I once worked for two years as the children’s librarian at a public library. Every aspect of the job was fun for my nerdy, child-like personality, but the undisputed highlight was when I threw a Harry Potter party for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. It was a movie release, sure, but I hadn’t been a librarian when the books came out, and no way was I going to miss this opportunity.
My coworkers were coerced into and/or overjoyed to help out. We all dressed as professors from Hogwarts, and I, of course, chose to be Dumbledore so I could wander through the party overseeing the events and making everyone else do the real work. We had a turnout of over 70 kids, and some of them might have had even more fun than me (doubtful). We had stations/classrooms set up around the library run by their assigned librarian/professor. If you ever plan on throwing a Harry Potter party, feel free to use this arrangement!
- Charms with Professor Flitwick: Melissa had a table full of twigs, feathers, pipe cleaners, and beads where kids could make their own wand. This inevitably led to ten-year-olds screaming “Avada Kedava!” at each other and falling over until I threatened to throw them in Azkaban for using an Unforgiveable Curse.
- History of Magic with Professor Binns: Mary kept her face solemn as she passed out quizzes on the Harry Potter series with questions as easy as “Who did Hermione take to the Yule Ball?” and as hard as “What is Dumbledore’s full name?”
- Transfiguration with Professor McGonagall: MaryAnn went above and beyond my request, turning a face painting station into something truly magical. After decorating their faces, she covered their heads with a blanket, waved a wand over them, and whipped it off to reveal their transfigured appearances in a quickly placed mirror.
- Divination with Professor Trelawney: Luce helped the kids fold origami fortune tellers while occasionally proclaiming fortunes of doom and gloom for each of them.
- Potions with Professor Snape: Laura snarkily taught the kids how to make green goop, and she stayed in character by complimenting any kid in Slytherin green and insulting those wearing Gryffindor red.
- Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid: Kyle stepped up big time, since he did not actually work for the library. But as Laura’s boyfriend (hmm, Hagrid and Snape as a couple–yikes!) he agreed to help us out. It helped that he is incredibly tall and has a beard. I had pre-made clay eggs with dragon toys baked inside. They were hidden all over the library, and the kids had to find one and take it to Hagrid to open them with a hammer.
I’ve had so much fun moving to Dallas, learning how to be a counselor, and preparing to move to Greece, but sometimes I wonder: why did I leave a job where I was paid to dress up like Dumbledore and make Hogwarts a reality? This party was a dream come true, and I hope someone reading this blog is inspired to make their own version!