Sunday, March 06, 2011

Come One, Come All!

This year for my son's 4th birthday we decided on an "Old~Time" Carnival Theme.  I've seen so many cute  carnival themed parties out there over the past 6 months that I couldn't wait to design and style one of my own.  With the theme set, it was time to get to work!   Since I'm loving everything vintage lately I knew it was going to be vintage styled {hence the "Old~Time"}.

I chose a vintage looking red, with a couple shades of blue and of course white.  We had pinwheels, bunting flags, classic carnival foods and even a midway with old~time carnival games and prizes.  Since we live in Michigan and this party took place at the beginning of February {with about 10 inches of snow on the ground} the entire thing was held indoors... tricky, but not impossible.  And trust me when I say we had a FULL HOUSE!  I guess everyone loves a carnival!!

DIY printable "Old-Time" Carnival Collection available for sale in my etsy shop
We started the party by serving non other than hotdogs, chips and lemonade.  Classic, yummy and inexpensive!  I staged a hotdog bar, but since this was a bunch of 4 year olds it worked best to just seat them and serve them.  The table was set with red, white & blue plates and napkins and old time milk jars for the lemonade with cute red and white striped straws {which the kids absolutely LOVED!}  On each setting I placed 16 tickets {for games after lunch} tied with blue & white striped twine.  This was my attempt at keeping things fair and ensuring each kid got equal game time.  Plus it looked super cute!

Oh, and I even made the birthday boy a special "old~fashioned" birthday hat, which I put on his place setting!  

Custom party hats available by Party NV
After lunch the kids took their tickets and headed to the games.  There were 8 activities in all, that included: Can Knock Down, Bottle Toss, Lollipop Tree, Bowling for Bunnies, Pin the Nose on the Clown, Balloon Stomp, Tattoo Parlor and Balloon Animals.  I tried to keep everything fun and simple since this was a younger crowd.  For tables I used moving boxes, which were perfect size and height for pre-schoolers.  Plus they were inexpensive and reusable... BONUS!  The only thing I would have done differently {an unfortunate after thought} is bought some inexpensive colored fabric to drape them in.

Custom carnival games and signs available from Party NV

Don't forget the PRIZES!  What would a carnival be without prizes?? NOT FUN!  Fortunately for my son and his friends I have a relative that has a company that deals in carnival type prizes, so I was able to score some sweet stuff!!  In keeping with the look and feel of an old~time carnival, I used a board to pin the animals to and we leaned it against the wall.  Watching the little ones stand at the wall staring in amazement, with eyes wide open, was priceless!  You could get the same look from dollar store finds.

When the chaos, I mean games were finished {chuckle}... we headed back to the table for some cake & ice cream and other sweet treats from the dessert table.  The sweets were provided by Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies... OH MY! 

Cake by Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies.... OH MY!
Cake and cupcake toppers by Party NV
Cake by Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies... OH MY!
Cake topper by Party NV
Cake & Cupcakes by Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies... OH MY!
Cupcake toppers by Party NV
Dessert Table:
Sweets by Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies... OH MY!
Styling & design and printables by Party NV
For party favors I kept it pretty simple and gave away boxes of animal cookies, bags of cotton candy and other old fashioned candies of their choice.  

Overall the party was a success and each kid left with a big smile on their face!  Now, what to do next year?  Hmmm... 

If you're interested in the DIY Printable "Old-Time" Carnival Collection it will be available for sale in my etsy shop or you can contact me for more information.  The collection includes: Invites, 2" party circles/tags, 2"favor circles/tags, table tents, banner, thank you notes, and welcome sign.


  1. Party looks amazing! I love the stuffed animal prize board<--What a creative idea!

  2. Thanks Amy!! The kids loved it too :D

  3. Thanks Susan! It was such a fun party... planning and hosting :D

  4. The printables look amazing. I am also interested how you ran the games and tickets. Each time the child won a game did they get a prize?

  5. @Anonymous~If you notice there was a stock of tickets on each child's plate... this ensured 2 things (1) they each got the same number of tickets and turns at the games and (2) and that we could move things along, because when they were out of tickets they were done!

    I have enough games for the number of children to try to eliminate longs lines, although they were allowed to choose what they wanted to play (ie... if they wanted to play can knockdown 12 times then they could). Each game had a number of tickets to be won (per the game) and each prize had a number of tickets to be redeemed. I had family and parents help with the games (since these were 4 years olds we were a little lax on the rules of the game)

    They would turn in their "white tickets" to play and then they were given another color when they won (basically each kid got at least one ticket back for playing) to turn in for prizes.

    I hope that helps!

  6. I love these designs. You can view my fashion version of these carnival themed party items at

  7. You're version is awesome too! This son says that he wants a candy shop for his 5th birthday... Hmmm, that could be fun!!

  8. This was probably my favorite party that I saw on here! You are so creative! From: Sharon Chiotti


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