It was probably my most epic party. The one where I wished it was my birthday, too. Harry and I? We’re tight. So, when Anna-Laura announced she wanted a Hogwarts birthday for her tenth year, she didn’t have to beg long.
Maybe 9 3/4 milliseconds.
If you haven’t been to Hogwarts, Whitaker style, then go here first for take one (where we played Quidditch, searched for magical creatures and even made our own brew in potions class). Below is your take two.
Take it away, Harry.
The invitations looked almost exactly like the first time around. I loved them that much. This time, though, we delivered a handful since the birthday girl wanted a sleepover party. I’m all for a shindig, but 16 girls overnight? Fool me once. We narrowed that bad boy down to four friends. Totally doable.
The balloons were just regular white helium-filled ones from Party City. I used a black sharpie marker to freehand the owl. Don’t overthink it, just draw and move on to the next one. I used scrapbook parchment paper for the invitations. The wording was straight from book one, using most of the same text in Harry’s original Hogwarts acceptance letter. It was tricky getting Professor McGonagall to sign the letters, but I managed to convince her. I rolled them up, tied to the balloons and then we hand-delivered these to the guests/prospective Hogwarts students. You can find those fonts for free by doing a quick Google search. I found most of mine on dafont.
I managed to get those off before our vacation and then crammed a few weeks of party planning into 48 hours. It was crazy insane. Let’s chat activities.
When the girls arrived, they hung out and giggled (like all 10-year-old girls) and once the last guest arrived we enjoyed a little Mandrake planting in the backyard. My sweet little Mandrake (aka baby Gianna) didn’t squeal as much as I thought she would, so no earmuffs were needed. You may say those are dieffenbachias, I say Mandrakes. Tomatoe, tamatoe.
After planting mandrakes and washing hands, we enjoyed some birthday cake (courtesy of Hagrid) and frozen Butterbeer (courtesy of the Hogwarts head chef). You can find a pretty stellar recipe here.
Then, it was upstairs to settle in for the showing of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. We made to sure to clear that showing with all the parents prior to the party and I tried, very hard, not to spill any of the beans, every flavor and otherwise, from too many other books in the party decorations. I think the party finally died down around midnight, but by 7am the girls were ready to go again. We filled the morning with breakfast and a sorting hat quiz I found online. I’m still amazed that the house was so clean when the girls left. Definitely not the case with boys! There was zero drama and each and every one of those ladies was a delight.
The Great Hall was where the girls dined. Fortunately, I kept all of the decorations from the last party and simply reused them. They ate birthday cake and treats on Saturday evening, and then breakfast on Sunday morning in there. Welcome to the hall!
Let’s talk food, shall we?
Originally I planned to have my favorite bakery make flying snitch cakepops, but I completely dropped the ball (no pun intended) and didn’t get them ordered in time. Enter: Hagrid. Remember that cake he baked for Harry in book one? Well, we recreated it. It was a horrible mess but tasted delicious.
My friend Kendra made the most adorable cookies (and at the last minute, I might add, since I forgot to email her too!) which the guests enjoyed.
Sunday morning breakfast included Deathly Hallows pancakes, pumpkin pasties (which turned out amazing!), fruit and polyjuice potion (apple juice).
Party details are what I love best.
My parents won this yard card from Austin Yard Cards at a fundraiser and I am *in love* with the way it turned out. Austin Yard Cards even made those lightening bolts just for Anna-Laura! If you’re in Texas or Wheaton, Illinois, look them up! Anna-Laura was so surprised to wake up the morning of her birthday and see this huge greeting just for her.
What’s Hogwarts without Platform 9 3/4? Don’t forget the directions, either. It’s amazing what a brown sheet, some red and black paint, a few yard stakes and a sharpie marker can do.
Diagon Alley made a cameo, too, with Ollivander’s wand shop. The wand does choose the wizard. This was something I saved from the first party and I’m oh-so-happy I did. Those wands were recent purchases from the shop itself in Orlando and we used them as decoration only. Well, I might’ve cast a sleeping spell on the girls, but otherwise, they stayed put.
One place I really had fun was in the bathroom. Because, girls. Hey Moaning Myrtle! Oh, how I wish I would’ve had time to download some of her quotes and have them play in the bathroom. Next time? I did add a little Ministry of Magic entrance and the lipstick worked on the mirror for a message from the Chamber of Secrets. Thank you, St. Pinterest. My Harry Potter board just got a little more exciting.
Because we had just visited Harry Potter at Universal Orlando a few days prior to the party, we were still riding the Hogsmeade high. Honeydukes was definitely in the air. I stamped some plain brown paper bags with the guests’ names, added a HP tie and then busted out the sugar. Those Bertie Bott’s bean boxes? A printable! I know, I almost died, too. The girls had a good time filling their bags with beans, levitating lemon drops, puking pastels (Twizzlers) and pop rocks.
It was a spectacular celebration. Anna-Laura, welcome to double digits sweet girl!
Let me know if I missed anything and I’m happy to share more details!
Yard card: Austin Yard Cards
Cookies: Sweet Spot Cookie Shoppe
Shirts: Designed by me, printed by Rocksports
Honeydukes printables: Chica and Jo
Water bottle/potion printables (free!): Over the Big Moon
Harry Potter tie printables: Chickadee Digital