Planning an adult pirate party this Halloween? This is a theme that’s always popular because it’s one that most people love and understand well. What’s more, pirate costumes are generally abundant, affordable, and easy to find. That said, organizing a party — even one with such a common theme — is quite a bit more involved than simply attending one, so let me guide you through the various aspects of a successful pirate party for adults. There’s more to this than you might think, especially if you want to get creative, so it’s best to start planning as early as possible.
If you haven’t already done so, you may want to familiarize yourself with the 12 things you need to consider when planning any Halloween party, regardless of theme by reading my Halloween Party Planning 101 post. If you’ve already done that or you plan on doing it later, continue reading to learn how to host an amazing pirate p-arrr-ty!
For those of you planning a Halloween party for kids, please visit the Ideas>Kids Stuff section.
The invitation sets the mood for your Halloween party, so be sure to choose pirate-themed invitations. Personally, I love the pirate-themed message-in-a-bottle invitations that come complete with treasure maps and bottles!
If you would rather make your own invitations, I would use worn-looking parchment-style paper. If you’re printing on a computer instead of handwriting, you can use a font that resembles a fountain pen (e.g. Viner Hand ITC). Consider drawing a treasure map on the invitation, with X marking the location of the party.
Roll up any invitations that you plan on delivering in person like scrolls, tie them with a strip of black or orange leather, and then either stuff them into empty bottles or deliver them as-is. Any remaining invitations will of course need to just be folded and mailed via post.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to decor, but here are some must-have decor elements for a pirate-inspired Halloween party:
- Stuffed parrots
- Pirate telescopes
- Plastic pirate swords
- Pirate ships
- Ship’s wheel
- Sheets hung up as sails
- Pirate/Jolly Roger flag (skull and crossbones)
- Treasure maps
- Treasure chest
- Plastic gold coins and gems for treasure
- Palm trees
- Ocean wave cutouts
- Empty rum bottles
- Wooden barrels
- Mermaids, sharks, and dolphins
Food from the sea is the most natural fit for a pirate party, so consider shrimp platters, crab or lobster dip, popcorn shrimp, sushi, and fish sticks as your starting point. You can even serve a lobster, shrimp, and crab platter to kick things up a notch. If you’re concerned about seafood allergies, I’d recommend using my free Halloween food labels to identify your dishes for your guests. Since they can be customized, you can also use these labels to re-brand classic favourites to fit better with a pirate theme (e.g. chicken wings can become seagull or parrot wings).
One thing I like to do is to prepare large potato wedges and turn them into pirate ships by adding a pirate flag toothpick and attaching a white paper sail to each one.
For dessert, gold chocolate coins and pirate cupcakes are always popular. Pirates also had a tendency to get shipwrecked or have to fend themselves on an island while searching for treasure, so tropical island fruits like pineapple, coconut, mango, and banana are always a good (and healthy) idea.
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
In the drink department, rum is always appropriate for an adult pirate party, particularly Malibu Rum or Captain Morgan for obvious branding reasons. You’ll of course want to serve a variety of mixed drinks, including some with an island theme like margaritas and pina coladas. And adding black sword cocktail picks is a simple, inexpensive way to infuse some ‘Ahoy, matey!’ to them too!
Beer is of course an alpha male drink, so be sure to serve that as well. You might want to Halloween-ify it by making a batch of pumpkin spice beer (you can find the recipe in this post).
I’d also recommend serving eyeball-infused fruit punch, which might explain where all the pirates’ missing eyes went! It can also serve as a great non-alcoholic option if you want.
- Keep in mind that serving your food on pirate-themed plates and napkins also helps enhance the ambiance!
- Try to stay in character the whole night, including mannerisms and speech (Ahoy, matey! Arr!)
- If you or your guests need help finding pirate costumes, check out my post on the best places to buy Halloween costumes online. It even includes links to help you make your own costume if you’re a do-it-yourself-er!
Check out the Food & Drink section for more tasty suggestions, get some party planning advice in the Hosting section, or visit the Ideas section for more Halloween party inspiration. If you have a question or comment, please share it by posting it below!