Pirate Treasure Hunt -30yr- Take Your Parrot
Christina in River Vale, NJ, USA
30th Birthday Pirate Treasure Hunt For my 30th birthday my boyfriend and I threw a pirate's treasure hunt themed party.
I began by sending "message in a bottle" invitations. On the internet I found a company that sold small plastic bottles meant for sand art projects. I filled them with a little bit of sand, a couple of tiny crafting shells, gold confetti, and of course the message\invitation (which was made on the computer using a script font on computer paper that had an old time scroll-like design on it) rolled up and tied with ribbon. I placed a label right on the bottle and little pirate stickers, and mailed them just like that. People were so excited to receive a message in a bottle in their mailbox that it really added to the anticipation of the party!
On the day of the party guest were divided up into teams of 4 people. Each team was given a list of rules, a scavenger item list, an inflatable parrot mascot which they were to take everywhere, and the first clue. Clues were written on an index card and hidden around town at local stores and bars; each clue had a puzzle, problem, or riddle on it that led them to the next clue. In an effort to make it a little easier on myself, each team had the same clues but were in a different order so they couldn't follow each other, but had the chance of meeting up with another team. In order to be elegible for the prize all clues needed to be found.
The list of scavenger items were a way for teams to aquire more points along the way. Each item on the list was given a point value according to how difficult it was to get. For example: take out menu from a local restaurant was 5 points, an unused pizza box was 10 points, a movie poster was 50 points, while a pink bowling ball was worth 75 points. The list had about 50 different things that teams could choose from to obtain any way they could--some used their powers of persuasion and fast talking, while others used their stealthy swiping abilities!
The rules were simple: Teams were not allowed to divide up, they had to carry the mascot everywhere they went, they had to find all of their designated clues, and had to be back by the time given--if a team was seen not following the rules a loss in points occurred. My boyfriend and I tagged along each with a different team. We were not allowed to give hints as to where the clues were hidden but we could help the teams obtain the scavenger items. I have never had as much fun and side splitting laughter as I did on the hunt!! It became like a wild race to get everything we could and be the first team back! I can just imagine how funny we looked walking into bars and stores with our parrot, searching for index card clues and begging for silly things like a fast food restaurant tray!
As the teams arrived at the restaurant\bar's party room they were greeted with strands of gold beads I found in a Mardi Gras online catalog. The teams were all laughing and comparing crazy stories as they brought in their items. It was simply amazing to see what the teams were able to find! The team with the most points won a treasure chest filled with ruby beads, shot glasses with a skull and crossbones picture on them, and a gift certificate to the bar where the party was held. After all of the laughing and story telling, a large dinner buffet was put out and drinks were served. Anyone willing to do a shot with the birthday girl received ruby colored beads(throughout the evening shots and crazy stunts continued to be rewarded with beads…the ruby colored beads became a hot commodity!). All of the tables and the bar were decorated with plastic gold coins, silver foil wrapped bubble gum coins, ring pops, and more gold bead necklaces. The center pieces were black helium balloons tied to skull shaped goblets filled with rolos. I put black Jolly Roger flags all around the room and in flower vases.
After dinner, guests enjoyed an 80's quiz I found on the internet. The winner received a dvd of "The Goonies" and the loser won a skull and crossbones car freshener.
Finally, the ice cream cake came out and had an edible image of a pirate and treasure map on it and was adorned with gold plastic coins.
As party favors, guests received mini bottles of Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay tied with a birthday tag and gold and silver curling ribbon. I found most of the pirate items online for a reasonable price and luckily the local party supply store had lots of skull novelties being it was so close to Halloween.
The party was a huge success and so much fun that now weeks later everyone is still raving about the party and bragging about their items aquired on the hunt!