Carnival Party: In Pictures

by , posted on October 20th, 2010 in Parties & Celebrations

Remember that Carnival Birthday Party I was telling you all I was planning? Well, here’s how it turned out…

The Slideshow:


The Challenge
Host a Carnival Themed party for 20 kids and their families. Finding a suitable location that fit our budget and dealing with weather (wind) were the largest challenges to overcome.

The Party
As guests arrived, they were directed to the balloon sculpture table. Here, we shaped balloons for kids and had them decorate their own ticket bag (which would later double as treat bags).

There were seven game stations:
Spray Away
Clothespin Drop
Ball Toss
Bean Bag Toss
Tin Can Knockdown
Duck Pond

At six of the stations, kids could earn tickets to cash in later for prizes. The only game where kids didn’t win tickets was fishing. In that game, kids cast their line and caught either a stuffed animal or puppet.

Once all the games had been played, we sang happy birthday and ate cupcakes. While kids were eating, we brought over two party goers to the prize table to cash in their tickets. The kids really got a kick out of choosing their own prizes.

Meanwhile, party-going parents started field games to keep kids occupied once they had cashed in their tickets.

After all the tickets were cashed, kids headed over to a nearby playground. Guests were able to stay as long as they liked.

What Didn’t Work As Planned
Well first of all, we weren’t counting on it being so windy. So we had to move all the games inside the pavilion which made for some tight quarters.

Second, there was no electrical outlet so we weren’t able to use the cotton candy machine. This wasn’t a huge deal as the wind was so forceful, it would have just blown strands of sugar everywhere. While I can imagine a cinematic willy-wonka-ish moment in which kids reach up to grab bits of cotton candy suspended in mid-air, the reality of sticky mess covering everything, causing bees to swarm and children to run in circles screaming, is much less…romantic. We made up for it though by offering guests bags of yummy buttery popcorn.

There were a couple stations that didn’t work out: photo booth and fortune teller. Since we had to move everything inside, we ran out of space for the photo booth. And the kids were so into the games that we ran out of time for the fortune teller. Although, I will say, after the party, a couple of kids went over to it and started playing spontaneously. “Let me see into my crystal ball…” That was pretty cute!

Oh and the last thing that I had planned on but didn’t make it in, were the signs for each game. I just ran out of time. It’s okay, because while they would have made for some great pictures, I don’t think they would have added anything to the kids’ experience. So, I just shrugged my shoulders over that one.

Special Thanks
Well, special thanks has to go to all the parents who came to the party. They helped with the games, tables, organizing the kids and were instrumental in helping everything move along. A great-big, super-HUGE thank you to them.

And thank you to all the friends who sent links, ideas, suggestions and offered their help. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Want to host your own Carnival Party? Here are some links to get you started:
Game & Decoration Inspiration
Balloon Animals
Rainbow Cupcakes


Have links we missed or you’d like to share? Send them to us and we’ll post them.

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12 Responses to “Carnival Party: In Pictures”

  1. Danielle Haller Says:

    October 21st, 2010 at 12:22 am

    What an amazing party. Jen, you are so creative and inspirational.


    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thank you Danielle! I’m giving you a big hug. Can you feel it?


  2. Leslie Says:

    October 21st, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    What total fun!!! Can I be Ellie’s friend so I can come to her parties? ;-)


    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Of COURSE! ;)


  3. Lori-Anne Says:

    October 25th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I am amazed and know not what to say! Hats off to you, not just for putting together a party with such an awesome, comprehensive theme, but for taking on TWENTY kids!! You might be my hero now!


    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    You know what it is? I’m clearly insane.

    Actually, there’s no way I could have done it without the parents there to help. I am very grateful to know so many wonderful families.


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