A Pirate Party for Each Season
Pirate parties can be very versatile. They can be a birthday, Halloween or treasure hunt. I have suggestions on throwing a party for each season, summer, fall, winter and spring. The great advantage is reusing old party décor and giving it a new spin. This saves time and you get your money's worth out of the material you buy.
Pirate party supplies are easy to locate and purchase. When purchasing the supplies you want to buy items that can be reused at a later date. A few of the standard items that you want to keep on hand include:
- eye patch
- plastic toy sword
- toy gold coins
- skull and cross bone flag
These items can be used multiple times as well as other materials I will discuss and reference for each type of party. The four types of parties I chose include a summer Pirates on the Water, fall Spooky Pirate Halloween, Winter Pirate Birthday Bash, and Spring Pirate Treasure Hunt.
Spring: Pirate Treasure Hunt
A Pirate treasure hunt is great for birthday parties or just a fun activity for the kids. It's a great way to get people together and outside after hibernating all winter. I made the party with three separate treasure hunts that were age appropriate. One for kids five and older, one for the two to four year old and one for toddlers and younger. It was great to watch the parents get involved with the two younger age groups.
The first thing I did was make a treasure map that was conducive to our backyard environment. Our neighbors also participated so I was able to include their yard as well. The map it self contained usual land marks with unusual names. Our patch of trees became the Haunted Forest the stone stepping path between the two houses became Scurvy Bridge, the neighbor's gravel drive became Dead Man's Alley and the small sand area just before our lake became Pirate's Cove. I posted signs on each area and the kids got a kick out of finding them in relation to the map.
I made a treasure box out of tins for each child and decorated them with a boy or girl theme so each child knew if they found theirs. The older kids worked well together on their own, helping each other find the treasure boxes. I buried their treasures but left obvious mounds for them to find. The two to four year old each had a parent by their side (not planned but the parents were so excited they wanted to join in) and I lead the kids around the yard explaining what each area was with a little story. For example when we were on Scurvy Bridge I made sure we they did not have any oranges in their pockets and it was cute watching each one look in their pockets. I lead them to the sandbox where their treasures were buried and gave them each a bucket and pail. Then instead of X marking the spot they each had the first letter of their name mark the spot. Finally for the real little ones I buried their treasures in one of those stand up sand/water tables and moved it under a shady spot where they could just play and dig with their hands.
After the hunt the kids ran around playing pirates with their spy glasses and eye patches. We did some face decorating and added a bounce house for extra fun. I had plenty of adult snacks and beverages for the parents. I decorated our cooler to look like a treasure chest and added water bottles and juice boxes for the kids. I placed kid friendly snacks like fruit snacks and wrapped rice-cake bars in piles to look like mounds of treasure using kid pirate themed decorations left over from a birthday party celebration.
It was a great way to celebrate a beautiful day and get family and friends together for just a day of fun with pirates.
Summer: Water Pirate Party
Pirate parties can be a great event when you add water to the festivities. As a lake lover we make any excuse to get out on our pontoon and hang out with the all the neighbors on the lake. Every Forth of July we have a boat parade where boat owners will dress their boat in various themes and of course we always spot at least one or two pirate themed boats. It does not have to be as elaborate as involving the whole community to throw a Water Pirate Party and you do not have to live on the lake. The water portion of the party can consist of a variety of types of the cool refeshing H2O (water). Be it lake, or pool or sprinkler all you need is water.
If you live on the lake and have a boat or pontoon to deck out have fun and be creative with it. Even if it sits at you dock maybe dress it up with a skeleton at the wheel with a patch or captains hat. Or if you have a pool the skeleton can be floating on a raft with a drink in hand. If you do not have either all you need is a hose. The skeleton can be sitting in a lawn chair or resting on a hamock or wading in a kiddie pool. If you do not have kids I suggest getting the kiddie pool and filling it with ice and adult beverages. (The skeleton should look comical too lighten up the summer party. We can make him scary again in the fall.)
Similar decortions can be used for summer party as was used in spring. Get you money worth out of the decorations. For example if you have any maps left over from spring party use them as placemats. Also the treasure chest cooler can be filled with cool drinks and ice. Make sure there are plenty of pirate themed food and drinks.
As for the attire, since you will most definitely be getting wet I suggest made using washable tatoos. They will give it that pirate flare and will stay on most of the day. Just make sure to put on sun screen or you will have the tattoo tan for most of the summer! For the boys you can get iron skull and crossbones and apply it to a black pair of swim trunks.
Have games planned it will make the party go smoother and keep guest occupied. Adults and kids can all join in for a water gun or water balloon fight. That is the pirate way of course. You can even divide into teams and give each team a flag with the goal of capturing the other teams flag. Give out a prize for the best at sea pirate story.
Fall: Talk Like A Pirate Party
International Talk Like A Pirate Day is officially celebrated on September 19th. This is a great excuse to throw a party! "Be it September 19th me hearties or anytime before the changin tides, ye are gonna wanna strap up yer boots, batten down the hatches and get ready for some pirate fun...Arrrr"
There are plenty of adult parties being celebrated in the form of pub crawls throughout the country on that day. Here are some suggestions on throwing a fun adult themed pirate party that your guests will talk about (in their best pirate accents) until the next year!
Invite your guests using scrapbook paper with an old map background, which are available at craft stores. Print your invite on the paper and roll them like a map. To seal them, take a crayon and melt a couple drops in the middle of the rolled edge (paperclip the ends to hold it together while sealing). You can either buy a monogram stamp or use the back of a pencil to press it down and give it the old seal look. Once it is dried you can mail it in a mailing tube, these cost a little more at the post office but your guest will get a kick out of the unique invite.
The party can bet set up inside or outside. If having an outdoor party the sun sets earlier in Autumn, use string lights to give a good ambiance and if the ground is not level make sure it is well lit for people to see where they are walking. We use rope lights to light the paths around our deck to help guest spot the steps. Solar lights are also a cheap, efficient way to go, plus it looks cool.
People love to congregate in an area near food and drinks. I think the ideal step up would be to make stations of different foods and drinks. Usually high top tables, kitchen islands, bar tops or any other place where people can reach it from all sides work the best. People are more comfortable looking across a table at someone rather than standing side by side. Each table should have a little theme and you can even name the station, for example 'Peg Leg Alley' and serve ale beer and pretzel bread-sticks with cheddar dip. Another suggestion is 'Coconut Cove' and serve here pina colada and fried coconut shrimp. Make sure the stations are being checked for necessary refills on the hor-derves (always sever more food than alcoholic beverages). Make sure there is plenty of water around as well, this will cause people to drink alcohol beverages slower and make for a more enjoyable evening.
Adult games will also get your guests to mingle more. 'Walk the Plank' is a game I made up where you divide into teams of two or more. In this game you will need two to five planks, dependent on the number of teams, the larger the team the more fun. The plank only needs to be three feet long and needs to lie on a flat surface. This will give the walker three steps before the fall off (actually step off, its safer). One person from the group is chosen as the first plank walker. Another person on that team will ask the questions and the plank walker has to answer it, not only correctly but followed up with an 'Arrrr' at the end of the answer. If the walker gets the question wrong or forgets to say 'Arrrr' at the end of their answer, they must walk one step on the plank. Once they have gotten three answers wrong they have walked the plank, and must sit out and the next member of the teams steps on the plank. The last team to still have plank walkers left wins the game. For the questions, you can make them up prior to the game or use questions from a board game like trivial pursuit. For other forms of entertainment, there can be contests with prizes for 'best dressed' or 'best pirate talker' or even for the winning team of 'Walk the Plank'.
At adult parties I sometimes find it hard to get out of the kitchen because I am always cooking or constantly cleaning up. Make sure you find time to be a great host by spending time with your guests. I suggest making the food ahead of time and creating dishes that you can make extra of and set some aside to keep the warm appetizers warm or cool appetizers in fridge and pull out quickly to refill the serving plates. The same goes for drinks, if you mix a lot at once and keep it in a pitcher you can just pour when needed. Planning ahead ensures that you will enjoy your party just as much as your guests.
Winter: Pirate Snow Party
To avoid cabin fever or seasonal affective disorder, throw a winter pirate party in the snow! All you need for this party is snow. It will give you and the kids a chance to get outside and enjoy the snow in a whole new way.
Preparations for the outside features at the party can be done that day or in advance. Be creative and make to sets of forts they can be 1 - 4 sided, or even boats made out of snow. Have the forts or boats facing each other for a thrilling snowball competition. Throwing snowballs becomes more fun when you have something to duck behind! Put up a flag at each teams side and try to capture the other team's flag. Depending on your time frame for the party the flags can also be made at the party or in advance.
Once everyone has had their fill of the outdoor chill, welcome them in for homemade pirate stew (chili). For dessert you can make indoor s'mores and hot chocolate. Warm food after an afternoon of pirate snow adventure is a great way to spend with family and friends whom you do not get to see much during the winter months.
Pirate parties can be thrown in any season and for just about any reason. It is about spending time with family and friends and celebrating nothing more than youth and good times together! I hope you find yourself throwing one or two of these parties and discover it as an opprtunity to bring everyone closer together.