Throw a Circus Theme Party
 (and How to Do It in 5 Easy Steps)

Add a circus theme party to your entertaining – and you’ll be giving everyone the chance to show off and be silly.

It’s not everyday we get to run away to the circus. Only this time, we only have to run as far as our front doors.

Use these 5 easy steps to give your friends an energetic time. On with the show.

Step 1, plan your circus theme party invites

Get the show on the road with these suggestions:

Clown’s Nose — Send in the clowns, by first buying a bag of red noses for your local toy or gift shop. Make sure each one has its own elastic

  • Write your party details on a piece of attractive card, piercing each one with a hole. Tie each card to their own nose and mail
  • Make sure everyone knows to bring their noses on the day.

Circus Collage — As this is a circus theme party, clowns don’t have to be the only attraction. Get everyone inspired with an invite made up of circus images

  • Think elephants, ringmasters, fire eaters, jugglers and more. Glue your pictures to white card, with party details on the back.

Make sure everyone knows this is a fancy dress party.

Step 2, plan your circus theme party decorations

Everyone loves the circus, but decorating doesn’t have to break the bank.

You can create your own Big Top, with a little imagination and patience.

  • Arrange your chairs in a circle, so guests can mingle in the middle
  • Make sure your food and activities areas are separate. Add a candy floss making machine to the food section
  • Scatter your party space with toy elephants, red noses and jars of candy. Got your own dumbbells? Add these too, for guests to try and lift
  • For the Big Top tent, hire one, if you’re partying outdoors
  • If partying inside, you can create your own Big Top tent using long sheets of fabric (like bedsheets)
  • Choose red and white colors and tie one end of both to a central ceiling light. Then take the other end and pin to the wall.
Step 3, plan your circus theme party activities

Who hasn’t dreamt about joining the circus at some point in their lives? The circus fancy dress, the traveling life, the feats of incredible skill!

Taste a bit of that life with these ideas.

Feats of Strength

This is your version of a talent contest, with guests performing their feats of skill.

Play for fun or get people to vote out of 10 what they like.

Arrange your chairs in a circle, with a performance area in the center.

If you know you’re going to have this activity, arrange things in advance with guests. They might need to bring guitars or props.

Some ideas I’ve seen include:

  • Singing love songs on a ukelele
  • Balancing a spoon on your nose
  • Turning balloons into animals
  • Card tricks

Use your dumbbells here, for feats of muscle brawn!

A Circus Fancy Dress Contest

  • Who’s the best looking? Who’s wearing the brightest outfit? Marks out of 10, everyone!

Circus Dancing

Create your own playlists, picking tunes with the word “circus” or suggest it in their names. Try these:

  • Acrobat – U2
  • Send in the Clowns – Frank Sinatra
  • Circus – Lenny Kravitz
  • Enter Circus – Christina Aguilera
  • Psycho Circus – KISS
  • Oompa Radar – Goldfrapp

Hire a Juggler

Teach your guests how to keep their balls in the air, with the help of a juggling friend or professional.

Animal Face Painting

Set up a face painting booth, lined with waterproof tablecloth and face paints.

  • Leave it up to guests to paint each other, or choose a person to be the Painter
  • Also leave a picture book of animals for inspiration

Hula Hoop Relay

Split everyone into two even lines, facing each other.

  • Each player needs to complete three proper spins around their waist. They must keep going, if they’re successful or drop the hoop.
  • Once done, the hoop is passed to the next player. Fastest team wins.

Hula Hoop Endurance

  • Love the hoop? Then challenge your players to see who can hula the longest.
Step 4, plan your circus theme party menu

Here are a few circus party menu ideas:

  • Hotdogs and hamburgers
  • Chicken wings, deli platter, meatballs
  • Microwaved popcorn of all types (salt, toffee, cheese, chilli)
  • Toffee apples, candy floss
  • Homemade cakes, apple pie with ice cream
  • Peanuts and candies scattered over tables
  • Pitchers of homemade lemonade
Step 5, plan a few circus theme party favors

Send everyone back to their urban lives with a few circus mementoes, for example:

  • Rubber clown’s noses
  • Chocolate animal-shaped biscuits
  • Kazoo, whistles
  • A bag filled with different flavors of popcorn
  • A toffee apple
  • A colorful wig

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