A Second Birthday Carnival Extraordinaire

A Second Birthday Carnival Extraordinaire

Please bear with me as I have one more party to share! {that is until this years celebration} I am anxious to get back to some craft and decorating projects and promise to do so shortly! But first I’d like to show you my son’s second birthday; a Carnival Extraordinaire. This was my favorite party thus far to put together. It took me a little more than six months of planning to coordinate everything however, despite the long hours put in and loads of work it was very well worth it in the end.
The invitations were printed on cardstock and actual tickets were attached for each guest to bring to the party for admission.

Included with each invitation was a photo card which had twelve photos, a photo for each month of the past year. It was so cute to see all of the photos together and how much his adorable expressions had changed!The admission gate was manned by a fabulous clown and carnival barker. They collected the admission tickets and gave each child a wristband to enter. I wanted to create as much of a classic fairground feel as possible for the kiddies to enjoy the full carnival experience!As each child arrived and checked in, they were given helium filled balloons and thier own personalized game bag.

The game bags were given out to easily hold the prizes that were won at each game. They were simply made from kraft gift bags which were decorated with a printed carnival theme tag including each child’s name {with 52 kiddies in attendance it was important to have each bag labeled so each kiddie knew which bag was theirs} The tags were glued to the front and ribbons attached to the handles to add a little color.

The decorations were kept pretty simple with everything else going on. Fun pinwheels tucked in mason jars, shelled peanuts in brown bags and oversized paper fortune tellers made up the centerpieces for each table.

I made several easy no sew pendant banners to hang around the pavillion as well. A carnival music cd played in the background to set mood and was the perfect touch.
There were a total of ten game stations set up for everyone to enjoy. I handmade the signs for each booth and my wonderful hubby helped with the construction of the games. I could not have pulled this off without the help of some great friends who volunteered to work booths! Each child won a prize at every game {and everyone was a winner}. The kiddies loved carrying the game bags around to collect their goodies!
We had a Classic Ring Toss Game
The prize: A commemorative printed Birthday Dollar Bill for each child
Pick a Duck

The Prize: Homemade Chocolate duck candies.Hungry Clown Bean Bag TossThe Prize: Hotdog Shaped Marshmallow Treats

A Fish Bowl Game

The Prize: Real Live Goldfish. {The parents loved this one ~ not really ~ but the kids sure did} Our local pet store was kind enough to bag each fish separately for us – I just had to call ahead and order a lot more than we needed to account for any sad fatalities. It was important that every kiddie went home with a live fishy!

There was a Three Strike Baseball Game with Homemade Baseball Rice Krispie Treat Prizes.

A Tattoo Booth…

…don’t worry they were temporary!

A Face Painting Booth

I did have to hire two face painters as no one wanted this job.

A Kissing Booth {with a little twist} There was a jar filled with Hershey Kisses and everyone had a chance to guess the amount. The closest guess won the entire jar which we gave out during our cake cutting.

For the Fortune Teller I made fun fabric fortune cookies that held cute little sayings. Each child got to pick their fortune from the crystal bowl.

The Last stop was a ‘Say Cheese’ Photo Booth. My talented hubby painted the photo prop of a strong man and clown in which we cut out the faces with a jig saw.

We had a photographer on site that manned the booth and took pictures of each family which we later printed and mailed out with our thank you cards.

While the games were being played three clowns walked our fairgrounds and entertained everyone.No carnival is complete without lots and lots of sweet yummy goodness! Among the treats were Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pops, Chocolate Covered cookies, Caramel Apples, Confetti Rice Krispie Treats, Popcorn Cupcakes {tutorial here}, Popcorn Boxes, and of course Packaged Cotton Candy to name a few.We had an onsite caterer for the main food – again another easy way out of doing the cooking myself. It alleviates so much stress not having to run around and cook on top of everything else especially for that many guests.

The food topped off the carnival feel with Hot Sliced Pit Beef Sandwiches, Fresh Fried Chicken, and HotdogsThe main cake was a four tired vanilla cake with red and white fondant stripes, dots and stars. Another homemade creation which isn’t professional but was fun to put together.

For CJ’s personal cake I made a Jeep Cake ready to hit the trails.

We love Jeeps and this one was made to match our real life recreational toy!

In addition to all the booth goodies and game prizes each child received a Goody Bag to remember this special day. There was a wide age range of kids at the party so I came up with three different bags filled with age appropriate treats. Kraft sacks were used adorned with a vintage carnival photo and secured with a polka dot ribbon and name tag. {I blurred the images as they were found and printed from Google so I’m not sure of the copy write} I had so much fun making all the goodies and putting these together.

The bag toppers were made with a Carnival Sideshow theme in mind ~ Tiniest Animals on Earth {Animal Crackers}, Clown Droppings {Colored Gumballs}, and Most Colorful Fish {Rainbow Goldfish Crackers}. The kids got a kick out of these!

The 6yr and older bag consisted of a Rainbow Crayon Pattie and Coloring Sheets, Carnival Sideshow ‘Tiniest Animals on Earth’, a Fleece Freeze Pop Holder w/ Freeze Pop {tutorial here}, a Set of Juggler Balls and Instructions on How to Juggle, The Worlds Best Play Dough Mix, Matchbook Tic Tac Toe on the Go w/ Colored Pencils, and Carnival Sideshow ‘Clown Droppings’.

The 3yr to 5yr bag consisted of Matchbook Tic Tac Toe on the Go w/ Colored Pencils, The Worlds Best Play Dough Mix, Carnival Sideshow ‘Tiniest Animals on Earth’, Carnival Sideshow ‘Most Colorful Fish’, a Fleece Freeze Pop Holder w/ Freeze Pop {tutorial here}, an I Spy Bottle (tutorial here), and a Rainbow Crayon Pattie and Coloring Sheets.

The 2yr and younger bag consisted of Carnival Sideshow ‘ Most Colorful Fish’, Carnival Sideshow ‘Tiniest Animals on Earth’, a Fleece Freeze Pop Holder w/ Freeze Pop {tutorial here}, Matchbook Drawing Pad w/ Colored Pencils, The Worlds Best Play Dough Mix, a Rainbow Crayon Pattie and Coloring Sheets, and a Backyardigans CD.

Another amazing year gone by and a fabulous celebration down in the books. This party was a lot of work and preparation however; it was totally worth every bit of it just to see the delight on the kids faces, mainly the joy in our little guys eyes!

You may wonder why all the party talk lately…well I have six months until our next party and I still do not have a theme for this year yet! I am hoping the Celebration Inspiration Party will give me the spark I need!
Thanks for letting me share this special day! The Celebration Party is still running so be sure to stop by and check out the fabulous links that have joined up here {or add your own special day to the mix} Enjoy!


  1. Looks fantastic! I love all the games! All your work really shows! I don’t people realize how far in advance you really need to plan!

    Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
    party inspiration

  2. Ummm…wow, will you adopt me? I’m 30, but I’m pretty sure my Mom would be fine with it ;o). My birthday is July 18th, so please see if you can get the paperwork rushed. ;o) Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to see your next party!

  3. Fabulous, creative, fun, wonderful, A+….

  4. amazing!! love all your details & your game booth signs!!

  5. Wow, so many great details. Great idea with the Kissing Booth and the Fortune Teller. I love the cake…what a wonderful day!

  6. How stinking cute is all that??? Fabulous ideas!

  7. Your parties are amazing – such attention to detail. I love how you have something for all ages.

  8. You are so creative and talented. I’ve been sending all my friends to your blog for inspiration. So glad I found you!!

  9. LOVE all the details, just the greatest birthday party! Lezlee

  10. I go kid party crazy too! My daughter just turned 3 in February and I’m already working on her next party which just so happens to be a circus theme! Thanks for all the great ideas!

  11. Well. All my mommy friends are blown away by my parties. They say, “Oh, how creative, how clever…”

    Let me tell you. You blow me out of the water! FAB-U-LUSS! I am impressed, inspired, and… up to the challenge! Oh, just wait till you see my Halloween party next year! I can step it up and be as great as you! (It’s a shame I don’t have a party till then…)

  12. This looks like one fun, well put together, colorful birthday party!
    On the mark momma! Looks magical!

  13. Wow. You should go into business! I mean, wow. I plan events for a living and I’ve never done anything like that. Thanks for sharing all the ideas. You can probably expect half of American moms to be coping you.

  14. This is like the most amazing birthday party that I have ever seen. Seriously — I am blown away. LOVE it!


  15. Awwwwesome!!!

  16. What a fun party. Gives me some inspiration. Thanks!

  17. Loved your party for CJ! I did something similar for my daughter on one of her birthdays. We hired a clown and magician. One fun party theme I did for her one year was a hawaiian theme. Instead of cake, we did a banana split bar. The local Dairy Queen donated the banana boat containers to me for free!

  18. Okay, you are officially over-the-top insane! This is amazing. I was impressed with the pirate party and this is equally impressive. Your little man is one LUCKY duck!

  19. SO FUN! All the details paid off! All of your parties are awesome!


  20. What a wonderful party! All of the details are great!!!

  21. what an amazing day you pulled together!! love those goodie bag – sideshow inspired – fillers!

  22. oh how i LOVE me a great party! you did such a fabulous job,. love the creativity in all your signs! i posted a party idea today too, would love it if you came and checked it out!


  23. You never cease to amaze! What a fabulous birthday party! I would have loved it as a kid! What am I saying? I would love it NOW! haha! Thanks for sharing at ANYTHING RELATED!

  24. Now that’s what I call a goody bag!

  25. Came from the Idea Room. Love all the games. I did a way scaled down bday carnival for my one year old. Should have seen this before!

    Just Another Day in Paradise

  26. Very nice. It’s clear that you put a lot of work into this!

  27. This is phenomenal! What an amazing amazing party! We do a 4th of July Carnival for our family and I just picked up some great additions for it! Thanks so much!
    Rebecca of the R&W Gals

  28. I should not read posts like this! It almost made me cry for many reasons. My kids don’t have anything like that for a party. You are such an amazing mom! And your little guy seriously has to be one of the luckiest people in the entire world. Wow!

  29. Totally awesome! I love the invites… such cute pictures! What a fun party!

  30. Darling party! I really love all the signs!

  31. Wow! That looks like it was a great party. You created so many amazing things. I Loved the cake too! Thanks for linking up!

  32. This turned out amazing!! Thanks for linking up this week!

  33. your party has been featured.

    email me if you would like an “I was Featured” button.

    [email protected]

  34. Totally Awesome Party!!! One question…how did you do the letters for the signs and banner? Did you print out template and hand cut? If there is an easier way than that please…please tell me 🙂 Thanks!!

  35. Keli Massie :

    How did you make the tags for the goodie bags? I love the ideas you have (Tiniest Animals on Earth!). I was just wondering where you found your clip art, etc. for the tags? Any info. you can provide I would greatly appreciate! I’m throwing a carnival party for my twin boys who will be 4 June 4th! 🙂

  36. You are an amazing party planner! What great ideas! I also am IN LOVE with your tags for the goodie bags! Please Please Please send some info my way! I would even be willing to pay a design fee for them, they are that amazing! I really appreciate any help! Thank you!

    [email protected]

  37. You are one lady who knows how to throw a great party. Looks like everyone had a great time.

  38. AMAZING!!!!!
    Looks like it was a blast!
    Such great creations too!!!

  39. Oh my goodness! This is just fabulous! It must have taken you forever to put this all together, Great Job!!


  40. This is an inspiration… I now have a theme for my 2 year old next year… thnx SOOOOOOO MUCH!!! Now I can get started… yeayyy…

  41. I was wondering, how did you make the stand for the ring toss game? Also, what did you use for the rings? Thanks…

  42. Oh what an excellent party! I am having extreme party envy right now. Sadly my kids are both winter babies and we are in the north east 🙁

  43. Wow!! That is all I can say. I absolutely love all of your ideas. I was wondering what font you used to make all your posters, I don’t think I have seen that one before. Also, where did you get your cotton candy and popcorn boxes? Thanks!

  44. You are absolutely amazing and I am awe of what you accomplish! Thank you for inspiring me to try to be more creative and giving.

  45. Stephanie,
    I am also wondering if you sell the templates for the treat bags and how you did the lettering. I’m having a carnival party next week and LOVED your ideas!!

  46. THIS IS FABULOUS! Although I cannot hope to replicate your artwork, I would love to make some similar signs. Can you tell me what font you used & perhaps the size? Our church is doing a face painting/tattoo booth at a fall festival this week and I’d love to make a sign using this font. You are my new fav blog. Thanks!

  47. What a beautiful party! Looks like everyone had a great time! Found you through CSI Project!


  48. This is my first visit to your blog and all I can say is that you are AMAZINGLY talented!! Wonderful job on the birthday party! Gosh how cool!!

  49. Could you Please tell me where you found the circus tent clip art? I’ve been looking for days and can’t find one! You can email me at [email protected]

    Thanks so much! By the way, this party looked Amazing!

  50. This party was so well put together. These are the ideas I was looking for to have for my nephew’s party in 2 weeks. I would love to use a few of these ideas.


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