If Potter fever has hit your house, you don't need me to tell you that the DVD release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I is tomorrow.
Whether you're hosting a sleepover event for a slew of little wizards, or just snuggling in for Family Movie Night, here are some ideas to make it special.
Your own Sorting Hat
While it's true that you can buy a Sorting Hat ( has one for $27.99), you can also create a homemade device to determine which house your wizards-in-training belong in.
You may remember it from your elementary school days as the Fortune Teller. It's an 8-by-8-inch piece of paper that's folded, folded and flipped. By adding the house colors and attributes, whichever section is chosen will pinpoint the perfect house.
If it's been awhile since you've made a Fortune Teller, please see the photos for details. And if you're a little shaky on the four houses of Hogwarts, here's some information that will help:
- Hufflepuff: They are patient, true, just and hard-workers. Their house color is yellow.
- Ravenclaw: They are smart, with the sharpest of mind. Their color is blue.
- Gryffindor: They are brave, daring, bold and chivalrous. Their color is red.
- Slytherin: They are ambitious, shrewd and power-hungry. Their color is green.
Perhaps you make one to entertain the whole crowd. Or maybe it's the perfect activity for the kids to do while they're waiting for the popcorn. All you need are paper, pen and crayons.
Speaking of snacks: wizard cupcakes and magic drinks
The wizard cupcakes are so easy it's almost, well, magic. Either make your favorite recipe or buy full-sized cupcakes at the store. You will also need:
- A box of sugar cones
- Decorating sugar and/or icing
Once your cupcakes are cooled and frosted, here's how you turn them into a wizard hat. First, hold the cone from the inside to frost the outside of the cone. You could use chocolate frosting and add a yellow lightning bolt with icing or use vanilla frosting and decorate it with colored sugar from the four houses. Once the hat is decorated to your liking, stick the cone upside down on the top of the cupcake. Just like that: you have a wizard cupcake.
For the magic drink you need dark cups, food coloring, ice and lemon-lime pop. Before your guests arrive, add the food coloring to the bottom of the cups with just enough ice to cover it. The drink will magically change colors in front of your guests' eyes when the clear soda is poured.
Feel free, also, to mumble some incantation. "Abracadabra" usually works for me.
Now that the wizards are all sugared up ...
An activity or two might be nice before the movie starts. How about a Magic Creature Hunt?
Raid the stuffed animal piles for dragons, owls, cats, a black dog and a rat. Then, hide them around the house. (You may want to assign point values to the animals based on their rarity if you've got a competitive group on your hands.)
Or, send them on a wand hunt outside. (Warning: wands broken off trees are bad magic; they must be found on the ground.) You can even break out the craft box to decorate the sticks, er ... wands.
For the grown-up Harry Potter fan
You've worked so hard to make the night special — now it's your turn to enjoy a little Harry Potter wizardry with a homemade Butter Beer. Pour a cream soda and add a couple of shots of butterscotch schnapps. Put your feet up, relax and enjoy! (Just watch out for the giant snake, and don't spill your drink!)
Where to get it
Here's a list of places you can get Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I:
- : DVD $16.99, Blu- Ray $19.99, Combo $22.99
- : DVD $13.99, Combo $22.99
- : DVD $14.99, Combo $22.99
- DVD $14.96, Special Edition DVD $16.96, Combo $22.96
- : DVD $21.99
- DVD $14.99, Combo $21.59.
(Prices are based on release day sales.)
And if you're short on cash but long on patience, the has 12 copies for loan with a list of 109 holds as of Wednesday afternoon.