How to Build a Fun House

circus image by JASON WINTER from

Is there a more fascinating and entertaining experience than visiting a great fun house at a circus? Probably not. Fun houses are also exciting components for birthday parties and other fun holidays, but can be quite difficult to assemble. Building a fun house requires extensive planning and can be quite expensive; however, here is a guide for a basic fun house that any child will appreciate at his or her holiday celebration.

Choose a theme for the fun house, which will help you plan its particular rooms and events. For example, a fun house for Halloween may resemble a standard "haunted house" in look and feel, whereas a fun house for Easter may include entirely different costumes and events--an egg hunt in a room of distorted mirrors, for example.

Walk through several already completed fun houses to get an impression of what a fully constructed model looks like. Because the quality of a fun house completely depends on the experience a person has while walking through it, it is best if you walk through fun houses yourself so you know the experience you intend to give the people that will enjoy your fun house.

Build a room of distorted mirrors into your fun house. No fun house is complete without a room of distorted mirrors. Place the mirrors, of differing heights and widths, next to one another. To give the room of mirrors an especially crazy feel, play a CD over the radio that seemingly attempts to communicate to all of the people in the mirrors.

Dress up in a theme-related costume and hire others to do the same. The people in costume should serve multiple functions. For example, a pirate could lead children through a pirate boat fun house, with some of the pirates' "mates" enjoying piratelike activities throughout the house. Generally speaking, the costumes should be related to the theme, and the people in the costumes must complete activities consistent with that theme.

Record a set of instructions on DVD that tells people how to experience the fun house, and require that participants in the fun house watch the DVD before entering. You may want to include statements like: "Beware of your imagination--this house will play tricks on you!" to arouse the emotions of the participants and make them excited and wary of the rooms to come.

Use the wireless microphone (connected to the surround-sound speakers), to allow the host to either lead the participants through the fun house or provide running commentary to the action while watching the participants walk through the house.

Create a plastic ball room, in which the children can jump into a large basket and play with each other and the small balls. Plastic ball rooms at Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants provide an effective example. Place appropriately themed music on the CD player for ambiance.