It is a wonder what a little candlelight and music can do to an ordinary day because our house turned straight up magic Friday evening as the sun set which was my cue to light a fire, pull out the candles and yell, “Alexa, play Harry Potter soundtrack!”
The goal for our annual Harry Potter Party is, of course, Hogwarts magic. I want my kids to feel what I felt curled up in bed, hour 7 of reading the Harry Potter book that took my imagination into a captivating world that was so unlike anywhere it had ever been.
The thing I love about this party is that there are so many ways to achieve the feeling of Hogwarts, and the foundation of that feeling is candles everywhere. We added inexpensive spider webs and a few dollar section Halloween items (all which get tucked in a bin marked “Halloween” and reused year after year!). We found the little clip-on owls in the Christmas aisles (yes, already up) at Michael’s for 40% off, and they are the perfect Hogwarts touch!
Dash makes a killer Potter.
And Nella can say Wingardium Leviosa perfectly.
But the real treat this year was Brett who slipped a black wig on for a Snape appearance.
The kids’ favorite part of the evening is always the intermission for Honeydukes, a full Potteresque candy bar…
I stash away candy in my closet a month leading up to this party and gather jars I’ve saved for parties to display them. Some of the more unique candy comes from World Market (like those Pixie Puffs–the texture of cheese puffs but cotton candy flavored). The character portraits behind the candy bar are just photos I printed from the Internet–and they’re taped on top of the glass because who has time to reframe things for one little party?
Each kid is given a pouch of change, and all the candy is priced. The decision making and bartering process is so fun to watch!
Other Harry Potter night favorites include our butterbeer bar. I changed the recipe I use this year because the previous ones we made were too sweet–and too many ingredients.
The butterbeer itself is simply cream soda with about a teaspoon of butter extract added to each glass, but what makes it so delicious is the butterbeer foam you top the glass with. I whipped heavy whipping cream, a little sugar (to taste–I don’t like it too sweet!), 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 tsp. of butter extract until it was thick and foamy. Together, it was so delicious! A little rum in the adult version isn’t so bad either.
Everything else is kept simple. We had a pot of chili on the stove and ordered pizza for the kids.
The kids were convinced their tiny jars of polyjuice potion (Sprite with a drop of green food coloring) would turn them into rats, but it didn’t work.
My favorite part of the night is this…when the candy buzz settles and the kids are all cuddled up on the couch, stretched out an sleeping bags, fire crackling, candles flickering, dog asleep in my dad’s lap, and the magic of Hogwarts entrancing them all.
Speaking of dog, of course Friday came in character…
I love October, and all that is to come.