I know, it's a bit over the top, but he seemed to really enjoy building it and it didn't take him long at all. He did it all one weekend, using scraps of wood he got from his work. He made it about a month ago so the boys and their friends have been enjoying it in the backyard over the summer and not just for this party. We'll probably take it down after Bennett's birthday, but it's definitely been well-used.
The first thing we did at the party was to lead the kids on treasure hunt using this map I made of our backyard.
I rolled it up and stuck it in an old wine bottle and the kids pulled it out and followed it, with Tony's help.
At each X there was something hidden, including pirate hooks made out of plastic cups and tin foil. You can get instructions for making these at Make and Takes.
At another X there were pirate hats, made out of black poster board that I cut into strips and decorated, then secured with staples on either side. Here's Bennett wearing his hat:
At the next X was a key, hidden up in a tree, which opened the door where the final treasure was. Tony had decorated an old chest we found at a garage sale and we hid all the loot bags in it. I don't have a photo of the chest, but here's one of the loot bags:
You can print these fun loot bag labels at B. Nute Productions. I love how they say 'Thanks for Being Me Matey.'
Next we had pirate ship cake and gold coin cupcakes. I found the idea for the cake at Piece of Cake Parties. She has a template and great instructions to help you along. Unfortunately I had to toss one of the front triangle pieces because it crumbled so badly when I tried to frost it, but it still looked okay without it. My frosting skills leave much to be desired, but the kids didn't seem to mind. The blue gummies around the ship were particularly popular.
For snacks I had veggies and dip, crackers with cheese and garlic sausage, fruit, snack mix, and super cute orange boats in blue jello. The kids loved them and a few even asked if they could take one home with them.
I saw these at Make and Takes, the same place I found the pirate hooks. It's actually a post for a pirate summer camp, but the ideas work really well for a party too.
So that was our pirate party. It was more work than I'd normally put into a party, but Tony and I both had a lot of fun doing it, even if it was exhausting. It was nice to watch the kids enjoy themselves so much. I hope you liked the photos and tips!