It was a merry muggle Christmas indeed! I run a big pop culture themed party every other month (next up I’m doing Hockey Party, Emoji Party, and Superhero Party). With the recent release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I decided to make December a Harry Potter Christmas Party. We had over 75 attendees of all ages, and it was a ton of magical fun. During these events I always have 1 or 2 simple crafts, 1 or 2 activities, themed snacks, photobooth, a YouTube Playlist of related videos, and one “event” near the end where I take the stage and most people stop the other activities to participate.
Ollivander’s Wand Making Shoppe
I built a store front using boxes wrapped with craft paper propped onto a table. A volunteer sat in the booth and made wands with a line up of kids (download my instructions). Each kid was given a card with the “ingredients” of their wand written on it (from here), a Magic Wand Handbook, and a sheet with a list of standard spells.
I used Harry Potter Trivia from this website, and challenged kids to fill out a sheet with the correct answers. A volunteer sat at the booth marking each as it came in, and at the end a prize (copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and a wand pen) was awarded to the child with the most correct answers.
I always try to have a scavenger hunt at these events because they’re easy, they take up a lot of time to complete, and kids love them! I printed out 6 pictures of house elves and tacked them up around the room. Kids crossed them off as the found each, and submitted a finished sheet. Sheets were drawn and 3 kids won prizes (Harry Potter Spell Book, 3D printed wand, copy of Hugo).
Butter Beer Booth
I looked up a lot of Butter Beer recipes, but in the end I decided to make up my own! It needed to be easy to prepare and inexpensive. Each butter beer was served from the Honeydukes booth (Yes, yes I know it should have been The Three Broomsticks, but I also had Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans and wanted to avoid too much “bar” imagery). I used transparent plastic cups because the recipe involves edible glitter to make the drinks sparkle!
3 pumps Torani Butterscotch Syrup
3 ice cubes
1 cup soda water
Splash of milk
Sprinkle of edible glitter (or “gold pearl dust”)
Top with whipped cream
They loved it!
Like always, buttons proved to be library magic! I put out the button maker and Harry Potter themed circles, and they pressed away.
Harry Potter Pipe Cleaner Glasses
This one was easy! Like the Styrofoam pokeballs at the Pokemon Party and the balloon light sabers at the Star Wars Party, I needed an easy, cheap craft that could be made en masse. The easy solution was: buy 200 black pipe cleaners. Make one example of Harry Potter glasses. Boom. Suddenly 70 happy kids have Harry Potter glasses.
I set up our ipad tripod by a wall. My artist husband painted this Have You Seen This Wizard sign for us. I hung a few extra floating candles by the wall.
With 30 minutes left of the event, I hooked up a microphone and invited everyone to a sorting ceremony. One by one, kids came to the front and sat in the sorting chair in front of the audience. The sorting hat was placed on their head. Each kid said their name into the microphone, and then answered one simple question about themselves: What’s your favourite animal? Food? Hobby? Movie? School subject? Character from Harry Potter? The sorting hat them thought about their answer for a few seconds and declared their house name. I gave each kid a pre-cut circle with their house crest that they could make into a button.
Decorations are KEY! With the help of my aforementioned artist husband, I painted a brick wall curtain so that everyone entered through Platform 9 3/4. I created cozy Christmasy candles using painted paper towel tubes, hot glue, and batter powered candles (inspired by Make Magazine). I printed and Harry Potter hung posters all over the room.
What Harry Potter activities have you run at your library?