Thursday, February 12, 2015

Harry Potter birthday party.

It came as no surprise that Liam wanted his 9th birthday party to be Harry Potter themed. He's been in a bit of a phase ever since he picked up Sorcerer's Stone to read at the beach this summer. Since then it's been pretty much all Potter all the time.


At the park...


At the beach...


On Halloween...


Even our vacation!



So when we realized his birthday was a week away and we had yet to plan a party, we weren't too worried. We're old pros at this Harry Potter stuff. Plus, we have magic on our side...


Once the guests were invited and the location was secured (we decided to have the party at our neighborhood community center where we spend a lot of time and can fit a lot of people), we got our Pinterest on.

This was Liam's second foray into the wonderful world of pinning (his first was during the making of our new workstation) and he was super excited. And browsing through all the awesome stuff that people pin really helped us narrow down where we wanted to spend our party energy.

We decided it was most important to make wands. I mean, what's a witch or a wizard without a wand? At first we thought it would be fun for the kids to make wands at the party (or, at least have the option available for any kids not feeling the wild and crazy vibe). But once we got started making some at home we realized that they took way too long to be a party activity. Plus we were having so much fun making them we didn't want to stop! So we made a bunch (30?) so every kid could have their own.


The process was pretty easy and we found that there was no way to really them mess up. We took wooden dowels (we bought packs at JoAnne's), added a bunch of hot glue to make them look more wand-like (sometimes we just added a handle, other times we went nuts), then once everything was dry we painted the wands with craft paint (several coats, usually ending with a little metallic) and finished with a little spray polyurethane.






The wands turned out really awesome and nobody could believe we made them. Until a few broke. Fortunately I had brought the wand making supplies just in case so we were able to quickly hot glue the couple of broken wands back together. And one of our friends stepped up and created a little wand making station for anyone who wanted to fashion their own out of glitter hot glue and markers...


Since we had the whole gym to ourselves, we came up with a game we called Quiddish. It's like Quidditch but not exactly. We hung a couple of hula hoops from the basketball goals, tossed a bunch of homemade brooms and balloons into the gym and let the kids figure it out. Which, of course, they did. Kids are the best...



The brooms were pool noodles we transformed with a little masking tape and construction paper (the noodles were kinda pricey in the middle of winter but Liam decided they were an 'essential'). We cut the noodles in half, covered them with masking tape (we used the thick kind and wrapped them vertically - pretty quick work once we got the hang of it) then added fringed construction paper to the end for bristles. Oh, and Liam labeled each and every one. Half were Nimbus 2000s, half were 2001s...



The noodles came in a big cardboard box that we decided to turn into a Platform 9-3/4. We used some of our leftover wand paint and a big sponge to make bricks. Then we printed out a sign, stuck it to some construction paper and voila! Perfect for the entrance to the gym.







For snacks, we decided to leave it to Mrs. Costco (veggie tray, crackers, cheese, hummus, bottles of water, done). We even let her make the cake! To make it special we fashioned a Golden Snitch out of a Ferrero Rocher chocolate with a couple of leaf shaped earrings stuck in for wings. Boom.


The only thing special we did for snacks was make Butter Beer. This was a highlight of Harry Potter World at Universal and deemed a 'must have' for the party.


We really wanted to get it right but unfortunately, it was our one Pinterest fail of the party (there's always one, right?).


We bought cans of cream soda (we couldn't find 2-Liter bottles anywhere) and poured them into growlers to mix with butter extract and rum extract (full recipe here). I'm not sure if it was the extract or the pre-pouring but our soda was totally flat and weird by the time the party started (and we poured it right before).

Also? Our creamy topping curdled which was really gross. Bill had to run one last time to Kroger to get cans of whipped cream. Which, if I were to do it again, is exactly what I would use. A good quality cream soda (we liked IBC way better than A&W) with a little spray of whipped cream up top. Done.

The drinks were also pretty high maintenance which, you could probably tell from my approach to Quiddish, is so not my jam. I would much rather kids help themselves and make their own fun while I chat with my friends. Wish I would have spent less time pouring flat drinks and more time beating Bill at ping pong. But all in all it was a great party and the birthday boy had a blast. I'd call that a success.



1 comment:

zerry ht said...

My son is big fan of Harry Potter and he loves this theme too. Last month, we celebrated his birthday party and used this same theme at one of the party halls in Boston MA. His friends really enjoyed the party and had too much fun.