Under the Big Top: A Kids Circus Carnival Party


Welcome to the greatest show on Earth! Well, maybe not, but it's at least the greatest birthday party ever! Bring all the fun of the circus to your child's birthday with a Big Top Circus Carnival theme party. From bright circus decorations, yummy food and great entertainment to the tiny personalized touches that make a party special, this circus theme has it all! So come one, come all...

Circus Birthday Invitations
Start your circus party off right with a colorful and fun invitation. Party411.com has a personalized circus birthday invitation that will get everyone's attention!

Another great idea is to send tickets as invitations to your party! Choose from personalized ticket invitations in nine colors, or even photo ticket invitations that you customize with your photo and wording!

You can always make your own invitation. Stick with bright colors and bold fonts that scream circus! Add some fun wording:

Come one, Come all!
To the Greatest Show on Earth...
Alex's Three Ring Birthday Circus!

Join us under the Big Top on
Sunday, June 15th
at 2 o'clock
Don't clown around, RSVP to the ringmaster - 555-1234

Think of fun ways to dress the invite up. Why not slip it inside a popcorn bag? You can find them at many restaurant supply stores.

Circus Theme Decorations and Party Supplies
Start by welcoming everyone to your party with a circus banner hanging out front. Add bunches of bright latex balloons to each side of the banner. You can also line the drive or walkway with bunches of balloons, just anchor the bouquets with plastic stakes or balloon weights (beanie elephants make super cute balloon weights by the way).

After your guests walk up the path of balloons, great them with an adult (also dressed as a clown) making the kids balloon animals. The clown can also hand out red clown noses and circus clown wigs to everyone; an inexpensive touch that your guests will love! Have everyone leave a message for the guest of honor on a personalized circus themed sign in board.

Inside, another fun welcome is either a female lifesize clown cutout or a male lifesize clown cutout featuring the face of the birthday boy or girl with a speech bubble welcoming everyone to the show!

As your guests filter into the party area, wow them with even more latex balloons. Attach them to the trees, deck, fence, tables and planters if the party is outside. If you are hosting the event indoors, tie them to chairs, tables and fixtures, and place bouquets around the perimeter of the room to help define the space.
Rainbow flag banners are another inexpensive decorating tool that you can use everywhere and anywhere. Going overboard with balloons and streamers will give you a great look that will not break the bank!
This is a circus, so remember the animals! Animal Mylar balloons mixed in with your bouquets will make everyone roar and howl with amusement!

You can create a circus tent in your house using colorful nylon fabric hanging from the ceiling. Outside you can use a canopy with side walls. Dress it up with a homemade sign or circus banner and more balloons!

Circus Table Decorations and Menu
Food is a huge part of the circus, but it is more of a grab and go affair than a sit down meal. Start with bright paper goods and set up a fun and bright table. We also love striped paper straws!

For food at your party, offer an array of concession stand foods such as:

  • Corn Dogs and Hot Dogs
  • Nachos
  • Sub Sandwich
  • French Fries
  • Popcorn
  • Cotton Candy
  • Icees

A circus piñata is a great circus party decoration and is a super centerpiece on your circus tables. They can also be used around the room on buffet tables and hung from the ceiling for an added punch of color! Scatter piñata candy and toys around the base as an added touch to your decorations and another fun favor for all of the kids at the party. What could be better to a kid than a bright colored table covered in candy!?

A nice touch is to offer bottled water with personalized circus theme labels. If you have it in the budget you can rent popcorn, hot pretzel and cotton candy machines. But bags of store bought popcorn work fine as well! And remember to have a fun circus theme cake or cupcakes.

Circus Birthday Party Activities
The best part of the circus is the entertainment! A few carnival type games will be great fun for everyone.

A carnival ring toss game is a fun game for all ages. Older kids can stand further back than the younger children to make it challenging.

Set up a female clown photo op and a male clown photo op for fabulous photos of your guests enjoying your party. Have one of the adults snap the pictures early in the party and then print them out before everyone leaves. Let the kids take home their pictures in a simple plastic frame that you have decorated with permanent marker to read "I clowned around at Alex's Birthday Circus".

Rubber duckies can be set in a kiddie pool. Have the children pick a duck, and the number on the bottom of the duck corresponds with a small prize!

Enlist a few adults to be your circus performers. Take volunteers for a ringmaster, clowns, jugglers, lion tamers (and lions), and the bearded lady. The adults will have as much fun as the kids! Set up a number of folding chairs under your tent and let the show begin!

Circus Theme Party Favors
Send your little circus go-ers home with a party favor that is exciting as the circus themed birthday was! Start with an empty favor box and add in some fun treats:

Your guests will be talking about this circus theme birthday party for years to come. The guest of honor will remember it for the rest of their life. No one will want to wait to see what you will do next year!