Happy Monday! Our little guy turned 5 recently and we celebrated with a big Harry Potter themed birthday party. A few months before his party, he asked to watch Harry Potter, out of nowhere. He had seen a small commercial clip and was interested. Days later after watching the 1st of the 8 films, the conversation about his upcoming birthday came up. When I asked him what kind of birthday he wanted for his 5th birthday, he quickly answered Harry Potter. I would've never thought he'd be interested in Harry Potter at this age. I was happy he chose HP and not some childish and cheesy theme based on a cartoon character. First I thought "Heck yeahhh, I got this". I was excited to decorate with all the wizard and magical vibes, especially nearing Halloween. But, then I was like "oh shoot, now I have to watch all 8 films to throw a good party with the right details". Who has that kind of time? I definitely don't have time for television anymore. But, I'm happy that we got to make time and watch it together. It was our special thing. I enjoyed every second of our time together. We still have the last two films left to watch. And, he is the sweetest ever! Because, he won't watch it without me. Hopefully soon!
The party venue was outdoors (Casa Adobe de San Rafael) at a very pretty historical park in Glendale, CA, that we reserved for a minimal fee and pretty much had the park to ourselves until dusk. Although a reservation is required to hold the bench areas, the park is still open to the public. But, very few families visited the park during our stay there. It doesn't get busy, mainly because it's not your typical park with a playground. So, it's a very quiet and pretty much private park. And, look at this brick fireplace - this was what sold me to have the party at this park. So perfect for the theme!
So, being the party was outdoors and almost 100 degrees, I opted out of having too many chocolates and dairy based desserts. I kept the cake table pretty low key, with the gorgeous cake being the focal point. I made chocolate dipped pretzel rods which looked like Olivander's wands. I ordered the frog mold and made some chocolate frogs using semi-sweet chocolate morsels. The plan was to get popcorn instead of the puffs, but a little someone decided to come to grocery shopping with me the day before and chose the white chedder cheese puffs and thus the name Hufflepuff's Popcorn stayed. Then, a bowl of sour worms was given the name Jelly Slugs. And, of course to include the four house colors of Hogwarts school, I put coordinating colored candies into the vases with a printout of the house logos tied around them. And, like mentioned before, the cake was the focal point of the cake table. I was in love with how it came out. The baker did such an amazing job with all the details explained and shown to him.
Talk about DIY! These wands looked SO real! I was seriously so proud of how they turned out! I have to give credit to this source, of course. One order of these chopsticks (strings of each pair must be cut), hot glue and metallic acrylic paints, and you have yourself and your little wizards the coolest looking wands.
As for the decor, with the help of my hubby's skills along with my vision, everything came to life. The Hogwarts Express sign was a little troubling because although I designed it, it was a pain in the a** to get it printed at any famous printing store due to copyright issues. So, a local private print shop came to the rescue last minute. After printing it, I used an adhesive spray to paste it to a foam board. Then, my husband cut four pieces of wood for the frame, I spray painted them in gold and we hot glued the sign onto the frame. Lastly, he drilled two holes for the rope to feed through for hanging. Luckily the hangers were already placed on the brick fireplace at the park. My husband also made the Quidditch game pieces by drilling a hole through the dowels and screwing the embroidery hoops on the dowels. He placed them onto 4x4 woods as the base for each one. Then, I spray painted the entire thing in gold. Above the sign, I had made the birthday banner using the Harry Potter font.
On the sides of the cake table placed on the floors were some luggages, and wrapped empty boxes. And, the hanging broom was also made by me (the idea came to me totally last minute as I was gathering supplies from my crafts room). With a bamboo stick and some black glitter vase fillers, I used some rope to tie the fillers onto the stick and voila, a wizard broom stick.
And, last but not least, the direction sign. My lovely husband cut them into arrows, sanded them down, then stained them with some leftover espresso wood stain. Then, I used my die cut machine and vinyl to make the signs. It turned out SO GOOD! The vinyl could easily be peeled off and I can totally reuse the sign for other future themes.
The Azkaban prison backdrop was super easy to make. By taping foam boards together as the backing and some black and white printouts of the HP Daily Prophets news articles from google taped on there, I made the photo backdrop.
Then, I found the following printable image from Pinterest for the kids to hold and stick their heads through. Again, I used some adhesive spray and foam board, then cut out the rectangle opening with an Xacto knife. And, I think I had the print shop enlarge this to 18x24 so the heads can fit through.
I always love having a "guest book" related to the party theme for all our events. It's a nice memorabilia to look back to when the kids are older. Using the same template above, I added Mason's photo that I had previously taken at home, and printed it on a poster sheet, then framed it without the glass for our guests to sign. And, after the party, I had it laminated.
As for entertainment for the kids, I had organized some games and activities for them. I made a scavenger hunt game and called it "Gryffindor Common Room Lost & Found" and hid these four items around the park: plastic snakes as Basilisk; these plastic vials filled with pop rocks as Amortentia; plastic frogs as Trevor; and lightning bolt tattoos as a symbol of Harry's scar on the forehead. The kids had a blast running around the park trying to find these items which turned out to be their "favors".
For another game, I had printed out Mason's photo dressed as Harry on a large poster board for the kids to pin the scar on Mason's forehead. I made a few lightning bolt cut outs with some double-sided foam stickies to stick the "scar" onto the forehead. I loved that I ended up using Mason's actual photo instead of a printout of Harry Potter. It made it extra special and real.
For our last activity, I had set up a slime station. I picked up some clear bowls and plastic spoons from the dollar store for each kid. And, the only three ingredients needed are clear or white school glue (this one), liquid starch (this one) and food coloring. It's a one to one ratio of glue and starch. Add one cup of glue and a few drops of food coloring (color of choice) to the bowl and stir really well until color is absorbed. Then, add one cup of liquid starch and mix really well with spoon until the mixture is clump-free. Then, knead the slime until the slimy consistency is achieved. Slime will take about 10 minutes of playing with and kneading to reach its best form. The kids were making slime for a good hour; some even made two or three batches of different colors. Then, they placed them in ziplock bags and took them home.
And, that pretty much sums up all of the details from the party. I had so much fun planning, designing, creating for this theme for our handsome little guy with a heart of gold. Seriously, this kid is unbelievably considerate of others' feelings and has the purest heart. He's the best big brother to his little sister and the best son we could ask for. So, anything he wants he gets. He deserves the world.
As always, thanks for following along!