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Circus Party

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Circus Party Decorations
Circus Party Decorations
Make your guests feel like they're under the big top with an abundance of festive balloons and streamers in bright primary colors (red, yellow and blue.) If the party is indoors, cover the walls with red and white striped sheets. If outdoors, hang the sheets from poles and clotheslines to make a makeshift tent.

Put circus posters and cutouts of clowns and circus animals everywhere as well as strings of multicolored pennants and Christmas lights. If you have a little artistic talent you can even make your own specially designed circus signs and posters on large sheets of poster board or craft paper. Circus clip art and old-timey typestyles are easy to find online.

Line the walkway outside of the party with bunches of balloons in various colors, weighed down or tied to stakes in the ground. Cover the doorframe with more balloons and streamers and hang a banner welcoming your guests to the birthday circus. Play circus or calliope music, and you may even consider renting a bubble machine or handing out bottles of bubble solution and wands so the children can shower new arrivals with bubbles. If you want to dress to impress, wear a clown or ringmaster costume to greet them!

A red and white striped tablecloth is great for the circus theme. You can also lay down a bright blue or red tablecloth, sprinkle with confetti and glitter and cover with clear plastic. Napkins and dishes can be found with clown or circus designs, or stick with primary colors. Helium balloons and streamers can be tied to the chairs and weighed down by an animal or clown centerpiece on the table. For a little extra fun, hang a trapeze made from string and a long cardboard tube over the party table. A monkey stuffed animal makes a great trapeze artist!

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Circus Party Activities
Circus Party Activities
You'll want to plan plenty of fun and festive circus activities to keep your guests busy throughout the party. After the guests arrive, let them dress up as clowns, circus animals, lion tamers and other circus characters. Have some kid-friendly face paint ready as well as funny wigs and red foam noses. Raid your closets (and even thrift stores) for tacky old clothes with bright and colorful patterns and shoes that will be oversized and floppy on little feet.

When the children are looking their clownish best, put on a circus parade! Let them pull wagons with stuffed animals, bang drums, twirl batons, waves flags and act like goofy clowns. Lead the parade with a portable music player playing circus tunes and don't forget to take plenty of pictures and video to share with their parents!

Another way to clown around is to have a race in clown outfits. Divide the children into teams and have them race to the finish line wearing floppy clown shoes, wigs and oversized clown pants over their own clothes. And of course you can play Pin the Nose on the Clown, or take turns swinging at a clown piñata!

Let the kids "walk the high wire" by laying a long stretch of rope on the ground to see who can keep their balance the furthest without stepping off. Paint a large face of a lion on posterboard or foam core ahead of time and cut a circle around its mouth, to let the kids "feed the lion" by tossing bean bags from a distance.

What's a circus birthday party without performers? Hire a local clown, magician, juggler, balloon animal artist or gymnast to put on a show for the children. You may know a teenage or adult friend or relative who would be willing to dress as a clown, or who even has a few magic tricks up their sleeve! It's not too difficult to learn the basics of juggling or making balloon animals, why not practice before the party and gives the kids a demonstration yourself?

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