Circus Party Ideas

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A Circus offers a vibrant, fun, brilliantly entertaining is party theme.

Recreate the colorful, energetic circus atmosphere with Ringmasters, clowns, trapeze artists, lion tamers and put on a show!

A Circus party is one of the party ideas you can make an amazing job of. 

I have tried to give you lots of Circus ideas on invitations, food, decorations, costumes, games, music and favors which will be great for any venue. Planning a trip to a real circus as part of the celebrations can make it extra special.

With lots of funenergy and enthusiasm your party ideas can be a brilliant success. 

Circus Party Ideas Free Printables

Circus Party Ideas - Decorations

For an exciting carnival it is fantastic to have lots of decorations. You'll know how far you can afford to go here.

You can aim for a real Circus feel.


circus party ideas

A circus should have a stunning entrance which sets the scene.

  • A banner announcing the circus party is a great touch. Surrounded by lighting which could be Xmas tree lights.

  • Bunting

  • Ticket Booth

  • Ask volunteers to dress as circus performers and perform at the entrance. They could be jugglers and clowns, for example.

Circus Ideas

circus party ideas
  • Ticket and Fortune Teller Booths, in brights colors with clown and ringmaster pictures on them. The fortune teller booth should have a crystal ball, table, chairs and a fortune teller.

  • You may be able to make a carnival tent. The simplest way is to safely erect a pole in your backyard. Put a very large sheet over the top, stretch it out and fix it to your fence or trees. Hang bright colored streamers under the sheet for effect.

  • Stalls for lemonade, Popcorn, Hot Dogs, Games and Face Painting. The stalls could just be a table with a cloth, or you could use upright PVC pipes taped to the table with a cloth on top. The stall can be clearly marked as Lemonade etc. The stalls can also have some fairground games like throwing tennis balls at cans and penny roll.
  • For the ambitious you could make an animal cage. Cut an empty fridge box into shape. Paint the bars and put colorful paint on the rest. Inside paint a scene on the back such as a lion or add some toy animals.

Scene Setters

circus party ideas
  • Life Sized cut out of a Ringmaster or clown to use for photographs.

  • Pictures of Circus elephants, Ringmasters, Harlequins, Bearded Ladies, Clowns, Jugglers, Fortune Tellers, Lion Tamers and Strongmen

  • Circus posters are great. If you can find some real ones, excellent. If not just print them off the internet and enlarge.

  • Create large clown masks for decorations.
  • Murals of circus images, circus posters, big tops, bearded ladies and other circus performers.

  • Murals made up of drawings of circus performers and circus scenes, including a big top. Ask the guests to color it in and add messages for the graduate. The same can be done with pictures size drawings.

  • Mirrors, use mirror paper and make it out of shape to give the hall of mirrors effect. Adding a few to a room can give a Hall Of Mirrors effect.

  • Create a circus ring with sawdust and border and upside down pails for the performers to stand on

  • Make a rope ladder and fake trapeze hung safely up away from guests.

  • Make a fake barbell. A 6 foot piece of wooden dowel with balls (say basketballs) glued to the end. Spray the balls in black and mark "1000 lbs" on them.

  • Photo stand in so guests can have their photo taken as a circus character

Final Decorations

circus party ideas
  • Circus Streamers, perhaps in red and yellow

  • Circus Banners, with circus images and graduation wording.Use a bed sheet and add your own wording and drawings.

  • Balloons, particularly shaped balloons of the circus animals. You can of course draw on the balloons with any circus images you want, and write the children's names on them. The balloons could be red and yellow. You could also have a balloon entertainer make animal shapes live at the party which become part of the decorations.

  • If you can find red velvet curtains that would make a great entrance to the party just like a circus curtain.

  • Bunting which you can make from card and thread, then hang from light fittings. The bunting can be in any shape you want. That can be a tent, triangle or even an elephant shape, for example. Just color in any way you like.
  • Flags, just like at the circus.

  • Sawdust, perhaps on top of a sheet to save later mess.

  • Circus lights would be great. You may be able to use Xmas lights. Use colored light bulbs for effect. Even better if you can have a spotlight.

  • Create a circus ring, complete with sawdust.

  • Decorate with lots of soft animal toys.

  • Decorate with hoops and batons. If you have netting perhaps you can make it look like a safety net.

  • Buy some inflatable balls to strategically place around the house. Paint cardboard boxes bright colors.

  • Rent a cotton candy machine or popcorn machine.

Lots of decorations will give this carnival the right atmosphere. A bit of imagination and effort will give you your own Big Top!

Decorate Your Guests

circus party ideas

Decorate your guests, this is a brilliant way of getting your guests in the graduation party mood!

  • Clown face paints, clown hats, and clown noses

  • Funtoos - you can get these at any party store.

  • Lots of glow sticks and bracelets

A great idea is to have a box of guest decorations at the party entrance and hand them out liberally!

Table Decorations

A circus party table can be just as much fun as the rest of the party. Some great ideas are:

  • Centerpiece of water squirting flowers or clown hats

  • Party poppers

  • A joke card at each place setting

  • Party hats

  • Colorful table cover

  • Circus themed napkins

Circus Party Ideas - Invitations

There are great ways of creating excellent circus invitations. 

Free Printable

Something like the printable invitation below would be great for a circus graduation party theme. Feel free to use it if you'd like. Just right-click over the image and save it to your desktop. You can then print as many as you need - 5" by 7" paper is ideal.

The circus custom graduation invitations page has another free invite with full personalizing and printing instructions.

Also great ideas on using clip art to make all kinds of party essentials, creating simple photo invites and the easiest homemade invite.

Circus Party Ideas - Confetti

Enhance the Circus invites, and your decorations, and use personalized confetti.

The most amazing photo confetti maker can produce confetti using up to 10 circus themed photos and up to 3 accent colors. They have packs to suit your occasion.

Take photos of the graduate as a clown, ringmaster, juggler, trapeze artist or bearded lady, all in keeping with your circus graduation party theme. 

You can put confetti on the tables, in the invitation envelopes and in the favor bags. One of the better kindergarten graduation party ideas.

Circus Party Ideas - Costumes

circus party ideas

The fun really starts here.

The Circus is full of brilliant costumes. Ringmasters, Clowns, Lion Tamers, Strongmen, Bearded Ladies, Trapeze Artists, Fire Eaters, Fortune Tellers and Jugglers.

If you wish to make your own you should be able to make very good costumes for a circus graduation party theme.

  • Clowns, with great Face Paint Sticks, a clown nose, big shoes, wig and baggy clothes. Also hoop clown pants.

  • Ringmaster, long red jacket, top hat, black trousers, white shirt and boots.

  • Elephants, making a trunk (or buy one) and big ears

  • A loin cloth for a strongman

  • Buy a fake beard and you have a simple bearded lady. Use garish make up and clothes, and you are in character!

  • Fortune teller, using a headscarf, gypsy skirt, lots of make up and big jewelry.

  • Lion tamer, perhaps wearing Chinos, shirt and carrying a fake whip and hat.

  • Trapeze artist, with tights, a glittering waist band and ballet type shoes.

  • Snake Charmer, with those loose fitting silk pants, shirt and waist band.

  • Tattoo covered people. They can use those temporary tattoos you can buy at a party store.

  • Human Cannonball, dress in a work suit, goggles and crash helmet. Write Human Cannonball on the helmet and back of the work suit.

  • Draw cardstock cut outs of famous circus performers and put them up around the venue. They could be a rind master, clown, lion tamer and strongman. They could also line your driveway.

  • Use circus style confetti and set it out on the table and some areas of the party.

  • Juggler - a simple outfit of black pant and white shirt can be used, just add juggling balls.

  • Ask helpers to be dressed as clowns. They should circulate throughout the party and entertain some guests. They can squirt water from their fake flowers, carry out a simple magicians trick and hand out lots of glow sticks and graduation party theme favors.

  • If you have a two person horse costume, find 2 volunteers.

Circus Party Ideas - Food and Drink

circus party ideas

Think of the great, simple food you have at the circus. You can replicate the simple food.

  • Hot Dogs and burgers

  • French fries

  • Sandwiches cut into the shapes of the circus. That could be tents or say animals

  • Animal crackers

  • Cotton Candy

  • Bowls of nuts and bowls of fruit
  • Boxes of raisins

  • Popcorn

  • Caramel Apples

  • Fried Dough

  • Sno-cones

  • Sugar canes

  • Candy

  • Lemonade

  • M&Ms

  • Make sugar cookies using animal shaped cookie cutters like elephants, monkeys and tigers.

Bake a circus party theme Cake and then you can be creative decorating it in a circus theme. Try a clown, ringmaster, circus elephant, prancing horses, big top, the ring or a trapeze! Add in congratulations to the graduate. 

Simple Decorating Idea for Your Circus Party Cake

1) Create a zigzag design round the edge of the cake using small pieces of red liquorice strings or red piped frosting. Colored candy coated sweets look nice placed between the zigzags. 

2) Make circles for the eyes out of chocolate drops and add any colored sweet for the eyes with a chocolate drop on top for the pupil. 

3) Add a cherry for the nose. 

4) Create the outline of a mouth with red liquorice string or red piped frosting. 

Click here for everything you need to make a great cakes, cupcakes or even graduation cap cake. Tips, photos, decorations and recipes.

Circus Party Ideas - Games

circus party ideas
  • Set up penny roll with a table marked out with small squares. Guests win a prize if their penny ends up exactly in a square.

  • Set up tin cans on a table piled on top of each other in the way they do at the fairground. A line would be drawn 6 to 8 feet away. Guests can throw soft bean bags and try and win a prize.

  • Borrow a Wheel of Fortune with prizes.

  • If you can borrow enough fishbowls you can set them up on a table and give guests table tennis balls. Again they win a prize if they get their table tennis balls into the bowls.

  • Clown Races, they can race each other along a 50 foot course, wearing clown shoes. (make it harder by having them carry a small pail of water).

  • Talent Spot, ask guests to perform their own circus act.

  • Stocks, you could have stocks with volunteers who sit in them while other guests throw wet sponges at them.

  • Set up a Dunking Booth.

  • Set up a small tightrope say 1 foot above the ground which is safely surrounded by foam mats.

  • Have a juggling competition. Use juggling balls or even tennis balls.

  • Arrange face painting sticks and make up the graduate and other volunteers as clowns.

  • Give guests pens and paper and have them create their own clown face.

  • For Adults – Balancing Game, you need a tray and say 8 plastic cups full of water. The player balances the tray on their head and without touching the tray adds one cup of water at a time.

  • Circus Party Ideas - Favors

    There are great circus party favors:

    • Tickets for a real circus

    • Candy bars in circus themed wrappers

    • Popcorn

    • Clown masks, noses, hats and shoes

    • Bubbles, yo-yos, kazoos

    • Lots of streamers, balloons, whistles, circus posters

    • Magic tricks

    • Toy circus animals

    • Silly straws

    • Party hats and blow outs

    Use popcorn bags as the favor bags.

    Circus Party Ideas - Music

    Play some real Barnum and Bailey music. Recreate the circus atmosphere.

    Also, all graduation party ideas do need to play exciting, upbeat party music to get the excitement going. 

    Circus Party Ideas

    More circus party ideas:

    • Make sure everyone has their photo taken through the life sized cut out. A clown or ringmaster photo is a great keepsake.

    • Video the party.

    • Use the Circus party ideas to raise money for animal charities such as the one for retired circus animals.

    • Most great party ideas need some budget. Have lots of fundraising activities and raffles to get the budget you need. Also find out if you can have parts of the graduation party sponsored or obtain some donations which can be food and drinks.

    • Have a Circus Ringmaster as an MC, that will add a lot of excitement to the circus graduation party theme. They will need Karaoke equipment. The Ringmaster can announce the arrivals at the circus graduation party theme, the prize winners, the start of games and when to eat.

    Share Your Circus Party Ideas

    If you would like to share your complete circus party ideas with us send us your party story and photos and we will create your own party page and photo gallery hosted on our site. (Family and friends will be able to find inspiration from your graduation party theme and comment on your ideas.) If you share your complete circus party details you will be automatically entered into our next contest. This year we are having a bumper $100 prize fund. There will be an overall winner and runners up prizes. The winner will be the best overall graduation party story and photos. 

    For circus party ideas decorations, party favors and ideas search the World's Largest Party Superstore. 

    Good luck with your circus party ideas. It is a great kindergarten graduation theme.

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