My Niece’s Circus Themed Birthday Party (turning one)

I wrote an entire post about my niece, Eleanor, who a few days ago just turned one, and then I deleted it. I was beginning to philosophize the theory of ‘building memories’ with children, and I went on and on about the idea of how children change us for the better, at least temporarily, until they grow up and realize (or we realize) that we haven’t changed at all. The sweet moments of setting examples for children, in our minds, are self-evident. Like how I become suddenly aware of my verbal phrasal tone, my eyebrow raising during grocery store item-check hold-ups (even if it is subtle), or my monotone discussions, are all pretty apprehensive to me. It’s great that I am becoming aware of my behavior around this sweet child, I figured, but the thought that this change could be at times counterfeited for the sake of (perhaps) Eleanor somewhere deep down is taking note (although she is only one) is gut wrenching. And I used counterfeit due to its applicable definition: “make a copy of with the intent to deceive”. Nobody wants to deceive a child, especially not one that is as dear to me as Eleanor. But what happens when Eleanor turns 16 and during an irate mood that involves a day with no coffee I forget that I am still trying to set an example? Changing around children can be a wonderful thing because children do in fact change us. However, making sure the change is authentically genuine and real is the hard part I am trying to wrap my head around.

Nevertheless, I did say I deleted that article, didn’t I? I want to share some of Eleanor’s Circus/Carnival theme birthday party for some inspiration for anyone looking to throw their son or daughter or niece or nephew a birthday party.



All kinds of home-made ‘Carnival’ food were prepared for this party. Although it took a lot of prep work, pulling a birthday party like this is really not that difficult. The food was prepared the day before but cooked the day of (for example, the home-made hamburger patties were made the night before but grilled to perfection the day of the party). The chocolate pops (the pink, blue, and green ones) were made the night before (just buy coloured chocolate from Michaels and a pop tray and just melt the chocolate in the microwave for a minute or two, put each colour in a piping bag, and pipe into the pop tray. Then freeze them for 5-15 seconds, then repeat). The rest of the table had: french fries, mini hamburgers, popcorn chicken, mini Pizza, Mini Lebanese falafel (for the adults), and cinnamon and salt pretzels. All the food was homemade, and all recipes can be found on Pinterest. This is doable, promise!


A close up of the mini-hamburgers! The multicoloured cookies were also easy to made. Just search for your favourite butter cookie recipe and add food colouring to it! Easy, and the kids will love them!

img_7340A close up of the chocolate pops!

img_7273This table was put together by my sister-in-law who did an amazing job! This took a bit of work (let’s be honest)- it took some planning and lots of preparation work to get this table looking like this. But, all worth it!


This table has: candies in a gum-ball machine (you buy empty and clear christmas ornaments and you fill them with candy. Then, you buy a coloured plastic cup and you glue the ornament to the cup. Then, you glue on a home-made bow– this is where you need to use your arts and craft skills!); a cotton candy stand, and more candies and lollipops in baskets.

fullsizerender-2A close-up look at the gum-ball machine and what else was on the table. There was also dipped marshmallows, and lots, lots of candy (as you can see; kids were flying!).

fullsizerender-3I apologize if the picture isn’t so clear. Some of these I took with my iPhone (for snapchat purposes, so the quality isn’t so great). But on this table we also had popcorn for the kids.

img_7284And finally, the cake!! How beautiful is this cake? We had the cake made by a professional and she did an amazing job. It was a vanilla cake with fresh strawberries in the middle.



I hope there were enough great ideas here for your next themed birthday party (this can be made for adults as well 😉 Only then I would add churros, some cowboy hats, and a punch bowl!) 😀