Circus Birthday Party - Fun Big Top Ideas!

Fun And Fabulous Circus Birthday Party Ideas
To Help You Create Your Own 3-Ring Circus Party!

Stop clowning around. I heard the circus is coming to town and it's happening at your house. You obviously need to get busy planning your circus party, so get to scrolling and snag some ideas that will help you out.

A circus theme party is a great choice, especially for a younger crowd. You have the opportunity to make it a really fun party. You can start by turning your backyard, park area, or perhaps a rented facility into a carnival atmosphere complete with the Big Top, game booths, clowns, and all sorts of bright, primary colored decorations.


CLOWN SHOE INVITATIONS – One fun idea is to create clown shoe party invitations. Using bright red card stock, draw the shape of an oversize clown shoe, or you can print one from online and use it as a template. Cut out the shoe. On the front of the shoe write, “You’re Invited to Clown Around at a Special Circus Birthday Party.” Write all the important party details on the back of the shoe. You may need to fold the shoes in half to fit them in envelopes to mail them.

POPCORN BOX INVITATIONS – Find popcorn boxes, which are easy to find at craft stores or you could make your own. Pop up some popcorn and then add a bit to the mini Ziploc bags. Place bags of popcorn inside the popcorn boxes. On the outside of the popcorn box, write “Pop on Over for a Circus of Birthday Fun.” On another side of the box, make sure to include all the relevant party info.

CIRCUS ANIMAL PARTY INVITATIONS – Think about all the animals found at the circus. Pick several animals, such as lions and elephants. Cut party invitations into the shapes of the animals for fun invitations. On the front write, “Go Wild at a Special Birthday Circus.” Include party details on the back of the cute animal invitations.

Circus Birthday Party Games

CLOWN FACE CIRCUS BIRTHDAY PARTY INVITATIONS – Using brown paper bags, create clown face puppets, which kids are sure to enjoy playing with before the party. Use markers to decorate the bags to look like clown faces, drawing in the eyes, the round, red nose, and of course, a huge clown smile. All the information for the party can be added to the back. Here are a few wording ideas you can use:

“You’re invited to the biggest show in town
And (name) invites you to come clown around.
We’ll play plenty of circus games and they’ll be food too,
A big top full of excitement awaits all of you!”

BALLOON INVITATIONS - Blow up balloon and write party details on it. Deflate balloon and mail to guests with a note of instruction to "For party instructions, blow up balloon.

BIG TOP CIRCUS TENT INVITES - Cut your invites in the shape of the big top tent. When the flaps open up, then the party details will be revealed.


To keep things fun, be sure to ask your little guests to wear clown or circus animal costumes to your party. Or you can turn them all into clowns as they arrive with face paint, big clown noses, funny hats, and over-sized ties as they arrive. Be sure to have Mom, Dad, and any helpers dress accordingly.

As guests arrive, you could also give them each a circus animal mask or fun clown nose to help them get into the circus party mood. Also, you might consider setting up a face-painting station and have a few teenagers create lions, tigers, and bear faces, along with clown faces.

If you need a bit of inspiration for creating your own clown costume, then click on over to my CLOWN COSTUME IDEAS page where you'll find lots of fun photos of kids clowning around.


Create a great atmosphere for your circus party theme by using primary colors that are vibrant and alive. You can also use a collection of bolds like purple, vibrant yellow, hot pink, and bright turquoise. Once you decide on your colors, here are some decorating ideas to check out:
  • Add to your circus party décor by creating a fun clown poster with the face cut out of it. You could draw the clown yourself or buy a big poster with a clown on it and simply cut out the head. Use cardboard to back the clown picture, making it stand up. Not only will it fit in with the theme, but kids can get behind it and put their heads in the cutout, getting their pictures taken.

  • Take paper towel holders and run string through them, then hang them from the ceiling. Add stuffed animals to the “trapezes” to add to the décor.”

  • Add mirror paper to one of the walls to make it like a fun house mirror that you find at circuses and carnivals.

  • If you can rent one, try renting a popcorn machine or a cotton candy machine. They’ll let you make fun snacks and they’ll look great with the circus theme.

  • Place fun clown hats around the room.

  • Consider making a costume area, decorating it like a circus stand. Add clown hats, noses, wigs and other fun costume items that kids can pick from and wear during the party.

  • Make your own strongman’s barbell using a wooden dowel. Glue plastic balls to each of the dowel’s ends so it looks like a barbell. Paint it black with some spray paint and paint the words “500 pounds” to each ball, using white paint.

  • Using hula hoops, create the rings for the “three ring circus” that animals often jump through at the circus. One circus should be on a stand so it is higher. Add stuffed animals to the circus.

  • Hang a fun circus themed piñata in the party area. It will add to the décor and provide a fun activity for later in the party.

  • Line walkway with multi-colored, string pennant flags (used at store grand openings) or make your own using felt.

  • Put a carnival ticket booth at your driveway entrance with someone dressed as a clown handing out admittance tickets.

  • Create a ticket booth from a refrigerator box and decorate it.

  • Create your own Big Top with a gigantic circus canopy tent.

  • Create a tent atmosphere with brightly colored sheets or a parachute.

  • Transform your party room walls into a circus atmosphere using some fun circus wall decals.

  • Hang a fun circus themed birthday banner on one of your party room walls.

  • Create the Big Top in the party room by enclosing the ceiling with streamers. Hang them generously from the center of your ceiling to the corners of the room.


  • Add clusters of colorful balloons and curling ribbons around your party room.

  • Decorate room with stuffed animals. Attach balloons or put party hats on animals.

  • Create a true circus atmosphere by labeling each party area of your circus party with fun circus signs. They could say things like "GAMES", "ADMISSIONS", "CONCESSION STAND", etc.

  • Create circus-type posters to hang on walls by downloading and enlarging clowns and circus animals.

  • Create a photo-op with a fun circus party photo banner which has holes cut out for the little ones to put their face. The kids can pose as the face of a funny clown, a circus master, or in the jaws of a lion.

  • Cover tables with primary colored tablecloth and tie corners with curling ribbon.

  • Serve your popcorn in red and white popcorn boxes.

  • Decorate archways or doorways with various colored streamers.

  • Use circus plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, centerpiece, circus party cone hats, and wall cutouts.

  • Create a circus centerpiece in a plastic popcorn container. To weight the container and provide substance to hold its contents, fill with dry beans or split peas. Add balloons and large suckers on sticks and decorate them with curling ribbons. Add party horns and blowers. Camouflage top of container with circus tissue crumpled.


If you're interested in putting together all your own games for the party, I've put together a page of Circus Games and Activities that you can check out. If you're wondering what that page might contain, here's a list of what you'll find on that page.
  • Circus Face Painting Booth
  • Circus Fun Photo Booth
  • The Clown Says Game
  • Fun Lollipop Game
  • Balloon Popping Animal Game
  • Clown Relay
  • What Circus Animal Am I?
  • Walk The Tight Rope
  • Feed The Wild Animals
  • "Egg" Toss
  • Tin Can Alley
  • Water Gun Shooting Gallery
  • Ticket Redemption
  • Inflatable Bounce House Or Moonwalk
  • Clown


CLOWN FACE FRUIT DISPLAY – Take different types of fruits, arranging them on a tray to look like a clown face. You can use red grapes to make the eyes, apples to make the face, strawberries for the nose and the clown’s red hair, blueberries for a clown hat and some more red grapes to make the smile.

CHILI CHEESE FRIES – These fries are sure to be a hit. Bake French fries, cover them with warm chili and top with cheese.

CHICKEN STRIPS – Bake or grill some chicken strips, which make great finger foods for your circus birthday party. Have dipping sauces on the side.

ONION RINGS – Many kids love onion rings. Fry or bake them and serve with ranch sauce.

HAMBURGERS, HOT DOGS OR CORN DOGS – Kids love burgers and dogs, and they go well with the theme. Call them Clown Burgers Clown Dogs for fun.

  • Popcorn in red & white bags (Consider renting a machine)
  • Candied or caramel apples
  • Peanuts
  • Animal crackers
  • Cracker Jacks
  • Soft pretzels
  • Giant lollipop
  • Cotton candy
  • Snow cones
  • Lemonade


FERRIS WHEEL BIRTHDAY CAKE – Create your own ferris wheel cake by baking two round cakes in any flavor. One should be whole, while the other should have a triangle cut out of it. Place the round one on a cake board, then, add the triangle at the bottom to make the base for the ferris wheel. Frost the cake in red, then add licorice to create a star shape on the wheel. Uses pieces of ice cream cones to make the baskets, placing a basket at each point of the star. Add tiny gumdrops to the basket o make it look like they are people.

BIG TOP CAKE – Start with a double layer cake. Then, bake another cake in a bowl. After the cake is down, remove from the bowl, use a knife to bring carve it to a point to be the top of the big top. Place on top of the double layer cake. Ice the double layer cake in white and red. Make the top of the big top blue with blue icing. Ice on some banners and other embellishments to add to your big top cake.

ANIMAL SHAPED CAKE – Buy a 3D cake pan in the shape of an animal that would be at the circus, such as an elephant. Bake the cake in the pan and follow the instructions to ice the cake to look like the animal.

ANIMAL CUPCAKES – Bake cupcakes in any flavor, or purchase them. Decorate the cupcakes to look like different animals faces, such as a lion’s face or an elephant face. Let kids pick out their favorite animal to eat.

CIRCUS SHEET CAKE - Bake white sheet cake and frost white. Decorate with plastic circus toppers, train, and animals.

CLOWN CUPCAKES - Make or buy cupcakes and frost them in various circus colors. Top them each with clown pics or an edible clown sugar decoration.

CLOWN HAT CAKE - Cut out a fun clown hat shape from a sheet cake and decorate it up in clown style.


Of course, you don’t want to forget favors at the end of the circus birthday party. You can use circus themed trinkets for favors, such as red clown noses, crazy straws, pixie sticks, animal crackers, tubs of cotton candy, fake tattoos, clown stickers, mini Slinky's, bouncy balls, bubbles, boxes of popcorn or boxes of cracker jacks.

YOUR Favorite Circus Birthday Party Ideas, Cakes & Costumes

Do you have some favorite Circus birthday party ideas, cakes and costumes? Do tell! Please share all your party tips and ideas for invitations, decorations, games, etc., along with your circus cakes and costumes.

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