Hosting a School Carnival

School carnival tiger facepainting

School carnivals are a great way to bring your local academic community together, uniting faculty members, students, families and friends for a day of relationship building, philanthropy or just tons of fun!  If your group is considering hosting a school carnival event at your San Diego school, read on for tips and ideas to help select the best indoor/outdoor carnival games, delicious carnival foods, enjoyable carnival activities and contests and perfect carnival locations.  Happy carnival-going!

Carnival Games for a San Diego School Carnival

It would be difficult to find a carnival game that doesn’t offer tons of fun to all participants.  After all, many people go to carnivals solely for the fun games and activities they offer!  Entertain your school carnival guests with any of these sure-to-be-crowd-pleasing game ideas.

  • Ring Bottle Toss—an easy game to recreate, this carnival game is a tradition.  Collect empty wine or beer bottles, rinse them and remove the labels.  You will need 10-15 bottles total.  Once emptied and clean, fill the bottles halfway to three-quarters full with sand or water to weight them down.  Purchase plastic rings from any party store or children’s activity aisle.  Cluster the bottles together so that they sit with their bases touching.  Participants stand a designated amount of space away (usually around 5 feet) and toss the rings.  Get the ring over the neck of a bottle and win a prize!
  • Dart Balloons—easy to set up, and even more fun to play.  You’ll need several packs of uninflated balloons, a few rolls of Scotch tape or masking tape and a medium-sized plank of wood for the set up, plus sets of darts for the actual game.  Inflate the balloons, then secure them to the board with pieces of tape.  Have participants stand a few feet away, then let them throw the darts at the balloons.  Popping balloons wins prizes.
  • Knock ‘Em Down—using large metal soup cans with the labels removed (and painted fun, bright colors!), stack the cans in a pyramid and grab a few baseballs or softballs.  Have participants throw pitches at the pyramid of cans, winning prizes for the number of cans knocked down.

OR just call us to learn more about our extensive list of Carnival Games!

(Balloon Dart, Block Island, Bean Bag Toss, Wheel of Fortune, Whiffle Ball Roll, Tic Tac Toe Colors-Ring Toss, Shuffle Board, Duck Pond, Zing a Ring, 21 Ping Pong Ball Roll, Bull’s Eye Bounce, Slow Pitch Slope and Giant Tic Tac Toe!)

Fun San Diego School Carnival Foods

Foods served at a carnival event can make or break the festivities.  Make sure you have any and all of these carnival favorites at your San Diego school carnival.

  • Hot dogs
  • Corn dogs
  • Soft pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Cotton candy
  • Sno-cones
  • Funnel cakes
  • Ice cream
  • Jalapeno poppers
  • Cheeseburgers and hamburgers

Carnival Activities and Contests for San Diego School Carnivals

No carnival would be complete without games and activities!  Try any of these fan favorites, fun for children and adults of all ages.

  • Three-legged Race—an oldie but a goody, this fun race allows partners to bond and have a great time competing in a silly and enjoyable event.
  • Egg-in-Spoon Race—pretty easy to set up, and entertaining for the whole group, placing an egg on each participant’s spoon and having all of them race a winding, twisty course will have everyone cheering.
  • Water Balloon Toss—partners stand across from each other, tossing a water-filled balloon back and forth.  Each catch earns a small step backward, and if the balloon hits the ground, the pair is eliminated.  The final pair standing wins.
  • Face Painting—hiring someone to paint faces will be fun for children and children-at-heart alike.
  • Henna Tattoos—non-permanent and a fun temporary souvenir, henna tattoos are a great addition to any carnival event.
  • Bouncy House or Obstacle Course—any inflatables will be a huge hit at a carnival event.  Bouncy houses and obstacle courses provide hours of entertainment for participants of all ages, allowing both kids and adults to get in on the childlike carnival atmosphere.
  • Jugglers and Clowns—roaming entertainment acts, like jugglers and clowns, will enhance the atmosphere and give everyone a chance to take a break and watch a carnival show.

Perfect Locations for San Diego School Carnival Events

If you are looking for a great place to host a school carnival event in the San Diego area, consider any of these options:

  • School parking lot
  • School gymnasium (a good rain option)
  • School campus (utilizing different classrooms, conference rooms, gymnasium, auditorium, playground and more to host each of the carnival items)
  • Local parks
  • One of our partner venues

Need help planning a fun school fall festival? At Picnic People, we have it all and do it all. Check out our carnival rentals and supplies packages to help create the best event for your school.


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Let the Planning Begin!

It's never too early to start. Give us a shout to find out how we can deliver the most scrumptious picnic catering in town and help you throw an epic event from start to finish.