Circus Theme Party

44 Exciting Circus Theme Party Ideas

A day at the circus is full of fun and laughter. A circus theme party can be too. Circus theme party decorations are not only easy but enjoyable! Here we have some ideas to help you make your guests feel as if they’re entering a real circus!

Circus Theme Party Decorations

1. “Big Top” Dome

One of the essential parts of a circus is the “big top” dome. Create your dome by renting a striped canvas tent or by getting a circus party backdrop* and placing it outside. Hang Christmas lights* around the outside of the tent to give off that nightly circus vibe.

2. Welcoming Clown

Welcome everyone into your party by placing a life-size clown* outside the front of your venue. This will instantly lighten everyone’s mood and get them ready for the party!

3. Circus Trapezes 

Your circus party would not be complete without a trapeze! Simply get two empty paper towel tubes and string a rope through them. Hang the two ends of the tubes onto the wall and add dolls* and stuffed animals* to the rope.

4. Mini Concession Stands 

Create your own mini concession stands by making mini booths out of cardboard and banners*! Serve your guests carnival foods such as popcorn, hotdogs, cotton candy, and soda. These concession stands make the perfect decorations to accent your venue. 

different colored circus flags

5. Circus Ring 

Making your circus ring* is a great place for you to address your guests and the ideal place for party games. Whether you are inside or out, a circus ring is easy to make and the perfect decoration.

6. Circus Colors 

Transform your party into a real live circus by decorating with all different colors with any supplies you use. Put blue, red*, yellow, and green flags* and streamers* and create a colorful balloon banner* to hang at the front of the room.

Different colored streamers for circus themed party

7. Circus Animals 

You can’t have a circus party without circus animals! All you have to do is print out large images of any animal of your choice. Then glue the pictures onto wooden stakes and stick them in the ground. Your guests will feel just like they’re partying with animals.

8. Circus Tables 

There are many ways to decorate your tables for a circus theme party. You can place balloons*, candy floss, and toy clowns* in the center of your tables. You can also cover your tables and chairs in striped cloth* and tassel the fabric with colorful streamers. 

9. Circus Tents 

If you can have your party outside, try having it under a circus tent*! This may seem extravagant but will probably cost just as much to get a regular outdoor party tent. If you can’t have your party outdoors, get miniature circus tents* to put up around your party. They can be used as decoration or centerpieces!

10. Colors 

If there is one thing that a circus is not, it’s bland. Therefore, when you decorate, be sure to use crazy colors all over the place. These color choices can be included in anything at your party, including tablecloths, cutlery, and chairs.

11. Carnival Feel 

To further your carnival party theme*, try adding things that are actually at a circus. For example, try playing circus music outside or inside of your party. You can also try setting up game booths, and various food stands. These are common at circuses and therefore should be at your party!

12. Photo Booths 

An entertaining idea to have at your party is a photo booth set up! You can either rent one from a company or set up a makeshift photo booth. To set up one on your own, try and put a solid color backdrop* on a wall. Then, have a photographer or a camera set up. If you can’t get a photographer, have the guests take the photos themselves on self-timer. There are also some really awesome and fun props that you can pick and get extra creative with!

13. Balloons 

Circuses have lots of balloons everywhere in order to add to their fun, kid-themed event. When decorating at your party, use lots of balloons of different colors.

Circus Theme Party Favors

14. Circus Goodie Bags 

If you can’t decide on one favor to give your guests, why not go with a bunch of little favors. Create circus goodie bags by filling party bags* or boxes with different themed circus treats*. You can include circus stickers*, tattoos, stuffed animals, finger puppets, and whistles. You can also throw in some edible favors such as animal crackers, peanuts, jellybeans, Pez dispensers, lollipops, and bubble gum.

15. Peanut Bags 

Send your guests home with personalized bags of circus peanuts*. Just create your very own unique circus label* and stick it onto any type of colored paper bag*. Fill the container with large, shelled peanuts, and finish it off with a ribbon!

16. Cotton Candy 

Cotton candy is also a great treat with which to send your guests home. Just purchase* or make your own personalized bags of cotton candy, and give one to each guest before leaving.

17. Glow-in-the-Dark Jewelry 

Glow-in-the-dark jewelry* is a great gift to give all the kids at your party. Hand them out a little before the party is over or as prizes, and if it is dark outside, let the kids run around so they can see themselves light up!

18. Clown Make-Up Kits 

Let your guests dress up as clowns whenever they want by sending them home with clown make-up kits*. If you’d like, you can also give them clown wigs* to match!

19. Clown Temporary Tattoos 

Kids will be sure to love these giveaways, and with only soap and water, parents will love you too. Include a variety of temporary tattoos* to suit all preferences!

20. Easy Favors

If you’re looking for some simple party favors, why not give out bubbles and silly straws* or glow sticks? You can find these items almost anywhere, and they’ll keep your guests occupied for hours!

glow sticks
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Circus Theme Party Food Ideas

21. Popcorn! 

There’s no such thing as a circus party without popcorn! If you can’t find a real popcorn machine*, just serve lots and lots of buttered popcorn* and caramel corn* to all your guests in striped popcorn boxes.

22. Hot Dogs 

Serve hot dogs to all the children as their main menu food. Either make a hot dog concession stand or just hand them out individually.

23. Candy Apples 

Candy apples are a great party treat to serve to your guests. You can either make them yourself or have each person make their own!

24. Pretzels 

Giant pretzels are always a favorite snack at the circus. Either make your own or buy frozen ones and serve them warm with melted cheese!

25. Cotton Candy 

Cotton candy* is another necessity at a circus party. If possible, rent a cotton candy machine for the day. It’s sure to be a crowd favorite!

26. Snow Cones 

Set up a snow cone machine* and let your guests make their very own delicious snow cones!

27. Cupcake Clowns 

These are great edible clown foods! First, bake any type of cupcakes you’d like and allow them to cool. Then remove the cupcake holders from the cupcakes. Next, take new cupcake holders and flatten them. (These will be the clown collars.) Set the cupcakes each in the middle of a new holder and ice the cupcakes with vanilla frosting* (The actual cupcakes will be the clown faces). Finally, take colored icing* and decorate the clown faces and collars. 

28. Animal Crackers 

Animal crackers* are a healthy snack that fits perfectly with the circus theme. Give each guest their very own personalized box of animal crackers and let each eat and play with their treat!

29. Cracker Jacks 

Crackerjacks* are a two-in-one kind of snack from the animal fair! Hand out bags of cracker jacks and let the kids see what prize they find inside!

Circus Theme Party Games & Activities

30. Bubbles! 

This party activity is effortless to set up, and the kids will love it! All you have to do is assign a room or a section outside to be for blowing bubbles. On a table or counter, place several small containers of bubbles* and different bubble activities such as bubble wands* and fly swatters*. Let all the kids grab their own containers and watch as they blow massive bubbles! And if you’d like to add a little flare, make it a competition to see who can blow the biggest bubble!

bubble wands

31. Peanut Relay 

A Peanut relay is a fun game that keeps the whole party laughing! Simply split up the guests into two teams. Once they’re in their teams, have half of each team go to one side of the room and have the other half go to the other side of the room. When the whistle* is blown, the first person in line has to push a peanut with their nose to their teammate on the other side of the room. His or her teammate then pushes the peanut back, continuing until everyone on your team has gone. The team to finish first is the winner.

32. Tame the Lions

This fun circus game only requires a hula-hoop* and can keep kids entertained for hours! Initially, assign one child to be the “lion tamer” and have all the other children be the “lions.” Have the lion tamer hold a hula hoop at ground level while all of the lions climb through it. After all of the lions have gone, the lion tamer raises the hoop. This continues until someone cannot make it through the hoop. When a lion cannot make it through the hoop, they are out, and the last lion to climb through the hoop becomes the new lion tamer. 

33. Face Painting

Face painting is an excellent circus activity for younger children and is a hit at all parties! See if one of your friends or another parent can help you paint animals or clown faces onto the children. 

34. Hit the Clown Face

Create your very own unique circus bean bag toss by cutting a clown face out of cardboard*. Paint the clown however you’d like, but make sure you cut out the clown’s eyes, nose, and mouth. Line up all of the guests and hand them all bean bags. Have them try to get the bean bags into the holes of the clown’s face. The mouth is worth the least amount of points, and the eyes are worth the most.

Circus Theme Party Supplies

35. Circus Tables 

There are many ways to decorate your tables for a circus theme party. You can place balloons*, candyfloss, and toy clowns* in the center of your tables. You can also cover your tables and chairs in striped cloth* and tassel the fabric with colorful streamers. 

36. Circus Themed Paper Plates

These circus-themed paper plates* are a great addition to any circus-themed party. There are so many different kinds: red striped, clowns, animals, tents, and more! The paper plates also help with an easy cleanup – no dirty dishes! The plates are festively decorated with red and white tents, cotton candy, and tickets.

paper plates with red and white stripes
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37. Circus Themed Paper Cups

Nothing is better than an easy clean up after the party. With circus themed plastic cups* you can throw them away at the end of the party. The white cups with a red tent on them that say “Welcome to the Carnival” add a festive touch to the the theme.

38. Carnival Runner

These different runners* will add a nice touch to a circus themed party. The red and white stripes look great next to the different colored stars where it says step right up. There are many different types of runners. You could have red and white striped, this way that way, popcorn, tickets, or clowns! You could have the runner on the ground or even put it on the table to add some decor there.

39. Popcorn Arch

This popcorn arch* is a great addition to any circus themed party. The balloons are yellow and white with two popcorn boxes at the end of each of them. Some have different colored balloons while others have popcorn looking balloons. They all look great! You could put it at the entrance of a door or have it as a backdrop for some photos.

popcorn balloon arch in front of door

Circus Theme Party Invitations

40. Tickets 

Send your guests “tickets” to your party! They can say “admit one” and go along with your carnival theme by making your guests bring them to be admitted to the party. Try to make your ticket colorful and themed to make it seem even more Carnival-like.

41. Wristbands 

At most carnivals, they give you a wristband to grant you access to various rides and shows. Take this theme and tailor it to your party by providing your guests with wristbands* in their invitations. Tell them that to come to the party and participate in the fun, they must be wearing their wristband!

42. Online Invitations

Online invitations also known at e-vites have become more popular throughout the years. Sometimes it’s easier to send online invitations as it is hard to get everyones response when in paper mail.

43. Vintage Circus Invitations

Invitations like these serve as a great throwback to what the circus used to look like. With a red-and-white stripped background and vintage-themed writing and logos from back in the day, these invites will transport you right to the circus. You could even add some stickers. Make these invitations great and use them for a birthday party, the setup looks amazing!

Carnival themed party invitations
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44. Fill in Style

These invitations make the person sending them become interactive. These fill in style *invitations have different spots for you to fill out for what the party is for, where the party is at, the date, the time, and the RSVP directions. It gives you the customization you want while being able to fill them out yourself.


With these tips and tricks, you’re on your way to plan the best circus theme party. Now that you have some ideas, try checking out one of our planning resources, such as a to-do list or spending guide. I hope you enjoy your special day!*

Contributions: Summer Heffelinger, Olivia Morehead

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