Carnival Birthday Party

I’m seriously obsessed with the carnival birthday party theme.  When I was planning my wedding, my idea of the ultimate reception was a big party complete with bounce houses, face painting, and cotton candy.  My reception ended up being very low-key and pretty boring.  Throwing a carnival themed birthday party for my kids would help me tap into my inner-child.

A carnival themed party is a perfect party theme for both boys and girls and works with kids of all ages.  There is an abundance of ideas for activities, food, and décor.  Not to mention that the theme lends itself well to DIY projects. 

This year I have three kid parties to plan – two in the summer and my babies first birthday just before Halloween.  The carnival party would work perfect in the summer – we could go to a park when it’s nice outside.  Maybe I’ll do a combined birthday party for my son and daughter – their birthdays are 2 weeks apart. 

I have a few months to work out all the details, but it will be here before I know.  Here is a list of ideas to get me started:


  • Color pallette bright reds, yellows, and blues
  • Stripes & polka dot patterns
  • Balloons, balloons, balloons
  • Crepe paper
  • Decorated canopy to serve treats
  • DIY pendant banner
  • Carnival themed dessert table
  • Carnival themed candy buffet

Carnival Games & Activities

  • Ball toss
  • Duck pond
  • Bean bag toss
  • Candy bingo
  • Musical chairs
  • Treasure hunt
  • Face painting
  • Guess how many
  • Pin the nose on the clown
  • Prize booth
  • Photo booth
  • Super soaker knock the cans down
  • Rent a pony for pony rides
  • Balloon animals
  • Clown
  • Bounce house
  • Tickets

Carnival Treats / Concession Stand

  • Popcorn
  • Cotton candy
  • Candied apples
  • Whirly pop suckers
  • Snow cones


  • Hot dogs
  • Corn dogs
  • Fries
  • Pizza
  • Lemonade


  • Favors – custom bag toppers
  • Cupcakes – custom toppers

Hopefully in the coming months I will have more details and plans in the works for some fun birthday party plans for my kids as well as some DIY project ideas to accompany the plans.

Carnival Themed Birthday Party Inspiration Board Photo Credits
Invitation | Cake | Party Favors & Ticket Booth | Snow Cones | Photo Booth | Face Painting 


  1. Jada's Mom says

    Hi! I came across your website in search of ideas for my daughters 5th birthday and really loved your carnival theme party.

    Can you please tell me where you found the carnival invitations you have pictured? They are super adorable!!

  2. Maegan says

    I am doing a huge carnival birthday party for my son in September and I am stressing about getting all of the supplies to make his party perfect. I noticed your photo of the ticket booth and was wondering if you bought it or had it made? I would really love to have one but i’m not sure that I could get anybody to build one that would be neat and up to my perfectionist standards.

  3. Julie says

    I am planning a high school graduation party with the carnival theme. I am having a difficult time thinking of cute saying for it since it is a high school graduation. All i see is birthday and wedding parties for carnival theme. Would you have any ideas or know where to find them? Thank you so much!

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