Step right up boys and girls, and experience all the fun of a carnival right in your own backyard! Celebrate your child’s birthday with midway madness, amusements, games, and flavors that will entertain and delight. So come one, come all and have a ball with our carnival themed birthday party ideas.
First decide what type of carnival you’d like to recreate; classic, vintage, or modern? A classic color scheme uses bright primary colors like red, blue, and yellow. Vintage celebrations trend to red and white stripes, and more modern styles would use bolder colors in any combination.
Once you decide, let your imagination run wild when it comes to décor. Balloons, streamers, a ticket booth, recreating a circus tent with fabric; all to turn your yard or home into a lively venue.
Set up a tablescape as a focal point with a carnival themed background and birthday banner to showcase party treats. A dessert table is another idea with themed candies on display in mason jars or galvanized buckets for children to fill favor bags to take home.
A cardboard box can be constructed and decorated to resemble a ticket booth, where guests receive their raffles to exchange for party food and games. Of course, there’s plenty of tickets for everyone and no limit. Fonts and templates are downloadable and free online, not only for tickets but additionally favor tags, signs, and banners.
Charm guests with party attractions such as a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses, inflatable slides, or a magician. Carnival “booths” can be set up for face painting, balloon animals, and temporary tattoos. To make things easy on the artists and give guests time to enjoy all the party has to offer, select only 2-3 designs to choose from. Tiger or elephant animals and non-intricate face paint such as balloons, flowers, or clown noses are all good ideas.
It’s also easy to create a backdrop supplied with costumes and props for photo opportunities. Get silly when dressing up as a lion tamer, sporting a clown wig, lifting barbells, pretending to juggle, or wearing a ringmaster’s top hat.
One of the best parts of a carnival is playing games and winning prizes! Select games depending on the age of your guests. Some ideas for carnival games are ring toss, duck pond fishing, pin the nose on the clown, “flaming” hoop jump, and bean bag toss. Be sure to have little prizes on hand for everyone participating.
What’s a carnival without the food? There is no shortage of themed carnival treats. Have on hand classics such as cotton candy, corndogs, and candied apples. Animal crackers, striped lollipops, fudge, and circus peanuts can make an appearance, and no one ever turned away freshly made popcorn!
To get real inventive, create clowns using upside down ice cream cones as their hats and let the kids go wild decorating their own sundaes with sprinkles and chocolate candies for faces. Are you a fan of cupcakes rather than serving an entire birthday cake? Use mini marshmallows flecked with yellow food coloring to mimic popcorn as a topping and use fun liners to match the carnival theme.
There is no limit on the entertainment and activities for a carnival party. Whether you go big by renting amusements or go small with simple yard games, hosting a carnival party will be enjoyable for your guests and most importantly, your birthday child!
Writer, reader, and cat lady extraordinaire; Sharon likes to call herself a Jane of all Trades. She enjoys big mugs of tea and English history. A native of the Big Apple, Sharon currently lives below the Mason Dixon line with her family.