Beyond Costumes: Potter Party

August 2, 2011

With the Harry Potter series as popular as ever following the release of its final movie, it won’t be surprising to see a bunch of little wizards running around on Halloween. However, there’s little reason to wait to call class at Hogwarts into session. Throwing a Harry Potter-themed party is a magical activity to plan for your kids at any time of year.

If your kids and their friends (and parents, too?) can’t get enough Harry Potter, what better way to keep the fun from the last movie going than re-creating a day in the life of Harry, Hermione and Ron right in your own home? Here are a few tips for getting started on your own party fit for the brightest pupils of witchcraft and wizardry:

* You’re accepted! Instead of sending out invites, draft acceptance letters for your guests straight from the office of Hogwarts Academy. You could even choose to enclose some fun assignments that could be redeemed for prizes at your party. A course schedule of party events could also be included.

* Get dressed up. To make the Hogwarts experience as authentic as possible, require everyone, even the adults, to wear costumes. After all, someone has to play the parts of Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall. Online retailers, such as HalloweenHaunted.com carry Harry Potter costumes for both kids and adults, as well as props like wands and Hogwarts Academy banners, making it a convenient option for your party needs. Remember, safety is always a concern, especially when dressing up your younger children. The University of Michigan Health System offers a helpful guide for safe costumes.

* Bust out the shepherd’s pie and Yorkshire pudding. Make a traditional dinner that includes some of the common foods mentioned in the books and movies. Not only will the kids be thrilled that they’re eating the same foods as the young wizard, but it also is a great opportunity to get them out of their comfort zone to try some traditional British foods.

* Leave time to play. As you can tell from some of the mischief caused in the classroom in the books and movies, young wizards also need some time out of school to play on their own. While kids will surely appreciate scheduled activities, they’ll also want some time to play and come up with some of their own games.