Summer has finally arrived, which means pool season is in full swing! Get ready for good food, fun party games, and lots of splashing. Want to make your next pool party fun and unique? How about having a theme? How about a pirate-themed celebration in your own backyard? You already have the water and guests can just throw on a patch and grab a sword for a swashbuckling good time.
The best part about having a themed pool party is the decorations tend to stay pretty simple and the pool provides built-in entertainment for the kids. We’ll get you organized with ideas for food, games, and decorations – both DIY and ones you can purchase!
How to Feed Your Pirates
With a themed party, you can provide the typical backyard fare like hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza, OR, you can use these ideas and wow your guests and their taste buds.
Rename Food: Instead of creating complicated treats, give each common party food a pirate-themed name. Cheese cut into small triangles become shark’s teeth, melon balls become cannon balls, spinach dip becomes seaweed dip, and fruit on tooth picks become fruit swords.
Rice Crispy Treasure Chest: This spin on the classic treat is a great way to add a little pirate flair to your table. All you need is the ingredients for regular rice crispy treats and some melted chocolate.
Cookies: Decorating cookies is one of the easiest ways to add a creative twist to a favorite dessert. Cut out shapes like sharks, ships, and anchors, or decorate round cookies with pirate-themed designs. The possibilities are endless!
Watermelon Shark: This awesome (and edible!) shark from “What About Watermelon” is the perfect center piece for a pirate-themed party! He may look intimidating, but creating this shark only takes a few easy steps. There are also great video tutorials for the visual learners. Bonus idea: Make a pirate ship out of a watermelon.
Treasure Map Cake: Any party is better with cake, right? Look to your local baker, grocer, or decorate it yourself.
Pirate Patch Cookie Pop: These make for tasty treats and great photo props, too! These cookie pops from Munchkin Munchies do double duty and are simple to make. Read her full tutorial here.
Decorations for Pirate Party
Here are a few ideas you can purchase from your local party or craft store.
- Jolly Roger Flags (toothpicks, banners, etc)
- Red and White Pennant Banner
- Treasure Chests
- Gold Coins
- Fishing Nets
- Ship Wheel
If you want to get more creative, here are our favorite DIY pirate pool party decoration projects:
Pirate Mast Centerpiece: This large DIY pirate ship mast is an eye-catching center piece. To make the mast, you will need:
- 1 Wood Rod (A closet rod works well)
- 3 Four Foot Dowels, approx. 1/2” round
- 2 Long Screws (Must to be long enough to go through the rod & the dowel)
- 1 Four Foot Sheet of Canvas (A drop cloth from the painting department works perfect)
- 1 Large Pirate Flag (this one is perfect)
- 1 Paper Pennant Flag
- 1 Red Bucket
Once you gather your supplies, head over to the Celebrating Everyday Life blog for detailed instructions.
Cork Boats: These little boats are incredibly cute, and easy to make. All you need is some wine corks, toothpicks, colored paper, and some glue. To make them pool friendly, try cutting the flag shapes from a plastic bottle and spray painting them. These boats could be used as decoration on your table, or for entertainment in a water table or the pool. (The blogger even uses them for menu displays!)
Pennant Banner: There are many different ways to make your own pennant banner. Do you use cloth or paper? Print it out or hand-cut from craft paper? Here are a few options:
- Hand Sewn Cloth Banner
- Printable Paper Banner (Free!)
- Pennant Template (Use your choice of papers and colors)
Costumes: Turning your guests into party decorations is one of the most fun ways to create a great atmosphere! The best part about a pirate-themed costume party? The outfits are easy to assemble. You can purchase costumes from party stores or create your own look with basics like:
- Pirate Hats
- Eye Patches
- Red Bandanas
- Stripped Shirts
- Pirate Swords
Another option is to fill a ‘treasure chest’ with clothes and accessories and let guests dress themselves.
Pro Tip: Want the DIY look but don’t have the time? Explore the Etsy site and search for ‘pirate party’ and you will find creative, handmade party supplies including invitations, decorations, and party favors.
Entertainment for Your Pirate Party
Entertainment for any pool party is easy since the pool provides most of the entertainment. But, half the fun of throwing a themed party is exploring new ways of exciting your guests. Here are a few ideas to try out at your pirate pool party.
Image Source: Inner Child Fun
“Dig for Treasure”: Kids won’t have to dig deep to have fun with this game. Making the “chest” large will ensure that older kids will enjoy it as well. Fill a kiddie pool or wide mouth bucket with sand, bury trinkets, and let the kids go to town. You might need to refresh the ‘pirate treasure’ a few times – some pirates are known for their greed!
Walk the Plank: Place a flat board (for example a 2X4) over a plastic kid’s pool, two wide buckets, or any similarly low prop. Each child will ‘walk the plank’ to see who can complete the walk without falling off. Extra bonus points if you can walk the plank while juggling or balancing water glasses without spilling.
Captain Hook Ring Toss: A ring toss is simple to make with a wooden board and a few hooks. For the rings, try using a set of pool diving rings. For an extra challenge, use smaller rings, like bracelets. If you can’t find the “Captain Hook” hands, head to your local home improvement store for some different options. Add more fun by assigning points to the hooks,
Throwing a themed party doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Instead of trying to do it all, choose to do one or two of the projects you like most and buy the rest. (Etsy is an amazing resource!) Don’t forget that hosts get to have fun too!