My daughter, who tends to be more of a tomboy than girly-girl, decided on a "Pirates of the Carribean" theme for her birthday party. Since pirates are such a popular subject these days and the dollar stores overflow with unique pirate-themed items, we had a lot of fun planning the party. Of course, we had the standard pirate cake, the pirate plates, the pirate pinata but we also had a few unique additions.
I decide to create a treasure hunt for the kids through the backyard. I drew an elaborate map and with my husbands help, came up with unique names like the "Path of the Wicked Winds" which is the old dog run of our former owners beside the garage, the "Tree Man of Dark Magic" which is the little resin face of a silly man nailed to our big tulip poplar, the "Swing of Insanity" which is the porch swing beneath the jasmine trellis, the "Walk of Peril" - our pebble stone walkway in front of the porch, the "Jungle of Doom" - the bushes beside the fence. The kids followed the map on a path around the backyard finding "treasures" along the way such as pirate candy, skeleton necklaces, swords and telescopes. The final "X" marks the spot contained a bag full of pirate gold, aka dollar store plastic coins!
I also had them start at the "Pirate Ship", which was the old wooden swing set they've hardly touched all summer, decked out with strips of an old ripped up sheet, yarn for a spider-webby feel, some of those leftover skeletons from the treasure hunt and a few balloons. They played on that thing for hours, sailing the high seas, fishing, and avoiding deadly storms.
I asked all the kids to come dressed as pirates and after being in a pirate mood for over a week, decided to dress in a pirate motif myself. My uncle walked in the door and thought I'd reverted to some sort of hippy phase (not knowing the pirate-theme of course!)
What fun to imagine a life on the open water, sailing for gold. We took a look at Mel Fisher's website, the famous treasure hunter who discovered the 16th century shipwreck of the Atocha and it's fortune worth hundreds of millions dollars. It's a story that's hard to believe, but as Mel said "Once you've seen the ocean bottom paved with gold coins, you'll never forget it." So true, I'm sure!
It was a great party and one that my daughter will remember for a long time. The best thing is that we're half-way decorated for halloween already! Shiver me timbers!