How-To Throw a Harry Potter Halloween Party

Set the mood with some...

DECORATIONS!

  1. PLATFORM 9¾: Welcome your guests with a brick wall entrance! Use an old sheet or plastic party tablecloth and paint some bricks on in red. Cut a slit in the middle for passage. 

  2. FLOATING CANDLES! Just like in the Great Hall of Hogwarts, your castle needs to reflect the festivities with candlelight, candlelight, and more candlelight! Buy some cheap long and skinny candles and hang them from the ceiling with a clear fishing line… voila! Magic. (We do not recommend lighting them… so finish off the flickering ambience with some fairy lights strung around the room!) Another method would be paper towel rolls topped with a tea light!

  3. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WIZARD? Set the scene by printing out some WANTED posters of fugitive wizards, whether Harry himself, or Sirius Black to Bellatrix Lestrange. Paper these posters all over your space for the haphazard atmosphere of Diagon Alley.

  4. WRITING ON THE WALL: “The chamber of secrets has been opened enemies of the heir..... beware,” appeared mysteriously outside the first-floor corridor bathroom at Hogwarts School. Poor Ginny. Recreate the creepy text with red lipstick and a mirror! Make sure to channel the whole ‘possessed by Voldemort’ vibe. 

  5. MOANING MYRTLE: Speaking of the first-floor corridor bathroom… No Harry Potter Event would be complete without Moaning Myrtle. A computer print off and cut-out of the unhappy gal can be taped up right where she belongs… in the bathroom, as a nice surprise for your guests! I suggest the corner of the mirror! She could also surprise them from the shower or… toilet. 

  6. PUMPKINS: This goes without saying, but some spooky Jack-O-Lanterns are in order as well. Don’t forget the candle or battery-powered tea light. 

  7. SORCERER’S STONE: Party-goers can search for this legendary substance! Simply find a large rock and cover it in gold paint and sparkles. Hide the stone at the party and award its discoverer with a prize!

  8. PORTRAITS: Print out your own, or use a little creativity with paint or crayons, to whip up some castle portraits to line the stairs or corners that could use more ~pizzazz~.

  9. WATCH YOUR STEP: Make a Devil's Snare plant with brown packing paper or grocery bags and fake vines from the craft store. It will make the perfect Potter addition to any hallway or doorway.

  10. NO POST ON SUNDAYS! String extra envelopes, maybe with some scribbling or careful spidery penmanship to “Harry Potter in the cupboard under the stairs in Number 4 Privet Driv,e” on the front on a string for a photo backdrop. Fireplace optional. 

  11. WHY COULDN’T IT BE ‘FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLIES?” DIY your own spider trail with plastic spider rings and tape.

 

Break the ice with some...

INTERACTIVE IDEAS

  1. WANDS: Bring Ollivander’s to your town with a supply of party props for your guests. Finding twigs and branches for the merry-makers to swish-and-flick shall suffice! A little gold paint could go a long way with these!

  2. DARK MARKS: Provide some sharpies and your guests can attempt to give each other the notorious tattoo! 

  3. LIGHTNING: The sharpies can also deck out any unadorned foreheads with a scar similar to The Boy Who Lived. 

  4. SORTING HAT! Place the sorting hat, or any convenient hat you own, on each guest as they arrive to sort them into teams for the scoring of the evening’s activities.

  5. HOUSE PRIDE: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin! What house do you think the author of this list is in?! Slytherin, the best house! Provide your guests with house colors, striped ties, house emblems, prefect badges, or whatever you can think of!

  6. 100 POINTS TO… Whoever wins the board game or drinking game! The party host, or Headmaster, can assign points to different games or activities throughout the night. There will be points detracted for party fouls though… 

  7. MOVIE MARATHON: Put the movies on in the background for atmosphere and to remind everybody of the epicness of the HP Universe. Their collective running time is 19 hours and 40 minutes so there should be plenty of time for festivities. Guests can watch if they so choose or if they need a break!

  8. COSTUMES: I’m torn on this. You could have guests come as characters from the books, or they could just come as what they want, which I think would be cool because Hogwarts students don’t dress up as Hogwarts students for Halloween. Yeah, we’re going for accuracy here, people!

  9. DRINKING GAMES, HARRY POTTER EDITION: Turn your party into the Leaky Cauldron pub with these games. Here’s a game that works for every movie! 

 

Fuel up with some… 

FOOD

  1. CHOCOLATE FROGS: Everyone’s favorite jumping sweet, the chocolate frog, though the CGI in the first few movies didn’t make them look too appetizing. The frogs can be purchased here with the trading card or here in a smaller, more shareable form.  

  2. BERTIE BOTT’S EVERY FLAVOUR BEANS: this is risky beans-ness… Booger, Black Pepper, Dirt, Earthworm, Earwax, Grass and Rotten Egg in this magical mix. Don’t let this list scare you away! Bertie Bott’s Beans also include Cherry, Green Apple, Lemon, Watermelon and Tutti-Fruitti! Buy them here!

  3. SHERBET LEMONS: They may just be Muggle sweets, but Dumbledore loves them in the books, and I trust his judgment. Pick up some Lemonheads candy in his honor. 

  4. PUMPKIN PASTIES: Why not whip up some comforting on-theme pastry? They are a wizarding food sold on the Hogwarts Express, and a filling part of a perfect HP spread. 

  5. FIZZING WHIZZBEES: Fizzing Whizzbees are a popular magical sweet. They are large sherbet balls that will cause a person who sucks on them to float a few inches off the ground! You could make your own or stick a label on some store-bought candy. 

  6. CAULDRON CAKES: Harry shares these with Ron on his very first trip on the Hogwarts Express, and they are popular in the Wizarding World. Baking some will be a pinch with your magical abilities! 

 

And finally, refresh yourself after all that fun...

DRINKS

  1. POTION BAR. This is a PARTY! Stock the bar with the usuals, but you can also provide whacky ingredients like (sour gummy) worms, (grape) eyeballs, or (candy) dragon eggs. The possibilities are endless, especially with stores stocking Halloween treats. 

  2. POTION INSTRUCTIONS: Search the Web for drink recipes for Polyjuice Potion, Liquid Luck, or Skele-Gro, or tinker and invent your own!

  3. DELICIOUS DRINKS: You can also provide drinks that have no magical properties, like Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice.

 

Eat, drink, and be merry! Have fun, be safe, channel the Trio, and watch out for He Who Must Not Be Named! Happy Halloween!