How to Create a Carnival-Themed Birthday Party

by Sam Kellenberg
For additional fun, consider renting a carnival-themed bouncy house.

For additional fun, consider renting a carnival-themed bouncy house.

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A carnival-themed birthday party can be a fun alternative to a traditional birthday party, and it can easily be accomplished with only a few supplies. To make the best party possible, begin planning and procuring supplies as far ahead in advance as possible. If you wish the party to be held outside, pick a date that is expected to be preceded by several days of optimum weather conditions.

Items you will need

  • Red-and-white-striped table coverings
  • Tape
  • Red and white balloons and/or streamers
  • Carnival prizes
  • Folding card tables
  • Red or white poster board sheets
  • Markers
  • Paint
  • Carnival snacks
Step 1

Decorate your tables by covering them with the red-and-white-striped coverings. If desired, tape streamers into swags along the sides of the tables or tape groups of balloons to the corners of the table.

Step 2

Arrange your carnival-themed snacks on one table. Buttered popcorn can be offered in red-and-white-striped bags, and hot dogs or corn dogs can be arranged in similarly themed wrappers. Other possible ideas include cotton candy, caramel apples, giant lollipops, snow cones and funnel cakes. If you can spare the expense, consider renting a stand to serve these items to add to the theme; according to Disney's Family Fun website, renting a popcorn, cotton candy or snow cone machine runs roughly $40 for 24 hours as of 2011.

Step 3

Arrange additional tables to hold presents and display the birthday cake. Remaining tables can be decorated and outfitted to hold carnival games or activities.

Step 4

Paint or use a marker on the poster board sheets to advertise the activities at each table. If you can, mimic fonts and lettering styles used for carnival games. Dart games, face painting, bean bag or penny tosses, and rubber duck matching games can all be set up with a minimum of space and supplies. Empty soda bottles or coffee tins can be filled with beans or sand and stacked to act as pins in place of milk bottles for a tossing game, face painting supplies can be bought cheaply at most craft stores, and corkboard and darts are likewise often available at most big-box retailers.

Step 5

Offer prizes for those who play the available games. Small stuffed animals, bouncy balls, small plastic toys (such as jumping frogs, gliders, whistles and sunglasses), bubble blowing sets, jumbo playing dice, rubber ducks, candy (such as lollipops and gumballs) and inflatable toys can be bought cheaply and in bulk from most party retailers, and even some online party supply vendors.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images