How to Celebrate International Pirate Month in Charleston


You may already be familiar with Talk Like a Pirate Day. It takes place every year on September 19th. Whenever possible, aspiring buccaneers are encouraged to sprinkle some pirate slang into their conversation or prepare to walk the plank! But did you know that August is International Pirate Month? That’s right! The Lowcountry is the perfect place to celebrate!

During the early 18th century, Charleston was an important port and trade center, making it an attractive location for nefarious activity. Spanish colonization flourished during this time in the colonies. With it came significant cargo like precious metals and other goods brought into areas like the Charleston harbor. This made the area attractive to pirates looking to make a quick buck.

One pirate, Stede Bonnet even hooked up with another infamous pirate, Edward Teach (Blackbeard) to scour and plunder at least 10 ships within the Carolina harbor. Bonnet was executed at White Point Garden and Teach met his gruesome demise in the Outer Banks not long after spearheading a six-day blockade in which he sought medication for his crew in the Charleston harbor in 1718.

And if you thought men were the only pirates of the time, you’d be wrong! Anne Bonny arrived in Charleston at a young age – historians believe she was around 10 years old when her father moved her from Ireland to England, and then on to Charleston. By the time she was 20, she had set sail for the Caribbean to wreak havoc on the seas.

So, yes, Charleston has a very storied pirate history, making it the ideal place to celebrate International Pirate Month this “Arrrrgh-gust!”

Pirate-Themed Attractions in Charleston

  • While The Powder Magazine celebrates Pirates of the Carolinas Month in May, any time of year is an excellent time to visit the colonial history museum.
  • If you prefer a more hands-on experience, Charleston Pirate Tours offers an event just for kids: the Children’s Treasure Hunt Tour and a separate Charleston Pirate Tour.
  • Your kids will love sailing a Pirate Adventure Cruise on either the Charleston Pirate Adventure Cruise or the Pirate School Cruise.
  • For everyday pirate fun, dress up your little pirate and head over to Smythe Park – Pirate Park on Daniel Island, but not before a round or two of pirate-themed mini golf.

International Pirate Month: a pirate ship playground structureKid-Friendly Pirate-Themed Movies to Watch During International Pirate Month

  • Pirates of the Caribbean (2003-2017) is a 5-film series that stars everyone’s favorite pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • Muppet Treasure Island (1996) is a retelling of the classic and is family movie night fun for all ages.
  • The Goonies (1985) is a classic eighties kid/teen adventure movie that follows a group of friends in search of adventure when they find a pirate map.
  • Hook (1991) stars Dustin Hoffman and the late Robin Williams in this classic.
  • Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968) is a funny, classic movie for the whole family.
  • Peter Pan (1953) is the Disney Peter Pan movie that everyone thinks of first.
  • Peter Pan (2003) starring Jeremy Sumpter is one of my favorite versions of the story. It was the first movie my (now adult) kids saw in the movie theater!
  • Peter Pan (2000) TV special version starred Cathy Rigby and was one of our go-to family movie night picks on VHS.

Don’t Forget to Add in Some Pirate Movie Night Snacks

Rice Krispies Pirate Treasure Chests – this fun and easy-to-assemble snack from Anna at Crunchy Creamy Sweet, is the perfect craft and snack for a family movie night.

Edible Pirate Map Quesadilla – these are the most clever-looking pirate party food ideas I think I’ve seen in a long time.

Pirate Punch for the Grown-ups – inspired by a beverage on the Carnival Cruise line, this cocktail from Meggan at Culinary Hill makes enough for eight adults.

How are you celebrating International Pirate Month?

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Marie is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of four – three adult kids and an 11-year-old  – who, for the last 16 years has made the Lowcountry her home. While her family spends a large portion of the year traveling throughout the country, she's actually quite the homebody. When she's not writing – something she's been doing for almost 30 years– Marie loves getting out and about in Charleston, weaving local history into her youngest' homeschool lessons, and exploring the many resources, sites, museums, and landscapes SC has to offer. One of Marie's bucket list items is to visit/hike each of the 47 state parks. Will this be the year she completes the goal? Marie chronicles all of it on her homeschool blog and YouTube channel.


  1. Hello!
    My organization, the Rogue’s Armada, originated this monthly observation several years ago and we are delighted to see it being embraced. Thank you for posting this. I hope to visit one day!


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