Magical Experiences

How to Plan the Ultimate Harry Potter Movie Night

I focus a lot on this site, trying to bring the magical world into the Muggle one. But there’s nothing that quite compares to the magic of re-reading the Harry Potter series or re-watching the Harry Potter movies. From the first notes of the score to the final credits roll, there’s something truly special about the Harry Potter films and the magical feeling they make us all feel inside.

That’s why it’s a special occasion to plan a Harry Potter movie night! When you’re watching movies you love this much, it’s worth taking the extra time to plan through a few details and ensure everyone has a great time.

I’ve put together a quick guide to making sure your Harry Potter movie night is NEWT level. From setting up the right tech to making the right snacks, choosing the right movie(s) (or all of them!), and cozying up before you press ‘play,’ here’s all you need to know to plan the ultimate Harry Potter movie night for the whole family, friends, or both.

Featured photo credit: Kathryn Greenhill via Flickr

1. Set Up the Perfect Home Theater

Harry Potter Movie Night - jason gessner via Flickr
Photo credit: jason gessner via Flickr

If you’re planning a Harry Potter movie night – rather than just turning it on one evening – you want to do it right! That means setting up a home theater, rather than just using your TV like you do for every other movie. To start, you might want to invest in a projector! Here are three options at different price points:

Then all you need to do is hang a white sheet over one wall or out in the backyard so you can project onto it.

If you do go with the projector route, you might also want to invest in new speakers so everyone can hear every note of the amazing music and every line of dialogue. Surprisingly, Bluetooth surround sound speakers are not as expensive as you’d expect – I found one good option for around $100!

2. Set the Scene 

Now that you’ve dealt with the technical aspects of planning a Harry Potter movie night, it’s time to give the room a wizarding theme!

You don’t need to go overboard with the Harry Potter-themed decorations. Just focus on adding a few pieces that will enhance the magical vibe.

For example, you can recreate Hogwarts’ Great Hall by hanging floating candles. This pack of candles from Amazon will work – just add a string and hang them from the ceiling.  If you’re up for a creative challenge, you can try to make your own floating candles.

Another cool alternative is these Wizards Floating Acceptance Letter Banner on Etsy. They will definitely bring magic to your home theater!

3. Make Harry Potter-Themed Movie Snacks

Harry Potter Movie Night - Snacks

Next up, it’s time to prep any snacks you might want to enjoy during your Harry Potter movie night. There are some fantastic options, including:

  • Butterbeer Popcorn – Click here for a recipe that combines the best drink in the Wizarding World with a movie necessity: popcorn
  • Fizzing WhisbeesClick here for a recipe that will pop and crackle when you bite into it
  • Acid Pops – Click here for a sweet, tart version that won’t burn a hole in your tongue… though you might not want to have more than one!
  • Chocolate Frogs – Click here for a recipe, but unfortunately, there are no collectible cards included
  • Jelly SlugsClick here for a gross but tasty treat
  • Cockroach ClustersClick here for another gross treat – but way less gross than in the Wizarding World!
  • Polyjuice PotionClick here for a recipe you can brew in a couple of minutes. While it does look like “boogies”, it definitely doesn’t taste like “overcooked cabbage”.
  • Deviled Dragon EggsClick here for a recipe that is inspired by the Wizarding World and the dragons that Harry Potter meets or knows about. 
  • Golden SnitchesClick here for the easiest and most delicious recipe. Don’t worry, these golden snitches won’t be flying around while you’re watching the movie!

We also have two recipes you might want to use to make other delicious treats for the movie: Pumpkin Pasties and Treacle Tarts

If you don’t feel up for making anything and dealing with dirty dishes, you can find a three-pack of Jelly Gummy Candy Slugs, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Beans & Chocolate Crispy Frog online.

No matter which movie snacks you choose, it’ll make for an even sweeter time! Just be sure to brush your teeth afterward – there’s a lot of sugar in all of these.

4. Choose which Harry Potter Movie to Watch

Harry Potter Collection - Lua Pramos via Flickr
Photo credit: Lua Pramos via Flickr

Here’s the fun part: choosing which Harry Potter movie to watch – or the maximum you can watch in one Harry Potter movie night! Here are some questions you can ask to help figure this out:

  1. How long do you want your Harry Potter movie night to last? Generally speaking, most people can watch 2 movies before they start to get bored! So if you plan to watch more than one HP movie, you might choose Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets (both directed by Chris Columbus, Deathly Hallows: Part I and Part II (the final set!), or both of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies.
  2. How old/mature is your audience? If you’re planning this Harry Potter movie night for the whole family and have young kids, you might choose earlier movies that are lighter and less scary.
  3. Who has read the books? Who is okay with spoilers? If some people haven’t read the whole series or don’t want spoilers, you can choose movies that won’t spoil anything for them.
  4. Are you feeling traditional or more progressive? If you’re feeling nostalgic and traditional, choose from the Harry Potter films; otherwise, maybe it’s time for a Fantastic Beasts re-watch!

Don’t make it too complicated though – at some point, someone will just need to make a decision and press ‘play!’

5. Settle in for a Comfy Family Movie Night

Harry Potter Studio Tour - Gryffindor Common Room

Once you’ve picked which of the Harry Potter movies you’re going to watch, it’s time to set up the room for the comfiest watching experience possible! Unfortunately, we can’t all watch movies from our favorite squashy armchair in the Gryffindor common room…

Here are some goodies to make your common room a bit cozier:

These are just some ideas to inspire you… But maybe your own home is already comfortable enough for a Harry Potter movie night of any length!

When is the last time you had a Harry Potter movie night? Let me know in the comments!

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