As avid Harry Potter fans, we made the decision a few years ago to change the way we celebrated Halloween. We don’t live in an area that is suitable for Trick or Treating, and with young children, aren’t fond of the gory, horror aspect often associated with Halloween and Halloween parties. Inspired by the Hogwarts Halloween Feasts featured in the Harry Potter books and films, we decided to create a more child-friendly occasion that was just as full of fun as it was fright.
Already owners of several Harry Potter character costumes, that part was easy. Setting the scene, we played the Harry Potter movie soundtrack in the background as we went about setting up our magical feast.
When you think of Harry Potter, the foods that come to mind are :
Pumpkin Pasties – we simply bought mini beef pasties from the supermarket & added some little Pumpkin-Shaped picks brought off eBay, and called them Pumpkin Pasties
Chocolate Frogs – we bought a mould again off eBay, melted our own chocolate and set it in the moulds. We also put Freddo Chocolate Bars in the party bags, they are chocolate frogs after all.
Butterbeer – for that we used a simple recipe that combines Cream Soda, condensed milk, toffee desert sauce (although butterscotch is better if you can find it, we couldn’t find it anywhere), & a little melted butter, whizzed in the blender. Makes for a lovely frothy butterbeer.
Pumpkin Juice – orange juice
Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans – Jelly Belly Beans work just as well.
One of our favourite activities was our Potions Class, where we made Magic Lemonade.
This one’s a brilliant one for any kids party. Before your guests arrive, pop a drop of different coloured food-colourings into the bottom of clear glasses (we used disposable wine glasses), then gather the kids round, grab a normal bottle of lemonade and watch their faces as each glass pours a different colour. It really is magic 😉
We made our own Pumpkin Pinata by covering a balloon with paper mache, waiting for it to dry, then painting it orange, with a green top, and a black jack-o-lantern face. We cut a door in the back, popping the balloon inside, which we removed then filled the shape with Harry Potter & Halloween-themed goodies. Little rubber rats (Scabbers), plastic spiders (Aragog), Jelly Snakes (the Basilisk), Vampire Fangs, little bags of jelly beans, chocolate frogs etc. They took turns to hit the piñata blindfolded, then all scrambled together to share out the goodies.
Another activity we used was Basilisk. Basically Wink Murder. For those unfamiliar with the game, we chose one person to be the detective (in this case to play Hermione, or Harry), sent them out of the room for a second while we chose who would be the Basilisk. Brought them back in, sat everyone in a circle facing each other. If the Basilisk winked at you, you died (quite dramatically in some of the children’s cases!), and Harry or Hermione had to guess who the Basilisk was before everyone was dead. It was great fun and we ended up playing several rounds.
We’ve been doing Harry Potter Halloween now for several years and enjoy it so much, we will no doubt continue this tradition for a good few years to come.