Those in favor of a pirate party, say “Aye, aye, captain!” Make your party a treasured celebration with our tips.
Create a nautical theme with navy blue decorations, and hang a net from your ceiling for added ocean flair. For a dramatic touch, nothing screams “pirate” like a black pirate flag. Buy a giant one and hang it outside your windows or beside your front door. You can also make your own using black and white fabric or construction paper.
Once your room is shipshape, decorate with gold-wrapped coins and gaudy costume jewelry — beads left over from a Mardi Gras party would be perfect. You can fashion a treasure chest out of a sturdy cardboard box by painting it or covering it with paper, adorning it with jewels, lining it with richly colored fabric and, last but not least, filling it with your stolen booty.
For some Caribbean flavor, add lush greenery around the room, like palms, tropical flowers and coconuts.
Party favor bags should look like bags of loot. Use small burlap sacks or brown paper bags and tie them shut with twine. Fill them with chocolate coins, candy necklaces and fake jewelry.
Films like Peter Pan and Pirates of the Caribbean can be terrific starting points for finding an ensemble to wear. Black pants, an untucked white shirt, clip-on hoop earrings and a colorful scarf around your waist will instantly transform you and your guests into pirates. Tie a toy parrot to your shoulder, or put on a hook or an eye patch from a costume supply shop. No pirate outfit is complete without a fancy mustache or beard. Both can easily be painted on with black or brown eyeliner.
Be sure you have extra accessories for guests who want to add on to their own costumes, like:
- Black hats
- Scarves to be used as sashes
- Big, black belts
- Long socks
- Flashy jewels
- Eye patches
- Eyeliner for drawing facial hair
Planning a treasure hunt? Give each guest a map as they arrive. Hand out clues right before the hunt so no one cheats (although cheating is very pirate-like). To make it more challenging, write the clues in rhyming couplets or be deliberately confusing.
Pirates are known for being tough, so resolve minor (or made-up) disputes the old-fashioned way: Make the offenders walk the plank! You can create a plank by laying a wooden board across a doorway. Tie a scarf around the offender’s eyes and carefully send them on their merry way.
Kids’ party tip: For a calmer experience, have story time and read passages from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island or J.M Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan.
Pirates lived on the sea, so their diets were rich in seafood. If your guests are adventurous, serve fish tacos or fish and chips with tartar sauce or malt vinegar. Pickier eaters may prefer fish sticks and tater tots. Get tropical by adding coconut and other tropical fruits to the menu in savory or sweet forms. Be sure to try this pineapple boat!
Gold-wrapped chocolate coins are a must-have snack. For a healthier treat, make a citrus-packed fruit salad or serve wedges of pineapple garnished with maraschino cherries and tiny mandarin orange slices.
Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie (serves 2)
- 2 cups diced peeled seedless watermelon
- 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries, frozen
- 1/4 cup chilled guava juice or guava nectar
- 2 small strawberries, for garnish
Combine diced watermelon, frozen strawberries and chilled guava juice in blender. Puree until smooth. Pour smoothie into 2 glasses. Top each smoothie with strawberry.