Is anyone else completely OBSESSED with the movie, The Greatest Showman?! My family cannot get enough of it (I think I’ve seen it five times in the theater), we blast the soundtrack around the clock, and we are quoting it nonstop.

So it didn’t come as any surprise when Lilly said she wanted that as her theme for her birthday party! “So you want a circus-themed party?!” I asked, and she said, “Sort of. I more mean that I want to learn how to be like Zendaya…doing the trapeze!”

{Enter me internally questioning how to make this happen}

I remembered a place we had seen promoted at Heroes Con, and contacted them right away! Aerial Charlotte does trapeze, Lyra (hoop), and silks, but for a kid’s birthday, they’ll only do the silks! I booked her party and we were off and swinging (see what I did there?! ;))

Once I had the location and time nailed down, I went where I always go for my invitations and party printables, AndersRuff Custom Designs! I love the idea of picking a package, having them customize it to my child’s name/age, and then printing as many of the things as I want/need! Want 75 invitations? Great! Print them yourself, instead of paying per invite! Need 100 water bottle wraps? It’s so much more economical to print 5 per page on your home printer, than buy 100 wraps!

AndersRuff already had a cute circus theme in their shop, so I simply emailed Becky and asked her to change the wording to reflect our info, and here it is…

I was cutting it too close to snail mail these to her guests, so I sent them in an email, and had to include the waiver anyways, so it worked out perfectly! Becky then go to work editing the printables that I wanted to use for the party, and sent those to me in a matter of minutes! That’s what’s so awesome about using package templates…you get the look of custom work (because it is), but fast turnaround because they can edit it so quickly, instead of reinventing the wheel each and every time 🙂

Next step was Oriental Trading! I get $75 in credit by being an ambassador for their blogging platform, and I filled up my cart with lots of decor, place settings, candy, etc. and pressed submit! It said I’d get it Friday, Feb. 2nd, which was cutting it close (party was the next day), even for a procrastinator like me, but I knew I could make it work.

The week before Lilly’s birthday was just one of those insane weeks, where I had 1-2 events each day/night, the usual sport’s practices, Joshua traveling, and the list goes on. I kept saying to myself, ‘there’s plenty of time!’ And before I knew it, it was Friday. We went to Dilworth Neighborhood Grille because cooking dinner was just TOO HARD, and they even surprised Lilly with a dessert we’d never had! It looked like a funnel cake, and it reminded me that I had forgotten to order her cake for the party!!!


I always gave people grief in my head when they’d order their kid’s cake last minute, thinking to myself, ‘you had 364 days…it’s not like you don’t know their birth day?!’ And here I was doing the exact same thing!!! I kept thinking I’d find time to throw something together but then I didn’t. So as we were devouring this funnel cake thing on our table, it dawned on me ‘FUNNEL CAKES ARE A CIRCUS TREAT!’ I ordered two for the next day to be picked up a 12:45pm on our way to Aerial CLT!

BOOM! We had our “cake” for the party!

I had been stalking the mail all day waiting for the Oriental Trading package, and when we got back from dinner, I just knew it would be there waiting for us. Well I was wrong. I honestly don’t know what happened to it, as it still hasn’t arrived. Was it user error? Could very likely be that! But that meant I had the few hours in the morning to get everything needed for this party.

I woke up on Saturday, took a shower, and got ready for the day. It was at this moment, probably while blow drying my hair (which is when I think about everything), that I realized I had forgotten to have Joshua print off all of the printable stuff Becky had sent me?!!! I really think something is wrong with my brain yall, but thank God for Joshua. He ran down to his office, printed off everything, and came home to start cutting it all!

Meanwhile the minis and I headed to the Dollar Tree and bought EVERYTHING we needed for decor, and then Food Lion for everything we needed food wise! When we got home, it was ‘help daddy cut and hot glue all the things’ time! We were freakin’ machines yall! Once everything was cut, assembly time started! We had to hole punch/string the three banners, remove the bottle wraps and replace with our’s, hot glue the cupcake toppers to the lollipop sticks, attach the printable to the folded napkins, and hole punch/tie the thank you tags!

The minis filled up the popcorn containers with popcorn, Carnival lollipops, circus peanuts, pencils and bubble gum, which doubled as their take home gifts so the tag was attached to the lollipop.

I arranged the place settings, doing a square black plate, gold star plate, and red round plate. I paired this with yellow napkins folded in half, a printable on top of the napkin, and a blue fork. All from the Dollar Tree, so to do 10 place settings (with leftover plates and silverware to spare), it was less than $5!

We also had black with gold star containers of shelled peanuts, just in case an elephant decided to walk through the doors! I had tickets left over from Bella’s movie party, so I stuck one in each peanut container for added effect! Once everything had been assembled, I packed it all up, we headed to pick up the funnel cake and then to Aerial CLT to set up! I had 15 minutes to do so (per their rules), and Lilly welcomed her guests (all 9 we invited were able to come!)

And of course, the Barnum’s Animal crackers HAD to make an appearance! Plus, this gave the kids a wide variety of snacks to choose from had they gotten hungry while working on the silks!

The funnel cakes came with three toppings: raspberry sauce, chocolate syrup, caramel, in addition to powdered sugar, and we added them to each of the girls’ plates per their requests. Here’s Lilly blowing out her candle, and it falling over 🙂 I love her smile and laugh so much!

I found the gold top hats at Dollar Tree 5/$1 so grabbed two packs for each girl to have one for photo ops (and another thing to take home)!

Remember when I said I was going to order a cake, but dropped the ball? Well, one of my favorite hacks is to order a plain white cake from the grocery and “decorate” it myself, using ribbon around the side, sixlets on the border, and a fun topper. See some tutuorials I put together HERE!

But since I forgot to order the white cake, and we had the funnel cakes from Dilworth Grille in our back pocket, we headed to Food Lion to see what else I might buy and work with. When we saw the 12 pack of cupcakes in our colors already iced, Lilly said, “we can get those!” For $3.99, I completely agreed! We simply removed the plastic toppers that were on a few of them, and replaced with our square printable toppers that were hot glued to lollipop sticks!

The table came together in no time since so much was done at home, and the girls were able to get right into their silks lesson with Julia (who was awesome)! They started with the basics and within an air, were upside down and swinging back and forth! It was awesome to see them all have a great time, working hard on something they were all doing for the first time, and giggling nonstop!

Oh, I forgot to mention where we got Lilly’s outfit! We found the red leotard and top hat at Morris Costumes! We looked for black tails but couldn’t find anything in her size unfortunately. I even asked a few friends, but just couldn’t come up with it. She still looked awesome though!

At the end of the class, I got a chance to photograph each girl doing her favorite pose!

The Ringmaster herself!


Isabella in namaste (#duh)











All in all, our Ringmaster had the BEST ninth birthday, surrounded by her friends, doing something she had wanted to try since seeing The Greatest Showman! Now, if I could just get Zendaya to wish her happy birthday?!!!

Here are some of the things I used! The prices may be higher on Amazon than what I paid, but it’s just to help point you in the right direction, and in case you don’t have a Dollar Tree nearby!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. This basically means I make a small commission, at no additional cost to you!

Don’t forget to pin it!!!