Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Harry Potter Mystery Dinner Party

After the fun and success of our previous Harry Potter Party found here, we recently hosted a Harry Potter Mystery Dinner Party. I searched all over for a Harry Potter Mystery Dinner Game to purchase and hardly found any choices and the two I did find weren't great.  One included some rather mature topics I felt inappropriate to use and the other didn't make much sense.  So I ended up writing my own, but it is written for guests who have read or watched Harry Potter.  I will post it soon. Here are the details of the night:

 It was a blast, the guests we invited got so into their characters that it made the whole thing a tons of fun.

**Updated 08/19: Sorry for the delayed reply.  It has been a long time since managing this blog and I am sorry many of the links for the HP party are not working.  Follow this link to a google drive folder with all of the files. I'll have to update all the posts, but in the meantime use the link below. Enjoy and have a fun party!**

**Click here for LINK to ALL MURDER MYSTERY FILES on google drive**

First we sent out Owl Invitations:
I adapted my old Harry Potter Party invitations found here and reworded the inside.  Then I attached them to some balloons with printed out some owls.  (Check back for: Printable invites and owls for invitations)

Then once they returned their RSVP, we sent letters explaining the Details, the Character they were to be, Polyjuice Potion,  a Hogwarts Express Train Ticket, etc. (Printable Mystery Dinner Character Invites, inserts and Polyjuice Potion DIY found: here)

Then we did a ton of decorating for the final night.
I will soon post all of the tutorials for the different parts I made and downloads for the printables I used and made. It is just taking me a little while to compile everything.  But check back soon, I will continually be updating.
And I will also include all of the downloads for the Harry Potter Mystery Dinner. (Including the parts, the evidence, etc.)

So now for the Harry Potter Mystery Dinner Party
First we started outside.  
On the driveway with a chalk outline of the victim, signs for directions, headstones, cobwebs, glowing stairs, silhouettes of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade in the windows, and a Portkey (doorbell).
(I'm sure our neighbors thought we were crazy)
 (I couldn't get a good picture of the silhouettes, due to my flash...and the front steps were glowing with dripping green mixture, but they weren't done until just before the guests arrived, but here and here where I got the ideas.)

Then, main floor of my house was transformed into Hogsmeade
It was filled with random Harry Potter Themed Decor.  Tons of books, cobwebs, Quibbler Magazines, Daily Prophet Papers, Broom Parking & Brooms, Birdcages, Moving Portriates, Old Wooden Signs and other Creepy Decor (thanks to halloween).

It included The Three Broomsticks:
Here we served Drinks and Butterbeer and appetizers.
(Each guest brought an appetizer, to make my job a bit simplier...but I took pictures before they arrived) The appetizers shown below are only the few I made for the party along with the Butterbeer. The recipes came from my previous Harry Potter Party all can be found: here

Zonko's Joke Shop:
Here we had Sticky Eyes, Extendable Ears, Candy Lips/Teeth/Mustaches, Gummy Stretch Fingers, Sticky Spiders & more. (I will update with how to DIY all of these but here are the Printable Labels)

Olivander's Wand Shop:
Now, I know Olivander's is actually located in Diagon Alley, but we added it.
Tutorial found: here.

Honeydukes's Sweets Shop:
This was a fun shop.  Since we had our party right by Halloween, there was a ton of fun candies available. I did make Cockroach Clusters and Chocolate Frogs as seen in this post. I also was excited to find this Printable Box with Dumbledore Trading Card.  And here is a link to the Labels.

Madame Puddifoot's:
We had all kinds of drinks served here and mixtures to make your own potion/drinks.
I found tons of fun Potion Printables and made some fun concoctions that I will post about soon.

All around Hogsmeade I posted Daily Prophets, Posters, Wanted Posters, Etc
As well as Lots of Cobwebs, Spiders, Skeletons, Books, Candles, Etc.

The bathroom was one of my favorite parts of the house.  It had spiders crawling towards the faucet with a sign "Follow the Spiders", under the toilet seat I made a sign, "Ministry of Magic this way" pointing down, and best of all...we played clips of Moaning Murtle, so that way as guests used the restroom they got to hear her talking to them.  I loved all the fun little details.
Also, here are more Wood Signs and the picture of the Portkey Label.

Then for the Guests:
We had the pleasure of serving Draco Malfoy, Gilderoy Lockhart, Ron Weasley, Bellatrix Lestrange, Luna Lovegood, Mrs. Weasley, Filch, Dolores Umbridge, Rita Skeeter, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Professor Snape, Ginny Weasley, Mundungus Fletcher, Professor McGonagall (not pictured) and a very short appearance of 2 house elves. 
The costumes and little details everyone came with amazed me! And it made the party a success.

Then after everyone arrived and visited in Hogsmeade we headed to the train station.
First everyone collected their Interdepartmental Memos from the ceiling fan.
And proceeded to Platform 9 3/4.

Here are a few, more pictures of decorations.  The flying keys, extendable ears over the stairs, Floo powder over the fireplace and the Brick wall of Platform 9 3/4.
(Printables and Tutorials found in text links & at bottom of post)

After taking the Hogwarts Express down to the basement...we entered 
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Having a large unfinished basement came in very handy.
Most of the walls were cement, but anywhere that had framing, we attached cardboard and painted to be the stone walls of the castle.

Then the first room included, Dumbledore's Pensive (the silver bowl on the round table, but in the picture it didn't have the dry ice going), The Mirror of Erised, Potions class, Divinations Class, Trunks and Books, etc.

After Traveling down the Hallway, we entered the Great Hall, where we had our feast for the Mystery Dinner.
The each guest was given an assigned seat for their character.
Water glasses had worm filled ice cubes. And the tables were covered in books, skulls, birds, fruit, candles, gourds, etc.  You can just hardly see the "fireplace" in the background.  It was a Large television, surrounded by curtains, with a Fire DVD playing.

The room was filled with Fog, which you can see in these cloudy pictures.  The windows had curtains made from plastic table cloths, the Enchanted Ceiling was made of tulle and twinkle lights, And House Banners floated in the back. 

The walls held House posters, Sconces with Candles, and Room Labels. And we had a small table with Lanterns, the Marauders Map, & the Elixir of Life (so guests could easily refill their glasses)

For Dinner we served 4 courses, not including the Drinks and Appetizers up in Hogsmeade.

Course 1: Caesar Salad, in a Lace Parmesan Cheese Bowl, with a Balsamic Vinaigrette Reduction making a lightning bolt on each plate. You can see the plates a few pictures above, before the salad was added to the Parmesan Bowls.

Course 2: Palate Cleanser, Sorbet with Sugared Lemon Slices

Course 3: Entre, Fettuccine Alfredo with Butternut Squash & Rolls

Course 4: Dessert,  Apple pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Treacle Pie (berry pie) served with Ice Cream

And here are the floating House Banners!
These were one of my favorite decorations and the tutorial is linked at the bottom. 

Other fun Decor included The Sorting Hat (Tutorial found: here)
Trunks, School Books, & Owl Cages.

In the Hallway, Professor Sprout's Herbology Class was passed, an Educational Decree, and more books, Trunks, and Cauldrons. (Printables for the class, the wall posters, the trunk labels, etc. found: in text links and below.)

Here is a close up of the Divination Class.
Glass ball, Tea cup, Taro Cards, etc
(Printables and directions found: here and in text links and below)

Cauldrons, Potions, Ingredients, Potion Books & Directions, etc.
(Printables and Tutorials found in text links and at the bottom of post)

Here are a few of extra wall decor and printables shown up close:
(Hogwarts banners, Maraurder's Map, Butter beer labels, and more printables found: here)

And finally, here is a sneak peek at the Mystery Dinner Scripts, Evidence, Etc.
The Printable Harry Potter Mystery Dinner posted below.
So after lots of writing, planning and decorating...the night went off well and was so much fun.  It was a ton of work, so I figured I would share it and hopefully make it less work on some of you.
 I will get everything updated on here and hopefully someone else out there will enjoy hosting a party and can use some of the things I share. 

Throughout the blog you can find all of the tutorials and printables for this party,
but here is one long list of all the links below.

Harry Potter Invitations & Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter Murder Mystery Dinner Script & Printables found: here
Harry Potter Hogsmeade Printables found: here
Harry Potter Mystery Dinner Printables and Labels: here
Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Dinner Printables found: here
Harry Potter Quibbler and Daily Prophet Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter School Trunk Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter Divinations Printables found: here
Harry Potter Hogwarts Sorting Hat Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter Flying Keys Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter House Banner Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter Wand Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter Broom Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter Wood Sign Tutorial found: here
Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 Tutorial found: here
Tons of Hogwarts Printables and Recipes, Etc found: here

More tutorial still coming! So keep checking back.

And for the original Harry Potter Party with tons of printables, recipes, and much more look: here
Linked to these Parties: Here
Come check them out and share what you post!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kids Pirate Party

As I discussed in the Pirate Party Invitation Post & the Adult Pirate Party Post...
we did a double birthday party for my two boys.

With Halloween so close, I worked hard to keep things inexpensive and simple.
So between free printables from the internet and some Dollar Store shopping, it was covered.

First I made made the invitations found: Here.
(Free printable download)

Then for decorations and favors we hit the Dollar Tree.
Necklaces, Skull Rings, Eye Patches, Pirate Hats, Coins, Tattoos and Hooks.  For a Dollar I got a set for each child.  $1 bought a set with: hat, eye patch, & a hook.  So I bought 1 package of necklaces, 1 package of tattoos, 1 package of pirate coins, & skull rings (which were also used in the invitations) 

With 8 kids invited that was $8 plus $4 for the extras.

I also used plastic table clothes, cut into strips, for sashes. ($2 for 1 red and 1 blue) Then all of this made for a simple centerpiece and decor around the room.  Just added a few books, a jewelry chest & some wire baskets...but use anything you have on hand.

From a previous party, I had some gravel spray painted in silver and gold. A simple addition.

For the rest of the decorations, I used 2 poster boards. (2 for $1 at the Dollar Tree)
And 1 black round plastic table cloth.  

The poster board made sails above the buffet and the table cloth, 
made the bottom of the ship under the food. Shown below.

I also printed off some cute cupcake sails and sea wave cupcake liners found at: Cottage Industrialist
The black pirate flag cupcake toppers found at:
Then I made some labels and pirate signs free printables below.
*For the Kid's Party, I didn't actually do the food above, this was from the Adult Party.  You can find it in detail in this Pirate Party Post
Instead for the Kid's Party, which I forgot to take a picture of, I just ordered two $5 cheese pizzas. Served with Punch, Candied Popcorn, Shark Bait (Goldfish), and Chocolate Pirate Ship Cupcakes...all of which were served for the previous party too...making life much easier.

Here is a better look at the costume pieces the kids received.

Then for entertainment.

We started with a Treasure Hunt.
Free Printable Treasure Map found below.
The treasure chest was a painted shoe box, filled with necklaces, the Hooks, and candy.

Then we played several games.
1. Bowling with Toilet Paper Rolls.

2. Fishing for Treasure: Using a Dollar Store Fishing Pole set and Printable Pirate Gold, found below.  I just attached magnets to the fishing pole and pirate gold.  

3. We also played Pin the Pirate Hat on the Skeleton: A Dollar Store Halloween Skeleton Decoration and Printable Pirate Hats found below.

4. I Had A Little Pirate: Similar to the game Duck Duck Goose, but you carry around a little pirate (I used a rubber ducky with an eye patch we previously owned. The kid carries the pirate ducky saying, "I had a little pirate and he wont bite you, and he wont bite you...but he will bite you" going around the circle then placing it behind the kid that is now "it".  Then the chosen child picks it up and chases them around the circle, just like Duck Duck Goose.

5. Musical Flags: Musical chairs/Cake walk.  So drew some pirate flags and they walked on them in a circle with music playing...when the music stopped everyone had to stand on a flag, the one without a flag was out. 

6. Then we made some Spy Glasses found: here

So the Grand Total was: $39
$8 for pirate hat & set
$4 for packs of necklaces, rings, tattoos, and coins
$2 for table cloth sashes (I actually had mine on hand)
$1 for 2 poster boards
$1 for round table cloth

$4 for treasure candy
$1 fishing set
$1 skeleton

$10 pizza
$1 for Punch (Sprite with Cherry Kool-aid)
$1 for Goldfish
$2 Candied Popcorn (estimate and used for 2 parties)
$3 Cupcakes (estimate for used for 2 parties)

Free Pirate Party Downloads:

The cute cupcake printables & pirate bunting from Cottage Industrials were found: here
She also includes printable eye patches, pirate hats, and mustaches...so you could save money there.
And there are thank you card printables, which my boys used...so look around it is a great site!

Tattered & Inked: also had great printables.  I used some for decorations and I also used them to write the clues for our treasure hunt. 

And I loved Paging Super Mom's Spy Glass Printable project and Flags.  I used them for cupcake toppers.

Here are the Free Pirate Printables I made for the party.
Click on the image to enlarge then save to your computer

Printable Treasure Map 
2 options (then draw in your course to the treasure)

Printable Pirate Gold Coins
(I didn't make these, I found them at Reading with Kids, but I just put them 12 to a sheet instead of one.)
 Printable Treasure Chest
(This also was from Reading with Kids, and I didn't use it...just too complex for the little kids at our party, but I loved it!)

Printable Pirate Hats
(I made them for Pin the Hat on the Skeleton)

Printable Pirate Party Food Labels & Printable Pirate Party Signs and Labels.
(including a blank set to customize) 
(I used the free fonts: Ringbearer & Party Business)

Pirate Party Invitations found: here

 More Pirate Party Ideas, Recipes, & Fun found: here


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pirate Party

As I mentioned in the Pirate Invitations Post, we did a double Birthday party for both of our boys.
We like to do a family party as well as a friend party.
So, I simplified things by putting the Family/Adult Pirate Birthday Party 
the night before the Friend/kid Pirate Birthday Party.
This way I prepared & decorated one time and used everything twice.
It made set up and mess a whole lot easier.

For the Adult party.  I call it an adult party, because the little bit of "family" we live by are all in their late 20's to early 30's and no children.  But my kids love them.  So when my oldest requested they be invited to the birthday party, we did one for "adults" the night before.

Everyone came dressed as pirates & we had a blast.
Decorations were simple. 
I downloaded a free bunting, seen above.  And other free Pirate Printables for the cupcakes.
Then I made a few of my own labels & signs.
And we stocked up on Dollar Tree Pirate Items to finish it off.
In the costumes we had:
Dollar Tree necklaces, skull rings, eye patches, and tattoos.  The red and blue sashes were made from plastic table cloths, also from the Dollar Tree. And the Pirate Gold and Candy were from....Dollar Tree.
All easy and inexpensive.

Also, to add to the decorations, I used two paper poster boards to make sails over the buffet table & a round plastic black tablecloth to drape in the shape of a boat. Add a pirate flag to the top and it was done. (shown in the image below)
Around the house was more pirate bunting, lots of pirate sayings, on wood planks, spray painted gravel to look like treasure, and some red, black, & white balloons.  All very inexpensive and easy. (And yes, all of the purchases were again from the Dollar Tree.

For the food, we went with some fun party foods.
Wraps, Pizza Rolls with dipping sauce, Punch, Olives, Popcorn, Gold Fish, Cheese Ball & Crackers, and a few different flavored cupcakes.  I will add the recipes soon.  So keep checking back.

And for the food I made some printable food labels, found below.  But I got the cute Cupcake printables online.  I had planned to make some myself, when I came across the exact idea I was looking for, but this saved me lots of time! Cottage Industrialist had a bunch of great printables.  The Cupcake liners & flags, the bunting, and tons more. Tattered & Inked also had some fun printables and I used.
Oh, and the fun skeleton straws were also from the Dollar Tree.  Lots of the Halloween decorations the Dollar Tree carries were perfect for the party too...One stop shopping on a budget.

For the party, we played a playlist of Pirate Music, from every version of Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, & Hook. (I like downloading my music from www.gomusicnow.com songs are around 10-15 cents each!)

We played Liars Dice and several pirate trivia games online. 

And the whole night was a success...
then to read about the following Pirate Party for the Kid's Friends look: here.

Invitations found: here

Linked to these Parties: Here
Check out all the projects they have to share.


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