“It's Leviosa, not Leviosar.” (“Harry Potter”)
One of the unique aspects of the “Harry Potter” movie franchise is being able to watch Harry, Hermoine, Ron and friends grow up in front of our very own eyes. The transformation from round-faced wizardlings to full-blown wizards and witches lends itself well to a high school party.
While showcasing a timeline of your own magical student’s journey in snapshots, there are loads of additional themes to pull from the Potterverse. Feature quotes like the famously circulated “Leviosa” meme above and other favorites like “mischief managed” and “I did my waiting! Four years of it!” throughout the party venue. If budget and time don’t permit an infamously lengthy table of Hogwarts’ treats, pretzel-and-cheese broomsticks or chocolate-dipped pretzel wands will do (see Pinterest) — especially if they’re served with a side of Butterbeer.
“We’re all in this together.” (“High School Musical”)
Are we suggesting you host a full-scale musical for your summer-breaker and their friends this summer? No! I mean, unless you want to!
What you can do instead, for a generation of “High School Musical” fans, is host a pool or backyard party, complete with a projector screening of the movies. Decorate using East High’s red, white and black colors. If your “class” is up for it (and not incomprehensibly embarrassed by the suggestion), split guests into groups to compete a choreographed routine to “We’re all in this together.” Winner gets their own karaoke machine?
“Rotten to the Core.” (“Descendants”)
In keeping with Disney’s popular school-aged musicals, “Descendants” has become another fan-favorite, with its kitschy and catchy tunes like “Rotten to the Core,” and “Evil Like Me.”
With a built-in sugar and spice theme, showcasing the naughty and nice sides of iconic Disney favorite’s offspring like Maleficent's daughter, Mal, provides a perfect foundation for food and activity ideas. Pair tasty sweet treats like cinnamon spice cupcakes (check out the recipe at Shugarysweets.com) with Food Network’s Ultimate Spicy Nachos courtesy of Aaron Mccargo Jr. (FoodNetwork.com). For a bit of fun, gather “naughty and nice” toddler facts from student’s/graduate’s parents/caregivers. Then, share them with the party and see if guests can guess who the naughty or nice stories belong to (ex: “This toddler used to steal candy from older siblings and place them behind the piano; guess who?").
“Wax on, wax off.” (“Cobra Kai”)
The generation of “Karate Kid” watchers and newer "Cobra Kai" enthusiasts can unite in a one-day, martial-arts extravaganza, celebrating students of all ages. If finances permit, consider hiring a martial arts instructor to showcase some of the more simplistic and beginner forms, movements or techniques of their school. To honor karate’s Japanese origins, consider serving sushi, sashimi and ramen. Design a selfie station, where “students” can capture favorite "Cobra Kai" moments and fight scenes.