Books are, by design and by inclination, an integral part of my family’s life – from bedtime to playtime to party time. And in any book-loving family, there’s going to be some Harry Potter love.
My family may be a little more Harry Potter-obsessed than average, but I see nothing to be ashamed of there. We’ve found a magical world that speaks to all of us in different ways, that can be enjoyed equally by everyone in our home. Our oldest daughter read the books on her own, the two younger are enjoying read-alouds with their Daddy each night (going on 2 years!) Once they finish a book together, we watch the movie as a family (and point out inconsistencies together. It’s our version of family bonding.)
Last fall, we threw a day-after-Halloween “Harry Pot-luck” AND a Harry Potter birthday party for my middle daughter’s 8th birthday. (She swears her owl came a few years early – and that she’s a Gryffindor.)
Since then, I’ve been getting requests for party tips and ideas, so I decided to put some of my favorite ideas here on the blog. Today I’m sharing some of our most successful menu items to date. Say tuned for future posts on easy, inexpensive decor and kid-friendly activities inspired by Harry Potter.
I can’t take credit for the biggest hits at our Harry Potluck. I ordered a tray of my absolute favorite empanadas from a nearby Argentine restaurant. We labelled them Molly’s Meat Pies and watched them disappear.
In fact, creative naming is the key to my party success. Everybody loved Voldemort’s Vodka
Rigatoni Rigor Mortis and my friend’s Leeky-y Cauldron Dip.
My 10 year old added extra paprika and a pack of spider rings to her signature deviled eggs …and presto-change-o we were serving Aragog’s Eggs. (We found “Acromantula Eggs” to be a bit too intimidating to write on a small place card!)
For our very picky eaters we skewered string cheese with bread sticks to create the Nimbus Cheese-Thousand.
The UnOfficial Harry Potter Cookbook is a treasure trove of recipes for foods mentioned in the Harry Potter books – but sometimes it’s fun just to adapt your own favorite foods to the theme. My daughter wanted cauldron cakes and a Honeydukes candy shop experience at her party, so we got an assortment of candies, put them in clear jars, and gave them wizarding world names.
To make individual “cauldron cakes,” we made a chocolate cookie dough recipe. Rather than baking the dough flat, we cut 3 inch circles from rolled dough and wrapped them gently over an inverted muffin tin.
Once the cookies cooled, we filled them with ice cream and let the kids top them with their choice of candies from “Honeydukes.”
I have to admit, it was delicious! Plus, the make-your-own-sundae bar gave the kids a chance to “ewwwww” and ahh! over all the fun candy names we came up with – from jelly slugs (gummy worms) to goblin’s teeth (candy corn.)
Check back next week for more easy DIY Harry Potter party ideas, including the best butterbeer I’ve made yet! Better yet, follow the blog and never miss another post about the ways we make books and reading part of our family’s lifestyle.