With 4 kids now, I'm all about low-key, easy, and anything that is either ordered from Amazon or can be made the day-of. I ordered a "pirate party pack" off Amazon, (how could I live without Amazon Prime?), 24 wooden treasure chests and jewels from Oriental Trading, then topped a few store-bought cupcakes with chocolate "pirate jewels" and the flags from the pirate pack.
The cupcakes were my favorite thing ever!
Super easy to make, and thankfully, the cupcake selection at the grocery store was blue that day, so they even looked kind of like water. When we ran out of pirate flags I just stuck a few stray coins in... Then we put them on the pirate ship and added some pirate booty and called the snacks done.
I hired an awesome entertainer to be a pirate but it turns out that two dozen 6 year olds do NOT want to sit and listen to a pirate story:( So they pretty much went wild while I freaked out and tried really hard not to show how upset I was. After a mad-cap pirate dance party they settled down a bit, then she made pirate swords (cue crazy-going), and then I actually kicked them out. Not literally, since that would involve actual kicking, but I opened the front door and said, "thank you all so much for coming, buh-bye".
In the moment I nixed the piñata since I thought giving the kids a wooden bat was a bad idea, so after everyone left I let my three big ones do it on their own, pirate tattoos and candy for all!!!