A Circus Birthday Party (Part Two – Games & Activties)


Yep, that’s me!  Get your cotton candy!

Here is round two of the Circus Party posts!  If you missed last week on circus decorations, see here.

Planning kids’ party games and activities can be a lot of fun.  I look for activities that bring in the imagination, are hands-on or simply a fun opportunity to win a prize.  In my mind, I had divided the activities into three groups and we moved around the house accordingly.

Getting Ready for the Circus

Opening Activity:  Making Clown Hats

When the kids arrived, they were invited to make a clown hat at the dining room table.  Stickers, markers, pom poms, pipe cleaners and fun derby hats were ready for our creative little clowns.  It is always a good idea to have kids occupied with a hands-on activity as you wait for all your guests to arrive.

Our High Wire Balance Beam

Once our clown hats were completed, we moved into the family room, where the kids had two circus “feats” to perform.  I explained that people in the circus do all kinds of things.  Some work with animals, some swing on a trapeze, some walk the high wire.  Before we could go to our circus, we had to walk the balance beam-high wire and then jump through a (hula) hoop just like the lions.  We all cheered each time a performer accomplished their task.

Going Down to the Circus

“Admit One” Tickets for Games & Activities

Then it was time to go downstairs to the circus!  Each child was given a circus box (see this post for a picture).  Inside were about 4 trinkets or treats and also this necklace.  Each activity corresponded to a ticket color.  For the games, prizes were automatic.  However, a prize was only given to the child on the time they turned in their ticket to play (excluding the Duck Pond).  They were welcome to play more if they desired.

How to Make the Circus Ticket Necklace:  I bought “Admit One” stickers from Oriental Trading Company, covered them in contact paper and punched holes in them.  I, then, cut a slit to the hole so that children would easily get their tickets off the necklace.  This idea came from Birthday Party Ideas.

Activities with Tickets:  Face Painting, The Duck Pond, Tin Can Alley, Pin the Nose on the Clown, the Ring of Fire and Cotton Candy Vendor (me).

Face Painting (Thank you to a very artistic girl from
our church youth group.) Plastic Lips Prize


The Duck Pond:  The numbers 1-3 were written on
the bottom of the circus ducks and kids received
candy pieces accordingly.


Tin Can Alley – My son’s favorite.  Lollipops Prize


Pin the Nose on the Clown with Clown Bouncy Ball Prize


Ring of Fire:  Kids had to throw a stuffed lion
threw the Ring of Fire.

A circus party requires a lot of work and a lot of hands.  I was blessed to have a cousin, a niece and two nephews help run all the games.  They even wore my silly hats and partial clown costumes.

Leaving the Circus

After games, we opened presents and had cake and ice cream.  But before the kids left, I had one last task for them.  I told them a short story of how elephants love peanuts and that earlier, we had some silly clowns stop by and those clowns HID all the peanuts upstairs.  So the kids grabbed their circus boxes and went on a peanut hunt all over my first floor.  *Disclaimer:  You should check and see if any of your guests have peanut allergies.  I didn’t and I should have!

All in all, it really was a fun party.  The kids were engaged and seemed to have a great time.

P.S. – Of course, I had the whole house filled with circus and calliope music thanks to Spotify and Amazon MP3’s.  Oh, how I love circus music.  🙂

Related Posts:
Circus Party Decorations

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  1. Amazing.its very unique idea about circus birthday party.Children like circus aggressively.Great sharing
    Birthday parties for kids in Broward
    Birthday parties for kids in Miami

  2. wonderful sharing author!!!
    Its really a different idea as every child love to do these kind of activities.
    Kids birthday party ideas in Broward

  3. Just wanted to thank you for the “ring of fire” idea! So cool and was fun for the kids. I used a smaller hula hoop and an entire roll of 500 ft. of red crepe paper and I bought small stuffed animals from oriental trading. We did it outside and hung it from a tree and it twisted around in the wind. and made it a little more challenging. You could also hang it from monkey bars on a swing set if you don’t have any tree limbs available.

  4. So cute! Thinking about incorporating a few of these ideas during Circus week this summer at our Mother’s Day Out program! Love the ring of fire and duck pond!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen, your Mother’s Day Out program sounds like fun! Can I come…I think I need a Mother’s Day Out. 😉
      Glad you liked the ideas. Hope your event goes well.

  5. Thank you so much for this! I’m teaching at the preschool in my high school and the theme I was assigned was “under the big top”, and I had no idea what i was going to do for my large motor activity! Then I found this and I figured I would just put the kids in lion masks and little tales, and have them jump through this while the “ring master” was holding it! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INSPIRATION!