Whisk your kids off to the Wizarding World with this magical Harry Potter party for kids, featuring butterbeer recipes, Quidditch rules and a guide to Hogwarts decor.
If you were the kind of kid who wished that you would get a Hogwarts letter on your eleventh birthday, then you'll know how much your little one will love a Harry Potter-themed party.
But how can you make your home look like the grand Hogwarts castle? What games do little witches and wizards play, and what food do they eat?
We've put together this guide to help you throw the ultimate Harry Potter party for kids – and all without Dobby's help too!
Hogwarts party invitations
An essential starting point for any Harry Potter party is the famous letter from Hogwarts.
Add the Hogwarts school emblem to the top of your letter, then write, “We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts’ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
Make sure you include these important details:
- First date of term (your party’s date)
- School address (your home address)
- Required school uniform (costume suggestions)
- Whether you want other professors (parents) to help supervise
- Whether pupils will be boarding (sleeping over)
- Dietary requirements
To make your Hogwarts letters extra authentic, write a super specific address on the envelope. Put something like ‘[Guest’s name]’s room’ followed by their home address.
Try to send party invitations out three weeks beforehand to give the other parents time to plan.
Harry Potter party decoration ideas
The most important thing to make your home feel like Hogwarts is the school colours – use red and gold for Gryffindor, green and silver for Slytherin, blue and bronze for Ravenclaw and yellow and black for Hufflepuff. Hang up banners and bunting in each house’s colours all over the house.
You could also include some talking portraits in each room. Make some posh picture frames by painting cardboard with gold paint, then print off some old-fashioned portraits and stick them up around the house.
Don’t forget your ghosts too! Draw some famous Hogwarts apparitions, like Moaning Myrtle or Nearly Headless Nick, onto white tissue paper. Cut them out and either hang them or stick them onto the wall. (Or just hang up some white sheets around the place for a similar effect!)
You could turn each room in your house into a different Hogwarts setting. Some ideas include:
- Put up a green light bulb and leave out lots of toy cauldrons for the Dungeons
- Paint sheets to look like a night sky or a cloudy day and hang them from the ceiling for the Great Hall
- Put all your houseplants into one room for the Herbology Greenhouses
- Hang up the Gryffindor colours and litter the floor with cushions to make the Gryffindor common room (or whichever house your child prefers)
- Write "THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED. ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE" on a sign outside the bathroom, then pin paper spiders onto the wall around the bathroom window
Harry Potter party games for kids
Before you get started playing all your magical Harry Potter games, split the whole party into four teams – one for each school house.
Every time a child wins a game, award some points to their Hogwarts house. At the end of the party, you can tot up which house has the most points and give them the House cup (or maybe just a chocolate frog each).
Try these games out for size:
A mix of volleyball, dodgeball and catch, Quidditch is a high energy game based on the book that you can actually play in real life. And yes, it involves broomsticks.
Each team has seven players. Three Chasers try to score a goal by throwing their ball (the quaffle) through the opposite team’s goal posts. The Keeper defends their team’s goal. Two Beaters throw their two balls (bludgers) at members of the opposite team to disarm them. The Seeker tries to catch the Snitch, which is a yellow tennis ball in a sock.
A final impartial person holds the Snitch, which mostly involves them dashing away from both Seekers until one of them manages to grab the ball. The person playing the Snitch will need a lot of stamina to keep running throughout the game!
And all this running and catching is done while holding a broomstick between your legs. Phew! Get all the Quidditch game rules you need to play from Rules of Sport .
House Elf clothes relay
Dobby is a free elf! Or at least he will be after he’s completed this clothes relay race.
Put together a pile of clothes – dressing up or regular clothes are both fine – and divide the party into teams of two or three. Each team chooses which items of clothing they want to race with. There are no limits to how many items each team can choose.
At the start of the race, the first person must get dressed in all their chosen items of clothing as quickly as possible, then run to the other side of the room and back.
Then the next person must put on the same clothes fast as they can, and run the race route. Repeat until all team members have raced.
Points are awarded for every item of clothing each team puts on, but deducted depending where they finish in the race.
Colin Creevey’s photo booth
Get snap happy like Harry’s most (well, okay, least) favourite camera-wielding student.
Set up a small photo booth area somewhere in the house with lots of silly props for the kids to take photos with. Think Rita Skeeter’s rhinestone glasses, Luna Lovegood’s butterbeer necklace, or a spooky Dementor shroud.
Retrieve the golden egg
Just like in the Triwizard Tournament, one player must fetch a golden egg (in this case, a yellow balloon) from the clutches of a dragon.
Divide your party into two teams, and have one team line up in two rows with space to run in between them. Arm that team with red balloons.
The other team stands at one end of the room, while a basket of yellow balloons is positioned at the other.
The goal is to run one-by-one between the two rows of players, fetch a yellow balloon and run back – all while avoiding being pelted by the opposite team with red balloons (i.e. dragon fire).
If a player is hit by a red balloon, they should return to their starting position and start again.
See which team can retrieve the most golden eggs in three minutes.
What to eat and drink at a Harry Potter party for kids
Harry Potter party food
The food that Harry, Ron and Hermione eat at school is pretty hard to beat! Some of the most memorable meals are the great feasts in the Great Hall, which are big decadent roasts.
You might not feel like cooking a full roast for the party, but you can always try something a little smaller, like these yummy roast chicken drumsticks .
Pumpkin pasties are another favourite at Hogwarts. You can make your own (and mix in some sausage meat) with some of these pumpkin sausage rolls .
Harry Potter birthday cake and party sweets
A seriously easy birthday cake option, which will also get a few laughs, is Hagrid’s classic birthday cake for Harry.
Simply bake a basic round sponge , then ice it completely in a sickly pink. Write on top in green icing, “Happy Birthdae [your kid’s name]”.
For other sweet treats, try making some Golden Snitch cake pops or serving up slices of treacle pudding . And don’t forget a big bowl of Bertie Botts’ Every Flavour Beans left out for the kids to try, if they dare.
Harry Potter party drinks
Butterbeer is a deliciously creamy drink that Harry and his friends enjoy on their trips to Hogsmeade. You can make your own at home easily. It’s basically just an ice cream float.
Get some cream soda, add some squirty cream and buttercream flavoured ice cream syrup to the top, and voila! Follow this butterbeer recipe from Kids Of The Wild for the exact measurements and method.
Harry Potter party costume ideas
First thing’s first, when dressing up for a Harry Potter party you’re going to need a set of black robes. These step-by-step instructions show you how to turn some black material into a Harry Potter cloak.
Underneath the robes, it’s up to the kids what they want to wear. Some might opt for a typical student uniform look, while others can stick to regular clothes if they wish.
For guests dressing up as Harry , give them a pair of black glasses with sticky tape wrapped around the middle and paint a lightning scar onto their forehead.
Anyone dressing as Hermione can backcomb their hair to make it suitably bushy, and also carry a toy ginger cat. For those dressing up as Ron , they could try using temporary red hair dye.
Other unique costume ideas might include:
- Professor Umbridge’s pastel pink skirt suit
- Professor McGonagall’s alter ego as a cat
- Professor Quirrell’s turban disguise
- Professor Lupin as a werewolf
- Tonks (with her amazing multicolour hair)
What to put in a Harry Potter party bag
The Hogsmeade sweet shop Honeydukes can be an endless source of inspiration for what to put in your Harry Potter gift bags.
Think jelly beans, liquorice wands (which are just sticks of black liquorice), fizzing whizzbees (sherbert sweets), Gringotts chocolate coins and chocolate frogs (you can order these online).
Some magical toys to include are wall climbing spiders, feathered pens, a wobbly wand or a time turner charm necklace.
Need more ideas for planning the perfect themed party for your little one? Browse our articles below for inspiration, or ask other parents for tips in the forum: