Carnival Theme Birthday Party

Updated on March 11, 2010
P.J. asks from Garland, TX
6 answers

I am having my son a backyard carnival theme birthday party in March. Can you please give me games, ideas that have worked for you if you have had one? I have a couple of games in mind. It will be about 20 kids. How many games should I have to keep them busy?
Thank you in advance!!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your suggestions!!!!!! We just had the party on Saturday and it was great!!!!! We had about 24 kids and 12 adults. Everyone really enjoyed themself!!!!!! Thank you all again. I will be having this party again!!!!!!

More Answers



answers from Kansas City on

Good for you, girl! I am also a woman who appreciates a good theme!! I would suggest probably 10 games because having more than 2 kids/booth might be a bit much. Here are a few ideas I had:

Lollipop tree: get a couple of bags of dum-dum pops and color the bottom of a handful with red marker. Stick them all into a piece of styrofoam cone. The kids can choose one. If it's red, they get a prize and the lollipop, if it's not red they just get the lollipop.

Duck Pond: get a bunch of cheap-o rubber ducks (try Oriental Trading Co) and float them in some sort of a tub. Either mark each one with a number and have different prize bins of corresponding numbers, or do the same thing as the lollipop tree and if they get one with a mark, they get a prize

Ring toss: get some frisbees with the center cut out (again check Oriental Trading Co or Wal Mart) and have them toss them onto 2 liter bottles. YOu can fill the bottles with water or sand to help them stand up sturdier.

Bottle Game: collect empty bottles of the same size (milk, soda, water, gatorade) stack them in a pyramid shape and have kids knock them over with a soft ball or balled-up socks

First Aid station: have plenty of cheap band-aids and guaze wrap and tape and let the kids cover up some "boo boos" with all the stuff.

Bean Bag toss: make a bullseye and have them toss 3 bags towards it...if it gets in center get a prize


Free throws: if you have one of those Fisher Price stand-up basketball goals (or could borrow one) give them 3 tries to make a free throw

cake walk: instead of doing cakes, maybe do cupcakes or cookies instead because they sure don't need a whole cake! Or you could do Little Debbie cakes.

Okay, so I know this is a lot of info! Hopefully there is something in here you can use! Have fun and go crazy!! :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I'd think with 20 kids, if you had 4-5 'game' areas, that would be fine. I googled this and found these cool supply ideas:

I suggest having someone there to paint the kid's faces for sure!

Also be sure to serve popcorn and cotton candy. Maybe even snow cones.

For games, I'd do something like a ring toss or bean bag toss, maybe one where they try to throw a coin into one of the many jars and then you can create your own games like blindfolded obstacle course or pin the tail on the carnie! Okay maybe clown instead of carnie!?

This website also has game ideas:

PS: I have never thrown a carnival bday party but have considered it in the past!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have done a carnival party twice now - once for my son when he turned 9 and once for my daughter when she turned 6 - both parties were a great success!!

I bought lots of prizes (from Rhode Island Novelty etc) and had tickets for the kids to redeem to play games and/or buy food - cotton candy, popcorn, corn dogs and snow cones!

I got a bunch of stuffed animals at the dollar store for prizes for one station - the kids went crazy for that one!!

I had most of the games listed below:
Lollipop tree
Penny toss
Can toss (knock over cans - not bottles)
bean bag toss
balloon pop
Duck pond
face painting (I had a teenage daughter and her friend helping)
Guessing Jar
Basketball toss
Bounce house (I had access to this for free and only had it for my 6 year old)

I think that was most of them.... the kids had a blast - they did some games over and over...

When game time was over - we had cake and ice cream (most of the kids had eaten popcorn and corn dogs during the carnival already...)

It was a fun party enjoyed by all ages!!! Have fun!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We have had many backyard themed parties and the most fun game by far has been any form of a potato sack race. The game depends on the age group. When very little, a leap frog race was best, then a three legged race and finally the potato sack race at any age. These games bring the most giggles, cheers, and laughs. Be sure to video tape the races.



answers from Dallas on

Personally, I have not thrown a Cranival themed birthday party for my kids. Their birthdays are all in Oct and Nov, but my husband and I are Clowns and have performed at quite a few parties.

I noticed that they did have cotton candy machines, bounce houses, bean bag toss and us doing face painting and balloons. The children really seemed to like it all.

As Clowns, we also offer games for the kids at parties, like sack races, parachutes, fish toss and hula hoops to name a few. We always have prizes to give out the all the kids so that they all win something for their efforts.

Hope those suggestions help. If you need additional entertainment, we offer facepainting, balloon sculptures, comedy magic shows, Glitter Art Tattoos (these are great because the last 5-7 days), friendship bracelets, along with fun interaction and games. We've entertained at birthday parties and large events like the Plano Balloon Festival.

Our prices are very reasonable (we have four great kids of our own so we know how expensive things can get)and we do our best to work within a person's budget.

Please feel free to take a look at our website at for samples of our work along with video testimonials from satified customers regarding our performance.

Give us a call at ###-###-#### if you have any questions at all.

Hope you have a great party whatever you decide to do.

Hope to hear from you,
K. Schmidt
Bubbles the Clown
Bubbles and Wowza, LLC



answers from Dallas on

I threw a really big carnival party and was able to obtain most of the items for games from Oriental Trading. I also used other sites to buy cotton candy and get ideas. The one thing you really need to schedule are helpers at each booth. I also used a wonderful lady from Merry Makers ###-###-####). Her name is Shelley (make sure you get Shelley). She is so good with children and is used by Chick-Fil-A for their promotions. She just made the party.

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