Top That: Harry Potter 11th Birthday Party

My previous posts, Epic Harry Potter Party (both parts), illustrates how to have a rockin’ HP Party for a child of any age, but what can you do to top that? I produced that extravaganza when my daughter was 8-years-old, but as her 11th birthday approached, it was time to step up my game.

As fans of the Potter World know, the age of 11 is when young witches and wizards receive their Acceptance Letters to Hogwarts. So, the first thing to do was to craft the letter.

There are many tutorials online for creative ways to do this, but as always, I take the easiest and cheapest route, no handmade parchment for me. I found the original wording online, copied and pasted the Hogwarts Coat of Arms, and printed it on cream colored paper.

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To create the parchment effect, I lightly soaked the letter and envelope in tea, then dried it for a few minutes in a low temperature oven. Additionally, I used a brown marker to “age” the edges of the paper a little bit.

(Pro Tip: Keep the flap of the envelope open so that it doesn’t seal shut while wet.)

I took a bit of red clay and made a “wax seal.” After baking it in the oven, I glued the cooled, red blob down with a drop of craft glue.

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Now, how to deliver? In the books, Muggles (magical children born to non-magic parents), receive their invitations by regular mail, but what fun is that? Children born of witches and wizards receive their letter by Owl Post.

Utilizing the same zoo folks that came to the party three years ago, I had the zookeeper bring the owl into the living room (it was a surprise!) and hand the invitation to the birthday girl.

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The greatest witch of her age.

Since my daughter received a special owl delivery, I will leave it up to you to decide my own personal magical status. (My husband certainly thinks I am a witch.)

Now, where is the most epic destination celebration for a witch or wizard who just received their invitation to Hogwarts? Universal Studios in Orlando, of course. (Look for my review of the Harry Potter sections of the park in my next post.)

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Before heading off to Hogwarts, your young student is going to need to pack a trunk.

Here I took a small case that I bought at an antique store decades ago for $10 and packed it with a wand, robe and scarf. These are all inexpensive costume versions that she has had since the first party. If money is no object, you can order authentic-looking, movie quality robes and wands online.

You can also buy them in the many shops of Hogsmead and Diagon Alley at Universal.

Universal Studios is the closest thing to being a magical student of Hogwarts that is possible in this world. It is outrageously expensive, but worth every penny, and if you have a Harry Potter fan in your family, Universal Orlando is a must-do trip of a lifetime.

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My baby is off to Hogwarts for her first semester!

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