Posted in Big Programs

Harry Potter Escape Room

This is a one and done escape room for a large group.  If you are having a 2 hour program and you need an activity, this type of escape room is good because it can accommodate a lot of teens.

The escape room is not going to take two hours so you have to have it as one activity in your Harry Potter party.

Potter After Hours /Yule Ball/ Harry Potter Night

My program was called Potter After Hours so this post will be about that party.

Activities: Sorting, Quidditch Pong, Ollivander’s wand making, Potions with Professor Snape, trivia, and escape Azkaban.

Budget: ? (depends on you)

Quidditch Pong

  • To make the rings we used cups, skewers, pipe cleaners to make the hoops, and lots of tape.
  • We used regular ping pong balls.
  • You can make your own rules.
    • Rule Example: Assign points to the hoops and teens receive points for making it through the hoop.  You can eliminate the cups if you do it this way.
    • Rule Example We Used:  The hoops were decoration.  The cups were assigned points and one cup was the snitch.  When you got it in the snitch cup you received 150 points and the game was over.


Ollivander’s Wand Making

  • We did the traditional skewer, hot glue, paint method. Please see this Pinterest post for instructions.
  • It only takes about 15 minutes but you’ll have to supply a drying table for teens to put their wands to dry and retrieve at the end of the party.

Potions with Professor Snape

  • We provided recipes for a love potion, liquid luck, and dragon pox remedy.  Feel free to make up your own recipes.  Teens can also make up their own recipes for their own potions.  It’s up to you.
    • We purchased the following essential oils-lemon, lavender, orange, 12345628_10153716828872349_6832605103835816827_n
      peppermint, eucalyptus, and almond oil as the base.  You can provide whatever you want.  Our oils were topical but if you want them to be edible, use honey as the base and provide extracts instead of essential oils.
    • We provided funnels for the base and told teens to only use one drop of oil because it’s expensive.
    • We also pre-made tags that said love potion, liquid luck, and dragon pox.  Teens can also use Sharpies to draw on the bottle.  It depends on your time limits.

Trivia-You can find our trivia here.  This is a traditional style team trivia.  The answers are included in the slide show.  If you want to edit this trivia, PLEASE copy it first and edit your copy.

How We Organized the Party

  • Teens probably know their house before they arrive but for the sake of equal team trivia teams, we did a sorting hat ceremony upon arrival.
    • Teens can pull house colored candy from a cauldron.
    • Cupcake method-Bake cupcakes, carve out the middle and fill with house colored frosting, frost the cupcakes.  When teens bite or pull open cupcakes, their house will be revealed.
  • The first 45 minutes, teens did the wands, potions, and quidditch.
  • Escape room (See below)
  • Trivia-Teens sit in the house they were sorted into

Escape Room

Objective: Escape Azkaban before the Dementor’s Kiss

Group Gryffindor with Hufflepuff and Slytherin with Ravenclaw to form two groups.  You will be using the locking system pictured below for this game.


As you can see, there are three locks on each side of the lockout hasp.  Team Gryffinpuff will get clues to left side and Team Slytherclaw will get the same clues but it will be for the right side of the hasp. Inform each team to search for clues in their designated area.  For example, tell Griffinpuff to search for clues in the youth department and Slytherclaw is to search in the adult department.

To begin the game, tell them their objective is to escape Azkaban before the Dementor’s Kiss.  The spell to escape is in the box.

  • Clue #1
    • Read to the entire group: Oh what a puzzle you’ll be in if you use the unforgivable curses.
    • Give both teams an envelope that contains a paper puzzle piece of the words AVADA KEDAVRA. The envelope should also contain the clue you read.
    • Tell the teams to search their depts. for the other puzzle pieces. When the teams return, they can input the combo in one of the locks.
    • They then wait for the other team
      • Prep before the party
        • Cut out the puzzle pieces and write a piece of the combination to one lock on each puzzle piece.  For example, if the combination on the hasp is 345, write 3 on the back of one puzzle piece; 4 on the back of a puzzle piece; and 5 on the back of the last puzzle piece.
        • Hide two puzzle pieces in plain sight in each department.  Teens should be able to find the pieces but it shouldn’t be too easy.
  • Clue #2
    • Although we ruined the celebration for the winning team of the Quidditch World Cup, maybe this polyjuice potion will help us escape Azkaban.
      • Give each teen a small cup of juice and the team the clue you read.  The Irish team won the Quidditch World Cup and that’s their clue.  Teens can use their phones to Google the answer. (Don’t tell teens before hand that they can use their phones; let them figure it out.)
    • When the teams return, they can input the combo in one of the locks.
    • They then wait for the other team.
      • Prep before the party
        • Write one letter on the bottom of seven cups to spell IRELAND.  On the bottom of three cups write, “find the flag.” One cup/word. The remaining cups will have no letters.  Do this for each team. As they drink, they should notice letters on the bottom of some of the cups and they will begin to arrange the letters.
        • Place several varied world flags around each department including the Irish flag.  On the back of the Irish flag put a QR code.
          • To make a QR code: I took a picture of a written trivia question, “I created SPEW in this book” and I put the picture on Instagram.  You can do your library’s IG or your personal. Go to that IG account on a computer, pull up that post, and copy the URL.  Go to QR generator site and click URL at the top of the screen. Paste the URL, save it, cut it out, and tape it to the back of the Irish flag.  One teen will have to download a QR reader.  You can tell one person from each team to download it before the escape room or you can let them figure it out.
        • This will lead them to the book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Keep the book on the shelf where it normally should be.  Inside the book, tape a key that opens the lock on the hasp.
  • Clue #3
    • Before the party, we made two dementor pinatas.  We purchased two batman pinatas from Walmart or Amazon. Get the pull string piñata. We covered them with lots of black streamers.
    • Have each team go to their piñata. One teen pulls the strings one at a time.  When the piñata bursts, they should look for their next clue and UV flashlight. You can also have candy in the piñata and teens can come back to get candy after they escape.
    • Clue: Find all your answers in the Room of Requirement
    • When the teams return, they can input the combo in one of the locks.
    • They then wait for the other team.
      • Prep Before the Party
        • Designate an area in each dept as the Room of Requirement and put a nice big sign so the teens know this is where they should be.
        • Using the pen with invisible ink, on a sheet of paper taped to the wall write “This is the year Azkaban was first used as a detention facility.” The answer is 1917 and this is the final combo.
        • On other sheets of paper, write ZONKO.  Make a lot of ZONKO papers and tape them to the wall.
        • Teens can use their phones to find the answer.
  • Inside the Lockbox
    • Write any spell on a sheet of paper.  You could also put a sheet that says we escaped Azkaban and have the teens take a picture.


Hopefully this isn’t too confusing.  If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll answer it for you.




YA Librarian. Lover of Sherlock. And all Things Harry Potter.

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