Sunday, June 5, 2011

Here are some GREAT ideas for a Carnival Themed Party!

STEP RIGHT UP, folks! Don't be shy! What you are about to witness occurs just once a year! It's nothing less than (drum roll, please!) a kid's birthday party. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, it's that annual extravaganza in which your child and his friends are the stars of the show. No birthday on the horizon? Throw a Carnival Party as a fund-raiser for a Scout troop, school, or sports team. The big top's all ready, and tickets are going fast -- it's carnival time!

Reasons to have a Carnival Theme Birthday Party:
  • Unisex Party - Perfect for the child that has many friends of both gender. (What little boy likes getting a Pink Princess goody bag?)
  • Customizable for any budget; be as frugal or as extravagant as you want.
  • Great Summer Party Idea - Host your party outside in your back yard or even a park. If you're considered about getting 'rained-out', pick an alternate rain-date for the following weekend, or hold your party inside in a rented hotel conference room (also perfect for a winter/fall party).
  • Endless possibilites for fun activities, delicious food and fun entertainment.

Here are some party ideas that we thought were great for your carnival event. Take a peek and enjoy!

Admit One
Get your guests in the mood with a prize-ticket invitation. You can have your invites professionally made, purchase them online or make them yourselves. We think sending it in a popcorn bag would be super cute and including a ticket is beyond adorable!

You're Here Make a sign so your guests will know they've come to the right place. This is super cute and easy enough for the kids to help you make.

BouncersTime to let the kids kick off their shoes, bounce off the walls and let loose! Making sure physical activity is at your carnival event will keep everyone busy and laughing for hours. {Plus they'll sleep really good at night too! LOL} Be the talk of the neighborhood because the fun is at your party house!!  Click HERE for more details and enjoy!

Face Painting   You asked for it, we got it! No carnival party would be complete without a little surprise on the cheek! We offer a full range of creative and fun face painting designs that people of all ages can enjoy, and will complete your event theme that will excite even the modest.  Everyone loves to watch the "enchanting" transformation of a beautiful princess, a fire breathing dragon, a tamed lion or sparkly fairy! Let the adventure begin! Click HERE for more details.

Kissing Booth   Fill a large jar with Hershey Kisses and put a stack of paper and pencils to the side. Have the kids guess how many Kisses are in the jar -- whoever comes closest to guessing the number of Kisses in the jar wins the chocolate jackpot.

Squirt Gallery   Cover 3 foam bricks with contact paper and tape together in a pyramid shape. Press golf tees into blocks, set ping pong balls on top, and have the kids fire away with water guns.

Pin Drop Write point values on circular pieces of paper and place them under various sized jars on the lawn. Lay a hula hoop around the grouping of jars and have the kids drop clothespins into the jars to win points and tickets.

Ready, Aim, Pie! Fill disposable pie tins with whipped cream and top with a cherry. A brave volunteer takes it in the face with whipped cream and cherries. (We recommend the volunteer sport some heavy-duty rain gear.)

Fortune Teller Make a "crystal ball" by resting a fishbowl in a dog's aluminum water dish. Add a decorative fringe to the dish and fill the bowl with fortune cookies. Reach into the "crystal" fishbowl to get a fortune (cookie). {Love this idea!! So cute!}

Instant Carnival Booths
Carnival booths need not be elaborate. Consider these, all made from everyday items:
  • Basketball Shooting (draw a line on the driveway, 3 shots per ticket)
  • Ball Toss (toss 3 softballs into a basket, win a prize)
  • Putting Challenge (borrow Dad's putter and putt returner)
  • Guess the number of jelly beans or animal crackers in the jar (and win them all!)
  • Quarterback Test (throw a football through a hanging hula hoop)



Mystery Box
Do you have the courage to place your hands in the mystery box and identify what lies within?



Hot Dog Vendor
Get 'yer Hot Dogs! Well, that's what you'll be saying when you're decked out like a real life Hot Dog Vendor in your backyard.



Photo Board
Stick your head in these fun yet "tamed" photo boards and take some memorable snapshots of your day at the great backyard carnival!
Cute Loot
After the fun and games, the kids cash in their tickets for trinkets.
Get creative! There are so many things that you can use for prizes and luckily party favors are pretty affordable. There are many places online to find fun party favors that match your theme. Or, try looking at the dollar store for a wide assortment.

Oriental Trading has over 800 carnival supplies to add to your event for pinata fillers, prizes, and tons of fun stuff for the kids.

Ticket System:
  • Purchase a roll of tickets to distribute throughout your event for winning prizes and other activities.
  • Give out fabric bags or large goody bags for your guests to keep their earned tickets in upon arrival. Make sure to write the names of each guest on the bags as they are bound to get mixed up.
You can find tickets at Oriental Trading.

Carnival Treats

Carnival food is essentially the "icing on the cake" for your carnival themed party! Instead of a traditional birthday cake, consider offering lots of carnival treats for your guests, instead.

Wheely Delicious!
We promise: This candy-covered Ferris-wheel cake is easy to make and so so fun!!

Ingredients1  box (16 ounces)  cake mix
1  cup  white-chocolate chips, divided
4  tablespoon  butter
1  bag (10 ounces)  marshmallows
    Orange and red paste food coloring
7  cups  rice cereal
1  package (12.4 ounces)  Twizzler Rainbow Twists
2  boxes (7 ounces each)  Runts
1  can (16 ounces)  vanilla frosting
2  large red gumdrops
1  bag  mini lollipops
    Blue paper cupcake liners
4  wooden skewers

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 1-1/2-quart ovenproof Pyrex bowl. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter into prepared bowl and smooth top. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes in bowl, then invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 1/2 cup white-chocolate chips until smooth.
2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with wax paper. Grease sides well and set aside. Combine butter and marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Tint mixture bright orange with food coloring. Stir in rice cereal and melted white chocolate until well blended. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and press it down evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
3. Remove cereal treat from cake pan. Cut Twizzlers into twelve 4-1/2-inch pieces. Microwave remaining white-chocolate chips until smooth, about 1 minute; spoon melted chocolate into a small resealable bag. Snip a small piece from corner of bag and pipe lines of chocolate to attach Twizzler pieces as shown. Then pipe white-chocolate dots near the edge and attach Runts in a decorative pattern. Refrigerate until candies are set, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip cereal treat and repeat on other side (reheat chocolate if necessary). Attach a gumdrop to the center of each side of cereal treat with chocolate.
4. Tint vanilla frosting red with food coloring. Place cake, rounded side up, on a serving platter. Cut a 2-inch-wide by 3-inch-long by 1-inch-deep notch from top of cake to rest wheel in. Ice cake with red frosting and arrange orange and green Runts around base.
5. Insert about 5 lollipops through each cupcake liner, using the sticks to attach liners to cereal treat.
6. Insert skewers about a half-inch apart into bottom edge of cereal treat, leaving 3 inches showing. Stand wheel and insert skewers into notch of frosted cake; press to secure.

Popcorn - purchase some classic popcorn bags and fill ahead of time with microwaveable popcorn. Easy and very affordable!

You can purchase popcorn bags at Oriental Trading.

Cotton Candy - We've got you covered! You can rent the our cotton candy machine that is super easy to use. Our fluffy melt-in-your-mouth coton candy is available in 14 delicious flavors that will keep the kids coming back for more

Candied Apples - Purchase some candided apples from your local apple for or from your local grocer. They are a wonderful carnival treat!

Balloon Cupcakes - What's a carnival without balloons and sweets? To prevent this snafu from happening, why not have the best of both worlds in one confectionary creation called, well, balloon cupcakes.

Star Seeker - Like a cross between roulette and pinball, star seeker is near irresistable.

Penny Pitch - Don't be a Penny Pincher, be a Penny Pitch-er and play this simply addicting carnival game.

Carnival Themed Decorations and Supplies

 Carnival Giant Decorating Kit

We love this giant carnival decorating kit! You can find it online. Amazon is currently selling the kit for $36.95, a fantastic deal.

You can't have a carnival themed party without the party supplies! 
{click to enlarge}

Oriental Trading has some awesome party supplies and decorations that you might really like. Click this fun carnival theme to take a peek.

 Some information was obtained from Parents magazine and Family Fun.


  1. This is amazing now i know exactly what to do

  2. thx for ALL of the wonderful ideas!

  3. I love all the ideas
    Were can i get the Instant Carnival Booths

  4. Kids like parties and the first thing comes up in the mind is a bounce house. Being a birthday organizer I recommend first to have bounce houses in the party. I purchased a bounce housee from this link. It has been an year it is working fine as it has the best material used.

  5. I made this cake yesterday and the entire thing crumbled! How do you make sure the rice crispy treat is strong enough to hold the lollipop sticks and all the weight? Epic disappointment for my eight year old on his birthday. :(