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Coney Island Inspired Carnival Birthday Party

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Carnival style candy cart

As a huge fan of carnival/circus themes, I’m feeling pretty giddy over this fabulously creative Vintage 1940’s Carnival Birthday Party by January from Cupcake Keepsakes! There are so many creative, colorful details to admire – from the fabulous color palette and “1940’s Coney Island” inspired flair to the retro Coke bottle ring toss game, decorative raffle ticket “cake”, and oh-so-cool old fashioned candy cart built by dad (which makes it even cooler!).

Jessica from Modern Moments Designs dreamed up some amazing themed invitations and stationery details to help set the tone for the event and pull everything together. Dad’s candy cart was even featured in both the invite and “Main Event” poster at the party!

Cake and Bottle Toss

Ticket cake & Fans

Read on for more colorful, whimsical pics + all the creative details…

Poster, Cupcake Keepsake, Tabel Decor

Fans, Cake, Game Signs

Candy Card, Cake, & Candy

Bag Labels, Signing Mat, Water Bottle Labels

Ticket booth box

Ring toss, invite, and presents

Tabel decor, prizes and more

Cupcakes + Keepsakes


PARTY DETAILS, as told by January

“I was feeling a bit sentimental this year as my youngest boy turned two. I guess part of me wanted to keep my little boy a baby just a wee bit longer. So for his second birthday party I had visions of a vintage carnival theme done in a soft, yet colorful palette….kind of a 1940’s Coney Island feel along with the colors of boardwalk saltwater taffy and the beach resorts of the time. So, armed with my inspiration boards, Jessica of Modern Moments Designs designed some stunning invitations along with all of the coordinating paper goods. From custom paper fans for outdoor guests to water bottle labels, I loved everything she did to help create a fantastic look for the party!

For the party, as well as the photo on the invitation, my husband built a fantastic old fashioned candy cart to house all of our candy and popcorn treats. It made for both a wonderful invitation photo prop and functional party decoration. I also had him make the children a fun ticket booth to play in using a refrigerator box that we had. Again, this one served two purposes. It was great for both party photos and great for the little party-goers to play in.


The dessert table consisted of custom designed frosted carnival cookies, brownie covered oreos, mini banana whoopie pies, fresh cut up fruit served in little waffle cone bowls and devil’s food cupcakes with photo block toppers that served as both decorations and favors for the guests to take home to remember the event. The birthday boy had a rainbow cake that was topped off with a custom fondant topper with his name and a “Happy Birthday” mini bunting above it.

Using strips of different fabrics tied onto a wooden dowel, I created a backdrop to showcase all the yummy sweets. I also made a fun faux old fashioned candy garland to decorate the front of the table as well.


The children’s tables were set with colorful tableware. The napkins and utensils were wrapped with a strip of carnival tickets to give the kids a headstart on their winnings. A three tiered “ticket cake” centerpiece along with colorful popcorn boxes filled with coordinating pennants added even more color to the tables.

We also added a punch of color with a fun pint-sized bright yellow bench set up with balloons in front of a child sized folding screen in coordinating colors as a backdrop for some fun photos of the children….our version of a little photobooth. Some sweet bunting finished off the look.


We set up some traditional, yet of the well loved carnival games. My handy husband built the children a plinko board to accompany all of the other games. Games included Duck Pond, Ring Toss, Knock ‘Em Down and Bucket Toss. It was a sweltering summer day here in south Louisiana, but the kids had a blast earning all of their tickets to cash in at the prize table. Flyin’ Frogs, Pucker Sticks, water guns, and candy necklaces were among the prizes.


A raffle ticket was placed inside each invitation as well and guests were asked to bring their tickets with them to the party for a chance to win the raffle prize. Lastly, we had to include the “Guess How Many” game. The lucky winner went home with a “Carnival in a basket” filled with lots of toy carnival games to play at home.”

Vendor Credit


  1. Jessica W. July 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Can I comment on a party that I designed some of the paper products for? I think so. . . hahaha! I just LOVE LOVE all the amazing details that January included! She is an incredible party planner!! So excited to see all of these amazing photos!

    • Charlene April 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Jessica W how can i get some pink n black zebra print labels for a candy buffet hope to hear from you soon Thanks

  2. Tina @ wedding favors July 22, 2011 at 2:31 am

    This is really a great one. The party was just wonderful.

  3. Tammy@Events By Tammy July 22, 2011 at 4:56 am

    So creative. I the cake with the rainbow colors.

  4. Leslie July 22, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Love this one! So cute and well put together! Really love the ticket cake!!

  5. Sandra July 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I love the carnival birthday party theme! All the colors are sooo vibrant!

  6. Wedding Centerpieces July 25, 2011 at 9:58 am

    The ticket cake looks amazing! I’ve been staring at it for a long time wondering if it’s actually edible, hahaha!

    Everything’s so bright and fantastic, I’m sure the kids had the grandest time in this carnival party! :)

  7. fabgab September 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I love all the details here! I just planned a fashion-oriented carnival event. You can see and read about all the details here. Don’t forget to leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

  8. Julissa January 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Hi. I am planning a 1st carnival birthday for my daughter soon. I wanted to know how did you make the ticket centerpiece?

  9. Debra March 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Love this!!

  10. Danielle August 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

    where did you get the candy cart?

  11. roxanne September 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Would you print the pic of the main event pic

  12. roxanne September 3, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Where can i get a main event poster done like this one..

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