I have always loved planning parties and had a great time planning my two son’s birthdays when they were small. I am now a grandmother and have one 3yr old grandson I am enjoying. In planning his first 3 parties I have tried to go with themes he is currently interested in. He is an outdoor boy and is intrigued by all animals. One of his first words was, “Caballo” (horse in English) and he enjoys feeding and being outdoors with his pony he got when he was 1. His first Party was a Cowboy Party. In planning this year’s party I decided to go with a carnival themed party to incorporate animals and also use fun bright colors. The planning started about 6 months prior to event.
Invitations were made in the shapes of circus tents and a small chocolate clown from See’s Candy was placed by the tent opening and secured with double-sided sticky tape. Of course, the first thing you need at a carnival are tickets so we made a ticket booth out of pvc pipe and colored butcher paper. The party was all about the kids so we planned plenty of games for kids of all ages. The kids were given a colorful bag with handles along with a row of 12 colored tickets I purchased on Etsy. I planned games that all kids could play such as bowling, spray away (big hit):
fishin’ hole, bucket toss, tip the troll, and knock em’down, and then planned some for the younger ones such as tight rope (using a plastic balance bean), beanbag toss, star seeker (a favorite).
All guests visited the Photo Booth and had lots of fun dressing up in clown attire.
I purchased prizes such as stuffed snakes, paddle balls, swirl lollipops, and many others from oriental trading co. My local dollar stores were also great places to find fun prizes that included gumball machines, lipgloss, headbands, books,retro candy, felt circus hats and more.
The menu was easy hotdogs, hotlinks, chips, nachos, giant pickles, corn on the cob, lemonade, & punch.
The circus themed cake was the cutest cake ever accompanied by circus cupcakes and rainbow jello in clear cups!
Tables had tin pails filled with peanuts, and hotdog candy. 3-D circus tents made of paper and small plastic animals were placed on tables as well as popcorn and lollipop centerpieces. We had 2 face painters that everyone enjoyed and also a ballon twister.
We had a popcorn, snow cone, and cotton candy machine and also a “SWEET SHOP” that kids and grown-ups could visit and fill a small cellophane bag of their favorite treats.
Most candy was displayed in clear jars with tongs and some in shallow dishes with spoons. I made some all time favorite circus treats such as caramel apples, chocolate dipped pretzels, giant chocolate dipped marshmallows on a pretzel stick, colored chocolate dipped oreos and lots of other fun colorful snacks.
Many decorations came from flea markets and also yard sales. I used colored butcher paper and downloaded many circus fonts on fontspace.com to make all the game signs. Flag banners were made with just paper and yarn and really added to the carnival theme. I purchased kinex toy ferris wheel and roller coatser on ebay and they were perfect on the “Sweet Shop” table. We had a juggler to complete the carnival theme and Music from Merle Evans Band played in the background during the party and was the perfect finishing touch to this Carnival. All guests were given a GIANT swirl lollipop tied w/colorful ribbon and a picture of the birthday boy wearing his circus hat as a Thank You! Everyone had a great time.
I have 10 months to plan next party and beat this one. I am thinking safari, reptile, bugs? I could use Magnifying glasses, bug catchers, safari vests. I can’t wait.