Happee Birthdae, Harry!
The Boy Who Lived was born 34 years ago today in the quaint town of Godric's Hollow. (He starts Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when he's 11 in 1991, so math proves he was born in 1980.) This special day is also shared with another incredible person: the author of the Harry Potter series herself, J.K. Rowling. Happy birthday, Jo! (Can we call you Jo? Are we there yet? I think we are.)
As [one of] the world's greatest literary character celebrates another year of living on in our hearts, we've put together a sweet list of what you can do to celebrate - from one nerd to another.
Make Homemade Butterbeer
What better way to honor someone than toasting to their health with good spirits? Though Harry's favorite beverage may be non-alcoholic, it's still delightful (and you can make your own alcoholic version). The Internet provides a bevy of good recipes for a homemade batch. Try the Food Network's recipe that's simple enough to follow.
If all else fails and your kitchen skills prove to produce actual flying sparks, drive up to a Starbucks and order yourself one. Repeat after me: "I'll have a crème based frap with three pumps of caramel syrup, three pumps of toffee nut syrup, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle."
Have a Harry Potter Movie Marathon
Uh duh, this is obvious. Make plans accordingly so you can schedule off a solid block of about 20 hours - give or take a few if you want to sit through all the DVD extra features. Shake things up by watching the films in order from your most to least favorite - because everybody knows The Chamber of Secrets was more of a stepping-stone movie and Bonnie Wright was all kinds of ugh as Ginny.
To really get your emotions rolling, pop in The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 first and just wait for that ultimate Snape moment: "After all this time?" "Always." GETS ME EVERY TIME!
Reread Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Because ain't nobody got time to reread all the eight books right now -- it might be summer, but we got jobs! Instead, opt to [re]read Rowling's future big-screen adaptation since it's a read you can finish in one sitting. Plus, it will add to your excitement and curiosity for how exactly Jojo is writing it into a screenplay. Today would also be a good day to familiarize yourself once again with the old gang through Rowling's latest short stories. Released via Pottermore earlier this month, Rowling gives fans a satisfying update on the lives of our favorite witches and wizards.
Go Outside and Play Quidditch
The weather might not necessarily agree, but in those sporadic sunny moments Miami gets during summer, it's perfect for a game of Quidditch. You'll need brooms, a quaffle and two bludgers, a seeker, some dude dressed all in gold as the golden snitch, a keeper, and a gang of merry friends hopping around with brooms tucked between their legs.
There's even a super-official-looking-not-affiliated-with-Warner-Brothers-or-J.K.-Rowling site dedicated to the sport of American Quidditch called USQ. If you don't know how to play, it's high time you learn the game and the USQ is here to help.
Spend the Day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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Okay, so it might be a stretch to make it out to Orlando before the clock strikes midnight, but the weekend still totally counts! There's no better excuse to go and check out Universal Studio's newest Diagon Alley expansion than the kid wonder's day of birth. In fact, it should become a yearly tradition: a trip to Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley every July 31st.
Happy birthday, J.K. Rowling, and thank you for giving us Harry Potter.
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