Looking to throw a pilgrim theme party this Thanksgiving and unsure of where to start? Look no further! We have compiled a list of pilgrim themed party ideas and how-to ideas. From favors to games to menus, we have you covered for all of your pilgrim theme needs.
Pilgrim Theme Party – Before the Event
1. Dress Up!
It might be fun to have everyone dress up to get into the spirit of the party! Have everyone dress in black and white or you could just have them wear a pilgrim hat! You could take it a step further and have a costume contest for best dressed. Either way, dressing the part is a great way to elevate your theme party.
2. Create Photo Ops!
Create and capture memorable moments by providing aesthetically pleasing photo opportunities. Elevate your photo op by creating a themed backdrop. Your themed backdrop can be a solid color backdrop that is fall colored or you could spice it up by using a pattern like fall leaves. Make sure to have props that people can pose with like mustaches, hats, cornucopias, and more!
Pilgrim Theme Party Menu Ideas
3. How to serve
When the pilgrims first sat down to eat their Thanksgiving meal the food was set out on the table as opposed to being served as individual courses. At your party, set all of the food on the table instead of bringing it out as separate courses to give your party a more authentic feel. That way guests can pick what they want to eat.
4. Follow the Seasons
Back in the 1600s, the dinner plate mirrored the season. If it is summer or fall, put berries and a variety of salads on the menu. If it is winter or spring, have foods from the opposite side of the equator: winter squash, mandarines, and sweet potato.
5. Colonists’ Provision
Biscuits, beer, salt, oats, peas, dried beef, salt pork, wheat, butter, sweet oil, mustard seed, ling or codfish, a selection of cheeses, vinegar, aqua-vitae, rice, bacon, and cider were some of the foods colonists first brought with them to North America. If you want to be more historically accurate, try making foods with those ingredients!
6. Native Products
Pilgrims also made use of the foods that were native to North America. The most common Native products were known as “The Three Sisters”: Indian corn, beans, and squash. Pilgrims also made use of dairy products, oats, pumpkins, wheat, spinach, and carrots. Serve these foods if you want to keep up the native theme.
7. Typical Thanksgiving
Typical Thanksgiving food is always great to serve at a pilgrim theme party. You can’t go wrong with turkey and stuffing! Don’t forget the perfect ending to most Thanksgiving meals: pie! Give your guests a selection of pies to choose from for dessert. Home-baked style bread is also great! Don’t forget healthier alternatives! We’ve got plenty of ideas to throw into the mix.
8. Other Meats
Ham, chicken, and beef were as common back in the 1600s as they are now. Salting or smoking the meat was a common way to cook them. If you’re adventurous try cooking a traditional meat dish, you’ll be sure to impress your guests with your efforts!
Pilgrim Theme Party Games
9. The Thanks Game
This is the perfect lighthearted game to play at your party. Each guest brings a silly or zany item that they are thankful for, like ice cream or turtleneck sweaters. The first person says what they are thankful for, then the person to their left must say what they are thankful for as well as the person(s) that went before them. Continue this game and watch as the gifts get wilder and wilder! Let’s see who has the best memory! These types of games and activities are perfect for the younger ones and it’s easy to explain how to play.
10. Traditional Pilgrim Games
Hide and Seek, Tic Tac Toe, and Checkers all have origins that date back to colonial times. Look up the “original” names of these games, and have the players guess the modern equivalent. There’s plenty of products sold by online retailers that are themed appropriately!
11. Theme Bingo
Bingo is always a hit! Find some online Thanksgiving or pilgrim-theme bingo cards. If the guests are interested, you can even teach them some history about the images on the cards. The winner gets a pilgrim-style hat!
12. Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim
This is a Pilgrim spin on ‘Pin the Tail on the Donkey’. First, draw a large face on a piece of cardboard. Then, cut out pilgrim hats on construction paper. Put a piece of tape on the back of each pilgrim hat. Have all of your guests line up, blindfold the first person, spin them around, and then have them tape their pilgrim hat as close as they can to the right spot. Make sure to mark with a pen where everyone pins their hat. After everyone has gone, the person who has their hat closest to the right spot wins!
Before your party, gather some interesting facts about Thanksgiving, Native American foods, pilgrims, or Plimoth. Then separate your guests into teams and have a (highly educational) game of trivia!
14. Scavenger Hunt
Play a scavenger hunt at your pilgrim-theme party! Create a list of items that your guests need to find from mini cornucopias to footballs. The winner gets to keep some of the things they find!
Pilgrim Theme Party Favors
A perfect favor to give your guest that goes along with your theme – pilgrim hats! Most party stores have these, especially around Thanksgiving. You can also find instructions online to make your own out of paper!
16. Corn and Apples
Give your guests some typical fall candy like candy corn and caramelized apples! Apple cider and popcorn could be another option!
Pies, cookies, and bread are baked goods that all go great with the theme of your party. Look up some native/pilgrim recipes if you want to go beyond the traditional pumpkin flavor! Your guests will love a homemade sweet treat to take home with them!
18. Pilgrim Toys
Look up some of the toys kids in the 1600s used to play with. Some are still available to purchase and aren’t too difficult to make yourself! You might be surprised at the wide variety.
Have a pilgrim theme party at any time of the year! From themed games to party favors, your pilgrim theme party will be a hit! Remember to take lots of pictures to remember the fun times. I hope these ideas have inspired some more great ideas for your next party!