Pirate Themed Birthday Party Guide and Easy, Do-It-Yourself Ideas
Yo ho ho and a bottle of root beer! A pirate-themed party will surely shiver the timbers of birthday boys who imagine themselves standing at the wheel of their own galleons, legs braced against the roll of the sea, sails billowing, and the Jolly Roger flapping in the wind. So gather a crew of worthy mates and set sail for a fun-filled day that even land lubbers will enjoy!
Send Personalized Pirate Invitations
You never know where a message in a bottle is going to end up, so it's better to give young buccaneers the exact date and time with a treasure map custom invitation. Let them know there will be accessories available for creating a pirate persona, or encourage them to wear their own costumes.
Pirate Themed Attire
Guests will be sure to know they have arrived at the right place if the mail box or front door is marked with a big, red X. Inside, have a table set up with a variety of accessories mateys can use to make themselves look pirate-y. Skull bandanas, eye patches, mustaches, and play pirate tattoos are just a few ideas for pirate garb. A colorful, inexpensive piece of cloth can be cut into strips to be worn as belts, and old vests or boots would be a great addition.
Party-goers will feel like they are sailing on a calm sea with the promise of land in sight thanks to an ocean and blue sky wall mural . Hang handmade cutouts of blue waves around the room to add to the feeling of being on the water. And of course since a pirate’s goal in life is to search for booty, cover the food table with a giant treasure map. Scatter the table with gold coins and seashells.
Food and Drinks
It's fun to let young pirates throw their table manners overboard by setting up a bountiful feast of finger foods, as long as you have plenty of plates and napkins on hand. Bowls of goldfish-shaped snack crackers were just made for these hungry mates. A long submarine sandwich stuffed with ham, turkey, cheese, tomatoes, and other good stuff can be cut into small pieces for easy handling. Turn the sandwich into a centerpiece by cutting cheese squares into triangles to look like sails and attaching them to thin pretzel sticks to be stuck in the bread. Chicken, or rather gold nuggets, are always a crowd pleaser. Suspend gummy sharks and other sweet sea creatures in blue finger Jello and pile the pieces into a clear glass bowl. Chunks of pineapple, berries, and other fruits look great on plastic toothpick sword skewers. Stay with the finger food theme by serving chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, made into ships with the addition of paper sails. Templates for sails can be found online.
Pirate Fun and Games
Once the young buckos are fed it is time to make them walk the plank. Find or have a board cut to suit the purpose. The width and length can be customized to fit the age of the guests. Lay or slightly elevate the board over a blue tarp so it looks like it is suspended over water and have kids try to make it across without falling in. Play a pirate version of pin-the-tail-on-the donkey by tacking a treasure map to the wall with sticky tack and having blindfolded guests try to come closest to targeting the treasure with a stick-on X. Treasure chest boxes can be used in place of buckets for a tossing game. Replace the balls with a small bag of gold coins.
Start bringing the ship into port and calming the boys down by having them make pirate flags. Purchase felt and dowel rods, or start with ready-made skull and crossbone flags. Have different fabric scraps, glue, cutout letters, markers, and safety scissors guests can use to give their flags a personal touch.
While the pirates are busy making their flags, have someone hide chocolate gold coins around the house or yard for a simple treasure hunt. A treasure chest piñata would also make a perfect grand finale. Fill it with candy necklaces and rings, bubble gum cigars, chocolate gold coins and other gold foil-wrapped treats, individual packets of goldfish crackers, Swedish fish candies, gummy sea creatures, and pencils with pirate hook toppers. Have a money bag ready for each guest to stash his loot.
For tips, questions, help planning an event or for recipe and craft ideas, email our party experts at firstname.lastname@example.org for your personal party planner!