I threw this party together in about 4 days. My oldest child’s birthday is a week beforehand. So being a single mom of 5, trying to work, homeschooling, and putting two stellar social distancing parties together all at the same time, was definitely a challenge. I normally plan further ahead, but my son wanted the same party that he last last year which is this one with some tweaks.
I want to tell you how I did it with just a little bit of money and imagination.
Thankfully I already had the snow cone machine, the popcorn machine, and the cotton candy machine. All of them were fairly inexpensive on Amazon. If you can’t afford them, here are some super cute and budget friendly ideas; the Dollar Tree sells red and white striped popcorn bags. It also sells a large bag of pre-popped popcorn. It still looks adorable and it’s affordable. Only $2 for that. The Dollar Tree also sells cotton candy. You can buy premade cotton candy and popsicle sticks. Wrap the cotton candy around the popsicle sticks and there you have another $2 treat! As far as snow cones go, you could just go to the gas station and get shaved ice. Or you could have ice cream cones instead. That ones a little more tricky.
I bought the striped table cloths from Amazon. 6 in a package and reasonably priced. You can also buy plain red table cloths from the Dollar Tree. If all else fails, use blankets! I used command strips to hang the table cloths from the ceiling in my living room to create a tent. I also hung one over the doorway into the living room. For the ceiling I draped one table cloth from each of the tent corners and taped balloons to the middle. I already had the balloons. I also bought other misc items from the Dollar Tree
For the decorating cupcakes, I found affordable paint trays on Amazon. I bought premade cupcakes from Walmart for $4 because I just didn’t have the time to make them. (My mom is a professional cake maker. So this is kind of embarrassing). I found all the candies and sprinkles at the Dollar Tree and Walmart for good prices.
I found every last present on the clearance isle at Walmart. Name brand toys for $1-$5. I already had the wrapping paper from Christmas and past birthdays.
For food, I went carnival style. Mexican corn on a stick, breaded and deep fried pickles on sticks, corn dogs, and large pretzels. I bought the corn dogs and pretzels from the grocery store. The Mexican corn and pickles were tweaked recipes that I found on Pinterest. I will be saving the exact recipes that I used and changed at a later date.
I did pay for a chocolate fountain and the melting chocolates to go with it from Walmart. The fountain was about $30 and the chocolates were about $10. I have lots of kids though. So I can use the fountain many times over at parties. That’s one great thing about buying small party appliances. Once you have them, you can use them over and over for different parties.
For some of the décor, I found toy and stuffed animals that you would find at the zoo/circus.
I also found some Carnie masks and hats at the Dollar Tree for a dollar each.
For extra activities, I put on a card show for the kids and used face crayons from Walmart to paint their faces.
The chocolate suckers are handmade from a chocolate sucker mold and leftover melting chocolates.
The cake was made by my mom. If you can’t make one like this or you can’t have someone else make one like this, you can always buy a regular white cake from a grocery store bakery and add some cute circus themed toys or make a cake topper with fondant.
After the party we went outside and lit our old fireworks from last summer. If you don’t have any, the Dollar Tree sells some smaller items.
If you have questions, or if you’d like advice, just ask!