Greeting from Hogwarts!
One of my favorite things of being a room parent for Kiddo’s 4th grade class was having the opportunity to throw the children a Harry Potter Halloween Party. This year, the class began the Harry Potter book series and really got into it, I think they all not-so-secretly wished to be sorted into a house of their own. It started out with a simple, “Mrs. JetSetMom, I want to somehow turn the classroom into Hogwarts for Halloween …” And that’s all I needed to hear… We rounded the troops and every single parent pitched in to help make this happen.
For those looking to throw an amazing Harry Potter party and in need of ideas, look no further. Here are a few highlights from our Harry Potter Halloween complete with costumes, recipes, and links to printables.
Hogwarts Acceptance Letter + Hogwarts Express Ticket
A few weeks before the party, Kiddo’s teacher sent a personalized invitation in the form of a Hogwarts acceptance letter and Hogwarts Express ticket to each child’s home. This not only set the tone for the party, but what kid doesn’t LOVE getting mail? It was all the buzz on the playground and the children couldn’t wait to turn in their ticket on Hogwarts Express Platform 9-3/4. The Hogwarts peel and stick wax seals were such a nice detail.
This was a Hogwarts acceptance letter and ticket packet I had printed up special for Kiddo’s memory box. They had personalized everything including adding her principal’s name as Head Mistress.
Floating Candles + Flying Keys
These without a doubt were huge “WOW” factors when walking into the classroom. Two fantastic moms took on the daunting task of making these amazing decorations and pictures simply don’t do justice on how beautifully they came out. Each floating candle was made from toilet paper rolls, glue melted from a glue gun was used for the dripping wax illusion, fishing wire and flameless votive candles. The flying keys were made from antique skeleton keys, and wings cut out from transparent folders.
Harry Potter Wand Making
One of the centers allowed the children to decorate their own wands. We put out different color glitter, paints, feathers, and gems so the kid’s could personalize the sticks the way they wished. To save money, we collected unused disposable chopsticks from the local restaurants. They turned out to me the perfect size.
Hedwig Balloons + Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Diplomas
Using white balloons and a black Sharpie, the talented mom who made our flying keys also made each Hedwig balloon. It was fascinating watching her make each balloon come to life as she attached a personalized diploma from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the close of the day.
Hogwarts Sorting Hat
To make the children’s dreams become a reality, the teacher sorted each child into a Hogwarts House thanks to this authentic Harry Potter sorting hat and an online quiz she had them take on their iPads.
Platform 9-3/4 Brick Background + Luggage Cart
We decorated the outside of Kiddo’s classroom using a vinyl brick background a mom found on Amazon.com. Sam the Great also came through with the amazing Platform 9-3/4 signage. The kind folks at our local Office Depot was kind enough to lend us a shopping cart from their store so we could properly burst through the wall into Hogwarts.
Have You Seen This Wizard? Photo Booth + Harry Potter Props
Another favorite of the day was the Harry Potter photo booth we set up thanks to one of the 4th grade dads. He was kind enough to matte this “Have You Seen This Wizard?” poster onto foam core and I ordered up some Harry Potter photo booth props for them to use in the photos.
Golden Snitch Candies
What would a Harry Potter party be without Golden Snitches? So one of our fantastic parents glued white feathers to the outside of everyone’s favorite Ferrero Rocher candies. We placed them around the table at Honeyduke’s and they were quickly gobbled up!
Honeyduke’s Butterbeer Recipe
For snack time, we prepared a delicious version of Butterbeer for the kids to enjoy during a special screening of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer Stone. So how do we make Butterbeer? The Butterbeer recipe we used was simple to make just adding A&W Cream Soda to the chilled glass, topped off with a layer of Marshmallow Fluff, then drizzled Butterscotch syrup over the top. Since it was a holiday treat for the kids, we added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkles to add to the fun. It was super sweet, and they loved trying it like Harry and friends did.
I got this idea from our visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Kiddo loved it so much that I knew the class would enjoy it just as much. You can also blend all the ingredients together and freeze it. Then blend it again to make it into a frozen slushy!
The Forbidden Forest
We divided each part of the classroom into different Harry Potter backgrounds. Honeydukes, Gryffindor, The Grand Hall and transformed the class library into The Forbidden Forest with hundreds of spiders and miles of fake webbing.
How to Build a Quidditch Tournament
This is where JetSet Dad came in. He was all over building a regulation Quidditch Tournament. He spent a few nights wandering the aisles of Lowes for inspiration and tuned into YouTube videos to learn the rules. Using PVC piping and pool noodles, he made Quidditch goals and the kids went wild. It was PE on a Hogwarts level!
OK, so this came to me while walking the aisles of Whole Foods. I had seen Mandrakes in Professor Sprouts office while visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, but couldn’t think of a way to capture these creatures. Then I saw some ginger roots and parsnips with leaves which have an uncanny resemblance to Mandrakes. I brought them home and the kids drew faces on with black Sharpie pens.
Hermione Granger Costume
Kiddo wanted to be Hermione Granger even before there were plans to be a Harry Potter Halloween party so we spent a few months thinking up her costume. It wasn’t a traditional Hermione costume as she went with most of the items we found right in her very own closet. I found the Gryffindor cardigan sweater at Hot Topic and her shirt and plaid skirt were from Abercrobmie Kids. Her Quidditch socks, headband, and Gryffindor scarf were from our visit to Hogwarts at Universal Studios Hollywood, and her shoes were Doc Marten Mary Janes. She also got her wand from Ollivander himself during a special wand fitting at Universal Studios.
Gilly Water Bottle Labels
Since there is no such thing as Gillywater we did the next best thing. We printed out these awesome Gilly Water bottle labels and attached them to regular Costco water bottles which probably tasted much better than the real thing.
Harry Potter™ Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans
I bought each child a pack of their very own Harry Potter™ Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans from Jelly Belly. The kids thought they were hysterical and they loved getting grossed out my the whacky flavors.
Harry Potter Soundtrack Spotify Playlist
To set the mood of the classroom, I made a Harry Potter playlist of all the songs featured on the soundtrack on Spotify. It has all of the songs and instrumentals you’ve heard while watching the movies. Some you’ll recognize and others are a lot of fun.
Harry Potter Christmas Tree Decorations
Kiddo loved her Harry Potter Halloween so much that we continued the celebration by surprising her with her very own Harry Potter Christmas tree and decorations for her bedroom. I can’t wait to share with you her special ornaments and wreath in an upcoming blog post. It’s a must for every HP obsessed Muggle!
Harry Potter’s First Birthday Cake from Rubeus Hagrid
Later on in the school year, we had the children in class make a cookbook as a part of our PTSA fundraiser. One of our Harry Potter super fans chose Hagrid’s recipe for Harry’s first birthday cake and I thought it would be a great addition to this post. Here’s the recipe!
- Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Chocolate Frosting
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
- 5 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Vanilla Frosting
- 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, room temp
- 4-5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- red food coloring
- green food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time. Add the milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and mix. Now add the boiling water and mix. Spray two round 9" diameter baking pans with nonstick spray. Pour your batter into the two pans, splitting it equally between them. Place pans in oven and bake 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove cakes from oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, carefully transfer the cakes to a cooling rack to finish cooling. When the cakes are totally cool and you're ready to decorate them, take a knife and slice them in half like a hamburger bun so you end up with four circular cake layers.
- Chocolate Frosting: Mix the cocoa powder and powdered sugar together. In another bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Mix in 1/3 of the cocoa/sugar mixture. Add about 1/3 of the milk. Repeat this until all the cocoa powder, sugar, and milk are added. Mix in the vanilla extract. The frosting should be spreadable at this point. If not, add in more milk or powdered sugar as needed.
- Vanilla Frosting: Cream the butter until fluffy. Mix in 1/2 of the powdered sugar. Add 1/2 of the milk. Repeat with other 1/2 of sugar and milk. Add in the vanilla extract. The frosting should be spreadable at this point. If not, add in more milk or powdered sugar as needed. Now scoop out a portion of the frosting to a separate bowl (enough for the frosting letters).
- Add a few drops of red food coloring to the remainder of the frosting and mix to get pink frosting. In the other bowl, add green food coloring to get green frosting. Keep bowl covered until ready to use.
- 1. Cover your work surface with a sheet of plastic wrap. Cut out a circle from a piece of cardboard and cover it with foil. Place it on your plastic wrap, followed by your first layer of cake.
- 2. Dollop some frosting on the cake and then smooth it out.
- 3. Place another cake later on the first, dollop frosting, and smooth.
- 4. Repeat process with third layer of cake.
- 5. Place final cake layer on top. Press down on top of cake to make sure firmly sandwiched. Wipe off the crumbs dotting your plastic wrap.
- 6. Take your pink vanilla frosting and start your crumb coat by thinly coating the top of the cake.
- 7. Continue the crumb coat on the sides of the cake, making sure to get it fully covered. Don't worry if it looks ugly at this point. You can carefully move the cake onto a plate if desired.
- 8. Clean off your knife and apply a second layer of pink frosting.
- 9. Put your green frosting it in a piping bag (or plastic bag) and cut a hole at the tip. Pipe on "Happee Birthdae Harry".
- Photo Credit: twrobot
Are you a Harry Potter super fan?
Tell us more! Who is your favorite character and which House would you want to be in? We love hearing more from our JetSetFam community. Kiddo is clearly a fan of Gryffindor and imagined herself being friends with Hermione Granger.