Reading Harry Potter together as a family opened the door to a wonderful world of imagination. It also fuelled party ideas in a way we’ve never experienced before!
I pulled ideas from so many places! But my favourite was from Bryt at my new favourite website! One day I’d love to throw an epic level party like hers, but for now I have a toddler who’d knock over anything I set out more than 4 hours in advance, and a 5 yr old who’d explode if she knew about a party more than 2 days in advance! lol
So even though I made some things in advance, most of this was made in 2 days with lots of help.
I started the vodka* for the pumpkin fizz a week in advance, and kept it in my pantry (*if you make this, use the left over vodka in apple juice for a yummy grown-up drink). The vodka was basically pumpkin spice extract in the final recipe. If I infused the vodka earlier, I could have easily made the pumpkin fizz a week or so in advance without issue.
Back to the party!
First up: The Invitation!
At ‘Diagon Alley’ we had balloons for the guests to decorate as cats, rats, or owls as pets. A table was set up with clay so they could each make their own wand to take home. Once all the wands were made, we baked them for a short time so they were dried and ready to go.
We had a potions class, that was a basic chemistry lab testing for pH and mixing acids and bases, and observing different viscosities of liquids.
We even had a quidditch pitch set up in the basement! We used a table and played a piece of drywall across it to make a ping-pong table. 2 people had ping pong paddles and volleyed a ping-pong ball back and forth while circling the table. Two other people had a mini football that they tossed back and forth, and attempted to hit the ping pong ball out of the air, while also circling the table, and the last person had to try to catch the ping-pong ball without getting clobbered by anyone else! It was hilarious and loud, and eventually just devolved into children running around throwing the ball at each other 😉
Definitely not a game for younger children, but for the older kiddos it worked well. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures (I was too busy eating and drinking all the things!!)
Speaking of eating and drinking, our feast was epic!
For starters we had Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice (these were both seriously so good!!!)
For the butterbeer, I made homemade cream soda, then I turned that into butterbeer. We had short dark bottles left over from some Dr. Brew Kombucha, so I washed those out, peeled off the labels, printed something from the internet that looked cool (I have no idea where I found it, but google butterbeer label, and I’m sure you’ll find one you like) as a label, and stuck it to the bottle.
I kept the butterbeer in a large jug until ready to drink and only filled the individual bottles as someone wanted a drink. It was easier for me to store this way.
I also made the pumpkin juice in advance and stored it in a large jug as well.
Ryan made the pumpkin pasties. They were so good! We didn’t want to share at all, but we allowed all eh children at the party to have one, the grown ups were only allowed half a pastie each because the batches were so small.
Ella wanted a cauldron cake for her birthday. I used half a ball cake pan for each cauldron, coated it with chocolate, stacked chocolate coated, gluten-free sandwich cookies for the feet, and half of a chocolate coated cookie for the handles. Then added some frosting for the ‘potion’. The chocolate frosting was peanut butter-chocolate, I also added it to the centre of the other cake, and then promptly sat down and ate the rest by the spoonful because it was so good! (I may have a sweet tooth at times)!
Partly because I didn’t want to make more cauldron cakes (but still needed more cake so all the guests would get cake), and partly because I really wanted to make a cake that was supposed to look imperfect, I also made a cake like the one Hagrid made Harry.
Corn-free colours are tricky, they don’t hold up well to time, and are often very pale, but they are pink and green. I was happy. And so was Ella. That’s all that matters.
On the counter I also had Jelly Slugs, inspired by Bryt’s recipe, I made my own gluten-free and corn-free, but they didn’t look near as pretty. Mostly because I didn’t think to order the slugs or the silicone to make moulds early enough, and couldn’t find toy slugs anywhere in our city the week before the party. Oh well. They tasted so good! I also made a vegetarian version with agar-agar, it didn’t turn out hard and crumbly like my previous experiment with agar. It didn’t solidify. I was a little afraid to taste it. But the vegetarians could have had some jelly(ish) slug inspired dessert if they wanted.
At present time Ella got her first broom, a clean sweep, and a toque and scarf with her house colours as well as a pile of non-themed gifts.
In the favour bags I had homemade liquorice wands, also not as pretty as Bryt’s, but the gluten-free, corn-free candy was delicious!!
All the guests got to take home a toy magical creature, a liquorice wand and a chocolate frog, as well as their pet and wand.
Over all I’d say the party was a success. Two of the guests tried to refuse to leave, and the birthday girl was flying for the next week!