Celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday like a wizard with these 7 ideas

Harry Potter examines the Marauder's Map as Hedwig keeps watch. | SHNS photo by Murray Close / Warner Brothers

In honor of Harry Potter’s birthday July 31, we bring you stories about and local guides to J.K. Rowling’s magical world.

Pour yourself a glass of butterbeer – it’s Harry Potter’s birthday.

July 31, a day which also happens to be “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling’s date of birth, marks the famous fictional wizard’s 34th birthday. (In case you’re wondering, here’s what Harry looks like at 34).


To celebrate, we’ve rounded up a list of local events and things to do in honor of the Boy Who Lived.

We solemnly swear we’re up to no good:

1. Catch up with the Potterverse

It’s been seven years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hit shelves, but two recent short stories released by Rowling on Pottermore give a hint as to what Harry and the gang have been up to since the series ended.

Harry, his famously unruly black hair starting to gray, is working as an Auror (the Ministry of Magic equivalent of the FBI):

“About to turn 34, there are a couple of threads of silver in the famous Auror’s black hair, but he continues to wear the distinctive round glasses that same might say are better suited to a style-deficient twelve-year-old. The famous lightning scar has company: Potter is sporting a nasty cut over his right cheekbone…Is the Chosen One embroiled in fresh mysteries that will one day explode upon us all, plunging us into a new age of terror and mayhem?”

Meanwhile Hermione now serves as Deputy Head of the Department of Law Enforcement after a “meteoric rise” through the Ministry ranks, and Ron co-manages joke shop Weasleys’ Wizard Wheazes with his brother George.

You have to register an account with the interactive Harry Potter fan site to access the full stories, written in the sensationalist voice of Daily Prophet gossip Rita Skeeter, but while you’re there you can also get sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses and try your hand at concocting Polyjuice Potion.

2. Attend a Harry Potter Birthday Bash

What better way to celebrate than a birthday party?

Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville is throwing a Harry Potter Birthday Bash, complete with Hogwarts-themed crafts, games and trivia. The festivities will start at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 31.

3. Catch a Golden Snitch

…or at least the Muggle equivalent of one.

The Kane County Cougars will be giving out Golden Snitch baseballs before their August 1 game:

4. Test your HP knowledge

The Naperville Public Library is holding a July 31 screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as part of their Teen Movie Series.

The event, which starts at 2 p.m. at the Nichols Library branch, will include a trivia contest. Butterbeer will be served.

5. Play Quidditch

Fans have created a muggle-friendly version of the popular wizarding sport – no Nimbus 2000 required.

Check out our Quidditch Guide for opportunities to play in your area.

6. Bake a cake

Say “Happee birthdae Harry” with a homemade birthday cake.

This video will teach you how to make a cake just like the one Hagrid brought Harry on his eleventh birthday.

7. Make your own butterbeer

No need to visit the Three Broomsticks. Potterheads have created hundreds of DIY recipes for the magical beverage – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions.

We’ve pinned a few options on our Pinterest board, as well as some other magical recipes and craft ideas.

Mischief Managed.

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