Monday, June 2, 2014

Brantley and Grayson's Birthday Carnival


Brantley and Grayson's birthdays are only 3 1/2 weeks apart on the calendar, so this year, as we did last year, we decided to combine their birthday parties, and have one big party celebrating the both of them (and as a sidenote, it works so well that we will continue to do this until one of them requests their own separate party!  SO much easier to just have one!).  I came across the idea of a birthday carnival, and after having a very, very girly Garden Fairy Tea Party last year (see that party here), I thought we'd go for something that would be more fun for the girls and the boys invited (though, the boys had just as much fun at the tea party last year as the girls did!).  And this past Saturday, what a carnival we had!!

Looking at the pictures you wouldn't think it, but I actually kept the food and the food table very simple!  The only thing I actually made were the cupcakes.  We grilled hotdogs and offered ketchup, mustard, relish and diced onions, then served chips, cotton candy, popcorn, peanuts and lots of candy for the carnival fare!  I used colorful bowls and platters that I already had in my party stash, and got some paper hotdog trays, small blue cups for the peanuts, and paper popcorn bags (all from etsy) to eat the treats off of.

And what carnival doesn't have a ferris wheel?!  Since we couldn't have an actual ferris wheel in the backyard, I could not resist this adorable ferris wheel cupcake stand!  I found it on Amazon, and it was probably my favorite thing about the whole party. :)

I made the balloon garland as the food table backdrop the night before the party.  I blew up all the balloons, and just threaded them together with a needle and thick upholstry thread, and hung them from the tree branches.  I really loved how it turned out, and was so colorful behind the table.

I made cupcakes for the party and topped the ones for the ferris wheel with white frosting, sprinkles (or sparkles, as Grayson calls them :)), and circus peanuts!

I found these cute swirl lollipops that were a perfect cupcake topper size, so I stuck a few of those in some more cupcakes, and then topped the rest of them with lemon frosting and marshmallows to look like popcorn!  Cute and very easy.

We kept the drinks very simple and stuck with lemonade and water.  The kids got this Melissa and Doug market and lemonade stand for Christmas, so it served very well as our drink station!  It was the perfect height for the kids to all refill their own drinks!  And they probably each drank their weight in lemonade!

I wanted the girls to have cute and festive matching outfits for the party, so I made them!  I used the cutest dress pattern that is actually open and ties in the back, so it's more like an apron top, that you can wear over pants, or over another dress, or in our case, over a tutu!  I knew that the tutu would give some volume under the dress, and the white ones I found were perfect.  They made for really cute and cool dresses for the hot day.

And what's a carnival without games?  At the gate entrance to the backyard, I made a ticket chain garland, and the kids could take tickets at the ticket stand!

They didn't really have to have tickets to play the games (there really weren't any rules), but it was a fun touch!  Then as everyone walked through the gate, there were tons of games available to play!

For the bean bag toss, we used our trusty old cornhole boards!

I covered a 6 pack box of rootbeer (and had to drink 6 rootbeers in a day and a half!) for the ring toss.  I bought a pack of plastic bracelets for 50 cents for the rings!

In our planter that we have yet to plant anything in this year, the kids could "dig for treasure!" I hid inexpensive prizes in the dirt, and the kids used gardening spades and shovels to find their treasures.

This Ikea circus tent served perfectly as our ball and balloon pit!  This was especially a hit for our younger party guests. :)

My dad built this amazing airplane swing for Bennett for his first birthday, and it was great for airplane rides!

We also had a tattoo parlor with fun temporary tattoos...

...and the most popular place, a bounce house!  Brantley and Grayson have the best sets of grandparents in the whole world, and were lucky enough to have been given this fun bounce house as their birthday gift from Bammy and PaDaddy and Nana and Pop!

And after the kids played all the games and jumped until their little hearts were content, they could choose their own carnival prizes from the prize stand!

I covered a corkboard with red polka dot wrapping paper, and added one of the carnival signs to the top (I made the signs, by the way, with this free template and!  I attached all the signs at the bottom of this post too, so you can use them if you plan your own carnival party!).  I bought a variety pack of small carnival prizes, and put them in cello bags and attached them to the corkboard using thumb tacks.  I also bought a variety of small toys from the dollar store as bigger prizes.  They were ALL a huge hit, and really didn't cost very much.

As a small addition to the carnival prizes, I tied little thank you tags (using the same carnival signs, just  printed in wallet size) to boxes of animal crackers as a little party favor.  I also decorated with a little red bunting, the girls' spring school pictures, and some more candy. :)

As you can see from the rest of the pictures, we had a GREAT time!

Brantley and her sweet friend Sarah Beth

Love this pic of Ben and Pop!

I know I'm biased, but this little boy just melts my heart!!

And he can pretty much get away with anything with that smile.. :)

Bammy and Ben have the same color eyes!

Love this sweet pic of Grayson and Aunt Chrissy!  Even though Grayson doesn't look like it, she had a blast! :)

The see-saw was a hit too

The bouncy house was the place to be!

The cute Berkows and PaDaddy

Brantley and her sweet friend, Annika
One corner of the redecorated (but not completely finished) deck

B'mama and Aunt Robin chilling on the said deck :)

The big boy showing off his Hulk tattoo :) :) 

Lauren and Matt
PaDaddy and Sally Kate

Ben and Sally Kate solving the issues of the world 

The gorgeous chairs my brother built for Brantley and Grayson!  He is so talented!

Grayson showing Daddy her tattoos (hope this is the first and last time this happens! :))

Gracie enjoying her lemonade :)

Who knew the tattoo parlor would be so popular?!

Enjoying a hot dog with Bammy 

Sally Kate loved her cupcake!

Ben enjoyed his cupcake too! :)

Taking one last pass through the concession stand!

Gracie and Maddie digging for treasure!

Gracie and Daddy

Matt, Lauren and Ned :)  Great friends!

Nana and sleepy Ben

The Luton/Carroll grandkids, minus the oldest (Chandler) and the youngest (Harrison)!

Grayson modeling one of her favorite gifts!

A hug from Daddy, fit for a princess!

Raleigh having fun with her Uncle Scott! :)

It was a wonderful day (we even avoided the rain that was forecast!), and such a fun party.  I have thought back on it several times and thought how lucky Brantley and Grayson are to have such caring and loving friends and family that are so happy to celebrate their birthdays with them.  A HUGE thank you to those that came out and I hope you had as fun a time as we did!!

And...if you're interested in having a carnival party of your own, I have attached all the signs I used for the games and tables, and a blank one as well!  Right click and save the image(s), then you can upload it to picmonkey, or picasa, or any other photo editing program or website, and add whatever text you'd like!  Print it to fit the page for big signs for the games and/or food tables, etc, and print it as wallet size for small favor tags.  Hope you enjoy it!

Pin It

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Hands down, your best party yet! So, so cute!

    1. Thanks Linds! I love that picture of Raleigh and Scott, and I think Banks and Brantley were so busy, I hardly got any shots of them! :)

  2. amazing party as always! you think of everything right down to the very last detail! we had so much fun! :)
    and according to banks, you DID need to tickets to play the games. and i have the collection to prove it ;-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...