Kids' Carnival Party for Halloween

Come one, come all! Host a carnival-theme Halloween party for kids that's chock-full of fun food, games, and prizes.


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The Carnival?s in Town!
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The Carnival's in Town!

    Step right up for a Halloween party that brings carnival-like fun right to your home. Complete with easy snacks and games -- without a Big Top budget -- this party is sure to please. Plan your menu and devise a points system for awarding prizes to game winners. At the end of the party, crown a carnival king or queen (the kids with the most points) with a special prize.

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Sweets & Treats

    Dole out carnival favorites to fuel carnival goers for hours of games. Serve plenty of sweets with a Halloween twist, such as cupcakes, cookies, and orange drinks. For decorations, arrange unique gourds in big tubs and scatter them across the buffet.

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Offer Options

    Serve a sweet cider as a noncarbonated drink option. Ladle the fragrant fall drink out of a clear punch bowl with a paper jack-o'-lantern face (cut from black paper) grinning on the front.

    Editor's Tip: Attach the face pieces with a temporary adhesive, such as gummy tack.

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That's a Wrap

    Magically transform bottles of orange soda into pumpkin juice with custom labels. Just cover existing logos with printed labels from our patterns, add some jaunty ribbon, and it's a wrap!

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Carnival Cones

    Right before your very eyes, plain white paper drinking cones become funnels of fun. Decorate the cones with black jack-o'-lantern faces and strips of patterned paper or ribbon. Fill them with caramel corn for a sweet classic treat, or try another unique flavored popcorn recipe.

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Cookie Jar Favorites

    Jack-o'-lantern cookies are a decorative and tasty addition. Purchase store-bought cookies or make and frost your own.

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Take the Cake

    Mix up your favorite layer cake (from scratch or a mix) and frost with orange icing. Put more of the icing in a cake decorating bag fitted with a #1 or #2 tip and pipe jack-o'-lantern faces onto chocolate wafer cookies. Parade the grinning guys atop and around the cake.

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Ghostly White

    If you're planning a big party, two cakes may be in order. Use a whipped or meringuelike frosting to coat a cake, then pipe ghost shapes on top. Decorate the ghosts with facial features made with black icing.

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Let the Games Begin!

    Start the party with a guessing game challenge. Fill a clear bowl with candy corn, counting the pieces as you fill. Download and print our sign and adhere it to a paint stick (painted black) with glue. Ask kids to write their names and guesses on slips of paper. Award the child with the closest guess with a special carnival prize.

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Aim & Toss

    Get ready for a tossing game. Download and print our patterns: a sign for the Can Toss game and one to wrap each can. Measure around the cans and cut printed papers to wrap around them; secure with glue. Arrange the cans on a tiered shelf with designated points. Provide the kids with table tennis balls to toss into the cans .

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Drop in the Bucket

    Paint a bucket orange and adorn with a jack-o'-lantern face cut from black electrical tape. Let the kids try tossing a ball into the bucket. Award points and ring a bell (this one sports a ghostly face) for a successful try. Download our free pumpkin bucket and ghost bell patterns, cut them out, and trace the pieces onto black electrical tape; adhere in place.

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Beanbag Toss

    Create a large wall hanging from vintage Halloween clip art. Take an image to a copy shop to have it enlarged and printed. Hang it on the wall as a backdrop and set a stool in front of it. Let kids throw beanbags, trying to get as many as they can on top of the stool. Award points for each beanbag that lands (and stays) on the stool. See next slides for details on making the beanbags.

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Beanbag Details

    Make your own beanbags in a snap. Cut pairs of 3x4-inch rectangles from black-and-white fabrics. Sew with the wrong sides together, leaving a small opening. Turn the bags right side out, fill them with beans, and sew the opening closed. For a beanbag tray, cut a jack-o'-lantern face from black electrical tape and adhere to a round orange tray.

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Watch Carefully

    Paint three mini wooden pails (available at crafts store) with thinned white paint and let dry. Cut triangle-shape eyes from black electrical tape and adhere them to the pails. For the game, hide a piece of candy underneath one of the pails. Quickly slide all three of them around, then ask the kids to guess where the candy is hiding. Award points (and the candy, of course!) for a correct guess.

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Sweet Send-Off

    Send each carnival guest home with a mini bucket full of Halloween candy. Decorate the vessels with fun black and orange stickers.

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More Party Fun
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