Planning a Pirate birthday Party

Shiver me timbers! Is it a Pirate Birthday Party that ye be planning? Then ye be at the right place. Arrr! Here you'll find the best party ideas for pirate party invitations, pirate party games, pirate party food and much more.

Today you will celebrate your birthday "pirate style". You and your buccaneer friends will hunt for buried treasure, have cannonball fights and even walk the plank at this super fun kids pirate party.

Pirate Birthday Party Invitations

First order of business is to send a creative invitation to build excitement and anticipation for your upcoming pirate birthday party. An original pirate poem delivered on burnt parchment is a fun and creative pirate party invitation.

  • Use parchment paper or soak some white paper in coffee and let dry.
  • Then print the following pirate poem:

    Ahoy matey! Ye be invited to
    Captain ________'s Birthday Party!

    Come be a pirate! That ye shall be!
    Ye shall sail a ship upon the sea!
    Ye shall hunt for treasure buried deep!
    And in a chest the booty ye shall keep!
    Ye might swab a deck or walk a plank!
    If there be grog, it be me ye thank!

    Ye be letting me First Mate, Mary, know
    if it's Aye! or No! for ye to show (555)555-1234

    We be settin' sail on the Jolly (last name of b-day child)
    Sat. the 20th of July.
    Meet yer crew mates at:
    Latitude: 167
    Longitude: River Street
    That be 167 River Street for ye land lubbers.

    Tell yer ma to drop ye off at 2:00PM and to be
    comin' back for her little bilge rat at 4:30PM

    Arrrr!!

  • Carefully burn the edges with a match.
  • Adults ONLY should do the burning and please be very careful.
  • When burning the edges of the paper hold it over a basin of water for a quick extinguish should you need it.

This creates fun and original-looking pirate party invitations. No two are alike!

Not feeling creative? Amazon.com has some great alternatives for you!

Supplies for a Seaworthy Pirate Birthday Party

Ahoy! Here be a great selection of the best in Pirate birthday party supplies. We've rounded up the most seaworthy pirate party decorations and pirate party ideas to ensure that your voyage into the party life is a successful one.

Did you know you can rate and comment on ANY of these great pirate party supplies? Simply click on the Comments link at the end of any of our reviews. You can also share your own discoveries by submitting to our Birthday Supplies Reviews page. Don't be keeping that treasure to yerself, matey!

Hats, swords, loot bags and treasures to put inside can all be had at Amazon.com

Decorating a Pirate Birthday Party

Your pirate birthday party decorations should let your friends know they are in for the party of a lifetime. Get your pirate pals shaking in their boots on their way to the door of your pirate birthday party by starting your pirate party decorations right out your front door.

Outdoor Decorations

Make signs with pirate sayings. Place on stakes or hang at intervals along your driveway and walkway. You can use whatever you have around the house to make the signs - old pieces of wood with hand-painted letters or brown poster board decorated to look like wood planks. The more rustic the better.

Pirate Sayings and Picture Ideas:

  • Skull and Cross Bones pictures
  • "Dead Men Tell No Tales"
  • "Beware: PIRATES ONLY - All Others Walk The Plank"
  • "Enter at Yer Own Peril"
  • "Ye Be Warned: Pirates Be Operatin' In These Here Waters"
  • "Keep Out - This Means You Matey"

Cover your door with a Pirate Flag.

Materials:

  • Black poster board
  • White paint or silver glitter glue
  • White paper
  • Glue - if you choose to use cutouts to decorate your flag

Directions:

  1. On the black poster board either paint or glue white paper cutouts to make a skull and cross bones or a design of your choice
  2. Leave room at the top of the flag to put the name of your ship
  3. Name your ship a cool pirate name like the Jolly Smith -- the Jolly [last name of b-day child] is always a good pirate sounding name
  4. Or make it a Pirates of the Caribbean theme and name your ship the Black Pearl!
  5. Paint the name of your ship above the skull and cross bones   
  6. Soak a piece of white paper in coffee and let dry. On it hand-print:                                Captain Tim [use first name of b-day child] says "Come Aboard if Ye Dare"
  7. Hang it on the door near your Pirate Flag to add to your pirate party decorations.

Additional outside pirate party decorations can be to use skeletons and plastic gold filled trunks. Place a chest of gold plastic coins and jewelry beside a plastic skeleton dressed like a pirate (eye patch, bandana and sword).

Put a fake parrot on his shoulder. He'll make a fearsome welcome to your pirate birthday party placed on your porch or next to the door.

Materials you'll need:

  • Plastic skeleton(s) - available at party supply stores and Halloween stores
  • Red or black bandana, eye-patch and plastic sword or hand hook
  • Fake parrot
  • Small chest or box filled with plastic gold pieces and jewels. If using a box either paint it black or drape black fabric over the box before your fill it.

Get the party started with decorations from Amazon.com

Inside Decorations

Decorations keep the party theme running along smoothly. You don't need much. Just a splash here and there so no one forgets it's a pirate birthday party theme going on here.

Try these decorating ideas:

  • Hang pirate signs with typical pirate lingo throughout the party area. Click here for directions on how to make pirate signs.
  • Display some pirate booty. Use small chests or boxes painted black and fill with plastic gold and jewels. Scatter these all around the room.
  • A pirate clad skeleton or two sitting about.
  • A Pirate Plank - have a piece of wood with the word "the plank" painted on it laying on the ground. The kids will have fun walking on it and you'll be using it later for a Walk the Plank activity.
  • Balloons. Red and Black are great choices. You'll even find some large pirate themed choices at your party supply store.
  • Use pirate theme or red & black plates, napkins, utensils, table covers - available at party supply stores.

Keep the party spirit alive throughout the house with great pirate decor from Amazon.com

Games and activity ideas for a Pirate birthday party

Now to entertain your pirate pals you'll need some adventurous pirate party games and activities, or there will be a mutiny for sure. Choose from board games and printable games, or some no-props game ideas.

Pirate Party Treasure Hunt

You're at a pirate birthday party so it must be time to get out there and pirate stuff. Right?

Hold on. You might be a buccaneer at heart but you still look like just a kid. As for pirate party games this one is super fun. In it you'll earn your pirate gear with harrowing challenges and if you survive you might even find some hidden treasure.

Soak a piece of white paper in coffee and let dry. On it hand draw a treasure map and burn the edges. You'll want to make sure to add some scary sounding landmarks treasure hunters will have to go through on their way to the treasure. These are pirate party games after all.

Try these names for your landmarks:

  • Dead Man's Pass
  • The Boiling River  
  • Captain Hook's Cave   
  • The Forest of Skeletons 
  • and of course your map needs a big red X to mark the spot of the hidden treasure

At each stop on the pirate birthday party map have a challenge for the kids. Upon completion each child wins a part of a pirate costume (eye-patch, bandana or pirate skull hat, and plastic sword or hook. The last stop on the treasure map marked by a big red "X" holds the treasure. If you can bury it all the better.

Now to plan the challenges at each place on the treasure map. All pirate party games should have fearsome challenges. Your imagination is your only limit.

Here are some ideas:

Dead Man's Pass - Have the kids stand in a circle arms length away from each other and blindfold them. The challenge is to pass a dead man around the circle without dropping him.

Make it more challenging by not allowing the kids to use words and not telling them where on the circle you are starting the dead man. Make a dead man by stuffing a pair of pants and shirt with leaves, pillows or batting.

Boiling River - Lay two jump ropes on the ground about 15 feet apart from each other. These will represent the two river banks of Boiling River. Tell the kids that the river itself is boiling lava or acid (whatever works better for your tale).

Give the kids 2 pieces of wood about 3 or 4 feet in length. The challenge is to get all pirate crew mates across without falling in. Tell them that the wood is from a tree found only in the Forest of Skeletons and will not burn in the Boiling River. Trust me, they will ask!

If someone falls into Boiling River all the pirates have to go back and start over. This is a ton of fun. Time the river crossing then see if the pirates can beat their time.

Captain Hook's Cave - Place a laundry basket on the ground or on a table. The challenge is to see if each pirate can make a hook shot with a cannon ball into the basket. Use crumpled up paper wrapped in black tape as cannon balls.

Alternately, if you have a basketball hoop use that as the target for your cannon ball shots. A hook shot is a one handed shot hooked over the head.

The Forest of Skeletons - Bury the bones from a dismantled plastic or paper skeleton in a sand box or small plastic pool. The challenge is to find all the skeleton parts and reassemble the skeleton on the ground.

Or instead of burying the bones in sand you could hide them around the yard or house. You can control the level of challenge in this pirate birthday party game by the number of parts you break the skeleton into (i.e. a whole arm versus a hand, lower arm and upper arm).

The Big "X" - Great pirate party games end with finding the treasure. Hide a treasure chest filled with whatever you like. Gold Mardi Gras beads, plastic gold coins and other trinkets are always a fun display.

You could also put candy or a take home toy for each child.

Find skeleton bones at Amazon.com

Swab the Deck Game

Just because you're pirates doesn't mean you can't keep a tidy ship. This game is tons of fun and a favorite among pirate party games.

Line kids up in two lines. Each line is a team. The first pirate in each line is given a broom and 3 inflated balloons. Using only the broom the pirate must sweep his balloons into a box lying on its side 15 to 30 feet away.

Then the pirate runs back and gives the next pirate in line the broom. This pirate must sweep 3 new balloons into the box. Then runs back and gives the broom to the next pirate in line. And so on.

Set a time limit based on the number of kids you have at the pirate birthday party - say 2 minutes. At the end of two minutes the team with the most inflated balloons in their box wins. Popped balloons don't count. Nor do balloons that roll out of the box before being counted.

What you need:

  • 2 brooms
  • Inflated balloons in two different colors. Have enough for each child plus extra to make up for any that pop.
  • 2 boxes

Amazon.com has balloons in all colors, shapes and sizes

Surrender Yer Booty, Arrrgh!

What is more fun at a pirate birthday party than getting a competing band of pirates to surrender their booty?

This is played like capture the flag but pirate style. The goal is to find and steal the other team's "booty" (pirate word for treasure). The first team to do so wins.

Break the kids into two teams. Divide the playing area into two islands with a small neutral area in between (call this the ocean). It is best if teams cannot see clearly into the competing team's island (maybe front yard vs back yard with a house in between if playing outdoors or walls if in the house).

Each team meets for three minutes to discuss strategy and hide their booty. You can use anything for the booty - a box, a towel, a toy - as long as everyone knows what to look for.

Booty can be placed anywhere on the island as long as it can be seen from 3 angles by the other team when they are within 10 feet of it. Give each team 20-25 cannon balls - crumbled paper wrapped in black tape or balled up clean black socks (I guess the clean part is optional but remember when the pirate birthday party is over these pirates are really your friends).

Each island will have a clearly marked and accessible from all sides area that will be the "brig" or jail. If a competing pirate is on your island you can fire (throw) a cannonball at them.

If hit, then that pirate is your prisoner and must go to the brig. You can only fire cannonballs when on your island at someone from the other team who is on your island. You cannot hit anyone in the neutral ocean area or on their island.

To free one of your crew mates from the competing team's brig a player on your team must run over and tag them before being hit by a cannonball and captured. After being freed the just released pirate must go back to the neutral ocean area or their own island before trying to steal the other team's booty.

Those are the rules. Now go get 'em. This game is always a favorite!

Things you'll need:

  • Two items to designate as "booty". It can be anything - a toy, a towel, a box, a flag - so long as the other team knows what they are looking to steal.
  • Cannonballs - crumpled up paper with black tape around it, rolled up clean black socks or even water balloons, if weather permits. If you go the water balloon route make a ton (100+) ahead of time and place a bucket of them on each island.

Get your booty at Amazon.com

Walk the Plank

Let the pirate party games continue. In this pirate birthday party favorite your pirate pals will be forced to walk the plank over a tank of man eating sharks.

Place cinder blocks (or other sturdy supports) on either side of a plastic pool filled with water and blow up sharks. Lay a strong piece of wood on these supports and challenge the pirates to walk over the pool without falling in. The narrower the wood the more difficult this will be.

To add more challenge try walking it blindfolded or backwards.

Design Your Own Pirate Flag

Add a craft or two to your pirate party games to round out the fun. In this craft activity each child designs their own pirate flag to take home as a memento or wave in celebration during the pirate party games.

Materials:

  • Black piece of felt - one for each child - available at craft stores
  • White felt piece - one for each child - available at craft stores
  • Glue
  • Silver Glitter Glue to write the name of the pirate ship on flag
  • Optional: Templates of skulls, bones and swords made from sturdy card board

Directions:

  • Use the black felt as the back ground for the flag
  • Cut out your design from the white felt and glue it on the black felt
  • Use glitter glue to write the name of your pirate ship on the flag
  • Let dry
  • Make sure to label the flags with the kids names

Make A Pirate Chest

These treasure boxes can be used to hold booty and plunder from some of your pirate party games. In this craft activity each child designs their own pirate chest to take home as a gift from your pirate birthday party. These are great to keep the treasure from the Treasure Hunt activity above.

Materials:

  • Baby wipes box or shoe box with lid attached painted black - have one for each child
  • Plastic gems
  • Glue
  • White and red paint
  • Paint brushes

Directions:

  • Use the black box as the treasure chest
  • Glue gems on for decoration
  • Use paint to decorate
  • Let dry
  • Make sure to label the chests with the kids names

Check out Amazon.com for more great pirate game ideas

cake ideas fit for a pirate birthday party

A pirate birthday cake can be really fun to make. Decorate a regular cake with plastic pirate characters of every kind. Or make a sheet cake and use black and white frosting to make a pirate flag.

Here's the how-to:

  • Frost cake in black butter cream frosting. Let sit and frosting will harden.
  • Cut wax paper to the size of your cake.
  • Draw your pirate flag design on the wax paper.
  • Lay wax paper with drawing facing away from cake on top of the hardened frosting.
  • Use a toothpick to pierce the wax paper along the lines of your drawing.
  • When you remove the wax paper there will be dotted lines on the frosting made from the toothpick piercings in the design of your flag.
  • Now draw your flag in with white piped icing.

Try a cupcake cake. I love a cupcake cake. It is super easy to serve and clean up, allowing more time for party fun.

To make a cupcake cake, simply make cupcakes and place tightly together on your serving platter. Break thin crisp cookies into small pieces to lay over openings then frost as you would any other cake. Lots of fun for the kids to pull apart!

Surround the cake with plastic skulls. Use a small dab of frosting to keep them in place and let each child take a scull along with their cupcake.

Find more pirate cake decorating ideas at Amazon.com

Pirate Birthday party grub

Your scurvy crew mates will be looking for some real pirate grub to feed their bellies. Give your pirate party food some pirate sounding names, so head on over yonder for some Monkey Brains and Pirate Grog!

Monkey Brains

Well that sounds down right nasty doesn't it? Perfect pirate grub!

Hollow out a pumpernickel loaf and fill with veggie dip of your choice. Using two toothpicks, attach two halves of a green pepper as "ears". Use two cherry tomatoes as eyes and an olive as a nose.

Surround the monkey's head with carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, green pepper slices and the bread for dipping into the brains!

Set Adrift Survival Rafts

So you've angered the pirate captain and he has set you adrift in the middle of the ocean. What are you going to do now?

A clever pirate can fashion a raft out of anything on hand to make it back to civilization. Here you'll use Graham crackers with a smear of peanut butter, marshmallow fluff or cream cheese.

Let the kids fill their raft with their choice of mini marshmallows, M&M's, raisins, grapes and other fruit pieces.

Sea Dogs and Kelp Patties

(also known as Hot Dogs and Hamburgers). Easy AND right on theme!

Pirate's Blood

Serve Pirate's Blood as your grog: mix red fruit juice with Sprite or 7Up. For health-conscious pirate mommies who shudder at the thought of little pirates hyped up on soda, substitute this idea with club soda and a natural fruit juice, like pomegranate or cherry.

You'll need some serving slabs and face wipes from Amazon.com.

variations to a pirate birthday party theme

Pirate Sleep-over

At this pirate birthday party, you and your crew mates have been in a shipwreck and are marooned on a deserted island. Do all the pirate party games and activities, and add some survival skills and nighttime fun. Have a camp fire!

When you're marooned on a deserted island, you have to have shelter. It is fun to build a lean-to to play in, but you will probably sleep in a tent or in your house.

Here's how you and your crew mates can build a lean-to:

  • Find a sturdy horizontal brace - a fallen tree, a large rock, a strong branch laid between two trees or, since you're at a pirate birthday party in your back yard and not lost in the wilderness, a fence or table will do.
  • Lay a series of long branches against the horizontal brace (one end on horizontal brace and the other end on the ground). This will form either one or two slanted sides.
  • If you were building a real shelter you'd now layer pine boughs, leaves and moss over the slanted branches. The more you layer on, the better the insulation. Again you are in your back yard, so a beach towel or tarp will do.
  • In the wilderness or on a deserted island, you'd make sure the lean-to wasn't in or too near a river bed in case of rains and a flash flood.
  • In a true survival situation you'd also want to make sure your lean-to was recognizable by a search and rescue party. Lean-tos, because they are made from what you find in your environment, blend in with the background.

Drink rum (root beer) or Pirate's Blood around a fire as you tell ghost stories

Find everything you need to make your party the best ever at Amazon.com

Alternate games for a pirate birthday party sleepover

Hide Yer Treasure

The next thing a pirate would do is hide his treasure and make a map to find it later. Time for you pirates to do the same at this pirate birthday party.

Break into two teams. Each team will hide their treasure - it can be anything (a towel, a ball, a toy) as long as the other team can recognize what they are looking for.

Next each team will make a pirate map with directions as to how to find their treasure. Make them accurate but silly to add to the fun. Try Something like "ten paces from the swing-set go left 4 front tumbles then hop like a bunny six times and dig".

When the maps are done and the pirate birthday party treasure is hidden the teams switch maps and race to find the other team's treasure. First team to find the treasure wins.

Keep in mind that a team will forfeit the win if the map they drew doesn't really lead to their own treasure. Pirate party games must be fair after all - we're only playing pirate. Right?

More pirate game ideas from Amazon.com

What To Do with Siblings

Siblings are great most of the time. You have someone to play with, a lifelong friend and someone to blame for the wet towel on the bathroom floor. But they can be hit or miss at a pirate birthday party. Since you can't throw them to the sharks my advice is to get them involved with our pirate sibling ideas.

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Check out the other great themed party plans at One Stop Birthday Ideas!