July 22, 2010

Circus Carnival Party

(This week, I am going to attempt to catch up on documenting our summer so far.) 

I've been promising a post about Asher's Circus Carnival Birthday party since January. Since I was so busy making sure all the booths were running smoothly (at the party), I forgot to take many pictures!  So, I had to wait until the Circus traveled to San Antonio.  (After all that work planning Asher's party...and a lot of which Avery helped out with the week of...we hated to see all of it go in the trash, so we loaded up my brother's truck and shipped the circus to San Antonio. Perfect...I could finally get some pictures!!)

On Memorial Day Weekend, we went to San Antonio to celebrate my niece's, Brynn & Camdyn's birthdays.  My sister was so smart to combine their parties...I may have to do that next year and celebrate Asher's "1/2 birthday" with McKlayne's birthday.  (It is pretty crummy trying to plan a winter birthday.   Because all of our friends and family have so many kids...which we love...and we like to invite the whole family, the guest list gets long fast, which excludes having an inside party at our house!  Every indoor venue is terribly expensive to rent...and in College Station, you just don't have many options.)  We were planning on bearing the weather having the circus party in our backyard...which is pretty large, but the week of the party it rained and rained, leaving our backyard flooded!  Our sweet friend's, the Terry's, generously offered that we have Asher's party in their barn and we gladly accepted!

After much scrounging the internet for birthday party ideas, I found this site and it was my biggest inspiration for the Circus Carnival Party.  Charlie, of course, made the invitations:

Bags of peanuts and popcorn were passed around as guests arrived.  I ordered the bags from this Etsy store.


I can't believe that I don't have any full-body shots of Charlie as "Charlie Brown the Clown".  (Does anyone else?)  He spoke in his best clown voice as made balloon animals for guests as they arrived.  (This totally made the party memorable, honey, even if you did scare a few kids.)

I had a LOT of help from childless guests.  Our siblings, and some other college students and friends helped us run the booths and pass out tickets, accordingly.  (We could not have pulled this off without all of your help!)  The booths included:

Face painting by Uncle Cary. (I didn't get a picture of him...this is Char from our niece's party with Stella...but look at Cary's masterpiece of the octopus on Asher's cheek below.)  The kids really loved this.

Spray Away:  Kids get one ticket for each ping-pong ball they knock off a golf tee with spray from a water gun.

(I don't have a pic for this one.) 
Lucky Ducks: A galvanized bucket full of water and rubber ducks.  The children pick a duck and look underneath to see the number of tickets they win.  Ten ducks were numbered 1-3.

Feed the Elephant: This was a big hit with the little kids. (Charlie painted this on a washing machine box and used a dryer vent for the trunk.)  The kids would place peanuts in the trunk to "feed the elephant" and raise the trunk until the peanuts dropped inside. 

Someone was inside the box to drop tickets in the other side of the trunk and when the child pulled the trunk back down, tickets would fall out.

Pie Toss:  My brother was such a good sport.  He allowed the kids to throw whipped cream pies at his face all day.  Once again, Charlie painted the "strong man" that Jordan donned.  (This station was also one of kid's favorites.)

Clock the Clown: My sister and I made these clowns out of plastic juice bottle (filled with water about 1/3 of the way) covered with fabric and styrofoam ball decorated with pompoms and pipe cleaners for the heads.  The kids got a couple balls to throw and got a ticket for each clown they knocked down.

Feed the Lion: Bean bags were tossed into this lion's mouth. Tickets were handed out accordingly. (Char, our parties would be lame without your brilliant handiwork.)

(This also doubled as a good photo opp.) 

Lastly, my favorite booth was the photo booth that our dear friends Ryan and Sara worked.  (You've probably heard of us talk about them before.  We love these people.) I got the photo booth inspiration from this blog.

I hung a piece of fabric inside of a HUGE refrigerator box.  We had a box of fun dress up clothes and asked each family to take a picture.  We mailed these pics out with the thank-you notes.  This was another big hit!!

I didn't take a picture of the "Concessions" table, but we had chili and hotdogs with all the fixings, chocolate covered pretzel rods, lemonade and water.  

And...again, I didn't get a pic of the prize table, but imagine something beautiful like this:

We had glass jars full of all kinds of yummy treats & prizes: groucho marx glasses, gumballs, twizzlers, M&M's, temporary tattoos, crazy straws, goldfish, and candy bracelets.  Each jar was marked with a number for the number of tickets that it cost.

Asher's cake was decorated with some of his plastic animals.  I found that clown on the unicycle at Dollar Tree and balanced him on top of some old peanut butter lids.

Charlie designed some really cool banners for all of the names of the booths and tables, including "Happy Birthday".  And because I would be clueless as where to start with all of this without a graphic designer/artist for a husband, we've made the files available for you to download and use.  Just click here and you can download a pdf with all the letters for the banners for you to print.  

Let me know if you use them! I'd love to see pics of your circus-carnival themed parties!

More pics from Asher's party:

And a few pics from the Currie Girl's Circus Party:

McKlayne did not want to give back the Minnie Mouse ears or the beads.  She wore them for half the party.  When I'd ask her if she was ready to put them back, she'd say, "No! I  Minnie Mouse!"

I just adore him. Did you notice how much he matured in just 4 months?

Avery had a tattoo and nails booth where she painted the girl's fingernails!!

My sister, Kyle, took the following and said, "It's like I wasn't even there."

She's right.

I love these two and all their interactions...okay...almost all their interactions.


aggielady02 said...

You seriously need to go into the party planning business. I am so impressed. Cloe's cowgirl party is the 8th, any suggestions!?

Liz said...

Kirby, I think this may be the cutest idea I have ever seen for a little kids birthday!!! I am way impressed! I might just steal it for the girls. Thanks for always posting wonderful ideas on your blog!

Grace Family said...

So this is completely awesome! I am so impressed! Think you may want to pass it on again... if we can get it to Houston? :-)

chelsea said...

Ha, love reading your comments because I was about to say...good thing I have you to help me plan Chandler's parties or they will be lame! :)

I love your "tutorial" of the party and all the cute ideas.

I love Asher's hat in the last set of pictures. The photo booth has to be my favorite.

Way to go. I love it!!

Kirby said...

Kristina, I'm emailing you!! I've got ideas b/c we almost did a cowboy party!

Liz, let me know if you have questions about anything! It really was so great that my sis combined her girls parties...and you can do some simpler games for Olivia.

Jessica, when would you need it?

Don't worry, Chels, we'll have lots of ideas for Mr. Chandler!

Angela said...

What a fabulous job! Maybe you should be a party planner! You can plan my next circus party for sure....Please? ha

Have a great weekend! Hope your feeling better everyday!

House of Smiths said...

OH MY GOSH! How increadibly cute are YOU and your ENTIRE family!?!?!
I LOVE all the detail that went into this party!
Hands down, the BEST sha-bang I've seen!

ps. Thanks for the sweet words about my pantry!
It's been so fun to actually ENJOY, now that it's all finished :)

Melissa Terry said...

Let me just say that it was even more adorable in person! You did such a bang up job, as always.

Thanks for teaching us all how to rock this party planning thing!

The Allens said...

You are SOOO creative and awesome to make those letters available to anyone that wants to use them! I love all the ideas you had!

Marylou said...

What a wonderful day that was! Y'all are such creative and thoughtful parents. I have such fond memories of that day and know that Asher does as well.

JP said...

pretty sure every time I read your blog I get teary-eyed. I miss you guys.. Asher has to do with a lot of that.. but I mean.. all of you are pretty cool too.

Praying for you.


mandi said...

best party ever!

N.J. and Naimah Davelaar said...

Kirby hi,Im from the island of Curacao(near Aruba) and I was/AM triple inspired by your ideas.I wanted to do a circus party but all the games and bouncers are so expensive or non existent...Nobody has ever done a circus party.They do princess parties and Strawberry,Barbie etc.Boring(yawn).My little girl is turning one in may 2011 and I want her to have the best (circus) party on the island.Well I can say, that with these simple game ideas of YOU specifically,people will be stopping their cars to watch(we live on the mainstreet).All the colors,the food(hotdogs,popcorn) and the music,photographers,the games,children laughing and running around.THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to make our dream come true!!

Unknown said...

The link for downloading the pdf file isn't working. Are you able to send it to me? Planning my son's 1st birthday party!!!

Sheri said...

Hi there! Thanks for sharing your fantastic ideas and pictures. We don't know each other but I was wondering how you got the golf tees in the wood. Did you just hammer them in? I'm actually trying it right now but I can't seem to get them hammered in. Maybe I'm not using enough muscle! Lol! Thanks!!

Kirby said...

Hey Sheri, my husband just drilled holes (the size of the tees) in the block of wood using his drill. Then, he put glue in the holes and let the tees dry. Hope that helps!

Kirby said...

Hey Sheri, my husband just drilled holes (the size of the tees) in the block of wood using his drill. Then, he put glue in the holes and let the tees dry. Hope that helps!