If you’re thinking of having a costume party this Halloween for older children (say, those over 21), why not consider turning it into a Harry Potter Halloween party? Fans and non-fans alike, including children of all ages will have a blast – and you won’t even have to let out the blast-ended skrewts.
Warn your guests. The first thing you have to do, of course, is give your guests enough advance warning so that they can come up with party robes. Witches’ and wizards’ pointed hats are nice but not required. Of course, if they simply want to dress as wizards trying unsuccessfully dress as inconspicuous Muggles, then any sort of odd, colorful clothing will do. Those who are not Harry Potter fans may need some fashion coaching. In that case, sending photos of characters to their e-mail accounts may help. Let them know they can dress either as a particular Harry Potter character of their choosing or simply dress as wizards and witches at such a party would dress. Professors may want to consider wearing their formal robes if they are not too afraid of spilling potion on them.
Plan a game or two. Whether this is a party for children or adults, you will want a Sorting Hat. At this point, most book stores either have them or can get them for you. But hurry. Time is running out. Pass around the hat in games like Truth or Dare. One great way of playing truth games is to sit in a circle and take turns asking questions like, “Have you ever streaked in public?” Those who are guilty (including the questioner) have to take a drink. But be sure to plan when the game is over so that your guests don’t imbibe too much potion to enjoy the rest of the evening.
You may also choose to have a You-Know-Who drinking game going on throughout the party, in which there is a penalty (such as doing a shot) for saying “Voldemort” as opposed to “You-Know-Who” or “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” I like to call this one “Whatsizface?” You have to warn your guests of this game in the beginning, so that designated drivers and those on diets will be exempt. You may choose to have those in the game to wear tags. At any rate, lay plenty of traps, such as “Voldemort for President” signs and things that will cause people to want to say his name.
Divination. If you have a friend who is a ham, then have him or her be the divination professor for the evening. He or she can roam the house giving bogus fortunes at odd times, like, “I foresee doom for the carpet,” if one of your friends is becoming a bit clumsy with his or her drink. If you have someone who is actually into palmistry, handwriting analysis or the Tarot, that much the better. Ask them to give fun readings. But don’t keep your friend on duty all night. Make sure he or she has a good time too.
Refreshment. Put a large, tempting bowl of jelly beans out for your guests. Mix some Jelly Belly gourmet jelly beans in with the Bertie Bott’s Any Flavored Beans to lull your guests into a false sense of security. If necessary, lie when asked if there are any Bertie Bott’s in there. Chances are, one or two people will get a disgusting flavor at some point during the evening. The results will be hilarious.
Atmosphere. Play the movies with the sound muted for atmosphere, conversation starters and to make people say “Voldemort.” For the latter to work, only play “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” or later. Serve pumpkin juice. Decorate your house in the colors of one or more Hogwarts houses. In fact, you may choose to make it a Hogwarts Alumni Party or a Slytherin Fraternity Party. Just let your guests know so they can behave accordingly. Other ideas are Order of the Phoenix Party and Death Eaters’ Party.
If you have a Death Eaters’ Party, don’t forget to purchase a giant plush snake at the toy store.
Possibilities abound. Use your imagination. In fact, you could make your Harry Potter party a yearly event. You could do it with a different theme each year. Be the talk of your circles of friends. This is the sort of thing that can evolve over time, so go forth witches and wizards and start a great Halloween tradition.