Backyard carnival games are a great way to liven up a long weekend at home, which is why we’re sharing some of our favorites. These DIY activities are sure to keep the kids entertained when out of school. You can even use them as a way to celebrate special occasions like a family reunion or birthday party!
Backyard carnival games are also relatively inexpensive to put together. Even better, they allow you to skip the large crowds and long lines that carnivals often attract. Check out the list below for tips on how to throw carnival parties at home.
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9 Fun Carnival Games for the Backyard Carnival Games
Create the ultimate backyard carnival by hanging signs, streamers, and decorations and preparing game stations in the backyard. These game ideas are sure to be tons of fun for guests of all ages. Keep reading to begin!
Bean Bag Toss
This traditional carnival game is an absolute must come time for the big event. If you don’t already have a stand for your bean bag toss, you can use a simple DIY alternative instead. All you need are a bunch of large plastic bowls. Line them up and assign a certain number of points to each bowl.
The further away it is placed, the more points it is worth. You can purchase these inexpensive bean bag toys or use something for free instead. Think about what you have around the house, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
Check out the video below to learn how to make your own bean bag toss inspired by Great Wolf Lodge.
This one reminds us of some of the games from the Great Wolf Lodge summer camp-in! It also comes paired with some fun rewards. You’ll need a toddler pool, permanent marker, and a bunch of rubber duckies to get started.
Mark the ducks with numbers “1,” “2,” and “3” before placing them in the pool. Ask the kid to grab a ducky out of the pool and check what number is written on the bottom. This will determine which prize they receive!
Jelly Bean Jar
This one may be simple, but it’s also tons of fun! Fill a jar with jelly beans and ask the kids to guess how many are in there. Whoever gets closest to the actual number will win a prize.
Set up about 30 cups filled with water. Place them on one side of a table, a few inches apart. Choose about eight colorful squirt fish to add to eight random cups. Squeeze all the air bubbles out so that they sink to the bottom. Line the kids up on the other side of the table and hand them each a ping pong ball. See who can land theirs in a cup holding a fish!
To create this carnival game, you’ll need pushpins, a corkboard, balloons, and a few darts. Blow up the balloons and attach them to your corkboard using push pins. Whoever manages to pop the most balloons gets a prize!
Ping Pong Toss
Next up on our list of party ideas is the infamous ping pong toss! Set up 25 plastic cups with water in rows of five on one side of a fold-out table. Ask the kids to throw pennies or ping pong balls from the other side. Whoever collects the most points wins!
Spray Away Game
Create your target using a white box decorated with blue and red construction paper. Glue a strip of foam board to the top and insert golf tees into it. Place a golf ball on each tee and ask the kids to “spray them away” using a squirt gun.
Carnival Birthday Party Games
Keep the party going with these birthday-themed activities! Celebrate someone’s special day at the carnival. You can also check out this post for more birthday party ideas from Great Wolf Lodge.
Celebrate with something sweet! Create a cupcake walk using three sheets of poster board. Cut it up into four separate sheets so that there are 12 in total. Mark each sheet 1-12 using a black marker. Place them in a circle on the floor. Jot the same numbers down on pieces of scrap paper and place them into a bag.
Play some music and instruct the kids to walk around the circle. Stop the music and pick a number out of the bag. Whoever is standing closest to that number gets a birthday cupcake!
Nothing screams “birthday party” quite like face painting. If your party happens to be hosted around Halloween, you can check out some seasonal face-painting ideas here.
You can also get your face painted in the style of a wolf to look more like Wiley or any of the other Great Wolf Kids!
Memorialize the birthday with some photos! Create a carnival-themed photo booth using a trifold board, colored paper, and some streamers! Think about creating something in the style of a circus tent or red curtains. You can also purchase some cute photo props to use in the booth.
Backyard Carnival Food Items
You can’t throw a carnival party without some carnival food! Check out the list below for some of the most popular items to serve. You can also look for some of these items on the menu during your next visit to Great Wolf Lodge!
- Ice Cream
- Cotton Candy
- Corn Dogs
- French fries
- Mac and cheese
- Kettle Corn
- Carmel Apples
- Hot Dogs
More Backyard Fun From Great Wolf Lodge
We hope you enjoyed these carnival games for the backyard! Don’t forget to check back in with us soon for more party ideas. Check out our blog for even more fun things to do with family and friends.
You can also visit us at the lodge. Each stay includes water park passes, lodge entertainment, and at-home comfort. Our indoor water park resorts offer family-friendly fun all across the country. From splashing to relaxing, there are slides and rides for every age and ability.