Ahoy, Matey! We had a pirate themed party for my daughter's 4th birthday. Of course, she wanted a pirate cake, but I had to make the cake since finding a gluten free bakery can be tricky. While I can bake, I am not a cake decorator, so I had to figure out a way to make a pirate themed cake with my limited skills. Cupcakes seemed like the best option. I printed out some Neverland Pirate characters on white cardstock paper, cut them out, and taped them to toothpicks. Voila, fairly simple and inexpensive cupcake toppers. I used the Neverland Pirate Playset printable activity for my characters. To add variety, I also found this free, cute pirate ship cupcake topper printable. With a little bit of searching and handiwork, a similar process could be used to create cupcake toppers for just about any theme. For the cupcake batter, I used Gluten Free Carrot Cake (at my daughter's request) and Homemade Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix. None of the party guests even suspected that the cupcakes were gluten free. Success! My daughter was also happy with the results of her "pirate" cake. In fact, she squealed when she saw the display. Other than cupcakes, we just served Pirate Booty and bottled water.
The highlight of the party was the activities. As the guests arrived, each child decorated their own pirate hat for the party. I purchased foam pirate hats for this activity from Oriental Trading Company. The main event was a treasure hunt in the park. My husband and I made clues that lead the party guests through the park to find the treasure map that had been stolen by Captain Hook. Then once the kids found the treasure map, they followed it to find the treasure filled with chocolate doubloons and inexpensive, bead necklaces. The kids loved the activity.