Columbus Day Party Ideas

Ahh Columbus Day, that great celebration of European conquest. Filled with fun games like “Pin the Tail on the Niña” and “Break Open the Pinta Piñata”. No? Doesn’t sound familiar? OK, OK, Columbus Day is not actually a big holiday. But for a lot of people it is a three day weekend which opens up the Sunday before as a great day for a wedding or a party of any type. It also leaves a lot of parents with a little extra time to spend with the kids on Monday. All of a sudden a Columbus Day party isn’t looking so silly is it?

If you’re having mainly adult guests then for decorations and food, think Fall, but not Halloween. This grown up pumpkin pie milkshake from How Sweet it Is makes a  perfect drink for an adult party. If most of your guests are under 4 feet tall, keep the decorations and most of the recipe, just lose the bourbon!

milkshake pumpkin

By changing out the flowers this pumpkin centerpiece from Southern Living can be easily adapted after the party to become more of a Halloween decoration.

centerpiece pumpkin and flowers

If your guests are younger, consider basing your snacks and decorations more on the holiday itself. “Columbus themed” word searches and other “games” are more appropriate for a school party than home, but why not teach a little science and history by supplying the kids with play dough  to make their own versions of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria and see which ones float and which ones sink? (Psst, if your own science is a little rusty, get the answer here.)

By some blue finger paint, a roll of butcher paper and some construction paper and popsicle sticks and let the kids turn one room of the house into the “ocean blue.”

You probably don’t want to serve hardtack, or anything else that Columbus and his sailors actually ate for snacks, but you can easily adapt pirate themed party food or consider these amazing treats from an ocean themed 1st birthday party from Party in Style by Elle found on Hostess with the Mostess.


birthday cake with blue and white whale

blue and green jello cups made to look like waterjello cups red white and blue

For any age party, a Steel Drum Band, Reggae or other island music can help bring the party to the next level and is historically appropriate, since Columbus landed in the Bahamas first.

Have you ever had a party for an unusual holiday? Tell us about it in the comments.

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