Pirate Party Ideas That Arrr Top-Notch

There is a wealth of pirate theme party ideas to help your little one feel like a real buccaneer for the day. Party planning can be just as fun as attending, so use your imagination and you may find yourself throwing a p-arr-ty that is unforgettable.

Invitations: Make or purchase invitations that look like treasure maps. Write the party information like a pirate map might read, such as, "Rendezvous at high noon where X marks the spot, at (insert party address)." You can also send invitations that the guests are supposed to bring with them as the different pieces of a map for a treasure hunt during the party. Make extra copies in case someone doesn't show up or forgets their piece.

Costume: Ask the guests to show up dressed as pirates and distribute inexpensive plastic swords upon arrival. The birthday child will feel extra special if they are allowed to be captain of their "crew." Captain hats can be found at most party stores or online.

Decoration: Depending on your budget, you can decorate with anything from personalized cardboard pirate ships (available for order online) to pirate flags and skull and crossbones cutouts. In good weather, you can decorate outside with fake palm trees to create the illusion of a desert island where the guests will find buried treasure.

Games: A treasure hunt is a theme-friendly pirate party idea. If you did not make the invitations pieces of the treasure map, then distribute one to the "captain" and let him lead his crew. Don't forget to keep the clues age appropriate. Buried treasure can be gold wrapped chocolate coins, candy necklaces and rings, or you may choose to leave the party favors as the treasure to be found. Pirate-themed piñatas or "pin the hat on the pirate" are also popular activities.

Cake: There are many pirate themed cakes available both from bakeries and as designs you can create at home. Pirate ship shaped cakes host figurines that can be later given to the guest of honor, or handed out as party favors. Multi-colored hard candies, ring pops and candy necklaces will add to the authenticity of a cake decorated as a treasure chest. There are many cake decorating Web sites available on the Internet that will give you step-by-step instructions if you want to make the cake yourself.

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