I wasn't sure if either of my boys would end up liking Harry Potter as much as me, but the audiobooks helped me get Trent hooked towards the end of 5th grade. We listened as he read along in the actual books, and it was a nice family pastime. We watched the movies of the books that we read, and when it was time to plan Trent's birthday party, all he wanted was his closest friends and a Harry Potter theme. I decided to use Pinterest and rest of the internet to do it up right.
I asked Trent what he wanted and the main thing was Honeydukes. That's the candy cart on the Hogwart's Express. I have learned how to be frugal because I started out at Michael's and Hobby Lobby, but I ended up at Dollar Tree. They have lots of cute containers and lots of candy choices. I had to spend a little extra on Amazon to get the Harry Potter brands for some of the candy, but the rest were only $1 a bag.
I started out with the candy store work. I made cute labels for the glass containers and tried to get interesting shaped containers. I made snitches out of the hazelnut chocolates, and I bought cupcakes to finish the display.
My idea was to have a Potions class for the boys. This took longer than I thought, but I loved how it turned out. First, I made wands out of cardstock rolled up with hot glue dripped all over them. Then I painted them different colors to make them all different. Then I made Potions Books with the recipes in them. This took me awhile because I had to make notes for myself on what baking soda was called and what vinegar was called, etc. I made individual books for each boy and they had their wand choosing ceremony before the class began. Just like in Harry Potter, the wand chose its master, so they had fun with that.
Then we headed to the garage and began the fun. We made a density column. We made things that bubbled and fizzed. We even created snakes from fire and other ingredients. Of course, I had to be there for all of the experiments to keep it safe, but I think the boys really enjoyed it.
Next, we had a feast comparable to Hogwart's feast. The boys had tons of food and pigged out.
After the feast the boys had fun eating Bertie Bott's Every Flavor beans and making it a competition. It was pretty gross. With flavors like Skunk Spray, Canned Dog Food, Boogers, and Vomit, I don't know why anyone would want to try them at all.
Finally, we ended the night with watching the actual first Harry Potter movie. The boys loaded up on the candy from Honeydukes and went into a sugar coma.
All in all, I'd say it was a very successful (probably last themed) birthday party for Trent. I thought it was pretty awesome...