A Harry Potter themed party is fun anytime of the year, but especially at Halloween. Even if all party guests aren’t wizarding fans, this will be a great time everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re able to have a small get-together in person, a night in with your family members, or a virtual celebration, these Harry Potter party ideas are sure to win you the House Cup.
Sending Hogwarts acceptance letters (invitations) in the mail is a great way to get your guests, virtual or in-person, excited about the party! You can add a little extra Hogwarts “authenticity” by sealing your letters with a cute wax sealer.
Hogwarts is obviously a magical place, so even if you’re celebrating virtually, you should have the most enchanting backdrop possible. These Harry Potter decorations are sure to enchant your guests.
Platform 9 3/4
Your in-person guests can run through the brick wall at Platform 9 & ¾ to enter the world that you have created. Find your own brick-patterned platform curtain at a party store or online.
You can use your own trunks/suitcases to enhance the entrance. I found this cute birdcage at a secondhand store for $5, and I can use it as home decor after the party. I added some old books as well as a scarf.
Hogwarts decorations will make you feel like you are in the Great Hall. These floating candles are incredibly easy to make. Start with plain cardboard toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Drizzle hot glue down the sides of the candles. This will look like melting wax once the candle is finished.
Next, paint the candles white. I used spray paint, but any kind of white paint will work.
While your candles are drying, cut out cardstock or cardboard circles that you can use to close off your candles at the bottom. If the paper isn’t the same color, you can just paint it. Glue the bottoms into the candles.
Next, string the candles through with fishing line. Use a needle to poke a hole through the candle about half an inch from the top.
Lastly, turn on a flameless tealight candle and place it in the tube. It will balance on the fishing line. Hang up your candles using clear tape or tacks.
You can purchase Hogwarts House Banners, but I thought it would be fun to draw my own.
I made these banners with simple poster paper and sharpies. Kids will enjoy putting their artistic skills to use and drawing the animals that represent the four houses: the Ravenclaw raven, the Gryffindor lion, the Hufflepuff badger, and the Slytherin serpent.
These banners can be hung over tables in the Great Hall or they can be used as wall decor.
What would Hogwarts be without a line of spiders leading somewhere? Plastic spider rings are much cheaper than normal plastic spiders, and you can just cut the ring part off. I used Scotch tape to stick these spiders to the wall/window sill.
I found these “dementors” at the dollar store. We contemplated painting their faces black, but I liked how they looked originally. These could be used as Harry Potter Halloween decorations or a Hogwarts party anytime of year.
The Weasleys’ Car
I made this car out of cardboard boxes. Then I painted it blue and added simple printer paper for the windshields and windows. You can make your own windshield wipers, tires, and door handles out of black paper or cardboard.
We used some tealights and cups from the dollar store to make real, working headlights and taillights. To make it more authentic, we choose to place the car in a tree in the front yard so guests would see it when they arrived.
Deathly Hallows Symbol
Easy Deathly Hallows: Dowels from the dollar store and an embroidery loop from Walmart make the easiest Deathly Hallows symbol around. You can spray paint it or leave the natural wood as-is.
Accio, easy project!
I purchased some thin wooden dowels from the dollar store (10 for $1). Then I used 2 different shades of stain that I already had at home. After the stain had dried, I used hot glue to secure twine around the bottom of each dowel. I dyed some of the twine itself to add variety to the wands.
Using fishing line, string up some Hogwarts acceptance letters in front of your fireplace. It will look like they’re floating!
Making cute Mandrakes can be part of the party activities, or it can be a pre-made decoration. Mix simple salt dough and dye it brown (I used wheat flour and was satisfied with the original color), then shape your Mandrake however you want!
Use whole cloves or allspice or peppercorns for the eyes. The dollar store has a good variety of fake flowers and leaves that you can stick into your dough as it dries. The best part is shaping the arms and the face of your Mandrake into something unique and cute.
Table decorations make for a fun conversation piece as guests are eating. We assigned each house to one table and used a tablecloth in the house color.
Use Mandrakes, spiders, candles, books, and skulls. You can also print out potion labels and attach them to jars. Fill the jar with oil, water with food coloring, or any other colorful liquid.
If you are feeling ambitious, you can make a large marauders map to put on the wall.
We chose to make one that was specific to our party guests. You can also find one online and print it.
Harry Potter Signs
You can easily make or print out signs to make your party even more festive.
Room of Requirement
Tape a “Room of Requirement” sign onto your bathroom door.
Post some Potter-themed “Wanted” signs with guests’ faces on them.
Decorating the toilet isn’t usually part of party planning, but these ideas were too hilarious to pass up. Moaning Myrtle is one of our favorite characters! These Harry Potter party decorations might just be the talk of the party.
If any of your party guests wants to visit the Ministry of Magic, they will know how to get there!
Enemies of the Heir
This easy sign can be made with lipstick on a mirror or with red paint and a plastic tablecloth.
Get photos of party guests, Harry Potter characters, famous (or infamous) people, or family photos and place them in gaudy frames. You can find those at a dollar store or yard sale. Or take some old frames and spray paint them gold. Then hang them up. It’s not quite the same as the moving portraits from the books, but it’s a good alternative. Jack Black even appeared on our portrait wall!
Harry Potter Party Games and Activities
It’s important to have several activities to keep your party exciting. Choose from the following activities depending on the age of the guests and their interest in the theme.
The Sorting Ceremony
Whether you gather in person or virtually, the Sorting Ceremony is a must at any Harry Potter party.
Before you begin, it’s always a good idea to remind your guests of the real qualities of each Hogwarts House. There are some stereotypes about members of Slytherin House, but they do have some pretty awesome characteristics.
We made these cute cards for the guests to hang around their necks. It also helps identify team members during games.
Slytherin: Ambition, Leadership, Determination, Cunning
Hufflepuff: Loyalty, Patience, Kindness, Honesty
Ravenclaw: Intelligence, Wisdom, Creativity, Cleverness
Gryffindor: Bravery, Confidence,Trustworthiness, Chivalry
You can either decide before the party which house you think each guest belongs in, or you can have your guests take a quiz to determine their houses.
Any witch hat will work as a Sorting Hat! You can hear the real voice of the Sorting Hat declare the names of the Hogwarts houses. Just make sure you time it properly so everyone ends up where they’re meant to be.
Bean Boozled/Bernie Botts Game
The magical world of Harry Potter seems endlessly full of quirky treats. One of the most notable treats from the movies are the jelly beans that come in odd flavors. Luckily for us, Jelly Beans came out with something almost as magical. “Bean Boozled” Jelly Beans are a cheap alternative to the name-brand Bertie Bott’s beans, and each bean has the potential to be one of two flavors. Will your guests receive a chocolate bean, or will they be eating a dog-food flavored bean?
To turn this into a game, divide into teams. Have one member from each team sit in front of the group. Each contestant gets a bean of the same color. The point is to eat the bean without reacting to it; you don’t want anyone to know whether you are eating a coconut flavored bean or a soap flavored one. The teams get a point if their contestant doesn’t react. After each round, the contestants reveal what flavor they got.
This game will be extra silly for the kids and they may want to take home a box of beans as a party favor.
Ever wondered what it would be like to write with a quill and ink? Kids and adults will love this game, and it’s something you can do virtually! All you need is some paper, black ink or washable paint, and feather quills. Have one representative from each team draw a magical creature from Harry Potter. The first team to guess the drawing wins!
Our list of magical creatures to draw included hippogriffs, house elves, trolls, dragons, shrunken heads, and dementors.
I found these quills at Hobby Lobby.
Using your homemade wands, have one representative from each team act out the result of a certain Harry Potter spell. For example, if the given spell was Stupefy!, the players would act stunned. The first team to guess which spell was cast wins that round.
For guests who might be less familiar with the details of the Potter world, a short “Spellcasting Class” can be held as a fun way to review each of the spells and their purposes. This game can be done via Zoom, Google Hangouts, or any other video chat platform. A great Harry Potter themed game, this requires some teamwork and likely a lot of laughter.
Have your guests dress as their favorite Harry Potter character. You can give themed prizes for the best costumes.
Harry Potter Trivia
There are plenty of Harry Potter Trivia websites online. This activity can easily be done virtually over KaHoot or any other quizzing site. Be sure to include a variety of difficult and easier questions so that everyone can enjoy this activity.
You can create your own rules for this game, but we allowed each House (team) to consult with one another before determining their final answer.
What would a Harry Potter party be without Quidditch? For a “real” game of Quidditch, attach a hula hoop to a PVC pipe to create the iconic quidditch hoops. You can use a basketball as the “Quaffle.”
At our party, we created a Quidditch relay race with tasks that each team member must complete. The tasks included
- Running around the “Whomping Willow” with your “Snitch” (a hard-boiled egg) balancing on a spoon
- Entering your name into the Goblet of Fire (putting slips of paper into a trophy)
- Pour one vial of Felix Felicis (pouring a pitcher of water into a small vial)
All of this had to be done while balancing on a broomstick. It made for a fun, hilarious time!
Harry Potter Party Food
There are so many foods and treats from the Harry Potter series that would be fun to serve at your party. Here are some of our favorites. If you are looking for more savory options, consider serving bangers and mash, shepherds pie, or turkey legs.
You can’t have a Harry Potter party without butterbeer! If you want to be fancy, serve it in goblets.
Nobody will “snitch” on you for making these cute, easy treats. Just print out some illustrated wings and use the included Ferrero-Rocher sticker to attach them to the golden foil.
These owl cupcakes will be a hoot! I used off-brand Oreos for the eyes and eyebrows and M&Ms for the noses.
What Harry Potter party would be complete without chocolate frogs? You can buy these online or buy a mold and make them yourself.
“Potions Class” with Italian Sodas
Guests can mix their own flavoring into their drinks. You can print creative, wizard-themed labels for each flavor such as Wolfsbane, Felix Felicies, Gillywig, and Polyjuice.
Choose some or all of the above ideas to create an unforgettable party. Whether your party is virtual or in-person, your guests will be Sirius-ly impressed. They will remember this magical experience for a long time to come.