Planning exciting school events that are fun for students and faculty alike poses unique challenges. If you are in charge of putting together a school event, you know that your event needs to meet strict budgeting guidelines, and also provide fun and age-appropriate games and activities for children. You also need to be able to provide an atmosphere which kids will enjoy and foods which they will appreciate. Why use Fun Services for your next school event?

We offer a couple of different school program packages: the Fun Day Package and the Fun Fair Program. These packages are designed to make event set-up easy and keep planning as minimal and streamlined as possible. We have come up with these packages based on our experience running many successful school events.

The “Fun Day” package comes with 10 carnival midway games that are perfect for children of all ages—great if you have multiple grades participating in the event. For each game, you get a carnival barrier booth with characteristic red and white stripes. We bring prizes which can be awarded to the winners and which kids will love. We also bring a cotton candy, snow cone or popcorn machine (your choice) to the site. Four hundred servings are included as part of the price. For a small additional fee, you get the option having the servings divided between two of the machines. The event runs three hours, but you can extend it if you wish. The entire package is offered at one reasonable flat rate. We take care of all the details, which keeps planning simple and saves money!

Our other program is the Fun Fair Program. With this one, your school provides the staff to oversee the games and activities, but we do the rest of the delivery and setup. We also train your staff members so they understand how the activities and equipment work. At the event’s end, we come by and pick everything back up again. You can choose from our many fun games and activities, and we also provide a couple of different options for prizes.

Fun Fair and Fun Day Benefits for Schools:

  • You control the costs. It is easy to budget a fun fair for your school because all costs are inclusive within the flat rate. If you want additional services, you can budget for them separately. A fun fair provides flexibility while keeping costs as streamlined as possible.
  • A fun theme that children love. Kids always love a carnival. With our games and tents, you can instantly create an atmosphere of fun. Children associate fun fairs with summertime, which makes a carnival a perfect break during the school year. Hosting a fun fair in the middle of the school year can help keep children motivated.
  • Great activities which are easy to run. If your staff opts to run the games and activities, they will be able to learn how to run the different booths in a matter of minutes. This helps to reduce the burden on your school’s staff and makes for a shorter planning phase. The simplicity of the games makes them easy and fun for children of all ages to play too, even elementary school children in the lower grades.
  • Delicious and affordable food options. Popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy are all very affordable, even for large schools. It doesn’t take a lot to make kids happy when it comes to food, and all of these options are sure to please.
  • Effortless setup. Since our staff takes care of all the transportation and setup, your school staff does not have to do anything except run the activities and look after the children. If you do not have a large number of faculty members who are able to participate, this helps to keep your school event as manageable as possible. We are here to make things as easy for you as possible.

A school fun fair is a perfect choice for an event—whether you are throwing a party just to provide a day of amusement for the kids or you are hosting a fundraiser. A carnival is perfect for a large or small school, keeps costs low, and provides a day of exuberance for children of all ages.

For over 40 years now, Fun Services has been offering the Holiday Gift Shop Program to elementary schools.  Every year we perfect our program more and more to offer an even more fun and exciting experience for young children over the holiday season.  If you are looking for a Santa’s Secret Shop/Holiday Gift Shop program for your school, we can provide you with the perfect range of affordable gifts and take care of all the organizational details.  Our gifts are perfect for children, and our low costs are perfect for your school.

How does it work?

Holiday Shopping for Elementary Schools

The Holiday Gift Shop Program for kids is a great way for children to learn about holiday shopping in a safe, secure environment.  This is a great chance to educate children about maintaining a budget and shopping responsibly to save money.  It also allows children to discover the joy of giving—which is priceless.

We hand select the gifts, and keep the pricing child-friendly.  The gifts we stock are perfect for giving to fellow students and friends, as well as family members.  This program is a wonderful way to celebrate the spirit of the holidays and for children to experience some independence.  Kids are able to pick out gifts on their own and have a fun time celebrating holiday cheer.

This is a low cost option for elementary schools because everything works on a consignment basis.  At the end of the shop event, we collect and count the inventory, and there are no charges for items which didn’t sell.  We pick up all the remaining merchandise, but there is no fee for shipping or delivery.  Because everything is 100% on consignment, the program is 100% risk free.  There are never any hidden costs.

What Does the Program Include?

You get a lot more than just the gifts themselves when you choose Fun Services for your Holiday Gift Shop Program.  Along with the gifts, we also provide all the other supplies you need to make your event a successful one.  This includes table cloths, pricing stickers, posters, door panels, budget envelopes, gift list planners, mylar gift bags, shopping bags, a planning and promotion guide, and electronic inventory.  We also take care of parent letters in both English and Spanish.  You may also request cash registers.  If you tried to plan a Holiday Shopping event on your own, your staff would need to hunt down all of these supplies.  We save you time and money with our all-in-one-package.

Gifts are designed to be perfect for children, and are affordable with better than 50% of the items priced at $3.50 and under.  There are personalized gifts available for all members of the family (for example, mugs and pens personalized with “Mom,” “Grandma,” and so on.  Other gifts include plushies and toys which are perfect for children to gift to each other.  As a local company with strong community ties, we also offer a local advantage.  We stock merchandise for local sports teams.

The holidays are still months away, but it is never too early to start thinking about what you want to do this holiday season and begin the planning process.  We make it easy here at Fun Services by taking care of all the complex details, freeing up your elementary school staff to look after the children and ensure that the event is a success.  Our Holiday Gift Shop program provides you with an easy, affordable option for planning a fun, festive event for your students.

Planning a corporate party, fundraiser, or kids’ party on a tight budget?  No matter what kind of event you are planning, you want to get the most out of it, and that means finding the best value.  There are plenty of different themes you could choose for an event, but choosing a theme means finding something which is line with your budget.  Some themes take major investments in terms of décor, ambiance, and activities.  One of the most cost-effective themes you are going to find is a carnival theme.  How can a carnival-themed party help you to save money?

  1. Easy décor

Getting the ambiance right for a carnival-themed party is easy.  Actually, with the right activities and catering, it is virtually automatic.  Carnivals are familiar to everyone who has ever attended one, and most of us have at some point of our lives.  By choosing common carnival games and activities, you are automatically building the image of a fun fair and crafting that atmosphere.  Carnival canopy booths with red and white stripes offer simple and affordable enclosures for activities which help to convey this atmosphere.  Your basic white festival tent also does an excellent job at creating the right atmosphere.  This is a perfect enclosure for chairs and tables for dining and also for presentations and other special event highlights.

A carnival theme does not require you to spend extra money on fancy lighting effects or technology-based entertainment or multimedia.  You do not need to rent or install expensive sound systems.  You can rent a simple outdoor venue and make your event as large or small as you want.  Elaborate, high-tech events can be fun, but a lot of guests will have the best time at simple events which offer them good old-fashioned fun.

  1. Cheap but tasty food options

The idea of a Hawaiian BBQ may be appealing, but think how much effort you’d have to put into the food.  “Taste of the World” parties are also very popular, but once again, expensive as far as catering is concerned.  A carnival theme on the other hand lends itself easily to delicious food that is also very cost-effective to provide to your guests.  For parties which will have a large number of attendees, this is especially important.  You can save a lot of money just by reducing your food costs.

All you need to do to keep your guests happy and well fed at your carnival party is rent a cotton candy machine, popcorn machine, hot dog steamer, pretzel warmer, or snow cone machine.  A combination of these choices is even better.  Not only will these options keep your guests well fed, but they will also contribute to the carnival atmosphere!  The taste and smell of carnival food takes us right back to childhood fun fair experiences.  While none of these foods are gourmet, sometimes gourmet isn’t what we are looking for.  Sometimes we just want something that evokes positive memories.

  1. Affordable entertainment

A lot of the games and activities we associate with fun fairs are not only fun, but cheap.  For example, it does not cost a lot of money to contract with a face painter or a balloon twister.  Guests love these activities though, and balloon animals make great take-home gifts for guests, especially children.  Other games like bingo and raffles and wheel of fortune cost nothing to run, and they are perfect for fundraising.  Games like baseball toss and slap shot hockey are also cheap to rent and fun to play.  None of these activities require special equipment, and none of them require electricity.  This makes them ideal for day-long events.

Planning a party is a lot of work, and trying to do it on a budget is even more difficult.  When you are trying to save money, though, it is important to make sure that you meet your budgetary requirements.  This is especially key for fundraisers which are trying to raise money.  By choosing a carnival theme, you escape from a lot of the technical hassles and expenses associated with other more elaborate party themes.  You keep activities, equipment, food and décor within an affordable limit.  Even if your budget is tight, you should easily be able to satisfy your financial requirements and still show your guests an amazing time!

One of the first and broadest decisions you have to make when you plan a party is what theme to use for the entire event.  The theme is important, because it determines pretty much everything about the party: the location, the décor, the food, the activities.  When you select a theme, you have to think about the target audience.  Who will be attending your party?  Will the theme make the right impression?  Will it provide an entertaining event?  The theme can make or break the success of the event.

Why choose a carnival theme for your upcoming event?  Carnival themes are some of the most popular event themes around.  Here are a few reasons that our customers love this theme for their parties—and why you should consider it for yours.

  1. Everyone loves a fun fair.

Pretty much everybody has been to a carnival at some point or another of their lives.  Many of us attended fun fairs as kids, and adults love attending carnivals, too.  As such, they are perfect for all age groups and demographics.  No matter who is attending your event, they are likely to enjoy a carnival-themed event.  This means that the carnival theme is one of the most flexible ones you can choose.  It is ideal for any type of event, whether it is a child’s birthday party, a fundraising event for a school or a non-profit organization, or a corporate party for adults and children and even just adults.  The carnival theme is almost always a safe bet for a sure success.

  1. Carnivals are nostalgic.

Since most of us attended carnivals as children, a lot of people associate them with happy childhood memories.  Attending a carnival is always going to be a nostalgic experience.  That nostalgia is deepened by the fact that the traditional carnival theme is one which has historical roots.  Fun fairs have taken the same basic shape for many decades now.  Many people enjoy the atmosphere of a carnival-themed party for just that reason.  Carnivals summon up memories of childhood, but also reach into our ancestral memories of fun times throughout recent history.

  1. Affordable.

Some themes for parties are definitely more expensive than others.  Carnival-themed parties are probably some of the least expensive and most easily manageable that you will come across.  Carnival food in particular is traditionally very cheap and easy to supply.  Carnival activities likewise tend to be very simple and easy to organize.  You will not run yourself broke planning this kind of party.  This is particularly great if you are trying to host a fundraiser, because the goal of your fundraiser is to make money.  Your Return on Investment (ROI) is going to be higher if you save more money going in.  You will also be able to offer better prizes for games and competitions if you have not already spent all your party funds setting up the basics.

  1. Everything you need for your event is predetermined by the theme.

If you come up with a really original theme for a party, you may be pleased with yourself for your original thinking, but you will be stuck with a lot more work planning and making sure everything you come up with somehow fits your unusual theme.  Attendees may not even understand the idea behind your gathering.  With a fun fair theme, you already know everything you need, because the theme is so traditional and recognizable.  Not only that, but Fun Services carries all those rentals already—everything from the tents to the games to the hot dog and cotton candy machines.  We are a one-stop shop for your next event.

  1. Get people excited for your next event.

Do you regularly host events?  Maybe you have an annual company party to plan, or perhaps you do a yearly fundraiser for a school.  If you have difficulty getting people excited about future events, you can be assured that a carnival theme generates excitement year after year.  A lot of people love going to the county fair every year, and you can create the same interest around an annual carnival-themed event.  Employees will look forward to next year’s party after enjoy this year’s, and next year, everybody will remember your fundraiser and will be excited to attend and help out.

Planning a party can be a challenge if you cannot come up with a good theme, but you do not necessarily need the world’s most original theme to throw a successful bash.  In fact, it is the old classics which prevail, and which tend to guarantee success.  The carnival theme is easy to organize, and here at Fun Services we’re ready to help you set up and staff your party.  Attendees will love the nostalgic theme and the fun activities.  They’ll remember your party fondly when it is over, and will be even more excited for next year’s event.

When you’re planning a fundraiser for your school, you have a lot of options.  Fundraisers can run the gamut from small bake sales, car washes and the like, to large events like carnivals or auctions.  You might decide to raise money by selling cookies, magazines, or similar products, or you might instead try to raise money through activities.  Either way, there are a lot of decisions you have to make during the planning process.  Here are some key questions to ask yourself before you start budgeting, gathering supplies, and setting up a schedule of events.

  1. How fast do we need to raise the money?

This is a key question, because you can organize some types of fundraising events more quickly than others.  If you need the money in a hurry, and you don’t need all that much of it, you can do something small like a bake sale.  Within a month, you can raise a fair amount of money.  If however you are not in a hurry, a bigger event like a carnival may be a better option.

  1. How much money do you need to raise?

This is another key question, because some types of events raise more money than others.  On average, a big, exciting event which you have planned and opened to the community is going to get a lot more support (including financial support) than something small like a catalogue sale.  So if you need a larger sum of money, it can be well worth your time to take a few extra months to plan something big like a carnival.  You have a better chance of meeting your fundraising goals this way.

  1. What volunteer resources do you have at the ready?

Volunteers can help you with your fundraiser not only by dedicating hours, but also by dedicating money.  You will probably have to pay for some of the event activities and supplies out of pocket, but oftentimes you will find that parent-teacher organizations are willing to donate a sum of money toward the event.  You can only figure out your budget once you have figured out what resources you already have.  You may be able to afford a bigger, more extravagant event than you realize.

  1. What type of fundraiser is likely to garner support from your community?

Not all communities have the same profile, and different types of events will appeal to different people.  Think about the demographics of the people who will be attending your fundraiser.  Ask yourself what types of activities they would be likely to enjoy.   You’ll have to think about food, entertainment, and more.  Come up with an event that will be fun for both adults and children.

  1. Will the event be memorable?

You want to plan an event which is not only going to raise money, but also create anticipation for future events.  If everyone enjoys the fundraising event this year, they will look forward to a similar event in the future.  The more you put into this year’s event, the easier it will be to raise money for your school in the future.

Carnival-themed events are perfect for many school fundraisers for several reasons.  Firstly, carnivals are fun for pretty much everyone, which makes them completely versatile.  Whether you live in a small town or a big city, everybody loves a carnival.  Carnivals remind us of childhood fun—so they are also ideal for entertaining adults and children.  The carnival environment is relatively easy to reproduce, and the food and games associated with carnivals are inexpensive.  So even if you are paying for most of the event out of pocket, you will probably save money planning this type of party.

Another great thing about the carnival theme for a school fundraiser is that the theme makes for easy arrangements.  The tents, food options, and games are all familiar and readily available.  If you want to save even more time and money planning a carnival fundraiser for your school, Fun Services can help you out.  We have all the equipment and supplies you could possibly need, and we can even help you to staff your event.  With efficient planning on your side, you can maximize both fun and fundraising for your school!

Have you been given the task of planning a corporate party for your office?  One fun and easy idea for a corporate party is a carnival-themed event.  You may feel overwhelmed by the task of planning the party, but if you take it one step at a time, you should be able to show everyone at your company a great time!  Here are some steps to take to plan the perfect carnival party for your office:

  1. Choose a theme and a budget.

The theme for your party determines everything else you’re going to do, and sets the tone for the event.  A well-chosen them will be accessible and relatable for everyone.  If you’re going with a carnival theme, you’ll find the rest of your party simple and affordable to plan.  Carnival foods and activities are fun and cheap, and should fit within most planning budgets.  Most people have happy memories of attending carnivals, so your theme will immediately make them feel excited to be part of the event.

While you’re at it, you’ll also want to finalize your budget so that you can work within your financial plan.  Also figure out how many people are willing to help out with the party itself, as far as set-up and breakdown is concerned.  You’ll need people to help operate equipment for food and activities as well.  Your party staffing will determine in part how many activities you can offer.  You may want to consider contracting with Fun Services for catering and additional staff members to help run games and activities.

  1. Decide on fun activities for your party.

Carnival activities might include a dunk tank (perfect for collecting money for charity, next year’s bash, or any other worthy cause), games like mini golf, foosball, baseball toss, and kick & score boxing, and electronic basketball, balloon twisting, bingo, and wheel of fortune.  You’ll only need to rent minimal equipment, and it’s all easy to set up.

Think about the people who will be attending your party when you consider which activities to offer.  Are there only going to be adults at your party, or a mix of adults and children?  Have you thought up age-appropriate activities which will be fun for everybody in attendance?  Make sure you survey your employees and coworkers to get an idea of how many people will be attending, what ages the participants will be, and whether anyone has any special nutritional requirements.

  1. Figure out food and drinks.

If you’re worried about the complexities of catering, don’t be.  The carnival theme makes food and beverages easy.  Carnival foods like popcorn, hot dogs, cotton candy, snow cones, and pretzels are easy to make when you rent the right equipment, and they are also easy to learn to operate.  These foods are inexpensive, which helps you with budgeting.  For drinks, water, soft drinks, and other simple beverages will generally suffice.  Hiring caterers instead of just renting equipment allows you to offer a wider food selection and gives more of your co-workers the chance to enjoy the activities instead of staffing food booths.

  1. Decide on a venue and a layout.

Based on the number of people you’ll have in attendances and the activities you want to provide, you’ll need to figure out how many booths, tents, tables and chairs you need, and how you should arrange them to make your event intuitive.  A logical setup will help guests to find their way around and have a fun time.  Make sure you choose a venue which will have plenty of space and be able to accommodate electrical outlets and generators.  Figure out what kind of power supply you’ll need to set up, and rent the applicable equipment you’ll require.

Fun Services can help you with all of the details of arranging your corporate party from top to bottom.  If you are doing most of the planning yourself, and just need a little extra help with staffing and equipment, we can do that.  If you need assistance with the preparation, we can simplify your planning and work within your budget to ensure that everyone enjoys your company event.  Whether you’re ready to start planning your next corporate party, or you just want to ask a question, please get in touch.  We’re always happy to hear from you!

Are you hosting a carnival, planning a town or county fair, or perhaps just planning another party with a carnival theme?  The theme of a fun fair is a classic one, perhaps because carnivals are regularly annual events, and many of their games and foods have remained relatively unchanged over the years.  The entire atmosphere of a carnival is itself a kind of nostalgic throwback to simpler times, and that appeal never wears off.  For children, they are fun and magical, and for adults, they are as familiar and enjoyable as the best childhood memories.

Another benefit of hosting a carnival or an event which includes a carnival theme is that carnival supplies are quite affordable.  They are easy to set up and operate for the most part, and together, they can convey a consistent thematic tone.  In fact, if you are having trouble coming up with plans for an event, you can look at a carnival as a ready-made theme, since it informs the food you serve your guests, the games and activities you offer, and even the layout of the event.  And since those games and foods are affordable, you get to save money while you are hosting your event.

Start out by choosing the games you want to include.  Sports games like electronic basketball, baseball toss, quarterback toss, kick & score soccer, and slap shot hockey are all good fun, as are games like splash down, dunk tank, high striker, foosball and miniature golf.  More fun contests include raffles, bingo, and wheel of fortune, bean bag, bank shot, five pin bowling, and rocker ball.  There are literally dozens of different carnival games you can choose from.  Which games were your favorites when you were a kid (or the last time you attended a carnival)?  You will need to do some additional planning when you set up these gaming events, deciding on fees if applicable as well as prizes for the winners.

You also will want to select food to serve at the event.  You can rent appliances for carnival food as well, like cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, pretzels, and hot dogs.  These machines are easy to set up and take down, and you can learn to use them in a matter of minutes.  They require a power source, so make sure you have electrical outlets to use which can take the right amount of amps, and figure out the layout for your power grid.  If you need a generator, you can rent that as well.  Generators are great for outdoor carnivals since they allow you to have a power source no matter where you are located, even if you are a long way from any other power outlet.

Once you have decided on your games and food, you will have a better idea what you need in terms of booths and canopies.  Sit down and make a list of all the games and events you have planned, as well as food stations and anything else you can think of that needs to fit into the venue.  Then try making a map, marking down the stations.  Once you know the layout, you will be able to figure out how many booths you need for food and games.  You can also use tents for eating areas, performances, and other games and events.

How many people will be attending your event?  Remember that your guests will get tired now and again and want somewhere to sit down, especially if you are serving hot dogs or meals.  Chairs are also useful if there will be performances.  Take a count of how many guests will be in attendance and make sure you get enough chairs and tables for everyone, given the events you have planned.

Planning a carnival is a lot of work, but the wonderful thing about it is that your event fits into a tradition, which makes it easy to figure out everything you need.  Think back to the carnivals you have attended, and you will come up with plenty of great ideas for planning your own.  And since carnivals are so well loved, your event is sure to go over well with your guests and be a great success.

Anyone who has ever attended a carnival, circus, or county fair has seen a dunk tank.  The “victim” sits on a seat over a large tank of water, and a target is provided.  Guests playing the game will throw a ball at the target, and if they are able to strike it, the seat will tip or drop, dunking the person seated there.  These tanks are a fun game for children and adults, and they are perfect for use at a party, picnic, or carnival.

Dunk tanks are also excellent for fundraising.  When you use a dunk tank to raise money, you simply charge a small fee to participants for a chance to dunk the victim.  This is one reason they are often included at town or county fairs; they offer the town or county an opportunity to raise money for public projects.  If you are running a corporate money, you could have your attendees vote on a charity beforehand for all proceeds to go toward.  Non-profit organizations often use dunk tanks for this purpose as well.  Even if you are not trying to raise any money at your event, a dunk tank is still a very fun attraction to include.

How to assemble your dunk tank depends on the model you are renting.  The steps can differ depending on the type of tank, but most of them can be assembled very quickly with only a few short set-up steps.  While they are one of the larger games you can get for your carnival, you will probably be surprised by how portable and easy to use they are.  Once you have assembled your dunk tank, run a test to make sure that it is working properly.  You want it to be ready to go when your guests start arriving.

You will also need to choose some people to participate in the dunking.  If you are running the event just for fun, it doesn’t matter much who you choose.  If you want to use the dunk tank as part of a fundraiser, you might put some extra though into it.  In general, there are several rules as far as dunking success goes:

  • People in dry clothes tend to draw more participants than those who are already wet.  There is something especially satisfying about dunking someone who is not yet wet.  So if you have only a couple of volunteers, make sure that they have a couple changes of clothing ready.
  • Clothing can be selected which adds humor value to a dunking situation.  For example, if you are running a corporate party, one surefire way to get people to participate in the dunking tank would be to have someone show up in full business attire to be dunked—not a swimsuit or something else casual.  If you really want to make the dunking tank popular, choose a volunteer who employees are likely to take pleasure in dunking—like a boss, manager, or accountant.
  • Think about your audience when you select attire if you are one of the volunteers, and advise any other volunteers you are working with to do the same.  If you are dunking for a church fundraiser, for example, a scantily clad woman in a swimsuit probably would not be appropriate.  In another setting, it would not only be appropriate, but would probably draw more crowds—and more money for a fundraiser.  Use common sense.
  • Observe other dunking etiquette rules.  The volunteer is free to taunt the dunkers, but should not insult them.  Giving the volunteer a squirt gun is great for motivation, but they should only target participants.  Be kind to children, and let them push the button if they miss.  The victim of the dunk should also be willing to be submerged completely, and should wave underwater if there’s a window.

Dunk tanks are a fun and timeless tradition at carnivals, county and town fairs, parties of all sorts, and fundraising events.  They are ideal for summertime, and can offer a great time to children and adults.  Getting the best results with a dunk tank does require some planning and forethought, as well as etiquette and common sense, but you can be sure that your guests will love every minute of dunk tank fun!

Popcorn machines are wonderful when you need to make a lot of food to please a lot of guests and keep your costs down.  Not many snack foods are as affordable as popcorn, if you buy it in bulk.  The popcorn machine itself is a great feature at an event as well because these machines are nostalgic in appearance and many guests will associate them with happy memories.

Popcorn machines are often associated with carnival themes, and are perfectly for a carnival-themed party, but they are also great for a variety of different events.  Rent a popcorn machine for a child’s birthday party (especially a themed one), a sporting event, a corporate party, or a fundraiser.  They are also perfect for trade shows—nothing will draw a crowd faster than free food, and popcorn is easy to smell from across the trade show floor.  Popcorn is ideal for movie night at a church, school, or park as well.

To use the popcorn machine, make sure it is on a level surface, or that the wagon or cart (if you have rented a machine with one) is placed on level ground.  Use a grounded electrical source and not an extension cord, unless the instructions specifically say that you may.  Inspect the unit thoroughly to make sure everything is place, and then plug it in.

Start by turning on the kettle heat, motor, and exhaust switches.  Before you start making large quantities of popcorn, try a small test batch using several corn kernels and a tiny bit of oil.  Once those kernels pop, you know you are ready to go, and you can place the rest of the coin and oil in the kettle, along with any flavorings you might be using.  Once all your ingredients are in place, you can close the lid and wait for the popcorn to pop.  As the batch finishes, turn off the kettle heat using the switch so that the machine will not produce smoke.  Empty the kettle of any leftover popcorn.

Once you have cleared out the kettle again, you can add new kernels, oil, and flavorings and make another batch of popcorn.  Each time a batch finishes, follow the same steps of turning off the kettle heat, emptying the kettle, and then reloading the kettle with new ingredients.

Once you have finished using the popcorn machine, you can power it down and clean it before you return it.  Unplug the machine after you turn it off, and then remove the kettle.  Before you clean it off, make sure you give it time to cool.  Wipe the kettle, the lid, the crossbar, and the exterior of the machine down using a clean, damp cloth, but do not immerse any of the parts or place them under running water.  If any popcorn is still inside the machine, take it out and then clean the inside in the same way, using a damp cloth only.  Take out the pan and empty the old maids, and then wide that down as well before replacing it inside.  Dry down the unit, and you’re good to go.

Here are some safety guidelines for using your rented popcorn machine:  Plug the machine into a grounded outlet only and avoid using an extension cord.  Make sure that the outlet matches the volts and amps of the machine.  When the machine is running, do not cover the holes at the top, which are used for air circulation.  Be aware that the machine is hot while it is running, particularly the kettle, and you should not touch the kettle or you risk a burn.  Use the base only to lift the machine, and make sure that an adult supervises if a child tries using it.

Popcorn machines are a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to provide your guests with a snack at your event.  Popcorn is a wonderfully magnetic food, since it is easy to follow the delicious smell to the source, making it ideal for serving at a trade show.  It is perfect for making a movie night at a park or a church feel more like a trip to the theater, great for fundraisers, and excellent for birthday parties or corporate parties.

Making preparations for a party or any other event involves many different tasks, one of which is selecting food for the event.  The best food choices for an event are affordable, fast, easy, and fit in with the theme of your celebration.  If you are hosting a carnival-themed event, you have the advantage of a fun theme which easily lends itself to a number of food choices.  Many of these foods require specialized equipment, but that equipment is affordable to rent, easy to operate, and can actually add to the carnival atmosphere you are trying to create.  One such appliance is a cotton candy machine.

Renting a cotton candy machine allows you to make cotton candy at your event using professional equipment.  Cotton candy starts out as sugar, which is heated by the machine until it turns into a liquid.  The spinning head on the cotton candy machine contains a number of small holes.  When the head of the machine spins, the liquid sugar from inside is pushed out through the holes.  The liquid sugar cools quickly, forming threads of cotton candy from the holes.  When you eat the cotton candy later, it melts in your mouth, returning to its liquid sugar state.

To use your rented cotton candy machine, set it up on a level surface.  You can rent a cart or stand to improve the appearance of the machine and fit it in with your other carnival décor.  Try to set up next to an electrical outlet so you can void using an extension cord, and inspect it before setting it up.  Once you have your cotton candy machine set up, you need a clean, damp cloth which you can use on the inside of the floss pan to moisten it.  Check the recommendations of the manufacturer to find out which sugar, floss, and coloring you can use.  When in doubt, go with pure cane granulated sugar (if you have any questions, you can contact us and we will walk you through it).

When you have your ingredients ready, fill the floss pan with sugar to the 90% level.  Plug the machine in and turn it on, allowing it to warm up.  Use the controls to set the heat to the recommended setting, reducing as needed if you detect any smoke.  You will find floaters on the head of the machine which allow you to control how much lift the floss gets.

To get the cotton candy onto the cone, you’ll need to grasp the cotton candy cone (empty) by the pointed end, and flick the open end of the cone into the floss.  Lift up the floss you need and then wind it around the cone.  To pick up more floss, turn the cone using a figure-eight pattern of motion.

Once you are done with the machine, you can power it down and clean it.  Make sure all the liquid sugar is out of the head of the unit, and then briefly turn the heat back on to remove any sugar which is still present.  This only takes a minute or so.  After that you can power it down again, unplug it, and use a damp cloth to wipe away any floss which is still left over.  Don’t use running water or immerse the head of the machine to clean it.  Only wipe it with the cloth.  The bowl and bubble can be washed thoroughly in water, and then you can wait for the unit to dry.

A couple of quick safety tips:  You should always check the volts and amps before you plug in a machine, and plug it into an appropriate grounded outlet.  Do not use an extension cord unless the manufacturer’s instructions specifically say you can.  Lift the machine by the handles only, and do not touch or lift the machine by the head.  While a child can use the machine, it should only be with adult supervision.

A rented cotton candy machine is a wonderful addition to any party or event, particularly one with a carnival theme.  Cotton candy is a fun, wistful food which can satisfy any sweet tooth, and which is a favorite of both children and adults.  Your rented cotton candy machine is sure to be a hit at your next event!