Our Harry Potter Party started off with just an idea for a party theme. Given my daughter is obsessed with Harry Potter, we decided having it as the party theme would be rather apt. However, a simple idea and a discussion between myself and my wife, it soon turned into a completely different experience. The theme was Harry Potter and the party would be hosted at “FoxWarts” (our house).
As I work away most of the year, we felt we wanted to do something more for our daughter, than just a birthday with a theme. We really wanted it to be as much like Harry Potter as it could be.
Now when I saw we, I actually mean…
My wife and I came up with the idea about 2 months before her birthday. I had every intention of helping with the preparations and managed to make the 9 3/4 door, before leaving for work. The project I was on, ran for 7 weeks and I got home 2 days before the party.
During that time, everything came to life. So much was done and so many people got involved. I was beyond proud of what had been achieved. My wife managed to organize and sort the whole party, whilst working, keeping on top of the house and looking after our 8 year old daughter (at the time) and our 2 and a half year old juggernaut.
I would love to say I helped with the preparations, but I cannot take credit for it. This is all my wife’s doing and many others (these will be named later in the post).
Our Harry Potter party
The day starts with the kids arriving
We decided that as the kids would be going to “FoxWarts”, they should run through the “door” at the 9 3/4 platform. Hence my amazing artwork (with the two tone colour effect) on the front door. I know right! Isn’t it simply perfection.
As Edinburgh Airport wouldn’t let us take a trolley home with us, we decided the next best thing was a toy pram. It just keeps getting better.
So the idea was, once each kid arrived, they would present their ticket to Dumbledore (myself) and then take the toy pram and run through the “magical” two tone door. We did have adults on the other side in case they kids ran to fast and ended up running up the stairs.
Once each kid was safely inside, they would then get to tour the different rooms of the “FoxWarts” estate. It was a hit with the kids. They loved it. The attention to detail that my wife paid to each item was phenomenal. Everything was thought out meticulously.
Getting their wands
Part of the Harry Potter theme and being at “FoxWarts”, was that each kid was presented with a wand. Now these wands were hand made by our neighbour (who has asked not to be named) with incredible detail. Hours were spent on them and we were extremely impressed and grateful that he didn’t charge us. What a guy!
As the story goes, the wand chooses the wizard. So the kids were led outside to Ollivanders Shop to receive their wands. The lady that helped with this part was a family friend called Karen. She was so good with the kids and presented the wands brilliantly.
Once they had received their wands, it was time for the kids to test them with “spells” on the fire.
Testing their wands
In order to continue with the journey through “FoxWarts”, the kids had to learn to use their wands correctly. Our wand making neighbour, presented this part of the journey. As each kid presented him with their wands, he would explain from what it was made. Of course it was “magical” items and not the real materials, which made the kids love it even more.
Once they had presented their wands and found out from what it was made, they had to learn the “spell” to light the fire. My daughter (as the lead wizard of course), had to cast the “spell” to extinguish the fire each time it was lit. I guess we all had our roles that day. My son was casting “disappearing spells” on the sweets. He had that “spell” nailed!
The Sorting Hat
Before the kids could get sorted into their respective houses, they had to complete a quiz. From this quiz the sorting hat would decide where to place them. Once this was completed, they were taken into the “Common Room” for sorting.
Now it was time for the kids to get sorted. Again this was presented by our wand making neighbour and done with absolute perfection.
The kids loved sitting on the chair and having the sorting hat placed on their heads while it “spoke” to them. Time was spent on each kid, and based on their quiz answers they were sorted. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
One of the activities that was setup for the kids, was finding the 6 dobbys we had hidden in “FoxWarts”. With 16 kids and adults in the house… you can imagine how that went down. They found them in the end…with a little nudging from the adults.
The kids were led to the “Great Hall” for their food. Again, this was an incredible effort on my wife and Claire’s part. Every little detail was thought through and the food lasted about 5 minutes. Clearly they learnt the “disappearing spell” from my son!
Each item of food was named something from Harry Potter and the story’s characters. Chocolate frogs were given in the party bag. These were handmade by our neighbour Barry’s company called 32 Degrees. What incredible work went into the making of these frogs. He is extremely talented with his work.
Dancing and lots of shouting was followed. It was great to hear them having fun in the “Common Room”. To be honest, I was expecting a lot less carnage afterwards. But my kids enjoyed watching us clean up afterwards. Least we could do…..
Bring on the Dementors
The last part of the day was the surprise visit from the “Dementors”. This was a spur of the moment decision and the kids loved it. Our neighbour and my brother in law, dressed up as dementors, and “taunted” the kids. It was a brilliant effect and all the kids got involved.
Probably should of warned half of Edinburgh that we were going to exceed the legally safe decibel limit for a few minutes. 16 kids screaming and maximum lung capacity was something to hear. For the first 3 seconds anyway (most went deaf almost immediately), but it was fun.
Finishing up our Harry Potter party
The day went perfectly and everyone (including the adults) enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The end of the party was a sleep over, so for those kids we had fire works. My daughters birthday is actually on the 5th of November, so as her party was the 3rd, we did the fire works that day instead.
Everything worked out better than was planned. I am very grateful to all those that helped with making my daughters day possible. She loved every minute of it. We did have to send her away for the night before (to someone we knew of course), so final preparations could be made.
Would we do it again? No! Well maybe. Probably. Actually No! Maybe one more time. No one was enough! What about out other kid? What about him? Doesn’t he get one? No! That’s not fair! Life isn’t fair! Fine, one more time!
A Special Thanks To
I want to take the time to thank those that made this day possible. Without them, the day wouldn’t have been a success.
Without my wife’s efforts and management of the whole party, it would not have happened. All I can say is thank you. There is too much that she has done for me to justify it on this post. It happened because of her and for that I thank you babe.
Claire Blyth – Beautifully Invited
Claire was incredible with her work. She spent countless hours perfecting each part of the experience. All the decorations were made by her. The dragons eggs and owls were also hand made. I wasn’t convinced about this the first time I saw them. She done incredibly well with it.
Each part of the birthday invites was hand designed, painted or printed and made. Her talent is incredible when it comes to such things. We are so proud of her efforts and what she has done for our daughter.
I strongly recommend her services. Please visit her Facebook page to see all the incredible things she can do. Thank you Claire for your efforts.
Barry Grandison – 32 Degrees
Thank you Barry for your incredible work on the chocolate frogs. They were absolutely stunning and enjoyed by all. We are so grateful for all your hard work in making them.
Barry has made chocolates for us before and we cannot recommend his service enough. If you are looking for perfection, then Barry is the man for you.
Thank you Karen for watching our daughter while we sorted the house for the party. And thank you for your efforts during the party. You were an incredible help and we are extremely thankful for what you have done.
What an incredibly talented artist. She took time out of her days to help with the painting of the shop fronts. Thank you Jade for your efforts. I am extremely grateful to you and proud to have you as our dear friend. Your work was enjoyed by every single kid at the party. Thank you