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circus party ideas with clown noses

Allison of Full of Grace & Rubies crafted a fabulous Carnival of Dreams themed celebration for her daughter’s 4th birthday. There’s such an artistic, almost theatrical feel to this carnival party – brought to life through Allison’s incredible floral creations (Hello, amazing elephant!), classic circus/carnival inspired treats, and clever balloon & tutu dress table centerpieces!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Carousel cake, animal crackers, circus peanuts, and candy kabobs
  • Clown noses, carnival signs & a “big top tent” for the kids to play in
  • “Goldfish” party favors (goldfish shaped soaps in a plastic bag – so clever!)
  • A visit from Harpo the clown, complete with balloon animals of course
  • AMAZING circus elephant made of flowers as the focal point of the dessert table

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PARTY DETAILS, as told by Allison

For my daughter’s 4th birthday we had a carnival complete with vintage boardwalk games, Harpo the Clown, and a live animal show. I used classic “carnival” colors: red and white with splashes of blue and yellow.

I make flowered centerpieces, so for the Carnival of Dreams, I made a beautiful elephant out of white and yellow flower buds and blue hydrangeas. The elephant stood as the focal point of the candy station which I loaded with all types of circus/carnival candy; Circus peanuts, animal crackers, gummy popcorn, saltwater taffy, circus animal ring pops, candy kabobs, even clown noses and carnival ducks. The children went crazy!!!!! Per Gracie’s request we had a carousel cake and cupcakes with balloons, seals with gum balls balancing on their noses, elephants with feathers on their heads, and big tops.

The tables were draped in red and white striped table covers and I had red and white tutu bags made for the 36 ” polka dot balloons I had. They looked amazing! Every juice box had an animal with its arms wrapped around them. I also found really cute big top sippers for the littlest ones. The plates and cups were a great circus theme I found at Target. I used carnival tickets as napkin rings that held together the cutlery. Every chair was wrapped with red, white, yellow or blue tulle and Gracie’s chair had a multi-color paper sunburst on it.

I found a circus play tent and matching ottomans at Ikea. I used those as a little play zone for the younger kids. All the game tables had red and white table skirts on them to complete the uniform look.

When I was younger you never left a carnival without a fish. I don’t think the other parents would have been too happy if i handed out goldfish for party favors so instead I gave all the kids goldfish soap in a bag. I also hand-painted little totes with their names surrounded by polka dots so they could hold all their prizes.

Vendor Credit
  • Party Styling, Flowered Centerpiece, 36″ Polka Dot Balloons, Hand-painted Plastic Totes, Candy Kabobs & Circus Ring Pops, Big Top Sipper Cups: Full of Grace & Rubies
  • Photographer: Courtney Van Alice
  • Bakery: Deerfields Bakery
  • Tutu Bags: Kids Bowtique
  • Carnival Tutu Wands: The Sugared Ribbon
  • table covers & skirts: Oriental Trading Company
  • Goldfish in a Bag Soap: TLC for U
  • Plates and napkins: Target