We have always had our kid’s birthday parties at our home. We have a large fenced in back yard so there is really no sense in having parties for our kids any where else. That being said I have always had to be really creative because our parties had to compete with my kid’s friends and cousins who had parties at places like Chuck E Cheese.
I always let my kids pick out their own cake, weather it be store bought or home made, then I would create a theme around the theme of the cake. For instance one year my daughter wanted a homemade cake with balloons on it. So the party had games using balloons, and of course the goodie bags contained balloons.
One year my son chose a Pirates of the Caribbean cake so obviously the theme would be Pirates. Luckily for me Oriental Trading had several pirate items available on their web site. I just checked and they are all still there. I purchased Pirate Bandanas (12 for $9.99), pirate eye patches (12 for $4.99) and pirate hook hands (12 for $4.97) the hook hands came apart really easily though so I would not recommend them. I also purchase a treasure chest box, for $3.99. I filled the box up with various little toys and candies.
I hid the box in my house and created a treasure hunt for the kids with 12 different clues.
Each clue was found individually with the clue before it leading them to the location of the next clue. The last clue would lead them to the hiding place of the treasure chest.
Of course the kids all needed to put on their pirate garb and become pirates before they started to search for the treasure.
There was not a competition for finding the treasure chest, they all had to work as a group to decipher the clues and get to the next clue. The kids all worked really well together and it was funny watching the light bulbs go on in their heads every time they would figure one out.
The clues ranged from easy such as, “A location where food is served.” The clue was taped underneath the kitchen table. Another clue was personal to my son. “What does Ted (not his real named) do when ever he gets the chance?” A clue was taped to my son’s X-Box. I even gave a clue to one of the adults at the party and the kids had to guess which adult it was who had the clue based on clues about that person.
The treasure hunt had them going both inside and out of the house, and on the main level of my house and in the basement. It took the kids about ½ hour to get all the clues and find the treasure chest.
There was one of each toy and candy for each kid. They all got a goodie bag full of toys and candy.
Just as they filled up their goodie bags, I told the to go out in the back yard with their goodie bags. Just as they all got outside my husband ran out dressed as a pirate (he just wore a bandana and eye patch). He told the kids he was going to steel their treasure. They all ran around giggling as he chased them, of course not allowing himself to catch any of them.
Macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and pizza were all served for lunch.
Following the treasure hunt we had the Pirates of the Carribean cake, served on Pirates of the Carribean Cake Plates, with Pirates of the Carribean napkins.
All the kids had a wonderful time and I heard some of them planning treasure hunts of their own.
Several of the kids told me as they were leaving that it was the best party ever. Now that is high praise. Beat that Chuckie.