I honestly thought that I’d have a full blown post at this point compete with all the details and photos..and most importantly all the feels that this night, and this month bring to my little creative heart. But here we are at night, with a super tired mama mind and body, unclear if if what Im about to type will even make sense…so essentially it’s a freefall super fast zip trip through my head about this little tradition of ours…Ladies and gents…Our 4th Annual Potter Night…
For those who have not been around our corner of the interwebs for too long you can see some sneaks of our first one here (I had a newborn Yuriko-Mae that time, so not much in the way of décor there, just loads of butterbeer! See our 2nd one for more though!), and our 2nd one here (I was preggers with Remy there), and our 3rd one here ( I had a tiny Remy baby then…Im picking up a trend here! Lol). Also I have an old how to post here, as well as some links and tips in THIS post. So read on if you’re here for where I got all the goods! : )
We usually kick our October month off spending the whole of the first week slowly putting up all the Halloween décor, with a strong focus on creating a Hogwarts feel. (This year though, we kicked October immediately with a potter night off the bat, so the décor that went up was quick & dirty, and very limited, but still effective. All you really need is a bunch of candles to add some ambience. ) Then usually only on the second weekend of October we have a full blown Potter Movie night complete with dressup. This year, we started early. I think the world is eager to start all forms of festivities. Now, if you’ve seen our IG stories you know we like to have special movie nights, but these Potter nights are EXTRA special movie nights.
What first started as Mike and I trying to introduce our kids to this much loved story, soon blossomed into a full blown love story that this family now has with Harry Potter. (Much like SO many other folks out there in the world – Potter heads UNITE! Because really, whats not to love) The magic of Hogwarts is incredible, and who wouldn’t want a piece of it…so that’s exactly what we do in our home. We try to capture the wonder that is so beautifully sparked by this story, and do our best to recreate the captivating world Harry.. like
Who doesn’t love that scene?
Morgy asked Pax to act out the scene with her when it came on the movie
The great hall with those floating candles….
Urghhh, guys….Coco had destroyed so many of floating candles while I was busy putting them up this year (hence there are only a few hanging this year) …And then she graffitied the rest of them and tossed the battery operated tealights into the pool a few days after the party…So yeah, I guess Im going to have remake them again next year. (for the how to check out this post here. There amazing ways to create, but I kinda just stuck to the simplest way that would still give the same effect)
The teachers table …
And of course Honey Dukes
(and yes, I added the Train Cart lady’s vibe to Honey Dukes…I took poetic license 😉 )
Each kid could earn points over a few days by being extra kind, helpful, brave, generous or sharing (much like in Potter where each house earns points), and for each point you would a gold coin. Those gold coins they could use at our Honey Dukes. And each coin would get you x amount of candy.
Of course Coco just charmed her way with her dad and got from the cart whatever it was that she needed. She also very strategically went it to get all the BIG candy with her coins, and then whatever else she needed would only seem like small candies and almost nothing to her dad!. She is CLEVER, So cunning and resourceful! Hmmm…what house is that again?! lol
And just so we keep it really, candy aint cheap here in SA, so try to buy it a few months in advance. The containers we used were either glass or mugs we have, as well as jars that we already had or previously bought for potter night. (Crazy store and Mambos have great selections)
We love our Butter beer and have 2 simple recipes that we usually use. And when I say simple, I mean cream soda (with a little food colouring) and butterscotch syrup form the base of it. (see the full recipes here – we had TWO different ways of making it. BUT this year, I was inspired by another recipe to try and make a copy cat version of Universal Studios recipe.
The only reason I even bothered to make it was because this year we couldn’t find ANY butterscotch syrup in the stores. So if youre keen to try it, I’ve added to my old ButterBeer recipe post here.
The rest however, if you were wondering, we keep all pretty easy and simple. If you want to go all out fancy, there are a myriad of amazingly creative people out there, so give Youtube a squizz to see their amazing work (see here). However for this working mama of 4 however, I try my best to ignite the imagination and magic for my kids as best I can while still making those work due dates! In other words, i keep it SUPER simple and easy.😉
And because both my girls were neck deep into all the Harry Potter books they were wanting all the extra little touches like their acceptance letters to Hogwarts.
Also, just to be clear, I did NOT design this… An extra awesome mama did, and she has a ENTIRE array of amazing Hogwarts-esque documents and templates for us all to enjoy. See here.
We really like to get into the dress part too, so this year I got the kids some robes – Morgy was SO chuffed that she could follow her acceptance letter. And for the bunch of ya’ll who were wanting to know where we got them from, Kiddie Majigs is your ticket! They have three versions.
We got our Griffondor ties from Amazon (see here). However Kiddie Majigs also stocks them (not sure of stock levels right now). But just so you know, at the time I bought the ties from Amazon, they worked out to be cheaper (incl. shipping & import costs). So when deciding` which one to buy, first see what the exchange rates are and do your calculations. 🙂
There really is such a buzz in our in build up to this night…
The imaginative play they had, all siblings running outside pretending they’re at their first day at Hogwarts – Morgy was the self proclaimed third year student showing them all around.
We had quite an exciting few rounds of Bean Boozled ( I buy mine at Hedghogs)…I seemed to have struck it lucky where I got only the yummy ones.
* pic of coco eating bean
…lets just say she is now permanently off jelly beans of all sorts.
This was her the next day when I was trying to convince her it’s a normal jelly bean.
* pic of coco eating bean
Also master Remy-James called it a night long ago. Maybe next year he’ll make it past the dress up and play part. But by the time it was 6:30pm he was plastered and ready for bed.
The kiddies got their points awarded along with their coins, and headed straight for Honey Dukes.
Also I served up …
Which is just sprite can covered with the label.
But the best part was that I blew their mind with that colour changing trick.
All you need are paper cups, a drop of food colour that dries on the bottom of the cup (so dont use wax lined cups). Stack the cups, making sure the top one has no colour in it, and show the kids. Then unstack them, pour ice in to cover the bottoms and hand over to the kids to pour their potions in.
We did a swish and flick of the wands and boom! Minds blown!!! As they pour the see through drink into cups, the colour changes “magically” infront of them.
…thereafter, as the sugar settled, and the popcorn got popped, Coco was put to bed ( her sugar drop was major!)…the much anticipated moment of the evening began…
Harry Potter, The Philospher’s Stone…
This weekend though?…it was a full blow Harry Potter marathon!
Gosh I just love October, and the Potter Nght is our opening act…so much more joy, fun and silliness to be had!
Here’s to spinning up all sorts magic and joy in this life…