Just like so many other trends on social media, people have enthusiastically used this day to take part in real-life celebrations with recreations of Hagrid’s thoughtful, but rather hideous, cake, watching their favorite Potter films with friends, and hosting Harry Potter themed parties! You are welcome to try and binge watch all 8 of the notoriously long films, but we would like to make some suggestions for your Harry Potter celebration while you are staying in a Pigeon Forge, TN Cabin in the Smokies! And in the spirit of the 7 books, here are 7 ideas for celebrating Harry, Hogwarts, and magic:
1) “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.”
Of course, our favorite way to celebrate the most famous wizard’s birthday is revisiting the books and movies that sparked our desires for magic, dreams of adventure, and love for these relatable characters. Use your cabin’s flatscreen TVs, theater rooms, or projector screens to host a Potter production night or light a fire in the fireplace while enjoying your own homemade butter beer and read to the kids. Every year, the Anna Porter Public Library in Gatlinburg also hosts their own Harry Potter Birthday Bash. You do have to sign up ahead of time, so be sure to visit their website. Your little ones will be able to make their own wands, play Quidditch on broomsticks, watch the Harry Potter movies, and enjoy magical treats!
2) “You’re a wizard, Harry.”
You could be, too. No, really. MagiQuest is an awesome LARP (live action role play) experience that allows you to use your own wand to solve riddles, fight dragons, and save the kingdom! MagiQuest has multiple quests to conquer, so you can try them all before exploring the other attractions sharing this huge indoor location. Find your way out of the Mirror Maze, play some blacklight Pirate Miniature Golf, and duck and dodge the lasers in The Vault!
3) “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”
Just like Harry used the Marauder’s Map to traverse the hallways of Hogwarts without being discovered, you can make your way out of The Escape Game in The Island! Use your clues and wits to make your way through your group’s chosen adventure and beat the clock. Avoid being caught during a jailbreak after your wrongful imprisonment, find the priceless stolen art, beat the mob back to their hidden cabin’s treasure, or fix your spaceship before you are permanently stranded in space! Celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday with your own exciting adventure!
4) “I’ve always wanted to use that spell.”
With a fully loaded kitchen included in your Pigeon Forge, TN Cabin, why not prepare a fun Harry Potter inspired recipe with the kids or with your significant other? You can easily use Google to find Harry Potter recipes, but if you are not much one for cooking, it’s cool. Harry is notoriously bad at potions, and he is the “boy who lived.” You are in the Smokies where there are numerous sweet shops that are famous for their candied apples, decadent fudge, fun and flavorful jelly beans, and so many other signature sweets that will have you feeling like you’re ordering right off the trolley.
5) “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got the nerve.”
By all means, sleep late and revel in the sheer relaxation of your mountain views from the outdoor hot tub. But you are surrounded by tons of outdoor adventures to be had and, in the spirit of the Weasely twins, it’s time to have some nerve and experience some adventure. Fly through the air, not on a broomstick, but on ziplines! Likening to the crazy mine carts used in Gringotts Wizarding Bank, race along the mountainsides in the single-cart Goat Coaster at Goats on the Roof! Thrills don’t only exist in Harry Potter’s fictional world; get out and have some fun!
6) “Time and space matter in magic.”
Some of the magic in the books of J.K. Rowling seems other-worldly altogether, but sometimes life can be stranger than fiction. In WonderWorks, kids and adults can learn about some the seemingly magical ways nature and science work with hands-on exhibits in over 35,000 square feet and over 100 hands-on activities!
7) “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
See a live wizard of sorts at the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle in the Iris Theater. During Impossibilities: Magic, Mindreading, and Mayhem, your distant wish that magic was real will be teased by 2 talented magicians, Chris Collins and Erik Dobel! They’ve mastered the art of tricking your eyes and brain into believing something; whether you want to allow yourself to believe it’s real is entirely up to you…
You can also teach the kids their own magic tricks and pick up some supplies at Doc’s Magic Shop in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg!