Let the invitations take the center ring by styling it to look just like a circus flyer. Choose a great font and invite everyone to “Come one, come all to the Big Top (the party address) for the Greatest Show they'll ever see!”
Set up the party area just like the Big Top. If you can drape the ceiling with fabric to make it look like a tent, so much the better. Have cardboard cutouts of circus performers on the tight wire and on a trapeze overhead. Have some fairy lights twinkling above, too, and Japanese paper lanterns. Multicolored balloons are great bunched in the corners. Have some mood music playing in the background too, carnival or calliope music is perfect.
Set the tables with red and white polka-dotted tablecloths (just like the ringmaster's scarf) and have a multicolored painted metal pail in the middle as a centerpiece, filled styrofoam and topped with poly fiberfill (to mimic cotton candy) and stick giant round lollipops into it. Have each place setting in a different color to play up the anything goes feeling.
For the buffet table, cover it again with the polka-dotted fabric and set a large branch into a metal pail topped with poly fiber fill again. Decorate the tree with multicolored feathers, crystals and beads (for the lady on the white horse). Serve the food on different colored platters, as well. Decorate a large metal tub with diamonds and circles in a circus style and fill it with ice to hold juice bottles and soda cans.
Of course, the food should be circus food! Have a hot dog bar with all the fixings, corn or waffle dogs, cartons of french fries, caramel corn, and healthy food on a stick like grilled vegetable kabobs with a dip. Let the dessert double as the highlight of the table with a three-tier tower of cupcakes with circus toppers. Vary the colors of the frosting as much as possible to make it really colorful and eye-catching. A terrific touch would be to have a real cotton candy machine and a popcorn machine going.
You could also have a cake for this theme, in a flavor the mommy-to-be loves, and decorated like a three-ring circus instead of the usual tiers. There are many cake toppers in circus themes – don't be embarrassed to raid the children's section at the cake decorating store! Ring the cake with candy peanuts and candy corn to complete the mood.
Have classic carnival games at this circus baby shower. Do several kinds with a ring toss, a bean bag toss, horse shoes, and a milk bottle stacked game. Have tiny prizes for everyone here. Little hair accessories, tiny colognes, and pieces of bead jewelry are terrific.
For favors, you don't need to be giving out more candy! But, a
fun-wrapped box of animal crackers fills the bill!