Kids circus & carnival birthday party ideas

Written by lauren miller
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Kids circus & carnival birthday party ideas
Circus or carnival birthday parties can be fun for kids. (circus image by Nicemonkey from

Give a child a fun-filled birthday with a carnival and/or circus theme. You can re-create the aura of the travelling festivals with many types of decorations, games and other activities. Start planning your party six to eight weeks in advance to make sure you can rent equipment in time for the fest, and prepare an event that your child will remember for years to come.

Decorations and Costumes

In addition to shopping at a party store for colourful balloons and banners that fit your party theme, buy multicoloured clown wigs and rubber noses for party guests to wear. Include fake plastic oversized teeth, colourful ties and old white dress shirts to add to the party costume.

Clowns and Magicians

Hire a clown or a magician to perform tricks for the kids. Query your friends for reputable entertainers. Check your local listings for professionals. Local acting schools, children's hospitals, toy retailers and novelty magic stores might also provide resources to find clowns and magicians. Contact the Better Business Bureau for background business information on any professional you're interested in hiring.


Contact local supermarkets to find out if they sell or can design a circus or carnival-themed cake for the birthday kid. Ask for decorations like animals, clowns and balloons. If your budget allows, go to a bakery shop with in-store consultants to help you brain storm about what type of carnival-themed cake and other treats like cupcakes would be best for your child's party.


Make sure to have on hand plenty of food that reminds kids of being at the circus, such as candyfloss, pails of popcorn and caramel corn, jelly beans and funnel cakes. Better yet, rent or buy a popcorn or make-your-own candyfloss machine. You can rent machines from party event vendors or find cheaper, smaller versions at large department stores.

Backyard Rides

If you have a large backyard, you can create a mini-carnival with inflatable rides like moonwalks and bouncers from a party outfitter. If the weather is warm enough, add a portable pool to the mix so kids can have some fun in the water. If you can fit it in your budget, you can even rent a carousel and a dunking machine from local vendors to really give the party an authentic carnival atmosphere. Make sure to have adults running the machines and overseeing safety.


Add a mini-golf course to the mix of party activities. Create your own course on grass outdoors. Use large inflatable toys and balls to use as barriers for kids to putt around on the course. Mini-golf equipment can be purchased at toy stores or sporting goods retailers. Twister is another game that can enhance the festive atmosphere. Depending on how many kids are at the party, you can have more than one game of Twister going on at one time.

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