For those who are lucky enough to visit Rio de Janeiro, the Notting Hill Carnival in August might seem quite low key, but if you’ve never experienced carnival time in Rio or New Orleans, Notting Hill is the next best thing. And if you can’t even get to Notting Hill, don’t despair, the carnival can come to you!


We love a carnival themed fancy dress party because it offers a chance for such great fun and games - we particularly favour the carnival parade and the formation slosh as hilarious ways to get your guests in the mood for a conga, a samba and a lot of booty shaking.


A feathered headdress is a perfect carnival outfit and it has a second benefit, at any point you can swap it for your policeman’s helmet to take charge of the parade … and everybody knows that a policeman’s helmet is the top trophy to take home from Notting Hill, so don’t be surprised if yours disappears!


Carnival Parade


Once your guests have had a little bit to drink, get them to start the parade … there’s just one rule. Each time you turn the music off they have to change direction, and anybody who bumps into another carnival-goer is out. Keep going until just one player is left.


Formation slosh


The formation slosh requires a little more planning - it’s like musical chairs but you play it outdoors with a number of circles sprayed on the grass. Teach your guests a simple formation slosh with a little twist - when the music stops they have to be standing on one of the circles. Get a lively child to dart into the slosh each time you restart the music and overspray one of the coloured circles with green spray paint so that it disappears and then watch the fun as the sloshers all try to crowd onto the remaining circles. Last one standing is the winner!