Circus Party Ideas

By Emily Churchill

Created on June 14, 2016

Come one, come all and step right up for a tent full of circus inspired ideas for your next celebration. We’ve got plenty of BIG TOP plans to create a spectacularly memorable day. 

If your little one is a fan of circuses and carnivals then throw your child an entertaining birthday bash fit for the big tent. We offer suggestions for everything from circus invitations to carnival party games. So read on and let the show begin!

Admission Tickets - Invitations

Invite guests to join the festivities with a ticket themed invitation. Design your own or use ours found here. For a clever envelope alternative, insert tickets into Classic Red Striped Paper Treat Bags. Seal opening with a bit of glue and use white address labels for readability.

Ticket Booth Entrance

Everyone will be sure to know just where the party starts with this cheerful stand-up trio greeting them. This Carnival Standup Combo Kit makes it easy to set up a grand entrance. We added our own ticket themed welcome plaque to the top of the directional sign for even more impact (you can get the 11x17 inch sign here).

Under the Big Top

  • Red and white stripes will of course be the main decorating color combo, but by including other bright colors such as blue, green, yellow and pink, the chance of overload will diminish. Pops of white serving pieces will also help to break-up the explosion of color and give the eye places to rest.
  • Balloons and bunting are a must. Alternate paper pennant banner colors when assembling for more diversity.
  • Ticket Rolls not only add height and interest to party displays, but in addition, they help to carry the ticket-invite theme throughout.
  • Continuing along those thematic lines, back Circus Sign Cutouts with white poster board cut into over-sized ticket shapes then use signs to identify the different party stations.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and scale. Polka dots and two sizes of stripes keep the décor from being stagnant.
  • Balloon topiaries add height and texture. There are plenty of how-to tutorials on the web.

The Concession Stand

Going to the circus is not only about the amazing acts but almost as importantly, the FOOD! Offer guests a plethora of traditional circus goodies coupled with a few more “healthier” options.

  • Peanuts, both the shelled and orange-marshmallow-Circus varieties, are a must have inclusion as well as cotton candy and gumballs.
  • Animal cracker cookies? Of course! Especially in their own iconic handled boxes.
In lieu of a full sized cake, provide guests with these delectable (and super simple) “popcorn” cupcakes. Wrap these finished delights in Red and White Reversible Cupcake Wrappers to keep those sweets on theme.

The Side Show

Engaging entertainment is paramount to a successful circus so keep guests of all ages amused with these fun activities

  • Provide Face Painting Supplies (and a bucket of wipes for easy clean-up) to complete the character transformations.

  • Award tickets to players and have them “trade” their tickets for trinkets.

  • Everyone loves a photo booth ... especially when they can pose behind this larger than life Strong Man Cutout.
  • Use a Circus Photo Prop Kit to make booth set-up simple.
  • Transform Red & White Stripe Lanterns and a strip of foam core into a clever strong man prop. Simply assemble the lanterns and use packing tape to secure the metal frames to the foam core. Add black sticker numbers for just the right finishing detail.


Guests can carry the big top fun home in these embellished Yellow Gingham Favor Boxes filled with circus themed goodies. Pack boxes full of items such as Clown Nose Glasses, Multi-colored Striped Clown Socks, Squirting Flowers, Carnival Stickers and Temporary Tattoos.

Hope you had fun! Keep clowning around!!

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