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International Harry Potter Day is May 2! Few literary series have united the world with as much depth and breadth as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has.
I know what you’re thinking…that it’s typically recognized as a children’s series, but I can tell you, that it’s not just for kids. I’ve read all the books and watched every movie. There is so much in this series to love. It has action, adventure, a terrible villain that our heroes must fight for the good of all, and best of all, it illustrates the value of friendship, family, and love.
The world of Harry Potter celebrates diversity of all varieties and has some of the most amazing strong, female characters. Hermione Granger is super relatable for those of us who are nerdy and smart. She is smart, cute, AND kicks ass. Nymphadora Tonks, Molly Weasley, Professor Minerva McGonagall, Fleur Delacour–all are amazing, and I love them all (especially Mrs. Weasley).
The movies are just as great as the books which is a rarity. There are eight movies in total (the split the last book into two movies). I love the Fantastic Beast movies as well. They are really fun and show a bit more about the American magical community. You can read about the history of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on WizardingWorld.com. For a preview, watch the video below.
Here are some fun things you can do to celebrate this day on your own or with other current or future fans!
1. Read the book series.
If you’ve never read them there is no time like the present! If you’ve read them before they are a great re-read too. The fourth book of the main series–“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”–is my favorite one. They are all awesome though. You can get the paperbacks for about $6.99 on Amazon or if you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime you can read it for free! There are seven books in the main series and Rowling has written six other companion books.
Don’t forget your local library has a copy and many libraries nowadays have audio or electronic books for lending as well.
2. Have a movie marathon.
If you don’t have the movies, you can stream them on the Peacock streaming service–according to HiddenRemote.com you can stream the first three films for free as of March 2021. You can also rent them for $3.99 each through Amazon Prime Video or buy the 8-film collection if you feel so inclined. Amazon has a sweet deal right now for all 10 movies on Blu-Ray including the eight movies and the two Fantastic Beast films. The price will fluctuate but you can use a free service like Honey or CamelCamelCamel to watch for price drops.
3. Get Sorted.
If you haven’t discovered your Hogwarts House yet, head over to WizardingWorld.com (formerly Pottermore) and click on the “Hogwarts Sorting” link in the navigation bar. The site will ask you to join the fan club and the first step is to get sorted into a house–just like the first day at Hogwarts!
You’ll answer a series of questions posed with the purpose of figuring out where you fit best: Griffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw. I’m a Ravenclaw, by the way.
The Pottermore version of the Ilvermorny Sorting Quiz is no more but there is an option to sort on Wizard More to see where you would fit in the Massachusetts school on Mount Greylock. I like that it gives you percentages for all the houses. I am consistent at least–I was sorted into the “Horned Serpent” house which is the house of the mind.
4. Find your Patronus.
Head back over to WizardingWorld.com and take their Discover Your Patronus challenge. When I first tried this way back when on Pottermore.com I got a dolphin, which never felt quite right to me, but I just tried the new challenge on Wizarding World I receive Nightjar. They are nocturnal birds (otherwise known as a Nighthawk here in North America) with big eyes and small beaks that are quite cute and their flight patterns are bat-like. So much more me! Rowling did say that a Patronus can change over time so this pretty cool.
5. Brush up on your Harry Potter knowledge.
We’ve already talked about WizardingWorld.com and some of the things you can do there, but there are also quizzes that test your knowledge, a discovery section (to help you with the quizzes if you so need), and some other neat features.
There is also the Harry Potter Fandom Wiki that has a TON of information about the books, movies, games, and more. There’s a forum where you can chat with other fans and links to other resources as well.
6. Have a Harry Potter Themed Wizarding Craft Day.
Another fun way to celebrate is to have a craft day with your kids or friends. I’m a full-grown adult and I would dig this, and I guarantee you I know of at least 10 other people that would too. Here’s a list of things you could make:
You can make wizarding wands using wooden dowel rods, air-dry clay to mold a handle, and acrylic paint to make it your own. There are a lot of other options for customization that you may already have around the house like masking tape, Glad Press’N Seal, or Duct tape that you can use to shape the handle.
If you’re not that good with clay or want a more out-of-the-box solution, there is a DIY craft kit (https://amzn.to/32Pdd5w) you can buy on Amazon too that suggests using a hot glue gun.
Be sure to take the quiz to figure out what your Wand would be at Olivander’s on WizardingWorld.com in your Passport!
Make a Hogwarts plaque
ColoringHome.com has some printable House Crests that you can print for free. Print them out and cut around the crest then use construction paper or cardstock as a backing to give them a little more weight. You could also use Modge Podge to adhere them to Bamboo Cutting Boards that you can get at Dollar Tree. You can usually find Modge Podge there too. Just make sure you print out the coloring page at the correct size.
Make potion bottles
You can get some neat bottles with stopper or metal tops from the Dollar Tree, crafting stores like Michaels, Joann, or Hobby Lobby, or even the thrift store (if you feel comfortable with that) and then use water, food coloring, and glitter to make your “potions”. Vegetable glycerin could add some fun viscosity to the project too! You can hand paint labels if you have the skills or get the “Harry P” font from DaFont.com and print and hand cut your own or cut them out with a Cricut or Silhouette Smart Cutter.
Some potions you could make: Polyjuice, Skele-Gro, Elixir of Life, Invisibility, and Kissing Concoction. The Fandom Wiki has a list of known potions that could spark your creativity.
Something like this Ashland Glass Bottle from Michaels would work great!
Make some Patronus lights
There’s a neat tutorial for making wall lights on WizardingWorld.com and they have free templates that you can download.
For more fun ideas check out all the tutorials on Wizarding World’s Crafting Magic section or get “The Unofficial Guide to Crafting the World of Harry Potter” which you can also get for free with Kindle Unlimited or from your local library. There are some great family-friendly ideas in both sources.
7. Brew some Butterbeer.
Here’s a non-alcoholic version from Delish.com:
TIME: 10 Minutes
- 4 cans cream soda
- 1/4 cup butterscotch syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- In a large bowl, combine cream soda and butterscotch syrup and stir.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in sugar and vanilla extract, then melted butter until no longer streaky. (Add more butter if desired).
- Ladle the Butterbeer into glasses and top with whipped cream mixture.
I’m sure you could add some rum if you wanted an adult beverage version. There are dairy-free alternatives you can get for butter and heavy cream as well. Coconut palm sugar is a low-glycemic index alternative to sugar and sugar-free syrups and cream soda are an option too!
No matter how you choose to celebrate (or not celebrate, no judgment here) just remember that Harry Potter has something for everyone and we can all share in the magic, even if we really are just Muggles.