Happy Birthday, Harry Potter! How to Celebrate Our Favorite Wizard


July 31 will always hold a special place in my heart – Harry Potter’s birthday. It may seem silly to some that a grown woman even acknowledges this day, but as a child, the magic of Harry Potter was my escape.  I was 10 years old the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and felt like I grew up with Harry, Hermione, Ron, and the rest of the Hogwarts crew, as a new book was released each summer throughout my pre-teen and teenage years. Before each release, I’d reread all of the preceding books, locking myself in my room and staying up all day and night until they were all devoured. The first book I bought for my future babies when I found out I was pregnant with my twins was The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a set of children’s stories referenced in the HP series. I married a fellow Potterhead (he’s a Gryffindor, I’m a Ravenclaw wing Hufflepuff), and it’s pretty much one of our top goals as parents to be able to give our daughters their Hogwarts letters on their 11th birthday and surprise them with a trip to the Wizarding World. Pre-kids, my husband and I would spend July 31 cuddled up on the couch watching all of the movies, but now that we have two girls with the attention span of goldfish, we have to get a little more creative with our celebrations!

Below are a few fun ways for any Potterhead to commemorate the day:

Bake A Harry Potter Birthday Cake

Name a more classic way to celebrate a birthday, I’ll wait. Bonus points if it’s round and frosted in pink, with “HAPPEE BIRTHDAE HARRY” scrawled in big green letters ala Hagrid.

Whip Up New Harry Potter-Themed Recipes

Channel your inner Molly Weasley and get to work in the kitchen bringing some of the iconic foods and drinks from the series to life! I can vouch for the delicousness of this butterbeer, and this treacle tart looks delicious.

Determine Your Hogwarts House 

Wizarding World (formerly Pottermore) is filled with quizzes! Spend a few minutes finding out which house you would be sorted into or determining what your Patronus would be. 

Rock A Mask in Your House Colors

Since face coverings are the hot accessory of 2020, why not display to the world which house you belong to? There are many Etsy shops with options for every style, from lowkey to loud & proud.

Watch the Harry Potter Movies

If you have a whole day to spare, have a marathon! Curl up under some blankets and watch the magic unfold in front of your eyes.

Read the Harry Potter Books

If you’re looking for a way to draw out the celebrations, why not start the series from the beginning? I’m about halfway through the audiobook of The Goblet of Fire as I write this.

Play Quidditch

This one will have to wait until a post-COVID society, but there’s no time like now to plan for next year! Gather some friends and some broomsticks and chase that snitch! RulesofSport.com breaks down how to play every wizard’s favorite pastime.

More fun for muggles:

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Courtney Pope
Courtney is a hometown girl who never planned on staying in Kansas or even having a family of her own, and now resides in Andover with her college sweetheart Zack (m. 2012), their twin daughters Ella and Emily (b. 2016), and their dogs Lady and Roscoe. She is a bank auditor for her 'day job,' and when she isn't chasing her toddlers or failing to conquer the never-ending piles of laundry and dishes, she enjoys going on dates with her husband, experiencing old favorites and new adventures through the eyes of her kids, iced coffee and hot tea, and devouring audiobooks and podcasts (savoring the rare paper book when time allows).