movie coming soon, the timing is perfect for an evening of muggle-style magic.
The complete Harry Potter Party planning guide (PDF file) includes details on creating the invitation, decorations, games, activities, and party plan in more detail.
You can use all the ideas or just a few based on your budget. The decorations take some time to make, so plan and make items weeks ahead.
The following is a brief overview of the party
The Hogwarts Experience
The children arrive via the Hogwarts Express through the invisible wall and ring the doorbell. In costume, you answer and introduce yourself as the Headmisstress and welcome them to Hogwarts.
The Sorting Hat decides which house each child is assigned (Gryffindor or Hufflepuff), and they receive a Hogwarts shirt for the appropriate house. A group “class” photo is taken with all of them wearing their Hogwarts shirts.
Craft project – Paint flower pots
Each child decorates a flower pot that will be used later in Charms class. The shirts double as protection for the kids’ clothes.
Believe me…this is phase one of the best part of the whole sleepover, but the magic isn’t revealed until later.
The Golden Snitch game
Order the pizza before starting the game.
Explain that there are ping pong balls hidden around the home (or outside) with points on them. To score points for your house, you must collect the balls and return them to be added to the scoreboard. The special “Golden Snitch” gets a bonus 100 points for the finder’s house. The house with the most points by cake time will win.
Give out some additional house points throughout the evening for “neatest eater”, “most creative painted pot”, or anything funny or crazy you can think of.
Pizza time! Ask if anyone would like some “Butter Beer”, and serve apple juice in a fancy pitcher. Pour it into their goblets in the Great Hall.
Explain that you will be teaching Charms class in place of Professor Flitwick. If you have an older sibling/husband that wants to be Professor Flitwick, he can conduct the class. Each child will fill their decorated pot with some dirt and plant one seed. You can do this outside if you think they will be too messy.
Everyone is presented with a wand. As a new wizard they will learn their first charm, the “Growth Charm.” Make up a charm they have to repeat after you, and make it really silly.
Example: “Wiggily Wiggly Wabbely Fro…I wave the wand and the seed will grow.”
Have them repeat it several times while waving their wands over their planted seeds. Compliment them all on how well they cast their charms.
Place the pots on a counter or table where they will sit until morning…but make sure they are in view.
Phase 2 of the magic is complete.
Let everyone clean up and enjoy some cake.
Announce the winning house in the points contest.
A Harry Potter movie, of course, with some snacks. Print the group “class” photo for each child while they are busy watching the movie.
When the last child goes to sleep, you will work the magic of the party.
Put a flower (that tray of flowers you were hiding) in each of the pots. When the kids awake to see them in the morning, they will be amazed…the Growth Charm worked!
Phase 3 – the magic is complete.
I think my son and his friends were in first/second grade when I did this party. I can tell you..they totally bought it…for awhile. It was so cute to see them discover that the flowers grew overnight, and the looks on their faces were priceless. I video taped the discussion about it over breakfast.
Child takes home:
- group “class” photo
- decorated flower pot
- candy bag
- …and a great memory
Find all the details to create your own Harry Potter experience in this step-by-step guide (PDF file).
Other party ideas in a book specifically for Harry Potter parties. I wish that was around when I did my party.