When the last Harry Potter movie came out in July we gave some suggestions for a last minute Harry Potter party to stave off the whines of kids who didn't get to go the movie opening night. But over the years Harry Potter has become the go-to theme for Halloween parties and kid's birthday parties. This interest peaks in years with a movie or book release, so if your little wizard is asking for a Harry Potter party this year, we've got some great ideas for a more thought out party.

Invitations Send a Hogwarts School acceptance letter to the guests, accepting them into the school aka, the party. Cut out the letters in the shape of Hedwig the owl who often delivers important mail to the Hogwarts’ students (hint: Mom's Break has free printable owl template invitations below)

owl invitation Decorations

• Place signs along the party path to your door for Dragon Alley Shops

• Throughout the party area, hang different signs designating different Hogwarts’ areas, i.e. Hagrid’s Hut, The Great Hall, Dungeon, etc.

• Turn your designated party room/area into the “Great Hall.”

• Choose the colors scarlet and gold for balloons and streamers

• Candelabras on the tables would be an additional decorating touch.

• Place brooms and wizard hats around the room.

• Spray paint inexpensive frames with gold paint and have them in the party room all around. Don't worry, you don't have to get as extravagant as the Preston Bailey Harry-Potter themed party below.

Preston Bailey's Harry Potter themed party

Activities

• Make Wizard Hats - Using a regular party hat, take pre-cut felt material and have the kids wrap it around the hat and attach with a glue gun. Provide precut felt stars and moons in  different colors and have the guests attach them along the felt hat with masking tape.

• Create your own Hogwarts Taste Test: Troll Snot (honey and green food coloring), Bat Blood (Kool Aid Mix, Water, No Sugar) and Goblin Pee (Lemon Juice and Water, No Sugar).

• Hold a Snitch Search - wrapping treats in foil, have the kids find them around the party area.

• Hold a potions class by combining different flavors of Kool Aid and Pop Rocks!

Entertainment This is the perfect party to hire a magician to keep the muggles entertained. Remember to tell your entertainer that this is a Harry Potter themed party to see what unique elements the entertainer can include to her routine that relate to the theme.

Desserts You simply cannot do better than the amazing Ezra Pound Cake site for desert ideas and recipes ranging from a Gryffindor Fruit Trifle (peaches and strawberries make the red and gold colors) to Ton-Tongue Toffee and Treacle Tart, all pictured above.

Favors Send your small wizards home with a small bag of sweets, including: Bertie Botts Magic Beans (a.k.a. jelly beans), Double Blowing Gum, Sour Drops, Gummy Worms, and chocolate mice, frogs, and cockroaches.  A twig wand would be fun and budget-friendly, too.

What other great Harry Potter ideas have you seen? Let us know in the comments below.