How to have a carousel themed birthday party for kids
Step right up and make merry with a merry go round party! This party theme is all
about the food, decorations and party games. It's easy enough to create a sweet
carousel theme at home, and here's how to host a terrific little party under the big top
of a carousel:
- Get the "Big Top" look with stripes! Red striped party goods give the flavor of a
party under the big top, so for this party, start with a red color scheme. Choose
red striped popcorn boxes and bags, which work wonderfully for snacks and
goodie bags. Add red striped paper straws, above, and red swirly lollipops,
above right. Serve food in red oval plastic baskets and cake on striped paper
plates. Unroll a some red carnival tickets and allow them to swirl the table top in
a long strip.
- Add a rainbow of confections. This party is all about the sweets table. Kids will
adore a candy buffet of colorful gourmet rainbow popcorn, immediate left, plus
carousel pop lollies, a rainbow selection of gumballs, salt water taffy, and
anything covered in confetti sprinkles!
- Carousel Horse Balloons: If you have a large space at your party, you can arrange
horse balloons into a circle to give a carousel feel. Anchor the balloons with
horse shoe weights.
- Carousel horse umbrella table: If you have a round table with an umbrella
in the middle, you can cover the top of the umbrella with red and white
fabric or poster paper, then arrange the balloons around it like a carousel.
- Set up a display of painted ponies: You won't find plastic carousel horse figurines
available, but you can set up a sweet painted ponies display. Spray paint your
own plastic horse figurines into carousel horses. When they're dry, arrange
them into a circle on a lazy Susan and you have a sweet carousel horse
- Stick it to her: Start with a stick horse and you're halfway there to throwing a
terrific carousel horse party. Have a cake walk merry-go-round style: kids hop on
their stick horse and walk a circle, play carousel music.
Carousel themed party supplies
Party supplies for carousel themed parties are hard to come by, so you'll have to
leverage creativity. Even so, we've gathered some of the best resources available to
help you plan the best ever carousel birthday party:
- Carousel Party supplies: Here's a rundown of the basic carousel birthday party
supplies you'll need:
- Wilton Carousel Cake Accessories: These plastic
- Carousel party favors: Stuff red striped popcorn bags or boxes with treats:
- Carnival pops. No carousel party theme would without carnival pops. Any swirly
vintage style sucker will do: long twisted lollipops or the classic rainbow variety
pictured left. You'll find swirl pops and striped straws to match any party color.
- Stick candies carousel horse favors: Try this do it yourself favor idea... buy stick
candies in your party colors, and affix a painted pony sticker or drawing to them.
Dover carousel animal stickers, lower left, are just the right size. Affix them to a
sturdy paper and tape to the stick candy, and (voila!) you have an instant
carousel animal favor. Dover makes carousel favor booklets, including Heidi the
Carousel horse paper doll. See also the Carousel horse coloring books below.
- Gumballs: Bright gumballs A small red gumball machine
- Carousel Invitations: Craft your own carousel inviations with the Carousel animal
sticker book, upper left. Use them for thank you cards or to add a special touch
to invitations. You'll find the Carousel Animal stickers are fun for decorations and
- Carousel drink decorations: Make a carousel of sodas! Stick Carousel Animal
Stickers to soda bottles after you've peeled the original label. Jones sodas
are ideal for this party project. Display them on a lazy susan.
- Carousel Party favors: These also make a nice party favor when paired with
a carousel pop and presented in a vintage-style popcorn bag. Buy extras
to seal your goody bag. Stick individual stickers on large whirly pops.
- More creative uses: Use the Carousel animal stickers for name tags, to
create labels for the buffet, dessert table or candy buffet.
- Carousel Cupcake Stands: Make a carousel cupcake stand using Wilton's carousel
horse cake kit. upper left. You might otherwise transform a plastic swivel cake
stand into a moveable feast: a carousel cake that actually moves!
- See also the party time cake stand at the bottom of the page and learn how to
make carnival style cake pops.
Decorations for a carnival party
- Tents and banners: You can get the feel of a circus at home easily with circus
tents and pennant banners:
- Set up a circus tent
- Pennant banners are easy enough to make yourself by stringing paper
diamonds into triangles over ribbon, yarn or string, but you'll find plenty of
vendors on ETSY who will make beautiful pennant banners from cloth too.
- Carnival style balloons: Cluster ordinary balloons into flowers: try five yellow
balloons clustered around a pink or orange balloon to make an easy daisy
flower. Twist loops from long carnival balloons into simple shapes. If you can hire
a balloon artist or take time to learn before the party, all the better.
Foods to serve at your carousel party:
It's time to send in the ponies (and clowns) and eat snow cones, taffy, caramel apples,
cotton candy, popcorn, ice cream and hot dogs with a memorable carousel party.
- Red baskets: Invite guests to picnic on old fashioned treats you'd find at the local
county fair, like fried chicken with coleslaw, fries and a biscuit. Serve them up
carousel style in a red basket, left. You'll love having these for your other parties
and get togethers.
- Corn dog it for lunch. Consider corn dogs on your lunch menu. They come in party
sizes and are easy to reheat in the oven. Placed side by side with hot dogs,
they will be the first to go!
- Give some zing to popcorn. Serve sweet and savory popcorn treats. Buttery
popcorn presented in red striped popcorn bags or boxes will give your party that
carousel atmosphere. Here are some popcorn ideas:
- Colorful popcorn: Try Popparazi Gourmet Popcorn, above left, which has a
rainbow mix of flavors that includes Cherry, Orange, Vanilla, Blueberry, Lemon,
Strawberry, Banana, and Watermelon.
- Kettle Korn: Delicious on its own, serve Kettle Korn, which is both sweet and
savory. Have fun with Wilton Color Mist, which adds a spray of color without any
flavorings. Divide the Kettle Korn into bowls and Spray Color Mist in your party
colors. Mix it together and you have a rainbow.
- Caramel Corn: Old fashioned
- Cheddar cheese popcorn: Set aside another bowl of cheddar cheese popcorn or
make a party mix that includes pretzels, Chex cereal or other savory snacks.
- More carnival style treats
- Spanglers Marshmallow peanuts, left, are a classic.
- Soft pretzels
- Floss your teeth with candy floss. Cotton candy, or candy floss as it is sometimes
also called, is a staple at carnivals yet so easy to make yourself from home. And
you'd be surprised that cotton candy really doesn't contain as much sugar as
you think. And kids love watching you make cotton candy. Here's our favorite
cotton candy maker.
- Serve Carnival Snow Cones. Nothing beats snow cones or slushies for a hot day
and for a carnival party it's standard fair.
- Shower them in confetti sprinkles. The bright colors of the carnival are the
inspiration for the vibrant cookie and cake decorating sprinkles from India Tree,
right. They're sure to delight everyone's inner child!
Carousel Cupcakes and Cakes
- Bake a confetti cake surprise! Choose your favorite white cake recipe or mix or
(angle food cake is ideal), then add a quarter cup of sprinkles. Here's the family
Carousel Horse Favors
- Carousel Horse Dover books: coloring books, stickers, stencils and tatoos, below,
including Dover Little Activity books.
- Carousel Horse tattoos, below
Carousel Horse Gifts
- Carousel Horse Music Box: You can almost preserve the romance and innocence
of childhood with the Carousel Horse Music box at the bottom of the page. The
birthday girl will treasure this heirloom quality piece, quality construction by
Bryer Enchantmints. Pair this gift with a special book and the silver pendant, also
at the bottom of the page.
Real Carousel parties
- "Wright" timing for a Carousel party: Everyone had a grand time celebrating the
big one under the big top. Check out Wright's Carousel first birthday party. Steel
the idea of the relatively simple Big Top Carousel birthday cake: fondant
decorations on a stacked birthday cake made with clever use of rolled balls and
cookie cutter cut outs. Party colors were in red, accented with green and blue.
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