Party Ideas

Throw a Circus Theme Party That Will Leave Them in Awe

By Heather Roonan

Step right up and unleash the magic and wonder of the circus under your very own big top. With unique decor, food, and entertainment ideas for a variety of themes, we’ve got the ticket to helping you throw a show-stopping circus-themed party!

From whimsical to spooky to extravagant, there are all kinds of circus themes to choose from:

Deliver a classic big top experience

Keep things simple with a traditional circus theme. Imagine all the whimsy and laughter you’d find under the iconic red-and-white striped tent and bring it to life at your circus birthday party, corporate event, or other special occasion.

🎪 Decor

Go big and bold with red and white stripes, oversized balloons, and vintage-style signs for your games and activities. Yellow and blue accents are great for adding a bit more color! Use crepe paper streamers to recreate the iconic big top look for the perfect circus tent photo booth backdrop.

🍿 Menu

Stick with classic circus fare like popcorn, peanuts, and cotton candy. Animal crackers are also a cute idea if you lean into the animal aspect of a circus. Put them in cute little packages for a take-home party favor! Use your circus snacks as inspiration for creative kid-friendly punches or cocktails for the adults.

🤹 Entertainment

Think about the traditional circus entertainers you’d find under the big top. Hire clowns to stroll around doing magic tricks or making balloon animals. Or have a juggler show off their talents with various items like balls, clubs, or even swords. 

Time travel to a vintage circus

Create a nostalgic celebration that captures the charm of the olden days with a vintage circus theme party. Striped tents, classic carnival games, and strolling entertainers are the stars of the show, allowing you to journey to the past for some timeless fun.

🎟️ Decor

Think sepia tones, vintage labels, and old-fashioned carnival banners. Antique suitcases and old wooden crates can make charming props. And don’t forget to hang strands of Edison bulbs for that warm, nostalgic glow.

🍬 Menu

Indulge in timeless treats like caramel apples and kettle corn. Lemonade served in mason jars would be the perfect beverage for a vintage circus party, and you can spike it for the grown-ups. Set up a candy bar with old-fashioned candies for an extra dose of nostalgia.

🤸 Entertainment

A vintage circus calls for classic entertainment like stilt walkers, acrobats, and fire performers. You can even add some old-fashioned carnival games for extra fun. Talk with your performers and game masters about wearing costumes that fit your vintage vibe.

Find circus entertainment on GigSalad

👉 You might also like: Amaze Your Guests with a Vintage Circus Party

Bring The Greatest Showman to life

Whether you’re a lover of the movie musical or just appreciate the magic of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an excellent circus party theme. This combines vintage and the classic big-top experience but adds a Hollywood flair with awe-inspiring elements and dazzling displays of talent. 

🎩 Decor

Roll out the red carpet entrance, hang up gold and red drapes, and sprinkle the area with stars and glitter. Hang vintage posters that showcase original Barnum attractions and oddities. Centerpieces featuring mini top hats and canes will give your tables that showbiz flair.

🍧 Menu

Give regular circus fare a sophisticated twist for this circus party theme. Set up a popcorn bar with unique flavors and toppings and turn cotton candy into delicious ice cream cones. You can also make delectable circus bark that combines all the best circus flavors, like popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, and more.

🤸 Entertainment

For a Greatest Showman circus, it’s all about the spectacle. Go all out with a full show, including a ringmaster, tightrope walkers, and aerialists. You could even hire a Broadway singer to perform songs from the movie, like “This Is Me” and “The Greatest Show.”

Get spooky with a creepy carnEVIL

For those who dare to embrace the dark and mysterious, a spooky circus-theme party beckons. Enter a twisted world where the circus meets the supernatural, with eerie decorations and spine-tingling entertainment. It’s a carnival of chills and thrills that will send shivers down your spine.

🕯️ Decor

Embrace the dark side of the circus with eerie decor. Turn ticket booths and midway games into terrifying attractions with mannequins, cobwebs, and blood splatter. Create unsettling table displays with black rats near the food and skeleton servers. And, of course, scary clowns are a must for any creepy carnival!


Food coloring is your friend for creating a spooky circus menu. Use red dye and dripping icing to turn circus favorites like funnel cake, snow cones, and caramel-dipped apples into freak show snacks. Keeping with the spooky vibe, serve red wines and bloody cocktails or mocktails as beverages.

🔮 Entertainment

Go with shock and awe when choosing performers for your creepy carnival. Sideshow acts like sword swallowers and contortionists can don ghostly outfits to add to the ambiance. Some psychic entertainment would also add an ominous touch to the party.

Circus-Themed Party Ideas on Pinterest

👻 You might also like: 6 Hair-Raising Halloween Party Themes

Create a cabaret spectacle

If you’re looking for a circus theme with a bit more elegance and sophistication, a cabaret circus is the way to go. Combine the allure of cabaret with the enchantment of the circus for a night of extraordinary performances and glamorous acts. 

✨ Decor

Transport your guests to the enchanting world of cabaret with lush velvet drapes, sparkling chandeliers, and feathered centerpieces. Create an ambiance of seductive elegance with deep, rich colors and vintage-inspired decor.

🍫 Menu

Indulge in decadent delights like chocolate-covered strawberries, gourmet canapés, and a selection of fine wines and fancy champagne cocktails. Consider having a themed dessert bar with candy jars and miniature desserts like macarons and truffles.

💃 Entertainment

Bring in a sultry burlesque performer or a cabaret singer to set the stage on fire with their sizzling acts. If you want to add a little laughter to the affair, hire a mime, comedy group, or drag queen to entertain the crowd with their antics.

Remember, whether you’re planning The Greatest Showman spectacle, going vintage, adding a spooky twist, embracing the classic big top, or spending the evening at the cabaret, GigSalad is here to connect you with the most talented entertainers who can turn your circus dreams into a reality. 🤩

Book something awesome for your circus-themed party! Find clowns, acrobats, jugglers, and more on GigSalad.

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