Party Planning Ideas

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Pirate Party Ideas

Ahoy, Matey! At first, I thought a pirate party would be just for kids, but Shiver Me Timbers I was wrong! I found all kinds of neat ideas for grown-up pirate theme parties too! This theme is a blast for any age!


Poolside would be awesome (especially if you want to make people walk the plank!), but a large room (either in your house or rented) or backyard would be great too!

Pirate Party Decorations

  • Black, white gold, dark blue balloons and streamers, fish netting and fake sea creatures caught in it (tropical fish, crabs, lobsters, oyster and clam shells, seahorses),
  • pirate party ideasHave seagulls, seaweed, seashells, mermaids, and don't forget to have at least one parrot! (parrots come in balloons, cardboard, tissue, ...)
  • On the walls, hang old-looking maps or even regular maps that have edges torn and parts blackened or burned
  • Skeletons and/or bones in corners. Toss in some fake jewels and gold coins too. You can dress a skeleton up as a pirate as well.
  • Pirate theme parties can also use anything nautical. A ship's rail, fake ship, or "wooden" walkway, an anchor, life preservers, captain's wheel,
  • Hang a huge ship or ocean mural
  • A large treasure chest full of fake jewelry (can get lots of Mardi Gras beads), chocolate covered coins, and anything else that looked like gold or jewels
  • Table centerpieces for pirate theme parties can be ships, ship lamps, candles, sea creatures, etc.
  • Use metallic tableware or a nautical-themed pattern.

Get more pirate party decoration ideas here.


One creative idea for a pirate party is the message in a bottle. Create your invitations on scoll or old-looking paper, roll them up and tie a ribbon on them and pop them into a small plastic bottle. You can get the bottles at craft stores or even just use small empty (and dry!) water bottles with the labels removed. Add a little sand, a few shells, and some gold glitter, and pop on the top. Very neat! You can also make little treasure chest invitations, or if you want to stick with flat ones, invitations that feature parrots, skull and crossbones, pirate hats/flags/faces, ships, etc.

Another idea is to create a Treasure Map invitation with X marking your house (e.g., a map to your house)

Be sure to use some of the pirate lingo for your invitation, like "Be There, Or You'll Walk the Plank!" or "Yo Ho Ho and Be Sure to Come!" or "Ahoy, The Treasure's Here!" or "Come To The Party, If Ye Dare!" You get the idea.

Other cost-effective pirate party options are to get blank invitations or paper and print them on your computer, or to buy fill-in-the-blank invitations. There are all kinds of choices at and


A pirate party calls for Pirate garb for the men and wench costumes for women! Don't forget your hook, pegleg, sword, parrot, and eye patch! Get everything you need for your pirate party costume at BuyCostumes and costume ideas


Small bottles of Capt. Morgan rum (or other rums), eye-patch, candles, gold coins (chocolate), compasses, skull key chains, "poison" bottle of candy (with skull and crossbone label), black bandanas, costume jewelry, gold bead necklaces (Mardi Gras style), a gift bag or small treasure chest with a few of these items. Any of these items, alone or with other items, are perfect favors for pirate theme parties.


Arrrrrgh. A great pirate grub menu could include: Seaweed Salad (spinach salad), Ruby Jewel Salad (fruit salad with cherries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, red seedless grapes), Shrimp Salad, Shrimp Cocktail, Spiced shrimp, Stuffed Mushrooms (stuffed with crab meat), Fried Clams, Clam Chowder, Corn Chowder, Lobster Bisque, Fish 'n Chips, Cut-Throat Kabobs (chicken, shrimp, scallops, beef on skewers with onions, tomatoes and green peppers), PegLegs (chicken legs), Pirate's Teeth (corn), Grains of Sand (rice), Grilled Scallops, any kind of fish, hushpuppies, etc.

Don't forget some general party snacks like Goldfish and Hershey's gold and silver nuggets. Look at the "Party Food" page for general ideas.

"Deserted Island" desserts for pirate theme parties could include coconut bars, spice cake, rum balls, sea foam candy, gold coin cookies, etc.

More party food ideas are here.


I read about one pirate party that had a big bowl of citrus punch to "combat scurvy." What a great idea!

If it's an adult party, be sure to have lots of Captain Morgan, Bacardi and any other rums, along with brandy, and have some good mixed drink recipes to create, including blue jello shooters. Get drink recipes at DrinkNation.

Also be sure to have Dead Guy Ale beer on hand. For those not as adventuresome (or the more responsible designated drivers), be sure to always have lots of soda, iced tea, juices, and coffee as well.


If you are having a pirate party cake, it can be decorated to look like a Ship, Shipwreck, Treasure Chest, Treasure Map, Ocean, Tropical Island, Pirate's Flag, Parrot, Captain's Wheel, Anchor, Gold Coin(s), etc. You can get some great cake recipes and ideas here.


For pirate theme parties, how about a scavenger or treasure hunt? I read about one party where a scavenger hunt was actually all over town, with the last clue leading to the rented party room. Or you could create one for just the party room and hide the clues within the decorations.

For a treasure hunt: As guests arrive, give them a "Treasure Map" of the room. When they go to the "X" (which you will have marked prominently in the room or yard!), they'll find a scroll with a clue. You can create several different scrolls and "X"s and each guest (or couple) can take one and go in search of their treasure. That way, no one will be looking for the same thing. Prizes can be anything from small treasure chests with costume jewelry, candy, etc. in them or any of the favor ideas above. For a scavenger hunt: As guests arrive, give them the Pirate's Long Lost Booty, on a ripped up and smudged scroll. Describe each item as vaguely as possible. At the end of the night (or whenever all the items have been found by one person or team), whoever has found the most wins.


You can play a CD of ocean sounds, especially if you can find one that includes a storm! Pirate movies, like the recent "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," and others like "Blackbeard," "Hook," "Cutthroat Island," "The Pirates of Penzance," "Yellowbeard," "Long John Silver," and others could be played, or even just their soundtracks. To inspire dancing at your pirate party, play music from some of the notorious pirate places like many of the Caribbean Islands, New Orleans, Charleston, Florida, Cuba, Tortuga, and Panama. Check out music selections here.

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