There is never a bad time to throw a pirate themed party and look for cool pirate party ideas. Of course there’s always Halloween — and then today’s Talk Like a Pirate Day. (One of our favorites!) But it’s a cool birthday party theme all on its own, and it doesn’t even have¬†to be all Pirates of the Carribbean¬†themed either. ¬†So thanks to printable decor and activities, crafty DIY¬†shortcuts, ¬†movies on demand, and clever but easy cupcake decorating ideas, ¬†it’s possible to pull together a cool pirate themed party (or¬†pARRRty) for your kids¬†and all their best mateys in just a matter of hours.

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Top image: Pirate cape via Little Hero on Etsy


Easy pirate party decorations

Easy pirate party theme ideas for more fun and less planning

Easy pirate party theme decorations: Check the free downloads from Paper and Cake on Etsy

Haunted Pirate Party Printable Collection by Paper and Cake ($19.95)

Start off your pirate themed party by decorating — the easy way. This mega set of nicely designed, downloadable pirate printables¬†covers banners, invitations, doubloons, food wrappers and picks, straw flags, signage, cut-outs, favor boxes…you name it. And several items are customizable, should you wish to personalize¬†your Grog bottles. Print at home¬†if you’re the sort of Captain who works fast under pressure. That be not me, yarr. So your local print shop is another smart option

Related: 10 of the cutest pirate gifts for kids

Easy pirate party theme decorations: Always Be Yourself printable pirate poster

Always Be Yourself Poster by Call Me Artsy ($5)

We have to laugh¬†at this take on the “always be a unicorn” quote we love around here, nicely redone in a pirate theme. The printable poster is the perfect price for party favors, too, so consider printing one up for each of the guests, then roll up and pop into a goodie bag.


Easy pirate party ideas: Printabble Ahoy Mates banner welcomes in the littlest deck swabbers

Ahoy Mates banner by The Party Tree Studio (under $7)

This printable pirate party banner¬†is just too cute, whether¬†you’re throwing a party for the tiniest of mateys or just welcoming them to the little kid table. Most pirate-themed banners that I’ve seen say Happy Birthday, so I love the more general Ahoy¬†here. In fact, I’d probably leave this banner¬†up year round, and I’m not just saying that because my daughter’s summer cupcakes birthday banner is still up.

(What? I like cupcakes.)


Easy pirate party games + activities

Great pirate party movie ideas, from Goonies to Pan to Pirates of the Caribbean (of course)

Pirate movies, matey

There¬†are oodles of fun pirate-y flicks¬†for the kids to watch on Netflix or Amazon. My particular favorites would be¬†The Pirates: Band of Misfits¬†for little kids,¬†and for adults, like me, who love Wallace and Grommit.¬†Little kids will also dig a screening of¬†Muppet Treasure Island, which you can always keep on in the background of any party.¬†For tweens and teens, there’s the old standby¬†Hook, the ageless romp of Goonies, or the more recent pirate movie release¬†Pan. And for pretty much everyone, there’s of course¬†Pirates of the Caribbean. You really can’t make a bad choice.


The megapack of Pirate Photo Booth props by Happy Fiesta Design is a party must

Set up a pirate party dress-up station and photo booth

This set of¬†Printable Pirate party Photo Booth Props¬†by Happy Fiesta Design the motherload of piratey photo fun, all for under 10 dubloons. With 38 props, 12 speech bubbles, and a photo booth sign, all you need is a bag of popsicle sticks and some tape to make sure you’ve got the greatest pirate photo booth everrrr. Although, let’s be honest, my kids are going to be wearing these disguises until they fall apart. Except the rum bottle. That’s mine.

You can also put together your own pirate party dress-up station, if you just invest in a few bulk packages of pirate eye patches, cardboard pirate hats, and even hooks which can be overnighted from Amazon, or you can check out a local party store.

Related:4 of the best photo booth apps for your party


Easy pirate party activity ideas: Have kids make origami pirate ships like this DIY from Moms Have Questions Too

Make origami boats or crafty pirate ships

It’s easy to find directions for simple origami boats, or for more help, check out this origami boat YouTube video. Have kids decorate them with skulls (of course) and you can even try racing¬†them across a big bucket of water, two at a time.¬†If you have older kids who want to get more creative with their handiwork, check out this cool how-to for a DIY origami pirate ship craft at Moms Have Questions Too that she created from the excellent craft book,¬†Project Kid.

As an alternative¬†younger kids, check out this pirate ship paper plate craft that’s¬†preschool-easy.Printable jolly roger pirate flag coloring page: Perfect, easy pirate party activity

Color printable pirate themed coloring pages

Printable coloring pages are our go-to activity for any party, and are especially great for getting the kids acclimated when they come in, or getting them to calm down a little bit just before serving cake. Disney Jr. has lots of official Jake and the Neverland Pirates printable coloring pages. Or make it simple and give each kid a simple jolly roger flag coloring page, that they can decorate to make their own.


Pirate Murder Mystery game by Murder Mystery Games is all you really need to pull off a fun pirate party

Host a pirate murder mystery game

If you’re planning a party for teens or older kids, or even want something for for¬†adults to do after the sugared-up kids have fallen asleep, try this printable Pirate Murder Mystery Game¬†by Murder Mystery Games. Up to ten people each take¬†on a part and decide who killed the Captain of the Sweet Revenge. You’ll get¬†invites, wine bottle labels (for the adults, arrrrhem), and everything else you need to play the game.

(Note: Judging by the description, this is definitely not the most PC game, but it does have tons of 5-star reviews, so maybe be sure that you have appropriately adult and edgy party guests who won’t balk at “Salty Kiss,” the wench who’s proud of her “jugs.”)

And hey, you can always use this as inspiration and create your own. On eHow, there are some good basic instructions for how to create your own DIY murder mystery game — and the theme can be whatever you’d like. As in, pirates. Or pirates. Or maybe pirates.


Nautical Printable Bingo Game by Faffy Tea is fun for the whole family

Play pirate themed bingo

This printable pirate themed BINGo game¬†¬†(under $4 at Faffy Tea) is designed for¬†up to 12 players of any age, but especially younger ones since gameplay goes fast.¬†Print up as many bingo cards as you wish (hey, two people can win at once, right?) and give out prizes for the first mateys to match three pieces. There are cannons, anchors, octopi — nothing wenchy or boozy at all. And certainly no “jugs.”


Foldable pirate chests to hold goodies n' gold by Glitter Ink Designs is great for holding treats or treasures

Hand out pirate party favors

When you’re sending your kids home with treats, I love these little¬†printable, foldable pirate party treasure chests¬†from Glitter Ink Designs¬† which are perfect for popcorn, candy, plastic skull rings or little toys.¬† And cutting and folding them would keep my kids occupied pre-party, which is always a bonus. It’s more fun than swabbing the poop deck. Heh.


Easy Pirate Party Food, yo ho ho


A cool, easy fruit skewer idea for a pirate party

Starting with the¬†healthier stuff before all the treats, we generally just order pizzas to make our parties easy as possible, and¬†the kids never complain. I haven’t had to come up with a feasible reason for pirates to eat pizza so I’d say a jolly roger paper plate should do the trick.

Another good option, besides the requisite sweet treats are¬†skewers of fresh fruit¬†which can definitely help prevent scurvy. You¬†can top with a pirate flag for an easy, pirate party themed treat as seen above, via¬†Catch My Party. She stuck them into a carved out Pineapple, but if you’re saving time, just a bowl is perfectly fine.

Gummy skulls in bulk are perfect easy pirate party treats or goodie bag fillers

If you want to get suuuuuper easy, you¬†can’t have a pirate party for kids without¬†Pirate Booty. So start there. But there are so many treats that will work when you don’t have time to spare, like popcorn, Cracker Jacks, or those Halloween Cheetos shaped like skulls. You can also find bulk gummi skulls from CandyWarehouse. Easy! And they also double as goodie bag treats if you would rather sugar the kids up when¬†they’ve gone back to¬†plundering and pillaging their own¬†homes.


Cool, easy pirate party snack: Swedish Fish in Jell-O recipe via Single Girl At Home

Swedish Fish in blue Jell-O are always a hit, like this one repurposed from a Dr. Seuss party by Single Girl at Home.

Got to go with a skull and crossbones Pirate Ship Cupcake Wrappers | Printamajig on Etsy

Super fast pirate party dessert hack: Get store-bought cupcakes, then wrap and find a cool cupcake topper. I have to go with the adorable printable pirate ship skull and crossbone sails cupcake wrapper by Printamajig (above, $4) Or if you want to DIY and need some ideas for delicious treats to bake in that cupcake tin, check out these 9 bake sale favorites from Cool Mom Eats.


Top cupcakes or a store-bought cake with edible seashell candies for a creative pirate party treat idea

Alternately, dust a cake or cupcakes with brown sugar for sand, then top with edible candy seashells or edible starfish candies like these from Coastal Dream Weddings on Etsy.

Related: 18 easy decorating ideas that make a store-bought cake more special

Printable pirate skull stencils for cupcakes and cookie decorating at your next pirate party

You can also sprinkle powdered cocoa in these printable skull pirates cupcake stencils¬†from Disney Family, or use them to decorate cookies (which can be its own activity, too). But argh,¬†make sure you’re handy with an X-Acto for all that cutting.


Printable Grog labels for easy pirate party refreshments

For the adults, we like to drink Hurricanes made with¬†Kraken rum because it’s the most piratey pirate drink ever. And pssst… kids don’t know what Grog is. Just label anything they drink, from lemonade¬†to punch to root beer¬†with these¬†printable pirate Grog labels¬†from Monopache, and¬†they’ll giggle a lot and feel like they’re getting away with something.