Ahoy Matey! Prepare for an adventure on the high Pirate birthday party seas with these swashbuckling ideas that'll blow you outta the stormy ocean!
You'll want to use a Pirate font, or anything that looks like it's taken from the days the Pirates terrorized the high seas. Here are some cool Pirate fonts you can use for free.
For any Pirate invitation, it's best to write all the needed information in Pirate lingo. For instance, on the front you can write "Ahoy There Matey!" and inside you can write something like:
"Aye...ye be invited fer some birthday spirits at Captain (child's name) Buccaneer Bash. Chart yer course to come to (address). We set sail on (date) and be a meetin at (time) fer some swashbuckling fun, grub and kiddie spirits. Captain needs all his mates to help raise the sails, wash the deck, batten down the hatches, and look for the long lost treasure! Wave yer flag if ye be attendin or have yer mum send a message by yer phone to (phone number). Sees ye there... Aaaaargh!! (if not, then you'll have to walk the plank - If you dare! Be there, or BEWARE!)".
Here are lots of free Pirate printable invitations:
Here's a list full of Pirate phrases you can use when writing your Pirate invitation:
- Ahoy, me Hearties! (just like saying - Hello, my friends)
- Thar she blows! (whale sighting)
- Heave Ho (give it some strength and muscle)
- Buccaneer (a Pirate)
- Bucko ("Me bucko" = my friend)
- Swab the deck (to clean the deck)
- Savvy? (did you understand me? and do you agree?)
- Blow me down! (expression of shock, disbelief, strong emotion, surprise)
- Shiver me timbers! (expression of shock, disbelief, strong emotion, surprise)
- Dead men tell no tales (expression indicating to leave no survivors)
- Sea-dog (an experienced sea-man)
- Avast! (Hey!)
- Aye (another way to say - "Yes!")
- Me (my)
- Me Hearties (a typical way for a Pirate to address his crew)
- Lookout (someone posted to keep watch on the horizon for signs of land or other ships)
- Shark bait (foes)
- Grog (generally, any alcoholic drink Pirate's drink)
- Grub (food)
- Cap'n (short for "Captain")
- Sail ho! (I see a ship!)
- Shipshape (well organized, finished, under control...)
- Booty (loot)
- Jolly Roger (a Pirate's flag - one with a white skull and crossbones over black)
- Yo-ho-ho (something Pirate's tend to say, whether it actually means anything or not)
- Booty (treasure)
- Fair winds! (goodbye, good luck!)
You can also write your whole Pirate birthday party invitation on a small Pirate flag. If it's a typical Jolly Roger flag (white skull and crossbones on a black flag), it's best to use a white-out or fabric pen on the back of the flag. These can then be attached to sticks and handed out as real flag invitations.
Here's another idea for invitation wording Submitted by Dawn K. from Buda, TX:
"Ahoy ther Mateys! Come if ye dare to Pirate Harry's 7th Birthday Bash! We need shipmates to swab the deck, walk the plank and hunt fer pirate treasure, Aaarr! Join us for some grub, fun, and pirate treats! Ship sets sail, so chart yer course for Saturday, November 8th. We be meetin at 13:00 p.m. Meet us at old man McKennedy Island Address Yo ho ho let us know! Wave yer flag if ye be attendin' or have yer mum send word by phone to deck hand Dawn at phone #; See ye there if ye dare... Aarrgghh!!"
Another fun Pirate birthday party invitation idea is to make a map of your home or backyard on a large piece of newsprint with a big red X where you want to hide or bury a certain treasure or clues for finding a treasure. Cut the map into the number of Pirate birthday party invitations you want to give out (like a puzzle). Burn the edges a bit and pour coffee on it to make it look more authentic (or take a wet tea bag and slide it on the piece of paper). Then put each piece in a different Pirate birthday party invitation and tell them to bring the piece with them. When the guests have arrived let everyone put the puzzle together and look for the treasure or clues (this is a way you can start a treasure hunt if you want to). *Tip - make a copy of each part of the map if someone doesn't arrive.
Any Pirate birthday party invitation will look more authentic when printed on creme-colored paper (or newsprint, parchment paper, resume paper, or anything of the sort), burned at the edges, and made wet with coffee and/or tea stains (you can literally dip each invitation into tea or coffee water and then let dry, this will make each invitation look wrinkly and old). The older they look, the more convincing they are! Another way to make them look crumply is if you completely crumple each invitation (just like when you're throwing away a piece of paper), then uncrumple them and submerge them in water with tea, you can also try to 'dirty' them up with some dirt.
Pirate Birthday Party Decorations
You'll need to choose theme colors for you Pirate birthday party. It's best to choose no more than two or three colors. This can be anything from black, gold, white, blue, green, orange, and red (for example a combination of black and gold, or black, red and white, or blue, green and black, etc.).
It won't be a Pirate birthday party without a… treasure chest. If you don't have one or something resembling one-you can definitely make your own. Here's how:
Take a Styrofoam cooler and paint it brown or black. You can use gold ribbon to trim the lid and the base of the chest. Then take some small rectangle shapes of yellow craft foam and glue on to the center of the lid in the front and the other directly below to make the lock. You can also cut out and glue different colored circles or diamond shapes around the base. Fill it with gold chocolate coins, gummy fish, starburst candies (they look like little treasures), colored beaded necklaces and a lot of other cool treasures. To make the chest look full you can add spray-painted gold rocks, shells, marbles, plastic gems, or even some kind of stuffing (bubble wrap, styrofoam balls spray-painted gold, etc.). Plastic Gold Coins are also great to put in the treasure chest.
If you have a yard, you can create a sandbox the kids can play in. Put pails and shovels as well as hidden treasure and play toys in the sandbox.
Hang Pirate flags all over the Pirate birthday party area. Print out these printable Pirate flags (on white or colored paper), then cut each flag out, attach each flag to a stick, and put each stick connected to each flag around the party area:
The smaller Pirate flags are ones you put on a long string. They are called Pirate flag pennants (similar to the string of flags you often see at car dealerships).
Cut out each small flag, attach to a long string (a stapler would probably be the easiest way), and keep on attaching flags to the long string until the whole long string has flags on it. Then use this long string of flags to decorate the Pirate birthday party area (you can put up lots of these).
Hang fishing nets all around your house or yard (you can also use the nets over any kind of tablecloth for your tables). Stick rubber fish, seahorses, plastic oyster shells, lobsters and crabs in the fish net. And for that eerie Pirate birthday party atmosphere, you can take out some of your Halloween decorations (cobwebs, spiders, skeletons, etc.). On a skeleton you can put an eye patch around it's head, a bandana and/or hoop earring, color a few of the teeth with a gold marker, and hang Mardi Gras necklaces around it's neck.
You can also make a sign on the door "Enter at yer own risk" and hang old treasure maps on the walls. Check out these free maps you can print out:
You can make and put around the Pirate birthday party area more signs that read: "Deadman's Swamp", "Beware, Pirates Ahead", "Walk the Plank if Ye Dare!!", "Pirate's Cove", "X Marks the Spot!", "Welcome Aboard", etc. If you want to mark an area of the Pirate birthday party off limits, you can make a sign saying "Part of deck closed due to storm wreckage" or something similar
Another nice idea is to take old maps you may not need anymore, or ones you can find at a garage sale, burn the edges, soak in water with tea, then let dry and hang these "old" looking maps all around the party area. Also, check out these printable Pirate birthday party decorations, it would add a lot to tape them around your party area, on chairs, tables, doors, etc.:
Disperse any Pirate toys your kid might have all around the Pirate birthday party area. This may include Pirate ships, treasure chests, stuffed or inflatable animals like parrots, alligators, snakes, sharks, etc. You can tie a helium balloon to each or tie around with ribbon and they can also serve as table centerpieces.
It would also be nice if you dispersed gold coins, plastic jewels, and a bit of sand and seashells onto your tables. Check out these printable Pirate birthday party placecards and napkin holders to put on your Pirate birthday party table:
On each of the placecards you can write each guest's name by adding "Pirate" or "Buccaneer" before their name (for example: "Pirate David" or "Buccaneer Jarred"). You can also make up Piratey names like "Peg-Leg Pete", "Long-Tooth Richard", "Blind-Eye Melissa", "Scarface Brian", "One-Eyed Mandy", "Dirty Dog Paul", etc.
If you're up to it, you can make your own Pirate ship out of cardboard. You'll need a few huge boxes (like refrigerator and laundry machine boxes). Using a hot glue gun and/or duct tape to attach everything together is probably your best bet. You'll need that creative spark to fit everything together, but whatever comes out - the kids will love to play in it and make-believe they are real Pirates. It would be nice to decorate the Pirate ship with Pirate flags, a plank (just a piece of long cardboard), Pirate flags, and more. You can have each kid pose as a Pirate in it (this could be a great way to send your thank-you cards). Have each Pirate say "Aaaaargh" while posing for the picture :-).
Music can add a whole lot of atmosphere and mood to your child's Pirate birthday party. You can either play a CD of music from any kind of Pirate movie your child loves (Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.) or make your own CD filled with music from all kinds of Pirate movies and sailing sounds from the ocean.
A homemade Pirate costume is easy to make and always lots of fun (especially because you get to rummage around your closet for items you'll deny ever having worn…). If you can't find enough stuff in your closet, try the second-hand shops where any old scarf can become a magnificent Pirate's bandana.
Here are a bunch of Homemade Pirate Costumes submitted to us by visitors with detailed write ups and photos:
Here are some Pirate costume basics to create your own homemade Pirate costumes and accessories to give out to the party guests once they arrive:
- Find a pair of old black or striped pants and fringe the edges with scissors.
- Find a big white, gold or striped blouse and tuck it inside the pants. Add a wide belt with a large buckle and tie a bandana around your Pirate's head and neck (with a knot at the side).
- Dig through your jewelry box or get some gold costume jewelry (particularly search for a big clip-on gold hoop earring.) Add an eye patch and a Pirate's hook.
- Get some hypoallergenic black face-paint or eyeliner and carefully paint on a mustache and some stubble.
- To top off the costume, you can find a stuffed bird and fasten it with craft wire to your little Pirate's sleeve.
You can also ask all the kids to come in white t-shirts and blue jeans or black pants. As they arrive at the Pirate birthday party, turn them into Pirates with bandanas, Pirate hats, eye patches, make-up beards, tattoos, possibly add blood, scars, some facial hair, self-adhesive mustaches, and sashes made from strips of red and white-striped materials. A few of the adults can also dress up as Pirates. Each guest can get a special Pirate name sticker to put on them.
Also check out this cool pirate costume idea Submitted by Jennifer from Gainesville, FL:
Each child upon arrival received a paper bag with a pirate vest - made of black felt, cut like a bib, and patches hot glued on, with a red sash... an eyepatch, telescope and clip-on earring. The kids LOVED dressing up for the party!
Also check out these free printable Pirate hats and printable sword:
Pirate Icebreaker Activities
Pirate telescopes can be made from paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls. Kids can decorate them with jewels, feathers, stickers, glitter etc. and put cellophane paper (with a rubber band) covering the two openings.
Pirate Coloring Pages
A great ice-breaker for all parties are Pirate coloring pages! You can put out a few tables with markers, crayons, or anything else the kids can paint with and let everyone color in Pirate coloring pages until all the guests arrive.
We've created a whole page full of free and original printable Pirate coloring pages, check them out!
You can also use these printable Pirate decorations as coloring pages as well.
Ocean in a Bottle
Each kid gets a baby food jar (or any other little jar or clear water bottle for that matter). They then add small sea beads, glitter, water, baby oil and blue food coloring to create their own ocean!! (Hot-glue the tops so the ocean doesn't drain on your floor…)
Favor Box Treasure Chests
Use recycled diaper wipes boxes (roughen up the sides with sandpaper and spray paint gold). Let the kids decorate them with stick-on "jewels" (stick-on earrings work well), Pirate stickers, etc. Later, you can fill these mini treasure chests with the Pirate birthday party favors.
Each kid gets an inflated black balloon. On the mark of "GO" all the kids bop their balloon up into the air. Everyone has to try to keep all of the thrown balloons in the air by bopping them again and again. The object of this activity is that the whole group keep as many balloons afloat as possible. They can continue playing until the last balloon hits the floor, or they can bop the "cannonballs" that fell all over again. This is a fun way to start the party and/or keep the kids that have arrived busy and having fun while waiting for all the others to arrive.
Give each kid a rectangular piece of lining material, cotton, or just a black piece of paper as a flag. Then have a table with permanent felt-tip pens, fabric paint, markers, crayons, etc. and let them color their own Pirate flags. You can also lay out Pirate stickers, cut-outs, and anything of the sort the kids can glue on to their flags. You can then add these to your decorations.
Homemade Pirate Birthday Party Cakes
Check out these cool homemade Pirate Cake Ideas on the Web's largest gallery of homemade birthday cakes. You'll find thousands of cakes submitted by visitors like yourself with photos and how-to tips. Check out the following Pirate cake categories:
A cute and simple idea is to make mini Pirate ship cakes. Just make your kid's favorite cake recipe and fill into mini loaf pans. Once baked, frost each of the mini cakes with chocolate frosting, add crushed graham cracker as sand, place a few gold fish crackers and/or gummy sharks, and add a small Pirate flag on a toothpick to create little ships. Each guest gets their own little Pirate ship to munch on!
You can also make really yummy hidden treasure cupcakes. This is very easy, just make cake batter, pour into cupcake holders, and then add little gummy sharks, M&M candies, or little chocolate chips (the gummy sharks and/or candies will sink into the cake batter when being baked). Then when the kids eat the cupcakes, they'll find hidden treasure towards the bottom of each cupcake!
Another nice dessert is to make cannonballs (super simple - just a scoop of chocolate ice cream and add a small black licorice to the top for the wick of the cannonball).
Pirate Party Food and Drink
Pirate Birthday Party Food
Here are some cool ideas for Pirate birthday party food (remember to make little signs in front of each dish to make sure the kids recognize that it's authentic Pirate food). Another idea is to make little Jolly Roger flags connected to toothpicks and stick each flag into each person's food plate.
- Chicken legs (no utensils allowed!!)
- Seaweed Pasta (Green Linguine)
- Treasure Salad (add dried cranberries, golden raisins and pecans in the salad)
- Hot Dog Ships (spear a wooden skewer through a small piece of paper to make a schooner sail and then pierce it through a hot dog, then add a few Goldfish crackers)
- Sea Snakes with shark blood (long spaghetti in tomato sauce)
- Octopus (cut long slits in each hot-dog and then cook them, once cooked, the strips of hot-dogs get a roundish shape)
- Pirate's Teeth (corn)
- Slimy Seaweed (pasta alfredo using green spinach fettuccini)
- Parrot Legs (chicken drumsticks under a Pirate name)
- Twisted Fingers with Slime Dip (spiral-shaped cheese breadsticks with guacamole dip)
- Golden Treasures (macaroni and cheese)
- Golden Nuggets and Ruby Sauce (chicken nuggets with ketchup)
- Veggie Palm Trees - Cut up various vegetable and serve on a platter with dip. You can then decorate the platter with palm trees that you make out of vegetables. The way you make these is by taking a carrot and securing it in the vegetables with a toothpick. Then take the top fourth of a green pepper, cut a small whole for the carrot to fit snuggly in and you have a palm tree!
- Fish 'n' Chips
- Peg Legs (fish sticks)
- Pirates on a log (fill celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese and add little black raisins as Pirates)
Pirate Birthday Party Drinks
- Frosty Ale (root beer) in mugs.
- Sharks Blood (take red Kool-aid or punch and make them as ice cubes…. Then you take sprite and the kids get to drop the red Kool-aid ice cubes into the sprite - kids think it's awesome that the drink turns pink/red…. This can also be called "Crocodile" or "Alligator" blood… whichever you think is tastier :-)
- Pirate's Grog (using your blender make a healthy mix of fruits for a fruit-shake. Use colored fruits like green apples, kiwis, oranges, strawberries, etc. to get that groggy color!)
- Buccaneer Brew (hot or cold chocolate milk)
Pirate Birthday Party Treats
- Goldfish crackers
- Ocean with sunken treasures (blue Jell-O with diced peaches and pineapple, you can add little shark gummy treats as well)
- Peg legs (cucumber, carrot, celery sticks)
- Canon ball grapes
- Red Rubies (strawberries, cranberries and cherries)
- Watermelon Boat (cut out a watermelon to resemble a boat, then take out all watermelon with an ice-cream spoon, and put all watermelon balls in watermelon boat as cannonballs)
- Octopus legs (gummy worms)
- Gold puffs (cheese puffs)
- Gold and Silver Hershey nuggets
- Chocolate gold coins
- Golden candies (butterscotch)
- Breadsticks (swords)
- Swords (pretzel sticks)
- Pirate Pellets (all kinds of jelly beans)
Pirate Party Favors
We have created these printable and foldable Pirate birthday party favor bags and favor boxes. They are blank and so the kids can decorate and fold them themselves. You can also print them out on different-colored paper, possibly the color/s of your child's Pirate birthday party theme.
We've created large favor bags, medium favor bags, and favor-boxes for you to print out:
Another excellent idea is to put all the Pirate birthday party favors in little treasure boxes, in sand-pails, or in bandannas. Fill them with ring pops, candy necklaces, skull pops, eye-patches, golden chocolate coins, a compass, gem pop rings, candy necklaces, Pirate tattoos, Pirate stickers, gold chocolate coins, small telescopes, skull key chains, skull pencils, little bags of goldfish crackers, shark fruit snacks, rock candy, etc.
A great Pirate birthday party favor idea is to give each kid one or two REAL goldfish in a plastic bag with water. You can give them some fish food as well.
For Pirate thank-you notes check out these free printable Pirate thank-yous:
During the Pirate birthday party you can take a picture of each guest in their attire with the birthday kid and then send these pics out with the thank-you notes. On the thank-you notes you can write something as simple as "Thank Ye, Matey!" or "Thanks for celebratin' with me on the high-seas, and thanks for the loot - was kind of ye!".
Pirate Games and Activities
Here's an entire page with the coolest ideas for Pirate party games, such as:
- Hook the Treasure
- Find the Crocodile
- Walk the Plank
- Treasure Hunt
- Cannonballs Away
- Swab the Poop Deck
- and many more (including visitor-submitted game ideas)...
You should also read these VERY important tips to help you survive (and enjoy) game time!
And click on this link for great Pirate Treasure Hunt ideas:
Your Pirate Parties and Ideas
Some of our visitors have gone the extra mile and written up their complete Pirate birthday party story with photos and everything they did. We call these stories "Party Tales" and they serve as a great inspiration!
If you'd like share your complete party with us, then once your party is over, send us your own PARTY TALE and we'll create your very own theme party page and photo gallery that's hosted on our site! (Family, friends and just about anybody will be able to find inspiration from your child's birthday party and comment on YOUR ideas!)
Take a peek at other people's Pirate theme Party Tales and you're sure to find lots more outstanding Pirate party ideas:
Angelica's Pirate Birthday - 1yr
Sara's Pirate Birthday - 3 & 5yr
Margaret's Pirate Birthday - 4yr
Heidi's Pirate Birthday - 4yr
Karen's Pirate Birthday - 4yr
Maria's Pirate Birthday - 4 & 6yr
Kristy's Pirate Birthday - 5yr
Janine's Pirate Birthday - 5yr
Christy's Pirate Birthday - 5yr
Michelle's Pirate Birthday - 6yr
Brenda's Pirate Birthday - 6yr
Karen's Pirate Birthday - 6yr
Shannon's Pirate Birthday - 6yr
Susan's Pirate Birthday - 7yr
Jordy's Pirate Birthday - 7yr
Christine's Pirate Birthday - 7yr
Susan's Pirate Birthday - 7yr
Mona's Pirate Birthday - 10yr
Pirate Treasure Hunt Ideas