On Saturday, we had a little Harry-Potter-themed family birthday party for Claire. (On her actual birthday she went bowling with a few friends and then came back to the house for pizza and cake.)
I say "a little Harry Potter birthday party" because if you Google "Harry Potter parties," you will see that some people have devoted their life savings and the bulk of their days on earth to throwing really huge and elaborate Harry Potter parties, in which their entire homes are remodeled to look like Hogwarts.
These looked like a lot of fun. :D
I just did my typical thing where we only decorate the dining room. This keeps it under control. :) I was in charge of food and decor. I kept it simple ... we had (at Claire's request) shepherd's pie, peas (my brother-in-law Greg said it was the first birthday party he had ever been to that had peas), English muffins, and, inexplicably, peppermint creams. Also, cupcakes.
Bob was in charge of all the fun activities. He also made the butterbeer.
And whoo I'm telling you, that boy had FUN.
He had a little Ollivander's wand selection ceremony in the kitchen that involved Claire and her cousins all standing on chairs watching a science experiment in the microwave ... it was incredibly clever, and I'm going to videotape him doing it and show you later on in case you ever want to do it yourself.
He made THE BEST butterbeer, and I'll have him show you that, too.
He also made a Quidditch pitch in the front yard and ran a quidditch practice (after previewing the quidditch game in the first Harry Potter movie with the kids).
And he came up with a really great Sorting Hat ceremony (a random drawing rather than a test, although he did rig it so that all the kids ended up in Gryffindor) that was one of the funniest things I've ever seen, because both my mom and Bob's mom ended up (completely randomly) in Slytherin and were then cheering Slytherin on. They totally cracked me up.
I put Harry up the day before the party, and then was scared by him all day whenever I walked by. I kept thinking Bob was home from work.
I found these quidditch broomstick favors here, and the directions were here. They were very fast and easy to make. I filled the base up with Skittles Riddles, which are a different flavor than the color would indicate, and which seemed kind of magical. :)
Isn't Harry realistic? Seriously, I jumped out of my skin about twenty times on Friday.
We had a blast.