- Send a message in a bottle. Remove the label from a plastic soda or water bottle. Insert a small amount of sand and small shells. Write your invitation on a scroll, tie and insert in the bottle. Screw the bottle cap back on. Use an Old English-style font to create your address label. If guests live close by, have the invitations delivered by a pirate-dressed courier. If the invitations need to be mailed, take them to the post office. (Yes, you can mail these containers.)
- Create your invitation on a scroll using clip art (skulls, treasure chests, etc.). For greater authenticity, use a tan paper stock. Use a candle or cigarette lighter to lightly burn the edges (do this over a sink to catch any burned pieces). Roll up your scroll and tie with a scrap of fabric or a strip of a leather shoelace. Insert into mailing tube. You can decorate your tube with a wood grain sticky shelf paper or spray paint it black. Affix a mailing label and mail the invitations at your post office.
- Drape your space with pirate flags, fish nets, toy parrots, curled ropes, white sailcloth, torn cheesecloth, buccaneer caps, toy swords, skeletons, burlap, ship lanterns, tiki torches and anything else you may have that’s nautical. This is also a great time to reuse appropriate items from Halloween or a luau.
- Create a giant skull and crossbones insignia on your front door naming your “ship.”
- Decorate a hinged box like a treasure chest and fill it with newspaper and silky fabric to make the chest seem full. Cover the filling with costume jewelry, recycled Mardi Gras-style beads, metallic Christmas ornaments, chocolate or plastic coins, and so forth to spill out of the chest like pirate booty.
- Ask guests to come dressed in pirate attire so they become part of the décor.
- Pirate Peg Legs (turkey legs for adults or chicken legs for kids)
- Seaweed Spaghetti with Blowfish Blood (spinach fettuccini or spaghetti with tomato sauce)
- Buccaneer Brew (beer for adults or root beer or purple punch for children)
- Nautical Nuggets (chicken nuggets or mini crab cakes)
- Pieces of Eight (foil-covered chocolate coins)
- Blind Man’s Bluff
- Cannonball Blow – Give each guest a black round balloon. The object of the game is for them to keep the “cannonball” afloat using only their breath. The person who keeps their balloon in the air the longest wins.
- Poke the Parrot – Line plastic parrots on a shelf (plank) and have guests try to knock the parrot(s) over using ping pong balls and a slingshot.
- Hide a treasure chest and give each guest a treasure map (or divide guests into teams) to find the treasure.