Carnival party ideas and photos submitted by:
Heather from East China, MI
For my son's third birthday we had a carnival party theme. I mixed ideas that I got from this site with my own. Invitations: I printed 3 to a page on red cardstock and cut the corner to look like an oversized ticket that read : (Our last name) Entertainment presents : Carter turns three! The greatest show under the big top! Performance date: XXx Show Time: XXX, The ___ Family fairgrounds, Address General admission: Admit one family. Then at the bottom I added: Don't clown around, RSVP to the ringmaster by XXX.
I had my husband transform our pole barn into a big top tent for this carnival party! He made 4 "game booths" out of wood and red, white and blue tablecloths from the dollar store. He also added red, white and blue rope lights for a real circus effect! Then I bought about 15 stuffed animals' from the dollar store and stapled them onto the front, sides and back of the booths like a real carnival! We had penny toss - kids threw ping pong balls into fishbowls (just colored water no fish) ring of fire - I hung a hula hoop with "flames" that I made out of red, yellow and orange construction paper that the kids threw a stuffed lion through.
Super Soaker - the kids had a squirt gun to knock over three empty pop cans. And a duck pond (galvanized tub with water and three ducks labeled 1 2 or 3 from the dollar store) for the younger kids. 1 picked a prize from bin 1, 2 from bin 2 and so on. I bought a bunch of little prizes from the dollar store and had them in boxes behind each booth. When the kids played each game they got to pick a prize. I gave them an empty bag as a goodie bag that they filled by playing games. I had help from my sister, grandmas and grandpas and 8 year old son to man the games.
At the carnival party I also had a sucker tree and tattoo/hair painting booth - huge hit!!! I rented a pony to give pony rides for an hour. And my husband made a ride for the kids - the kid-er-piller. He took five of those big blue plastic barrels laid them on their side, cut a hole for the kids to sit in and put wheels on them. We painted them to look like race cars (NASCAR - Dupont LOWES etc.) then we pulled it with the riding lawn mower - huge hit!
For the food at the carnival party we had French fries - served in cups of course! With vinegar in a clear glass shaker jar like they have at the circus if they wanted. My mother in law made elephant ears - again huge hit! She even worked the "concession stand" and shouted - elephant ears come get your elephant ears! Even the adults loved this! We had popcorn in bags that I found at the dollar store - white with red stripes that said popcorn and bottled water and pop. Oh yeah, and hot dogs and sausage with green peppers and onions. I made cupcakes - I found it's easier for the younger kids than cake - that looked like popcorn! I frosted a normal cupcake then added dyed mini marshmallows that I dyed yellow (in 3 batches - one white one light yellow and one dark yellow) and cut them with kitchen shears to look fluffy. Cute!! Everyone thought they were real popcorn! I made bands on the computer to go around the bottom that matched the real popcorn bags - white with red stripes and popcorn in a circle in the middle.
We had about 15 kids' ages 1-8 and about 10 adults. I would say the total cost of the party was between $200-$250. Everyone said it was the best carnival party they had ever been to and I have already stared planning his next party! I love seeing the kids have fun!
The Carnival party ideas and photos in this section have been graciously submitted by readers like yourself. If you've got some cool party ideas and photos to share, we'd love for you to send them over. You'll be taking part in creating the Web's ultimate kids birthday party ideas resource that's ALWAYS FREE for everyone to enjoy! Thanks!