Pirate Birthday Party Theme

From walking the plank to eating their freshly caught fish! Your guest will be ready to sail across the seven seas with a swashbuckling pirate themed birthday party!

Colour Scheme:

  • Black, White and Red

Recommended Age Group:

  • 6-9 year olds, but it can be adapted for other ages

Guest List:

  • 8-10


  • 2 – 3 hours


  • Create your own invitations with Old English font and print out on parchment paper. Burn the edges of the invitations with a lighter to create an antiquated feel. Tear each invitation into large pieces and place into an envelope. When opened, the pieces need to be put together like a puzzle. Include instructions on a separate slip of paper inside the envelope.


  • Make white flags with white skull and cross bones using white fabric and black electrical tape. Place at the entrance and around the backyard.
  • Make clusters of black and red balloons to add to the pirate feel.
  • Use black fabric cotton as a tablecloth and sprinkle with gold chocolate coins.
  • Create a treasure table centrepiece. Spray paint a small chest, and other treasure items like goblets and vases. Place china, goblets, vases, gold chocolate coins and costume jewellery in and around the chest.
  • Drape fishing nets in the main party area and swirls of blue fabric to represent the sea. Place starfish, crabs and fish in net -marine bath toys are ideal. Wine barrels, chests and a skeleton would also add to the ambience.

Party Food Ideas and Recipes

Serving food on large platters will add to the Pirate appeal.

  • Make a Pirate birthday cake
  • Eyeball Jelly Cups – Set jelly in cups with an eyeball lolly or gob stopper.
  • Cupcakes: decorate each cupcake with licorice cross bones and wriggly snakes
  • Watermelon Basket – Cut a watermelon in half and scoop out small balls of watermelon using a fruit scoop. Place watermelon balls into the basket and serve.
  • Crumbed Fish and Chips
  • Mini Frankfurts
  • Corn Chips and Salsa
  • Fruit Punch served in plastic wine goblets
  • Search all party food recipes
  • Search top ten birthday cake recipes

Party Games and Activities

Walk the Plank

  • Set up a plank or balancing beam for the pirates to walk along. Use pillows or gym mats to break the fall. Award prizes for the pirates who make it across.

Shark Attack

  • Place 7 pieces of newspaper in the backyard to represent dry land. The guests walk around the newspaper until “shark attack” is called, at which point the pirates run to the safety of the newspaper island. As each round progresses the newspaper is removed and then torn into smaller pieces until only one pirate remains. In the final rounds, pirates can hold onto each other and are still ‘in’, as long at least one foot is on the newspaper, and no other parts are touching the ground.

Pin the Patch on the Pirate

  • Create a pirate face or use a “Pirates of the Caribbean” poster to pin on the missing patch.

Black Beard

  • Choose some brave pirates, who are then blindfolded, and told that a famous pirate is coming to visit. The blindfolded pirates feel the stump of a leg (an adults knee), a whiskery beard (a broom) and then the missing eye (an open tomato). This game is not recommended for guests who are easily scared but it is awesome for pirates who like adventure.

Message in a Bottle Treasure Hunt

  • Create two teams and give them a plastic bottle with a scrolled treasure map inside. Each team follows the clues and map to find the treasure.

Face Body Painting

  • Apply beards and adhesive tattoos

Capture the Flag

  • The pirates are divided into two teams with the objective of defending their own flag, and capturing the opposing team’s flag.

Party Bags

  • Cut out the leftover black fabric into squares. Fill with pirate loot, including gold coins and prizes. Tie with white cord and fasten a gold chocolate coin.

Find more:


This article was created by Mel Jacob for Kidspot – New Zealand’s leading birthday party resource.

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