I wanted the party to feel like a real day at Hogwarts, not a birthday party with games and the like. So we picked the afternoon so that we could avoid serving a meal and the classes were the activities. The party was 3 hours long and in reality we could have used an additional hour. I really wanted a half hour or more of free play at the end so they could explore afterward but sadly we ran out of time and kids were still eating cake as their poor parents arrived to pick them up to a room full of kids chanting "Go away Muggles."
As it was, I had a hard time keeping the kids' attention at times. Luckily I had a big heavy bell that was perfect for getting their attention which fit nicely with the stern headmistress persona. Otherwise we'd have run an additional 45 minutes over schedule easy. I still almost lost my voice despite a lot of bell ringing. I highly recommend having some attention getting device with this many kids. Maybe a bullhorn would have been better.
THE ORDER OF THINGS
1) Kids arrived and entered into Hogwart's via Platform 9 3/4. Professor Dumbledore (my husband) and Professor McGonagall (me) escort them to Diagon Alley where kids that didn't bring their own borrowed robes and/or pets. We hand out school supplies: The wand, Hogwarts Charm Potion and Spell Book, and potion jar. Each child heads to the Common Room to label their Hogwarts bag and supplies. We all head out onto the porch and I took pictures of each child in front of the brick. We made another running entrance into Hogwarts via Platform 9 3/4 .
2) The sorting hat ceremony.
3) Divination Class
4) Potion Class
5) Transfiguration Class (only lasted a few minutes)
6) Search for the Golden Snitch
7) Handing Out the Reward Money
8) Trip to Honeyduke's Candy Shop
9) Hagrid Cake and Pumpkin Juice
10) Free Play - We ran out of time but thankfully I'd planned this into my schedule or we'd have been in big trouble.