Big Top Circus

10:20 AM Angela Haythorpe 2 Comments

For my eldest daughter's 3rd birthday we did a Big Top Circus Theme. It was summertime so I thought I would make it an outdoor water party!! So fun!!


I searched high and low for my original invitation but I COULD NOT find it for the life of me. So I recreated one to the best of my memory. I found a few links to invitations for sale that I really liked for those of you who don't know how to make invitations (BlissfulNestStudio and LollipopPrints).


As an outdoor party I decided to use 3 kiddie pools to look like a three-ring circus. The main colors I used were red and yellow. I popped a few extra colors in there to balance out a primary color look. I also decorated the inside of the gazebo with red and white streamers and hung a few stuffed animal monkeys from the top.

I had a kiddie slide that I bought on sale from Big W (a WalMart type store) for $15. It was pretty plain so I decided to paint the side looking like an elephant drinking out of the water.I just painted it grey added eyes and a smile and taped (with packing tape) ears I cut out from a grey foam sheet.

The other think I find almost CRUCIAL in every birthday party is CARDBOARD!! I went to my local white goods store and asked for left over Refrigerator boxes. They brought out a few for me and I brought them home. I painted one side of the boxes to make a Circus Train! I cut plate sized circles on the side so the kids could put their faces through the side and pretend to be the animals. I almost always try to have a place where we take a picture of all the guests together so we have one single photo to capture the day. The train served as the photo scene for this party.

Martha Stewart has some good ideas... And there are affordable decor options at The Oriental Trading Company.


I bought popcorn style bags from Spotlight Craft Supply Store (Australia) but they have them at tons of places. From the Dollar Tree to The Oriental Trading Company. I gave out candy, hand held games, stickers and of course boxes of Animal Crackers which I had to have my family ship over from America. I had a cousin give out goldfish as the party favors as they won the different games at the party. 


I really wanted circus type food but it was near impossible to find in the part of Australia I was in. I had to special order corn dogs for the Big Top type feel. We had fruit salad, popcorn and M&Ms. We also had Nutter ButtersCircus Peanuts, and Mother's Circus Animal Cookies  sent over especially for the party.


Since my last cake attempt was a failure, I ended up going with Popsicles! It was summer so it worked perfectly and especially because it was an outdoor party. 

I ended up buying a round piece of styrofoam and used yellow and red crepe paper streamer and glued them vertically along the side to look like tent stripes. To finish off the ends I glued blue crepe paper strip along the top and folded it over and glued it. Then I had a plastic 'Happy Birthday' candle holder for the top of cakes and I just stuck it into the styrofoam side. I also glues some foam animal shapes I had leftover from another craft I did ages ago.

We just stuck the popsicles in the top of the styrofoam and also the birthday candle. It was a hit.


There was definitely no shortage of things to do for this party. We had the 3 ring pools. One pool had a slide, the other had ball pit balls and the other had water guns. We had a Balance beam, an animal cage (withed stuffed animals), and we had a ring of fire... I mean ring of WATER! :)

For older kids, there are plenty of games you can get to entertain. Here are some ideas from The Oriental Trading Company.

So, that was our Big Top Circus Party... Happy Partying to you!


SEARCH ENGINE WORDS: [Web/Images] Circus Birthday Party, Carnival Birthday Party, Big Top Birthday Party, Three Ring Circus




  1. What a fun time the kids must have had, both your own and the attendees! You used some very basic, easily duplicate-able ideas, which took thought and time to put together, but totally pulled off the "Circus" theme. :-]

  2. Where did you buy the kiddie pools? Thanks.


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