Theme Parties for Birthdays or Halloween – Pirate & Princess

Everyone loves a theme party, especially children. Most of these suggestions are geared toward children between the ages of four and 10 years, but they can also be adapted for teen or adult celebrations.

The Pirate Party

With an “arrrrrgh,” “ahoy maties!” and a “yo ho ho,” you can set the stage for a fantastic pirate party for children or adults. Use the following ideas as a springboard for your own imagination, and have fun with yer young swashbuckling buccaneers!

  • Invitations: Nothing is better for a party of this theme than a pirate map. Use a piece of vellum paper, or even a crunched, ripped brown paper bag, to fashion an “X” marks the party spot invitation for party-goers. Make sure all the pertinent information is included (date, time, place, theme, host’s name), and roll up the invitation and secure with a black ribbon. A Jolly Roger sticker is the perfect touch.
  • Decorations: This theme calls for black, red and white balloons, flags or posters with Jolly Roger on them, Jack Sparrow or Hook posters (depending upon the age group), black/red/white crepe paper hung from the ceiling, along with stuffed parrots. Inflatable sharks and crocodiles can “swim” on the floor. A treasure box hung with mardi gras beads and gold “coins” (plastic or chocolate) sets the stage. Plastic “jewels” and gold and silver chocolate coins can festoon the black tablecloths.
  • Activities: Party-goers can fashion their own pirate hats out of paper or newspaper, make eye patches (or be given them upon arrival). Face-painting mustaches can be a lot of fun. Presenting them with a “skull and crossbones” bandanna can be an alternative to pirate hats. Guests can “walk the plank” to receive a gold coin as a reward; they can have a Treasure toss (throw beanbags into a decorated “treasure box;”) and they can have a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt to end the festivities.
  • Food: You can serve chicken drummettes and ranch dressing (Davy Jones’ fingers); blue jello in clear cups with gummy fish “floating” inside; large carrots cut into coins; Pirate pizza (with their choice of toppings); “Pirate cake” with light blue and light brown frosting, decorated with little Playmobil or other plastic sharks, skull rings, palm trees and little pirate figures. Ruby red punch (frozen fruit punch cubes and sprite or gingerale) is the perfect drink of choice.

End the party with a parrot pinata, treasure hunt (following a treasure map) for black cloth goodie bags filled with tiny telescopes, plastic sharks, candy and tiny beanie parrots and a movie to watch until it’s time to go home.

The Princess Party

Girls of all ages love princess parties. It’s the chance to dress up, watch a favorite princess movie, dance, and just really be a little girl, no matter what your age. These parties can truly be a magical experience.

  • Invitations: These should sparkle and be tied up with sparkly ribbon as a proclamation to a special celebration. You can use scrap-booking paper, card stock or any paper of your choice.
  • Decorations: For this theme, pink and white are the most popular colors of choice. From pink and white balloons and streamers, tablecloths and silk flowers, posters of princesses (Disney or other), magical unicorns or white steeds, a great jewelry box for goodie bags, it’s all sparkles and pastels. Sparkly sheery bendable ribbon can be fashioned into bows for the backs of chairs. Plastic “jewels” and confetti, and a few silk flowers, can be sprinkled on the pink and white tablecloths for a special touch.
  • Activities: Upon arrival have princess music playing. Sprinkle “pixie dust” into the guests’ hair (hair sparkles), paint their nails a shell pink color, or give out little “tiaras” to all attendees. Videotape their exclamations to play during the snack. Have coloring sheets in a princess theme for girls to work on, and glitter glue pens with which to decorate them. The guests can “fish for treasures” (bangles, fake earrings, “jewelry” etc), or have a scavenger hunt for little piles of “beads” that they can fashion into necklaces or bracelets. Play Musical Princesses with Disney music and cushions or chairs.
  • Food: This can include crustless finger sandwiches; fruit and dip; pickles and potato chips; and an angel food cake iced with whipped cream, or princess cake in pink and white with (silver non-pareils) for dessert. You can serve the meal on either plastic tablecloths on the floor, for a picnic, or more traditionally at the table. Princess Punch made with your choice of fruit concentrate mixed with club soda or gingerale is always a hit. The latest princess movie would be perfect at this point.

End the party with the scavenger hunt, dancing like princesses or packaging their little prizes in gift bags of their own design (candy, bangles, necklaces, clip-on earrings, candy, tiny beanie babies, etc). There you go – the recipe for success for 2 favorite parties. Recommended for children of all ages, over the age of three years. Adults who are children at heart would enjoy these parties as well, particularly at Halloween

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