Pillaging, plundering, buried treasure and bottles of rum - who doesn't love a pirate party? Whether you're a swashbuckling young thing or an old man of the sea, our pirate party ideas could be just the thing to make your party go with a yo ho ho (and perhaps a bottle or two of rum into the bargain).
Treasure map invites: Every good pirate (and every bad one, too) is in search of hidden treasure. Turn your invitations into treasure maps, directing the way to your pirate ship - remember, X marks the spot. (If your own map-drawing skills are a bit rusty, try printing off a ready-made map from Google maps and stick it to some colourful card.)
Message in a bottle: If you really want to push the boat out, send your guests a message in a bottle, using empty miniatures of vodka, whisky, and, of course, rum.
Come as you are: Every self-respecting pirate needs an eye patch. (And a parrot, of course, but it's probably not a good idea to send a parrot through the mail). Eye patch are only 99p each - pop one in with your invitation and insist that it be worn on the night.
Where do pirates hold their parties? Well, not in suburban homes, anyway! Turn your party venue into a pirate ship or a desert island.
make it easy and inexpensive to transform your landlubber clothes into pirate togs.
Go the whole-hog with an Anchor Tattoo - a must-have for every well-dressed pirate, which handily wipes off when it's time to go home!
For little girls who don't want to don an eye patch and beard, why not go with the "Captain Hook" theme, and let them come as Tinkerbell,
with fairy wings and wand? For girls there is also Tiger Lily the Indian Princess Peter rescues from Captain Hook.
Here are some activities for both young and not so young:
Walk the plank: place a long, thin plank of wood (about 2X4 should be fine) on the floor, and let party-goers take turns walking over it. For older children, try balancing the plank on a couple of bricks. For adults, just add rum!
Let sleeping pirates lie: one "pirate" sits at the front of the room, eyes closed. One by one, his fellow sailors must creep slowly towards him. If the pirate turns around and catches them moving, they must walk the plank. The winner is the first person to reach and touch the pirate without being caught.
Treasure hunt: Sometimes the simplest games are the best. Hide some chocolate coins around your house or garden, and set the pirates on a treasure hunt.
Musical Islands: A nautical alternative to the old party standby, musical chairs. Simply replace the chairs with "islands" represented by hula hoops, place mats - even square-cut sheets of cardboard will do in a pinch - and scatter them around the room. Make sure you have one less island than you have pirates, and start the music. When the music stops, the pirate left island-less is out of the game.
Catch the Cannonball: Not one for the house-proud, but perfect for an outdoor, summer party. First of all, take your water bomb and fill them with water. Now pair up the pirates and get them to throw the "cannonball" back and forth, with each person taking a step back each time. The first person who fails to catch the cannon is out. And, of course, soaked. Alternatively, if you have good weather and a large garden, give each pirate a water-filled cannonball for an all-out water fight - always a crowd pleaser!
Pirate PiÃ±ata: A great way to round-off your party, a pirate piÃ±ata allows your guests to work off any remaining energy by whacking the piÃ±ata with a stick. Be warned, however: without close supervision, this game can be as dangerous to the players (and onlookers) as it is to the poor piÃ±ata, so tread carefully and make sure a captain is present at all times to control unruly pirates!
One of the big advantages of throwing a pirate party is that pirates aren't too picky, and you can serve up pretty much anything you like, as long as you call it by the right name. So hot soup becomes black bart broth, good old stew becomes salmagundi, the pirate's favourite, and fish n' chips will always go down well, as long as you claim it came straight from the sea!
You may also want to try:
Loot bags: Pirating is hungry work, so prepare a loot bag for your guests to take home. Fill it up with chocolate coins and other goodies, including the pirate accessories of your choice.
Give them some Grog: What is grog, we hear you ask? Well, in this case it's coke, ribena, or any other suitably dark-coloured drink served up in an interestingly shaped bottle with an appropriate label.