How to Plan a Circus Party

Does your kid love all things extravagant and over the top? Well a circus theme party might be just the ticket for their birthday celebration! Here are some great ideas for how to throw a successful circus birthday party in your very own big top:

  • Invitations: Send out circus themed digital invitations for your party. Punchbowl offers circus party invitations, like the one below in two color schemes. You can enter the basics about the circus party or write custom invitation text like “Come one, come all, and enjoy the fun! [Name]’s birthday circus has come!” These invitations will get your guests excited about the circus fun!

  • Decorations: For your circus party decorations, think lots of color and lots of balloons! Your backyard is the perfect place to host a circus party, weather permitting. For the entranceway, set up a balloon arch full of red, yellow, and blue balloons. Hang balloon bunches throughout the rest of the yard in corners and as table centerpieces. Hang up some old carnival or circus posters around trees or fences. If you don’t have any on hand, you might be able to pick some up at a flea market or you could order them online. Set up some carnival booths for food, games, birthday presents, etc.
  • Food/Drinks: For a circus birthday party, what’s more appropriate than circus food? Serve all of the kids’ favorites: popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, hot dogs, fried dough—you name it! If you want to go all out for this party, you could even look into renting a popcorn or cotton candy machine for the day. For drinks, serve lemonade and root beer. If you are feeling creative, try your hand at making a clown cake or cupcakes. The kids will love them!
  • Activity #1 - Feed the Lion: Print out a large poster of a lion and cut out the area of its mouth. Attach the poster for a large box for support. Have the kids try to toss bean bags into the lion’s mouth to “feed it.” You could also try to do this as a timed competition or have the kids stand further away if they are a bit older.
  • Activity #2Water Gun Shooting: Set up a line of plastic bottles. Have the kids stand 8 to 10 feet away and try to knock down the bottles using squirt guns. The kid with the most bottles down wins a circus prize!
  • Activity #3 - Pin the Nose on the Clown: This is a fun variation to the game “pin the tail on the donkey.” Hang up a clown poster and give each of the guests a clown nose with their names on it. Blindfold each guest and one by one, spin them around and have them try to put the nose on the clown poster where it should go. You’ll definitely get some amusing results!
  • Party Favors: Fill up popcorn containers with carnival candy including carousel twists, animal crackers, gummy popcorn, and circus peanuts. You can also add in some fun items like red clown noses, bouncy balls, stickers, and glitter batons.

While a circus theme works especially well for a kid's birthday party, these ideas for decorations, food and favors can be easily repurposed to be used at a baby shower, first birthday party or other type of event.

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