If you’re reading this post, you probably have a big thing on your mind: the 11th birthday of a special child in your life. Whether they’re a Harry Potter fan already or have never heard of Harry and the gang’s magical adventures, a Harry Potter 11th birthday party is a great way to celebrate.
Below you’ll learn everything you need to create a magical space for the party, plus what to serve for food and drink. I’ve also included fun activities to keep a bunch of sugar-fueled witches and wizards active, and a few gift ideas that every 11-year-old will love on their birthday.
Read on to get ready to throw the ultimate Harry Potter-themed birthday party for someone turning 11 years old (and other tweens too).
This post was originally published in August 2020, and was updated most recently in July 2023.
Harry Potter 11th Birthday Party Basics
As you plan the ultimate Harry Potter 11th birthday for the lucky kid in your life, here are some of the details and decorations you should consider. I’ve also included a few links to blogs where the parents went way above and beyond to transform their whole house into Hogwarts for the party – they might inspire you too!
Invitations: Hogwarts Letters
There’s no better way to invite guests to a Harry Potter 11th birthday party than with real Hogwarts acceptance letters! I found this great designer on Etsy who does Harry Potter-themed invites and thank-you notes. They come in a minimum of 15 invites and cost starting from $3.60 each.
Balloons: Hand-Drawn Hedwig
To create a cool, easy decoration, you can also make this DIY decoration yourself! Purchase a bunch of white balloons and draw Hedwig onto them with a permanent marker.
If you’d rather buy balloons, this bundle of latex balloons adds a bit more color and has owls on some of them.
Music: Harry Potter Soundtracks
Obviously, you have to set the mood with music, right? There’s no better option than the Harry Potter film soundtracks. You can play a continuous playlist from all eight movies (which will run about nine hours in total!) or just choose your favorites for a shorter playlist. I found this full Harry Potter soundtrack playlist on Spotify; if you choose to use Spotify be sure to upgrade to Premium so you won’t get interrupted by ads!
Ambiance: Floating Candles
If you’re having a party in your personal Hogwarts castle, you have to make sure there are floating candles to make it feel like the kids have stepped into the Great Hall where the festivities are happening. I’ve got an entire guide to making them yourself.
These floating candles on Etsy are really impressive – I’m still not sure how they work, but they’ll definitely add some magic to the room! Candles range from $5.50-$8.00 per candle, depending on how many you buy.
Food: Harry’s Favorites
What can you serve at a Harry Potter-themed 11th birthday party? Some of Harry’s favorite foods from the magical world, of course! His favorite by far is treacle tart, which takes a little bit of prep – but which you can make in small sizes for each child. You could also whip up mini pumpkin pasties as a snack during the afternoon of fun.
Drink: Polyjuice Potion & Butterbeer
It’s not really a Harry Potter event if there’s no butterbeer, is it? That’s why you should whip up cups of Butterbeer for all the kids as they arrive so they can get wild on the sugar, then burn it off with some of the fun activities below. Use my super easy Butterbeer recipe to make this part of party prep easier.
- Buy water bottles and add on custom potions labels
- This post has a ton of cool ideas for other parts of the house, like the bathroom (complete with Moaning Myrtle) and backyard (for Herbology lessons)
- This post is super detailed, with a ton of cool favors and food ideas.
Activities for a Harry Potter 11th Birthday Party
In addition to setting the mood and making sure there are plenty of sweets and treats to enjoy, you’ve got to have something to keep the kids entertained. Here are some fun activities you might try – you don’t need to do them all, but if you have time, they’re easy enough!
Let the Wand Choose the Wizard
While you probably don’t want to introduce tweens to “spin the bottle” too early, this is a fun way for each kid to have a party favor at the end of the day.
You can purchase a bunch of wands online (or make some at home using chopsticks and paint) and then create a board with different types of wands on them. Kids can spin a potion bottle in the center to determine which wand they should receive.
Get Sorted with the Sorting Hat
There are several ways to sort kids into different houses for the birthday party or Quidditch match, but here are a few I love:
- You could bake cupcakes with M&Ms that match the four different colors of each house in them. Then let the kids choose a cupcake that will reveal their Hogwarts house!
- Use a non-clear bowl or jar and aquarium marbles in each of the four House colors – let each child choose a stone without seeing and assign them to that house.
- You could buy a talking Sorting Hat, but it has mixed reviews – and it’ll never sort anyone into Ravenclaw! (Just a warning!)
While in Harry’s first Potions class, Snape asks them to make a potion to cure boils, it’s better to try something fun and delicious for a birthday party. To ensure everyone has a great day, pre-make and have some Felix Felices on hand that each kid can add to their favorite flavor of La Croix or soda.
Unfortunately for us muggles, we can’t play Quidditch “up in the air on broomsticks,” as Hagrid describes it (SS, Ch. 5) – but we can still make our own non-magic version!
This is an outdoor game that’s great for the backyard or a nearby park. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Six hula hoops, aka Quidditch goals (you can use just two if you want to make it a bit easier)
- Six tall yard stakes (one for each hula hoop)
- One red dodgeball, to serve as the Quaffle
- Two black dodgeballs, to serve as Bludgers
- One Golden Snitch
And here’s how to play:
- First, before the party, you’ll need to hide the golden snitch somewhere. The seeker’s job is to find it!
- Set up the Quidditch Goals on opposite sides, and divide the kids into two teams.
- You need at least 1 seeker on each team (one should be the birthday kid!).
- You need at least 2 beaters on each team, who stand on the sidelines and throw the Bludgers at other players then go to retrieve them.
- All of the rest of the kids can be divided up evenly into chasers on each team.
- Just like in real Quidditch, the goal is to put the Quaffle through the hoops for 10 points each.
- The game ends when the snitch is found, and that team gets 150 points!
Enjoy Hagrid’s Famous Birthday Cake
There are some amazing Harry Potter cakes out there, but for an 11th birthday party, there’s only one that will do: a cake in the same style as the one Hagrid made for Harry on his 11th birthday! Here’s a great recipe from a fellow HP lover that will help you make one for the birthday boy or girl.
Gifts for a Harry Potter 11th Birthday Party
As if that wasn’t enough, you still need to come up with an amazing gift for the lucky witch or wizard who’s turning 11. Here are some ideas to get you started, inspired by Harry’s own 11th birthday and those things every true Harry Potter fan needs to have.
First Full Harry Potter Set
There’s no better time than turning 11 to bestow a full box set of hard-back Harry Potter books. While there are lots of different versions, the original Mary GrandPré covers are the best ones to start with for your budding witch or wizard.
Hagrid’s birthday gift to Harry on his 11th birthday was Hedwig the owl; this Hedwig plush is, therefore, one of the most appropriate gifts for a Harry Potter 11th birthday party too!
In the event your soon-to-be 11-year-old has already devoured all of the Harry Potter books, you might wonder what else to get them to keep them reading.
This Hogwarts library of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a perfect addition to their collection.
In addition to receiving his wand, school books, and Hedwig at Diagon Alley during his first visit, Harry also received his first set of wizarding robes from Madam Malkins.
Finding children’s robes is actually pretty tricky; there are some on Amazon but the sizing is odd and hard to decipher. Instead, you can splurge on robes from Cinereplicas and be more confident in them.
(If I can make a suggestion, buy one set in each House color – and then give the one that matches the birthday kid’s new House after they’ve been sorted! You can return the rest.)
Now you’re all set to plan an amazing Harry Potter-themed 11th birthday party! Have questions or suggestions from your own planning process? Let me know in the comments!