Avast, ye matey! It’s time for pirate party adventures!


Special to the Recorder

The other day we went to a pirate birthday party. We thought it was going to be just visiting the Palencia Park Pirate Playground and then having cake. But it was more of an organized party and so much fun!

After playing on the pirate ship, octopus and mini treasure chest, the kids came back under the pavilion to play, “Pin the Patch on the Pirate.” While they were doing that, the parents hid a treasure chest in the playground. The kids were asked to pretend to be pirates and say, “Shiver me timbers,” “Ahoy matey,” and “AAArrrhhh,” while they searched for the treasure chest. Once it was found, they each got their own little treasure chest filled with chocolate coins, also known as pirate’s booty. Then they did a New Age piñata where they pulled strings from a treasure chest piñata instead of hitting it, not knowing who would finally make the bottom fall out with all the candy. The kids enjoyed each structured activity and I was amazed at the parents’ organization!

With the First Coast being right near St. Augustine, a pirate mecca, and the ship wrecks off our coast, pirate parties are a great idea for kids’ birthday fun. Here are some ideas for pirate birthday party fun:

Pirate playgrounds

Palencia Park, St. Augustine: This park hosts a large playground with ship-shaped jungle gym, swings, covered pavilion and restrooms. Call St. Johns County to reserve.

Fernandina Pirate Park, Fernandina: This new park was built in 2014 in Fernandina. It hosts wooden posts in the shape of a pirate ship, a large sand box area, modern climbing equipment, and is accessible to children of all ages and physical capabilities. There are picnic tables and benches for parents to sit under this oak tree covered play space.

Pirate party sites

Black Raven Adventures: Captain Hook comes on and steals treasure chest at the dock, then takes it to his ship. Sail out and search for him to get it back. Inside the chest are loot bags for all the kids. Train to sword fight, paint faces, shoot cannons and get the treasure bags back. Cupcakes and drinks provided. 11:15a.m. on Saturday mornings. Parties start at $300. Call (877) 578-5080.

St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum: Kids enjoy being led by a pirate through the museum using clues to search for hidden treasure. Kids participate in interactive, immersive experiences along the way. When they find the pirate treasure, each child earns their pirate booty! Parties start at $10/child. (877) Go-Plunder

Kids’ pirate party tours

Kids Krew Tours: During this fun St. Augustine Kids pirate tour, kids get to learn about local history and hold real artifacts that were found in St. Augustine. They look into a real spy glass in search of soldiers and learn how to use a compass before heading out to raid the town and take back St. Augustine! Kids raid local stores (that are in on the action!). The store owners -turn over pirate’s booty to the kids. $10 per child for Duval and St. Johns County. (904) 417-8391.

Of course you could pick any location on our beautiful coasts, bring pirate hats and patches, swords, treasure chests for goody bags and bring a cake for outdoor picnic fun and let the kids pretend to be pirates. Plus, don’t forget the major pirate holiday: National Talk Like a Pirate Day is Sept. 19! So if your child’s birthday is near that date, have everyone dress up like pirates and go get your free donuts from Krispy Kreme! Have fun at your child’s big day and be sure to “Shiver Me Timbers!”

Terri Mashour is the owner of Fun4FirstCoastKids.com.