Before my daughter's third birthday I asked her what she wanted for her party theme. She was not sure and we spent a lot of time looking at cakes. At some point we were looking at the photos from when she rode a carousel in Obernai, France, and she got excited about a carousel theme. Sometimes looking at assorted pictures to discover a theme is even better than looking at cakes!
The horses were made from sugar cookies. A benefit was they could be made a couple days in advance.
Dina's talented Uncle Dan made the invitations and the pin the tail on the carousel horse game for us.
I found a colorful banner at our local Albert Heijn (grocery store in NL) and it was completely customizable, although I had to create the little 'RD' superscript for the number 3.
basic buttercream frosted top below.
red dye warning they include on the packaging here), and I choose to not serve the red part to the kids.
glued' a small piece of round cardboard to the glass in advance and then placed it into the frosting on the bottom tiers, dotting buttercream around the side to hold it in place. The dowels were inserted, measured and then cut to size. I also dotted around the dowels with buttercream for looks.