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  • Under $500: Circus party

  • A successful circus party takes planning, so start at least six to eight weeks ahead of the desired party date when booking entertainment. Check the yellow pages for clowns, magicians, or other entertainers, for your party. Or, consider using an entertainment agency.
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  • A successful circus party takes planning, so start at least six to eight weeks ahead of the desired party date when booking entertainment. Check the yellow pages for clowns, magicians, or other entertainers, for your party. Or, consider using an entertainment agency.
    Hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, cotton candy (if the budget allows, rent a hot dog steamer, cotton candy machine, or circus-style popcorn machine for around $50)
    Make your own invitations that look like a ticket to the circus
    Decorate the party area using balloons, streamers, confetti.
    Face painting
    Non-toxic face paints are available at craft stores. Enlist an older child, teenager, or adult to paint simple designs on kids’ faces.
    Clown $150 to $200
    Clowns have a wide range of talent, including magic tricks, balloon twisting, juggling, or comedy, so ask questions before booking.
    Magician $200 to $300
    When booking a magician, be sure the show is age-appropriate. Younger kids may be scared by some kinds of tricks.
    Pony ride $175 to $200
    Find a professional who has animals that are trained and comfortable with children, rather than asking a friend or neighbor who has a horse or pony.
    Clown relay
    Divide the children into three or four teams. Make a pile of adult-sized jeans, button-down shirts, winter hats, scarves, jackets, boots, etc. for each team. Position the piles about 30 feet from each team. Line up each team behind the starting line. Each child must run to the pile, put on everything in the pile, run back to the starting line, and then run back to rebuild the pile for the next player.
    “Bobbing” for apples
    Suspend several apples from a clothesline using strings. With their hands behind their backs, participants try to grab an apple in their teeth.
    Giant ring toss
    Use hula-hoops as rings and buckets or trash cans as targets.
    Pillow toss
    Use old pillows and laundry baskets to set up a fun variation on a beanbag toss.
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