Carnival Themed Birthday Party

I'm looking for suggestions for carnival party. This is a party for a 9 year old, but there will be other age groups attending, as well. I would like ideas for food, games, decorations, etc. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


By Kate from Boothwyn, PA

May 21, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Kate,

I did a carnival theme for a family reunion, and it didn't cost that much, and was fun. Got a piece of plywood,about 3x4 ft. put a piece of 2x2 across the back, and used 2 pieces for legs for them to prop on(easel type) cut 3-4 holes in it, various spots, painted it, and around the holes, painted them to look like different color balloons, made some bean bags, instant game. Played bob for apples, took a piece thick foam boarding, and tacked balloons to it for darts to be thrown at it. Found the plastic ducks at a garage sale, for the little ones to pull out of the tub of water. Took quart jars, about 12 placed them together and they had to throw the ping pong ball into it, not as easy as they thought. Another one for little ones, i bought a little fishing pole that had a magnet on it, they had to catch the fish out of small pool of water.

For some of the older, did a balloon game. Where you make 2 rows of people, toss water balloons back and forth to your partner, and when the leader says to take a step back, you do this and repeat and continue till people start dropping their balloons, last 2 remaining, win. I bought little prizes from Oriental Trader and handed out. At the end of it all, what water balloons were left, the kids had a great time with a balloon fight. Bought the bags that look like popcorn bags (red and white stripe) and handed them out. There were a few others I did. But all in all, they all had fun and won small gifts. I heard the following year, the kids had ask if the lady was gonna be there with all the games, (which i couldn't make this past yr.) and they said, if not we're not going. LOL So I felt it went over well.

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May 27, 20100 found this helpful

Think about any carnival you ever went to. What kind of food did you find there? Popcorn, hot dogs, candy or caramel apples and don't forget the cotton candy! None of these is very expensive or difficult to prepare, especially if you're energetic and don't mind the work. Have fun.

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May 21, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am planning a carnival party for my daughter's 6th Birthday. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I plan on having games and fake tattoos (face painting is too expensive to hire and I cannot do it). I love new ideas and I have several months to plan this.


Michele from Houston, TX


Carnival Themed Birthday Party

Pony rides are fun. You could have several small balls the kids could try juggling. You could have a bubble station. The kids could blow bubbles or make the giant bubbles using string and a dish pan. You could have the small, plastic floating ducks with numbers painted on the bottom. The kids pick a duck and the numbers correspond to a prize. You could have the kids "bowl" using 2 liter bottles filled with a little sand as the pins. You could have 3 legged races and sack races. You could have a pie eating contest. An adult or the kids could make cotton candy. Walmart sells the small cotton candy machines and some use regular sugar. Walmart also sells a roll of tickets for under $3. These would make it feel like a real carnival. (11/07/2005)


By Cheryl from MO

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

You could cut out a giant sheet of cardboard and paint a clown's face on it and cut a round hole for a mouth and the kids could play a game to see how many balls they can shoot through the mouth. Lots of popcorn would be good, and hotdogs, too. Someone could pretend to be a fortune-teller, someone could start practising juggling (if they've lots of time). You could set skittles (used in European lawn game similar to bowling) or bottles up on a table and the kids could throw a ball or something to see who can knock down the most, you could make it harder by lining them up rather than setting them up like in ten-pin bowling. Use paper plates full of foam or cream and have someone stick their face through another sheet of cardboard with a hole in the middle and paint a large target around the hole and let the kids try to hit the face! If I think of more I'll add it. Sounds like fun. (11/07/2005)


By Jojo

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

You can make some of the foods that they would eat at a carnival such as popcorn and funnel cakes, etc. As far as face painting I would have a volunteer do that maybe a teenager. It doesn't have to be professional, they could draw flowers or hearts, their initials, or stars. It would be a lot more fun for them than the tattoos and wouldn't have to professional. If you have some parents who will volunteer to help out it would be really cheap. One could be a clown and pass out balloons. Several could run game booths such as ring toss or balloon pop. Our church does a carnival every year so we have games for the really small kids to adults. And we don't build booths, it would be too expensive so we use a piece of particle board that stands upright and pieces of two by fours on the back to make it stand up. You can paint the particle board and drive pegs into it or whatever you want. For small children we make a fish pond that they can catch toys or baggies of candy in. Hope this helps. (11/08/2005)


By Christi

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

About learning to juggle, the easiest thing and also the least harmful thing to use is silk scarves because they fall very slowly making it easier to learn

If you can find some light little scarves or hankies (or even some small pieces of fabric) and a friend or helper who knows how to juggle to help teach them, this is ideal and kids love it. It certainly fits with the carnival theme and will keep them occupied for a long time.

Susan from ThriftyFun (11/08/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

I know that lots of teenagers know how to face paint. Maybe if you know somebody like that you could hire them cheap. (11/08/2005)

By Sandy

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

I'm also planning a carnival party for my son Ron. We found a lot of cheap games and prizes at Oriental Trading Company. A lot of the games my husband built, but they were very inexpensive. Also, try Party Boy Rentals for the popcorn machine and cotton candy. Good luck. (01/20/2006)

By Ana

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

I am also having a carnival party for my daughter's 6th birthday. We are doing a lollipop tree where you color the ends of a select few of the pops and put them on cardboard tree. The kids pick one without seeing the backs and if they get a colored one, they get a prize. Also we are doing a duck pond. and a beanbag toss, my brother is dressing as a clown and my sister is painting faces. We are making snow cones and having hot dogs. I think it will be a blast. (04/29/2008)

By Judy

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

I'm throwing my son a carnival party in November. I have a lot of great ideas. I was going to rent a popcorn and a cotton candy machine. Scratch those ideas because those rentals are very expensive. So instead I ordered small bags of cotton candy and I'm going to have a label printed with my son's face on it. I'm taking regular popcorn from the grocery and putting them in individual bags. We are having hot dogs and other small finger foods. I purchased my own bounce house from OT, it comes out the same as renting one. My friend is making candy apples. I have huge lollipops. I plan to rent a carnival booth with 2 games, but as time comes near I may try and make my own games. (10/12/2008)


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