What’s more fun than a carnival? Whether you are 8 years old or 80, this is sure to appeal! Bring that great fun fair atmosphere to the next birthday party for your kids with game booths, tickets, food stands, balloons and clowns. 

Pick a Venue

This kind of party works best when it’s held outdoors. If you are lucky enough to have a large backyard or access to a common open space, a park or some greenery near your home, then that’s probably an ideal place to hold your party. The great thing about an outdoor party in a park is that the space will be flexible enough to hold quite a large number of people at the same time. 

Party Invites and Ticket Stubs

Set the tone with party invites which look like carnival admission tickets complete with a booklet of stamps which can be exchanged for things at the party. These would give guests a hint of what’s to come. For example, you could have stamps or tickets for popcorn, candy floss, a goodie bag, a game or a balloon. You can get free printables for stamp tickets from orientaltrading.com, clipartbest.com and many other providers. 

Game Booths

What’s a carnival without games? Set up several booths where kids can exchange their tickets for games with cute prizes. Anything from throwing a ball to knock down a stack of cans, to hitting a number on a dartboard, using a magnet on a string to “catch” a floating plastic fish in a tub of water or even guessing the number of sweets in a large jar (closest guess wins the whole jar as a prize). Think of all the games you loved playing as a child and re-create them at the party.

Just make sure that you have enough prizes to give away and that each game is set up on it’s own table and that you have enough friends, relatives or other parents to “man” the game booths during the party. 

Fun Food Stands

Forget about regular, boring food. Set up several food stands and let your guests eat when they feel like it. Typical carnival food such as popcorn, candy floss, hot dogs, ice cold drinks from a cooler, curry puffs, nuts, candy and sweet corn would probably work great!


If you have the budget for it, hire a clown or a magician. This works well for parties for younger children. Alternatively, you can have DIY stick-on tattoo booths and face paint stations. You can even rent a helium tank so you can make helium balloons on the spot for the kids. 

If you have active older kids, then putting out a big basket of water guns and buckets of water for refills will provide hours of endless fun. Just make sure you have towels handy and you let parents know that they might want to pack a change of clothes for their kids.