Annie and I were thrilled to be able to host this vintage carnival baby shower for our friend, Taylor. The menu included all her favorite things: popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, sweet treats and more. A carnival theme is perfect for either gender baby. This shower was for a baby girl, so we added light pink to the turquoise and red for our decor.
When I told my husband that we were going to convert a room into a circus tent, he was skeptical. Being an engineer, he had a lot of questions that I was unable to answer. Luckily, he enjoys challenges and did a great job with the red and white plastic table cloth rolls. We used a staple gun to hold the centers around the light fixture and thumb tacks along the wall. Of course, I had to make sure we used red ones with the red plastic and white ones with the white. The process involved overusing the word “billow.”
It wouldn’t be a carnival without fun snack foods. We used a whirley pop to whip up batches of popcorn to go in these adorable pinstriped boxes. The guest had a few different flavored toppings to choose from: white cheddar, pepper n’ asiago cheese and kettle corn. Guests love to have easy bites to snack on while they are mingling and watching presents be opened. Popcorn and peanuts are a must for this theme.
To ensure we had at least one healthy food option, we decided to make those veggie stick cups that are often shown on Pinterest. Turns out they are pretty easy to make and add a nice pop of color to the display. Although, we made about half as many cups as guest attending, which was the right amount. We know our friends, and when there’s veggies next to corndogs, they aren’t grabbing those greens.
Not every guest at a typical baby shower is pregnant, so they are allowed to indulge in some wine. This Petite Petit wine (now available at Costco) has the perfect label for a circus and very tasty for the price. We also threw out some fruit for guest to help balance the carbs. Fruit is a great thing to have at a shower, especially when attendees bring their kids. I would suggest making two fruit kebabs for each kid in attendance and then add five. That’s my math equation for how many to prepare for an event.
For a main course, we went with mini corndogs. I didn’t realize how easy it was to make them, now I understand why they are a staple at fairs and carnivals. Actually, the ease of making them might have something to do with my husband doing all the frying. We used this recipe from Just a Taste. Halving the corndogs made for a perfect mid-afternoon snack, although several guests came back for a second round.
It’s always a nice idea to provide thank-you cards for the mom-to-be. Annie found these adorable carnival themed cards that were a perfect fit. I just love the chubby elephant one.
Annie and I would not be able to throw these parties without the help from our amazing husbands. Thanks to Chris for making these perfect soft pretzels courtesy of chef/scientist Alton Brown. That’s exactly what Chris is, too: a chef/scientist. These pretzels were gobbled up alongside some delicious mustards for dipping.
Now onto dessert. Animal crackers were an obvious choice, but homemade animal crackers are out of this world adorable. Especially, when you want to make the blue and pink frosting match our theme colors perfectly. These can be made the day before the party, but their sweet smell will distract you every time you walk by them, so I would suggest making double what you need because you will mindlessly pop at least a dozen in your mouth. Annie allows me to eat the less-than perfect ones – too bad most of them turned out perfectly. She needs to make more mistakes to ensure I have plenty of samples. And we need another reason to use these adorable cookie cutters.
Annie is in charge of making all the cupcakes for our events. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I baked cupcakes. She has really perfected the flavors, frosting, and decorations when it comes to cupcakes. She found this circus animal cupcake idea and executed it flawlessly. She also invested in a cupcake carousel that will pay dividends for future events. Everyone needs a cupcake carousel.
There is one area of expertise that Annie and I have yet to master: the diaper cake. Luckily our friend Katie offered up her skills to create this precious circus tent. Finished with a hand-sewn big top, this could not be more sweet and practical for a new mom.
A carnival would not be complete without our friends taking turns competing for the World’s Strongest Man award in our appropriately themed photo booth. We’ll let our readers pick the winner. ?