Halloween has evolved over the years into a multigenerational holiday. It is no longer just an excuse for kids to indulge in parent-approved treats, it has become an occasion for adults to dress up and hold parties, as well. Since the Harry Potter series is full of good and evil characters of all ages, wizards, creatures, ghosts, goblins, and their own special holiday feasts, it seems to me that a Harry Potter Halloween Party set at Hogwarts is the perfect theme for an all ages party.
Create invitations on parchment paper. On one side put a map to your, home, titled "Marauder's Map". On the other, write your invitation details in invisible ink. Be sure to include instructions for decoding the message. Send invitations by owl (or snail mail if you're not fortunate enough to have your own owl).
Transform Your Home into the Great Hall at Hogwarts on Halloween
- Put a sign over the entrance to the party that says Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
- Place pumpkins with lighted candles inside throughout your home (out of reach of any young children, of course).
- Create a Sorting Hat centerpiece for your buffet table out of felt. Decorate it with stars, crescent moons, lightning bolts, or any wizard imagery of your choice. The more tattered and frayed it looks, the better.
- Create a centerpiece for another table by filling a large pot with a variety of herbs. Label the table Professor Sprout's class.
- Scatter golden snitches on your buffet table or hang them fromthe ceiling. Create the snitches by spray-painting small plastic balls with gold paint, and gluing golden feathers to each side in the form of wings.
- Suspend clouds of fluttering crepe paper bats from your ceiling.
- Hang orange streamers throughout your home.
- Decorate the ceiling with purchased glow-in-the-dark stars (if you will be keeping the lights low), or make your own stars from cutouts covered with aluminum foil.
- Play scary Halloween music with plenty of ghost and goblin sounds.
- Decorate your walls with lightning bolts and portraits of knights in inexpensive old-looking frames (perhaps purchased at yard sales or estate sales).
- Record a tape of someone moaning and play it continuously in your powder room for the 'Moaning Myrtle' effect.
- Hang toy owls over the buffet table.
- Create or purchase potions cauldrons and serve treats in them.
- If you hire a band, request that they dress as ghosts (ghosts are the house band at Hogwarts).
Costumes can be as simple or elaborate as your guests choose. The minimum costume would be a wizard's hat and cloak. Here are other character ideas that would adapt well to costumes.
- Any Hogwarts staff member
- Nearly Headless Nick
- Luna Lovegood
- Draco Malfoy
- Dobby the Elf
Pin a number on everyone when they enter the party. Hold a contest where everyone fills in ballots to guess one another's costume.
The guest who has the most correct guesses wins.
Hold a Harry Potter trivia contest.
Organize a game of Muggle Quidditch.
When you set the tables for your Harry Potter Halloween Party, label three tables for your buffet. The one holding the treats is Honeydukes, the table with the savory selections is The Leaky Cauldron, and the bar is the Three Broomsticks. I've tried to select recipes that most closely represent the food and beverages enjoyed by the students and teachers at Hogwarts (with a few additions to round things out!) Feel free to add to your buffet any additional ghoulish Halloween recipes from the links at the end of this feature.
The Leaky Cauldron Menu
- Pumpkin Soup
- Apple Muffins
- Barbecue Beef Sandwiches
- Roasted Herb Potato Medley
- Tossed Green Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
- Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (assorted jelly beans)
- Fizzing Whizbees Levitating Sherbet Balls - Freeze trays of green and orange sherbet balls
- Droobles Best Blowing Gum (blue gum)
- Chocolates in the shapes of frogs, bats, rats, and brooms.
- Cookies made with Halloweencookie cutters.
- Apple Pie
- Jam Donuts
- Peppermint Humbugs - Round peppermints decorated with chocolate eyes and legs painted on with a toothpick.
- Mulled Mead
- Red Currant Rum (Rum Runners)
- Hot Butter Beer (hot non-alcoholic mulled cider)
- Other Haunting Halloween Cocktails
Send your guests home with broomsticks (either life-size or the small craft variety), and magic wands either purchased in a magic shop or children's costume store, or that you have created yourself.