Invitations: We decided to send a Hogwarts acceptance letter as our invitation. And of course, it had to be hand delivered via owl post. Each envelope had an official wax seal bearing the letter "H" for Hogwarts. Because they were hand delivered I was able to use the Harry Potter address: Cupboard Under the Stairs, 4 Privet Drive etc. which the kids thought was fun. (For the paper bag owl pattern, go here . )
Platform 9 3/4:As all Harry Potter fans know, the only way to catch the Hogwarts Express is by accessing it via Platform 9 3/4, which is invisible to Muggle eyes. It is a brick wall found in between Platform 9 and Platform 10 at King's Cross Station. Would-be wizards must run through the barrier to hop aboard the magical train that will take them from London to Hogsmeade. Here is a picture of Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter movies.
We knew the new students attending our special session of Hogwarts would need to catch the Hogwarts Express by accessing it via Platform 9 3/4 so construction of our own brick wall began. (It's amazing what a cheap shower curtain from Ross, a sponge and some red paint can do!)
An outside look at King's Cross Station.
All Aboard Hogwarts Express:
Diagon Alley is the hub for all wizard shopping needs. We decided to take our little wizards shopping so they could pick up their much needed school supplies, prior to arriving at Hogwarts.
First stop: Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Here, our wizards were given pouches of gold with which to buy their school supplies.
Next stop: Ollivander's Fine Wand Shop
To make the wands, Josh bought dowels from the craft store and made a lathe out of his drill and carved each wand by hand so that they were unique. He then stained them with various shades of stain and sealed each wand with a clear spray paint so the stain wouldn't rub off on the kid's hands. They turned out fabulous, and the kids were so excited to pick out their wand, or rather, have their wand "choose them" (as all wizards know, it is the wand that chooses the wizard).
Next Stop: Flourish & Blotts
Here, students picked up their potion jars and Spell & Charm books.
Other Shops passed along the way:Quality Quidditch Supplies
Eeylops Owl Emporium Madam Malkins, Makers of Fine Robes
Snape's Slime Recipe:
2 oz. Elmer's White glue mixed with 1/4 cup water (in one bowl) Add food coloring of choice.
1/4 tsp. Borax mixed with with 1/4 cup warm water (in separate bowl) until majority of Borax is dissolved
Combine two mixtures and stir quickly. Use hands to form slime ball. Squeeze out any excess liquid and discard.
Store in air-tight container.
End of Birthday Session Cake & Presents:
Students returned to the Great Hall for the end of term birthday celebration complete with Hedwig Owl Cupcakes and Butter Beer (Cream Soda) while they enjoyed watching Jacob open his Muggle-inspired gifts.
Surprise Trip to Honeydukes Candy Shop (Party Favor Bags):
If you've seen the movies or read the books you surely know about Honeydukes and some of the most famous Harry Potter candies: Chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Ice Mice, Droobles, Acid Pops, Blood Pops as well as Albus Dumbledore's favorite muggle candy, Lemon Drops.
For some reason these candies are impossible to find locally & are insanely expensive online. However, a few trips to the Dollar Store & some creative labeling and we came up with our own line of Harry Potter worthy candy.
A few final pictures: