Monday, August 20, 2012

Harry Potter Birthday Quest

Pin It Lauren is perhaps the sweetest ten-year-old I've ever met. She wanted a Harry Potter birthday party, but she was very specific: she wanted a quest! I had so much fun developing a series of Potter-y problems for her and her friends to puzzle through. Here are a few pictures from last weekend's party.

We started off the party by visiting the "Transfiguration Booth," posing with our props for some talking portraits.

Then we enjoyed a wand-making craft, based on the clever tutorial I found here.

Note the floating candles!

Don't these look great? Chopsticks, beads and hot glue!

Everyone was sorted into houses.

 The girls all lined up at Platform 9 3/4 (or the entrance to Diagon Alley, or whatever magical brick portal you like), which was really a sheet that I sponge-painted with red "bricks" . . .

And then it was time for some questing! It would take too long to go into all the details here, but to give you some idea, there were tasks involving glow-in-the-dark ink, spells, potions, and flying keys. At each turn, the girls had to solve a riddle that led them to their next clue. I had worried some of the riddles were too complex, but these girls were some serious Harry Potter scholars and flew through each tasks like experts. The quest had 5-6 distinct parts, and I hope to go over them in more detail in later entries.

It's not a Harry Potter party without some wizardy treats! We had peach pasties (instead of pumpkin), chocolate frogs, Hagrid's rock cakes (donut holes), cauldron cakes with little golden snitch gumballs, sorting hat cookies, and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans in boxes made by yours truly.

We also had some veggies from Hagrid's veggie patch, and of course, butterbeer!

After the quest, dinner, and sweets, the girls retreated to the "dormitory," or the basement rec room, where they hunkered down for a Harry Potter movie marathon. And what's a movie without some broomsticks full of popcorn?

And I retreated back to my Chicago hotel room to collapse in exhaustion. Thanks, Lauren and family, for a wonderful time!

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  1. Wow! What a treat for the birthday girl, her friends and family. Awesome party!

  2. That is the best Harry Potter party ive seen! How did you rig the floating candles. I tried once but it became sort of tangled and the candles wouldn't stand up.

  3. Hi, Violet! I'm sorry I just now saw this! I've done the candles a few times, and this is the easiest way I've found. Using double-sided tape, roll a regular (8.5"x11") piece of paper around the rim of a battery-powered tealight (Turn the tealight on first; otherwise, it's too hard to reach the switch). Using fishing wire/monofilament, tie a knot around the "flame" part of the candle, leaving a long length from which to hang. Attach the other end to the ceiling or a light fixture using tape or command hooks.