Hawaiian Party Theme
Make invitations that look like surfboards. Use floral printed scrapbook paper and then glue a white strip down the center of the surfboard. On the back write the information for the party. Be sure to tell the guests to come in attire they can get wet in.
Decorate with flowers, paper lanterns, foliage and streamers. Set up some beach umbrellas especially over the food and craft areas. Make long garlands of flowers and put them down the center of tables as table runners. Tape grass skirts to the edge of tables. Play Hawaiian music in the background. Put Tiki torches in the ground.
Have the kids make their own leis. Provide them with string, silk flowers and colorful straws cut into about one inch pieces. Show them how to alternate between the flowers and the straws.
Have a hula-hoop contest give the guest who can hula hoop the longest gets a prize. Have the kids divide into twos give each group a beach towel, and then have them pass a water balloon around. Turn on a sprinkler that shoots water up and have a limbo competition. Hold the pole over the sprinkler and guests have to go under the pole (make sure no one will trip on the hose).
Make fruit kabobs with tropical fruits such as pineapple and oranges. For a drink have smoothies. Serve in coconut cups with umbrellas. Make a cake that looks like the ocean or make a volcano cake
Harry Potter Party
Much of the world is under Harry Potter's enchanting spell. Turn your party room into Hogwarts Hall with a few waves of Harry's magic wand for kids to share this magical world with their Muggle friends.
Make Wizard Maps for invitations. Round the edges of parchment paper with scissors. Write the party details to Hogwarts School (a.k.a. your house), using invisible ink felt pens (available at the craft stores). Roll the invitation into cylinders, insert into mailing tube, along with a decoder pen, and mail to Muggles.
Ask the guests to come dressed as a character from the series, such as Harry, Hagrid, Hermione, Ron, Draco Malfoy, or Nearly Headless Nick.
Have costume parts ready so guests can dress up when they arrive, such as wizards, creatures, ghosts, goblins, owls, and Muggles.
Provide the guests with wizard caps, cloaks, and magic wands.
Give everyone Harry glasses and "tattoo" a lightning bolt on their foreheads with felt pen.
Hang a sign to welcome the guests at the front door that reads "Platform 9 3/4."
Decorate your party room like the Great Hall at Hogwarts School, using details from the book, such as:
make "snitches" by spray painting Styrofoam or rubber balls gold, then glue feathers on each side, and hang them from the ceiling
cover the walls with glow-in- the-dark stars, moons, and lightning bolts
Hang broomsticks on fishing string from the ceiling
set out stuffed toy owls and dragons, broomsticks, magic wands, and potions (candy-filled bottles)
cover the table with a dark table cloth featuring stars, moons, and lightning bolts, and fill the center of the table with all the dream foods like in the movie
If the group is old enough make sure to have plenty of candles
Play a version of Quidditch, Harry's favorite game, by providing the kids with a ball(Spray Paint it Gold), some broomsticks, and a large area to play in. Divide the group into two teams, set up two goals on either side of the yard, and have the kids try to brush the ball over their own goal line.
Have a Harry Potter Trivia Contest and ask questions based on the book. Offer a Flavor Bean Tasting Contest. Buy a variety of jellybeans and place them in small paper cups covered with foil so they aren't visible. Pass one cup around at a time and have each player taste a jellybean without looking at it. Players must try to identify the flavors.
Make Potter's Magic Potion by combining 2 cups white glue and 1 1/2 cups water together. Add a few drops of Food Coloring. In a separate container, dissolve 2 teaspoons borax in 2/3 cup warm water and mix well. Mix the borax and glue solutions together, and let the kids watch what happens to the mixture. Pass out handfuls and let the wizards work their magic. Wear smocks for this activity – it's messy, but fun!
Let the kids create their own Wizard Capes and Magicians Caps. For capes, cut length of inexpensive silky lining fabric and let the kids decorate it with felt-tip pens, glue-on glitter, and decals in the shape of stars, moons, and lightning bolts. For caps, give them lengths of felt, cut into rectangles. Fold the felt into a cone shape, staple it closed, trim off a straight edge, and decorate with glue-on sequins, glitter, puffy paints, and decals.
Buy a plastic cauldron or use a black pot for serving the food. Fill it with soup, macaroni and cheese, or beef stew.
Serve "magic potions" in plastic goblets. Offer multicolored drink – red, blue, green, orange – for added fun.
Offer the guests a variety of Harry Potter snacks and treats - Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (assorted jelly beans), Fizzing Whizbees Levitating Sherbet Balls (green and orange sherbet balls), Droobles Best Blowing Gum (blue gum), Creepy Chocolates (in the shape of frogs, bats, and rats), and Peppermint Humbugs (peppermint candies.)
Provide Harry Potter desserts, such as apple pie, trifle, jam donuts, and pudding.
Prizes, Gifts, & Favors
Give the kids magic wands, jellybeans, wizard caps and capes, copies of Harry Potter books or tapes, Harry glasses, and press-on tattoos.
Place them in small fabric bags tied with ribbon or velvet cords.
"Above all there's one thing to keep in mind when throwing a Harry Potter party," Ms. Warner says. "Harry Potter is enjoyed by children of all ages, so don't forget to invite fans who may have children and grandchildren.
For more great party planning tips visit OC Mom Magazine: http://www.ocmommag.com/page/party-time