As I mentioned in my earlier post, we didn't have the party at home. I discovered an amazing place in LA called Whimsic Alley that's designed to look like Diagon Alley and features a great hall for private parties in the back. This place is, seriously friends, the shit.
Here are my little owls all lined up, waiting for their new wizards.
Each owl got a name and was assigned to a little person (child, not person of small stature). It's not that easy to come up with 16 owl names, in case you're curious. I am proud to say there were no repeats. Wow, I am a serious nerd.
Here are all the young students lined up to be sorted. Rather than using a Sorting Hat, each kid selected a stone from the wizard instructor's pouch. The color of the stone determined the kid's house & they were assigned a robe and table.
Dash, you'll be shocked to hear, was Gryffindor. (Well, actually, I guess, "Naysayer." They renamed all the houses to avoid copyright issues. But the kids can't read, so we just called them the real names the whole time. Up yours, Warner Bros.)
The first lesson of the day was wand-making. The instructors passed out dowels, supplied the kids with markers, glue, gems & pipe cleaners & they went to town. Each guest got to keep the wand they made.
After breaking for lunch (hey, Wizards gotta eat, too!) we moved on to potion-making class. Each kid got a plastic vial and they were supplied with all sorts of colored syrups, gummy candies, powders and sprinkles which they combined into unique concoctions.
This may have been my favorite part of the day. When it was time for cake, the kids were instructed to hold up their wands and cast a darkness spell by shouting "Nox!" After the cake came out and the candles were blown out, they lit the hall back up by shouting "Lumos!" You guys, they really, really believed they did it. I wish you could have seen their faces when the lights went out and then came back on. One way or another, it was magic.
Here's the cake. It's based on the cake Hagrid made for Harry's birthday.
We thought the candles were the kind that keep re-lighting. Turns out the kid was just too far away when he was blowing. [Ring, ring. Hello? Mensa! Hi! Oh, wrong number. Ok. Bye.]
Turning the lights back on.
After the cake, the kids got to play some games. First, a version of musical chairs or hot potato or something where you didn't want to be caught holding some puffy pink thing when the music stopped? I dunno, I wasn't paying attention for that one. Dash won. (I call rigged).
THEN! Best drinking game ever (unless you're five, then it's just a game, game. Don't call child services). Put a pretzel on your forehead, then, with your hands behind your back, try to get it into your mouth. I made them let me play. Yes, yes I did.
The last game of the day was "guess the flavor of the Every Flavored Bean." Poor kids. Sweet Maya got "centipede" and thought she had eaten an actual centipede. There were tears. Most of the kids had no idea what flavors they got, so I went around smelling their breath & trying to guess. I'll tell you this much: I never need to smell another moldy cheese-flavored jelly bean ever again.
Young wizards, freshly-minted.
And then, just as suddenly as it had started, our adventure ended. We headed back to Platform 9 3/4 and returned to the world of the Muggles.