From walking the plank to avoiding a shark attack, your guests will be ready to sail across the seven seas with a swashbuckling pirate-themed birthday party!
Pirate party ideas and tips
- Suggested colour scheme: Black, white and red
- Recommended age group: 6 to 9-year-olds, but it can be adapted for other ages
- Ideal party size: 8-10 guests
- Time: 2-3 hours
- Costumes: Check out our guide on how to dress like a pirate
- Create your own invitations with Old English font and print them out on parchment paper. Stain the edges of the invitations with cold weak tea and then allow to dry 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 the back of the envelope.
- Make flags with 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 the net – marine bath toys are ideal.
Pirate party food ideas and recipes
Serving food on large platters will add to the pirate appeal.
- Make a pirate birthday cake or even a whole pirate ship cake!
- 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.
- Fish fingers
- Mini frankfurters
- Corn chips and salsa
- Fruit punch served in plastic wine goblets
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.
Place 7 large pieces of cardboard 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 cardboard 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 an eye patch. Or try to pin the hat on the pirate.
Choose some brave pirates, who are then blindfolded, and told that a famous pirate is coming to visit. Tell the tale as 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 an 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
Use face paint to apply beards, or use 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. Find out how to play.
Make a spy glass
Little ones will love being creative and decorating their own pirate spy glass which they can take home after the party.
- Cut out the leftover black fabric into squares. Fill with pirate loot, including gold coins and prizes. Tie with white cord and fill with gold chocolate coins and party favours.