It’s that time of year again – Harry Potter’s Birthday is, today, July 31st! And we celebrate every year at our library with a themed party. In the past, I’ve called this program “Harry Potter’s Birthday Party” but I changed it up this year and renamed it “PotterFest.” The new name seems more appealing to a wider age range, I think. The event is for Potter fans of all ages. We have Teens, Kids and whole families attend. We have themed food, activities and decorations; a photo booth, a potions display, etc. I own chocolate frog molds and make tons of them for the party. I have AMAZING patrons who dress up and make food and teen volunteers to help me decorate. It took me 4 hours to set up before the party (the party is only 1 hour!) At the end of the hour, we play Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on the large screen for anyone who wants to stay and watch.
I have a collection of wizard-ish decorations and objects that I’ve collected over the years and I have quite a stash! Sorting Hat, Quidditch Broom, tons of potions bottles, wands, an old trunk, etc. Of course, I still managed to spend more money than I had on supplies for the party, but I save what I can of the non-perishable stuff.
This is a picture of the cart I used to pack everything up and move back to storage!
I try to do one or two bigger projects or activities each year to add to the event. Last year we played “Table Quidditch” which was sort of like Beer Pong. It was fun, but sort of awkward with parents there. The Quidditch hoops didn’t survive the storage closet very well so I skipped it this year. I also usually have an easy craft, but my planning wasn’t so great this year and I ended up not bothering.
This year, my new addition was a Horcrux Hunt and I think it went pretty well! The hard part was to make the hunt easy enough for younger Potter fans and/or those who may not have read all the books, but challenging enough for my teens. I wrote 4 lines of rhyming clues for each Horcrux, 2 describing what it was and 2 describing where it was. I hid them around the whole library – ours is 3 floors. The party was held in our large room on the third floor. I think the clues ended up being harder than I thought they would be, even though I tried to pick places or “landmarks” in the library most people might know, but my teens (who helped me set up for the party) had a great time doing it and wanted to do it again! I made a stack of Horcrux Cards to go with each one so that when they found it, they could take the card to prove they found it, but they could leave the object for the next person to find. My rhyme scheme is definitely off for a few of them, but here are the Horcrux Hunt Clues I gave out. I used the little icons on the paper to remind them of what the Horcruxes were, but I didn’t put them in order to make it a little harder. However, I think I ended up confusing people more, so I’ll change that next time!
Here are some pictures from the event!
All fliers and event images were created in Canva!