3 Ways to Budget for a Carnival Themed Event

If you’re looking for a super fun, vibrant theme for your event, go for a carnival theme event! A carnival theme is great for kids parties and baby showers. It is also a unique theme for the wedding of a playful couple. 

Carnivals invoke the simple pleasures of childhood mingled with the glitz and glamor of a truly fabulous party. It also opens up the opportunity to have a lot of fun activities that you might not see at other types of parties. 

Here are some suggestions for creating ideas for a carnival party on a budget. We'll explore three practical ways to budget for a carnival-themed event, allowing you to strike the perfect balance between excitement and spending. 

Budgeting A Carnival Themed Event

Identify the elements necessary to create the carnival atmosphere and prioritize your budget accordingly. Focus on decorations, games, and entertainment that contribute significantly to the theme. 


carnival booth

Games are what will take your party from a nice gathering to an event to remember! There are many great carnival themed event games that you can choose from. You could have a ring toss or a balloon darts board.

Try to get guests to throw ping pong balls into tumblers or have a fish pond complete with poles and paper fish. You could even have face painting, which is not a game, but is a ton of fun and goes with the spirit of a real carnival. 

For each game give out tickets. At the end of the evening guests can visit a prize table to redeem tickets. You will need friends who are willing to man each station but even they will have a great time. 

For a children’s prize table you could have things like suckers and gumballs, carnival goodie bags, kazoos and yo-yo’s , bouncy balls, stamps and stickers – all of which can be bought bulk at an inexpensive price. For a wedding reception, offer more grown-up party favors.


colorful balloons

Naturally, an outdoor carnival themed party should have bright circus decoration ideas. Use place settings to accent bold linens. Having additional linens to hang and drape over chairs can add to the bold carnival effect. 

In our mock up above, red and white sheer voile drape panels are hung behind the table to decorate the room. They are held with gold rhinestone drape clips which match the gold rhinestone napkin rings. Curly willow chair covers compliment the striped tablecloth while the striped chair band for chairs matches the tablecloth

If you look closely, you will see that the sash for chairs also has a gold rhinestone napkin ring being used as a sash clip to help tie it to the napkins. The striped tablecloth completes the table for carnival party decorations!


party table setup

It’s relatively easy to make a carnival party food and will greatly depend on what you and your guests will enjoy. Some suggestions include a corn dog, or really any food, on a stick. Serve corn dogs with french fries in paper cones. Offer little bags of popcorn, cotton candy, and peanuts for a quick snack. 

Pretty much any food you can eat while walking is fair game! But, if you need some suggestions, you could visit a carnival or theme park. One of the great things about carnival foods is that while you may pay an arm and a leg for them at a carnival or theme park, the at-home versions are comparatively inexpensive.

What is a Carnival Themed Party?

party decor

A carnival-themed event is a lively and festive event that draws inspiration from traditional circus decoration ideas' vibrant and colorful atmosphere. It captures the essence of a carnival experience, bringing excitement, joy, and a playful spirit to any occasion. 

Whether it's a birthday party, a carnival-inspired corporate event theme, or a special gathering, a carnival theme party idea adds an element of fun and entertainment that appeals to people of all ages.

At a carnival-themed party, guests are immersed in a world of amusement and wonder. The venue is transformed into a carnival fairground with eye-catching decorations, bright colors, and whimsical elements. 

Classic carnival games and activities take center stage, offering guests a chance to test their skills, win prizes, and indulge in the thrill of competition. From ring toss and balloon darts to duck ponds and can knockdowns, plenty of exciting games engage everyone and create a sense of friendly rivalry.

Carnival party food and drinks are reminiscent of traditional carnival fare. Guests can enjoy delicious treats like cotton candy, popcorn, hot dogs, candy apples, and funnel cakes. These nostalgic delights add to the festive outdoor carnival theme party and the authentic carnival experience.

Entertainment options such as jugglers, stilt walkers, face painters, and magicians can be hired to captivate and entertain guests in enhancing the ambiance. Live music, circus performers, or even a carousel ride can elevate the carnival-themed party, providing unforgettable moments of joy and enchantment.

When To Start A Carnival Themed Event?

photobooth props

When planning a carnival themed event, it's essential to consider the timing and when to start the preparations. Whether it's a corporate event, or creating carnival birthday theme ideas, or for other occasions, creating early allows for smoother execution and ensures all the details are in place. 

One factor to consider is the event draping, which sets the stage for the carnival atmosphere. Begin by selecting vibrant and colorful fabrics that match the theme, and coordinate them with table overlays and chair sash clips for a cohesive look.

Enhance the chairs further with chair caps, adding extra flair. To complement the carnival-inspired color palette, consider incorporating burnt orange napkins that add warmth and vibrancy to the table settings.

Starting the preparations early gives you ample time to source and organize party supplies in bulk for circus theme ideas, providing your guests a visually stunning and immersive experience.

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