Discover and indulge your inner pirate by throwing a pirate-themed party with a scavenger hunt as the central activity. Throw the party in a location near a large park, yard or other area well-suited to a scavenger hunt. The larger the area, the more preparation time you will need to allow for hiding items, creating clues and searching for items. Encourage guests to come dressed as pirates and to talk in pirate speak to add depth to the experience.
Select a list of guests you want to invite to the pirate scavenger hunt. Send pirate-themed invitations with specific instructions to help them come prepared for the hunt. Include messages written in calligraphy on old-style paper rolled up into scrolls. Tie it closed with twine or ribbon and enclose it in a small poster tube for mailing. Alternately, put the scroll invitation into a small plastic bottle with some sand for an added effect. Be creative with the invites by writing from the perspective of a pirate summoning his shipmates for a treasure hunting voyage on the high seas.
Set a beginning and ending time for the scavenger hunt to take place. Three or four hours will give you and your guests plenty of time to get into the pirate role. Split your group up into teams to facilitate competition and cooperation. Choose ship names for each team and include a list of pirate names for each player to take on. Give each team a treasure map with clues as well as lists of tasks and items they must complete or find in order to win. Team members may steal items from other teams to complete tasks. Just make sure everyone abides by local laws when doing the scavenger hunt. A fun optional rule is to make partygoers speak like pirates and tell others that they are searching for treasure.
Create a list of pirate-themed tasks with point values assigned to each. Give more points for more difficult tasks. The Diva Girl Parties website suggests giving 100 points for convincing a stranger to give your team a lock of hair, finding a real gold coin or finding a pirate in costume who is not part of the scavenger hunt. Additional task ideas include: finding a stranger smoking a pipe, obtaining a ticket stub from a pirate movie, stealing items from another team, convincing two strangers to kiss each other, serenading a stranger with a sea chanty, finding a Jolly Roger flag, and photographing a member of your team in a treehouse. Add your own tasks and items based on the layout of your city or location where you hold the scavenger hunt. Ahoy!
Don't forget to include pirate-themed prizes for the team who finishes the hunt with the most points. Include consolation prizes for all participants so everyone has something to remind them of the fun they had at the scavenger hunt. The Adult Party Ideas website suggests giving a DVD of The Goonies as a grand prize and skull-and-crossbones car fresheners for everyone else. Consider other prizes like a Pirates of the Caribbean DVD box set, fancy pirate clothing, eye patches, books about pirates, jolly roger t-shirts and flags, and CDs or MP3s of pirate songs.