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How to Host a Pirate Birthday Party

Shiver me timbers, is that Talk Like a Pirate day I see coming over the horizon? A pirate themed birthday party is perfect at this time of year and we talk you through everything from fun decorations, game and food ideas, as well as what to pop in the party bags.

Adventures and tales of the high seas have long enthralled children and with movie franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean also helping to fuel our imagination, it is no wonder that pirate themed parties are popular.

And they are great for toddlers to older children too! Get it right with our guide to hosting an amazing pirate birthday party.

Pirate party bag fillers

When it comes to pirate party bags fillers, look no further;

  • Finger puppets in the shape of sea creatures – many of which are mythical so perfect for encouraging imaginative play
  • Pirate theme notebooks, pens and pencils are also inexpensive additions
  • Add a treasure chest of chocolate coins because every pirate is looking for treasure

Pirate fancy dress

If there is one party theme that lends itself well to fancy dress, it is a pirate themed one. From eye patches to triangular shaped hats, there are many ways in which boys and girls can dress up as pirates.

Give your guests some ideas when you send out the party invites by suggesting they look at famous sea pirates, including female pirates who have equally colourful lives on the high seas as their male counterparts.

Party decorations

Now you have your guests ready to come along dressed as a pirate – or other sea creatures, mythical and otherwise – you need to set the venue.

So how about converting the party venue into the lower decks of a creaking old wooden sail ship?

From the birthday boy or girl sitting at the head of the table with the wheel of the ship to hand, there are plenty of ways to create a backdrop that is both magical and stunning;

  • Sound effects – from playing a CD of waves and screeching seagulls to the eerily creaking timbers of the ship, sound is a fantastic way of adding atmosphere to your party.
  • Sails, ship wheels and anchors – these are just two shapes associated with pirates and ships. Visually, they help your guests to connect the pirate theme with the venue and this is a great way of creating a fun party setting. And don’t forget, most pirates had a colourful parrot on their shoulder…
  • Colours – from blues to greys, there are many colours associated with the sea and pirates. Pirates tended to dress simply ready for a quick escape from the regent’s ships and patrols!

Pirate party games

Is any party complete without party games? We think not! As well as the traditional party games, you could give some a pirate-twist;

Walking the plank quiz

A quiz is great for older children especially if you make the age-appropriate questions all about life on the high seas. Add a twist by having someone on the plank and by getting the questions right the person on the plank – make this an adult who enjoys a bit of am-dram! – and you have a fantastic time on your hands.

Crossing the equator

Every sailor will tell you that the first time a sailor sails over the equator, they must complete a ritual for good luck.

It can be pretty gruesome in real life so ditch drinking fish blood for something a little less dramatic. You will need Neptune, however, the god who looks after sailors and all in the sea for this ritual.

Mark out the equator line and have everyone recite a silly made up verse about sea and pirates, have them eat jelly and perform a silly jig and you have your very own equator-crossing ritual right there in your front room…

As well as pirate party bingo and pass the parcel, you could also make your own pirates hats and decorate using sequins, jewels and coloured paints of every hue.

The food

Pirates had a restricted diet – characterised by scurvy in most of them, as well as bad teeth, skin and hair! – and this is not something you want to replicate in your party.

So sit down and tuck into delicious sandwiches and all the usual fare served either in pirate themed party boxes or pirate themes plates with cups and bowls to match

Don’t forget the birthday cake!