Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Harry Potter Day

My teen librarian and I got together and decided to hold our first major event that required no registration.  After some thought, Harry Potter Day was born.  This is a great event to hold as it is multigenerational.  You will have babies being wheeled in dressed in Gryffindor clothes and you will have grandparents talking about how they read this series.  While it is a little intimidating to plan a program with no registration, we prepped everything for 500 people.

We started off our day with Dumbledore's Magic Show.  One of our local magicians was willing to dress up in robes and pretend to be Dumbledore as he performed.  At the same time, our community relations person held a potions class for adults in a different room.  They made different natural cleaning products and soaps.

Of course you need a costume contest since you will have a lot of people dressed up.  I was actually surprised by how much they dressed up.  We split our age groups into kids and teens for prizes to make judging fair.

After the costume contest, Diagon Alley opened.  We have 3 conference rooms and an auditorium and put them all to use for different "stores".

After we opened Diagon Alley, we started Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on the big screen, followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  While these weren't as heavily attended as the other events, they were still good to have on.  Many families took breaks and would pop in for some of the movie.  Plus, it is really hot here in July and gave people a break from the heat in our air conditioning.

During the afternoon, my teen librarian set up Quidditch on the field outside of the library.  She used hula hoops attached to PVC pipe that rested in a bucket of rocks to form the goals.  Arm bands identified the different teams.  The kids and teens were really good about taking turns and playing together in the different positions.

Throughout the day, we had some things that anyone could do at any time.  These included:
  • Harry Potter tattoos
  • Sorting Hat with Avery labels printed with different houses
  • Find the Harry Potter bear in the children's room
  • Have You Seen This Wizard? photo op 

Part of the fun of the day was in the details.  We made sure that we decorated and added fun things around the library.  For example, a Weasley family picture sat on our fireplace.  Here are some of the fun things from around the building:

Plans for Next Year
Now that we have one year under our belts, we would love to expand next year.  Some of our adult librarians wanted events in their departments.  We also have ideas for future activities.  Our tentative plan is to pull in more staff and expand.

Diagon Alley

As a part of our Harry Potter Day, we opened Diagon Alley for 2 hours.  This was a non-registration event so anyone of any age could attend.  The original plan was for volunteers to help staff the rooms and keep supplies filled, but all of our volunteers that day pulled a no-show.  Luckily, all of our attendees were good sports and the adults helped to keep the stations filled.

The Leaky Cauldron
If you have Harry Potter Day, then you definitely need to serve butter beer.  Our concoction was a mixture of vanilla ice cream, butterscotch syrup, and cream soda.  Our local Meijer graciously donated all of our food supplies, plus cups and napkins.

Every wizard needs a wand.  I used Brytani's idea (who was inspired by Pop Goes the Page) and precut 500 PVC pipes for magic wands.  Each wand was stuffed with unicorn hair (sparkly white yarn), dragon hearts (red pony beads), and Phoenix feathers (orange feathers).  We used Duct tape to wrap our wands.

Eeylop's Owl Emporium
Trying to find owl crafts for 500 people is a little tricky, but our pom pom owls turned out cute.  We used 1 1/2 inch white pom poms and glued googly eyes, an orange fun foam beak, orange fun foam feet, and white felt wings onto each owl.  Tacky glue worked best for this project.

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