The Greatest Birthday Party

I’ve always been told that my second calling in life other than photography should be party planning.  I have a tendency to go a little overboard with the details at all of my kids’ Birthday parties.  I love putting all the details together to create a bigger vision.  I think I may be addicted and my husband would certainly appreciate it if you planned an intervention for me.  Anyways, moving on….. Recently I posted about the obsession my son has with The Greatest Showman and all the craziness that has come about because of that obsession.  His Birthday party was this past weekend and it was so awesome seeing it all come together!

If you’re looking for tips to throw your own Greatest Showman themed party or just want to find out if Hugh Jackman actually showed up to the party, keep reading and I’ll take you through the different ways we turned the Rogers Police Department into a big top for the day and all the details that went into it as well as where we purchased things!

Starting off, the big circus play tent and the overhanging one both came from Ikea.  You can purchase a red and white version of the play tent still, however the red and yellow play tent and the bed canopy (blue one) were discontinued and I found one at a local yard sale and the other at Goodwill just with sheer luck.  I used red and white streamers to make the backdrop and the paper fans came from Hobby Lobby.


We used a lot of tulle and balloons.  We used tulle to create the “tent” (like, 300 yards of it…..) and I put some puffy tissue paper pom poms to kind of hide the area where the tulle was tacked into the ceiling.  We also strung lights up to give it a bit of an extra circus-y effect.  I also used a lot of balloons because somehow it just doesn’t feel like a circus party without them.


The tablecloths were purchased from Party City and worked very well for the theme.  We also got some basic blue plates, yellow napkins, blue cutlery, and red and white striped straws all from our local Hobby Lobby.  The red and white pinwheel plates were from Etsy.  Instead of cups we decided to get glass bottles of Coca Cola from our local Walmart.  Even though this was a bit more expensive, I thought it was more genuine to a real circus than paper cups would have been.


For table decor I wanted to keep it simple, but fun.  I started with tossing some gold confetti on the tables (be warned, it looks AWESOME but it will get everywhere – I found it in my hair all the way to in my 1 year old’s diaper).  As a table runner, I spread some undyed excelsior moss (purchased at Hobby Lobby) to resemble hay (though straw or hay would work just as well).  I then scattered peanuts on the hay, which was multi-purposed because it served as decor, a snack for people at the tables, and it also filled the room with the smell of peanuts, making you feel like you were really in a circus.  I then added a few of these small top hats because it just helped make it more Greatest Showman vs just a circus theme.  I then placed popcorn buckets (purchased from the Target dollar spot but they aren’t available online) as centerpieces with balloons inside.  After putting the balloons in, I topped off the buckets with real popcorn for aesthetic purposes.  I also added a couple 4×6 photos in gold frames of my son in his PT Barnum outfit to tie in more of the movie.


This next touch was really fun and I felt it really helped bring in so much of what Greatest Showman fans love about the movie.  I had an etsy shop custom make some “confetti” using quotes from the songs of the movie and I placed them here and there on the tables.  I think this was my favorite little detail!


On the food and cake table, I set up these fun little letter lights to spell “Circus” next to an 11×14 photo of my son.  I also placed a stack of wallets of the same photo in front of it so guests could take one home (I do this at every Birthday party so family members can always have an updated photo of them).


For the last couple of years, I’ve really loved making some fun food signs for my kiddos’ parties.  This party was no different and I put together these little signs.  I used wood materials from Hobby Lobby to put them together, painted them a metallic red, then added some gold stick on letters, the gems, the trim (which was a stick on trim for scrapbooking) and custom ordered tiny top hat confetti from this Etsy shop to add to the top of them.


While at a street fair in my hometown I happened across a booth with some super cute cookies.  I chatted a bit with the owner and ended up ordering some for my son’s party.  They came out super cute and everyone loved them (my sister was stuffing them in her purse like an old man at Olive Garden with the breadsticks and had us all cracking up)!  They were made by Confections by Cunningham and although they are located in Arkansas, they do also offer shipping.


Another fun touch was actually inspired by this blog post about hosting a movie night for The Greatest Showman.  We served some Barnum’s Animal Crackers and I made these icing holders out of toy elephants (I got mine at Dollar Tree because I’m cheap, but any kind would likely do) by gluing small plastic bowls to their backs, bedazzling their ankles to make them look a bit more circusy, and adding some tiny plastic top hats to their trunks (I used the rest as confetti here and there on the tables).


As far as other details, we really just wanted it to feel like you were at a circus, so we kept the food and snacks as circus-y as possible.  We served hot dogs for the main “meal” and then had the animal crackers, peanuts, cotton candy, and popcorn as snacks/sides.  For the full effect, we even borrowed my dad’s vintage popcorn machine.


The cakes were both made by the ever amazing Nichole with Cakes by Crazy.  She makes all of my kiddos cakes and is fabulous!  She made one cake look like a circus tent at the request of my son and the other one was a cute little top hat!  I made the cake stand out of a red plastic bucket (from our local Walmart, however they don’t sell them online – they are in the party section though).  I used felt for the yellow triangles and blue foam stars from Hobby Lobby to make it look like a circus elephant stand.  A little bit of hot glue and voila!  A circus cake stand!


Finally, this awesome cake topper was designed by me in Photoshop and made into a reality by the talented Laura from this Etsy shop.  She can make just about anything you can dream up and I use her for pretty much every one of my kids’ parties!


This party was just so much fun!  I really enjoyed putting it all together and watching my son light up when he saw that room turned into a big top!  Also, for those of you who have been following along with this story, Hugh Jackman didn’t show up much to my son’s dismay, however he is still over the moon with getting to be on the news in his outfit and he wrote Hugh the sweetest letter.  Hopefully he’ll get a response eventually (if you happen to know Hugh Jackman, help a girl out and send him this)!  Thank you all for coming along with us on this wild ride!  It’s been fun and I have to say I’m rather sorry that’s it’s over.  But we made some amazing memories that will last a lifetime!


6 thoughts on “The Greatest Birthday Party

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