Choose a question below or scroll down for answers to the most frequently asked questions and suggestions on making sure your party is a success.
Consider us your Party Consultants at no charge!
Q: What size tent will I need for my event?
A:The following list approximates the capacity of different tent sizes:
12'x12' (15 people)
15'x15' (22 people)
15'x30' (45 people)
16x16 (26 people)
20x20 (40 people)
20x30 (60 people)
20x40 (80 people)
30x30 (90-100 people)
30x45 (140 people)
30x60 (180 people)
30x75 (220 people)
30'x90' (260 people)
30'x105' (300 people)
40x40 (160 people)
40x60 (240 people)
40x80 (320 people)
40'x100' (400 people)
40'x120' (480 people)
Q: How will I know if I can fit
a certain tent in the area I have?
A: First thing that you need to do is measure the area in
which you want to put the tent. You must add 10 feet to the dimensions
for staking. (This means that if you want a 20 x 40
tent then you need an area that is at least 30 x 50).
This area must be flat with no obstacles in the way such as bushes,
fences, rocks, trees, swing sets, pools, patios, decks or any other
objects. We will need a height clearance of around 18 feet. If the
dimensions that you come up do not meet our requirements then we
will be unable to install your tent. If your area is close to these
requirements or if you have a concern then please email us a couple
of digital photos of the area along with the measurements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond as soon as possible with whether or not the tent
is going to fit. If the tent is going on a patio and can not be
staked then you will need to get a frame tent. If the tent is going
on asphalt you must notify us at least 2 days prior to your installation
date. We may need to drill into the asphalt in order to stake
the tent, but we will fill the holes with real tar after the removal.
There is an extra charge for this.
Q: Do prices include set up and delivery?
A: Set up is included in all our prices, whenever you rent from Big Top you never lift a finger. We realize how busy you are getting ready for your event and we want you to leave all the legwork to us. We do have delivery charges in all areas, call for more details.
Q: I am ready to make my reservation how do I go about placing an order?
A: When you are 100% sure you know what you want and have a set date, call our office at (978) 858-0250 to place your order. We will then check availability, go over pricing and answer any questions or concerns you may at the time of ordering. If the equipment you want is available we will then fill out a contract and mail it out or you can visit our office to pick it up and apply your down-payment. All reservations require a 33% non-refundable down-payment and the understanding of our rental contract. We do not “pencil anyone in” or accept emailed, faxed or mailed in orders.
Q: How far in advance should I reserve the equipment I need for my event?
A: Once you have chosen a date and know what you need, DO NOT hesitate, call us as soon as possible to reserve the equipment you need for your event. Most commonly a 1 month notice is sufficient though it all depends on the demand for that day.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept checks, money orders, cash and all major credit cards. All reservations require a 33% non-refundable down-payment and the understanding of our rental contract. Payment in full is due prior to or at the time of delivery.
Q: How long does it take for Big Top to set up?
A: The average set up is usually 30 minutes.
Q: Do I need to be present when Big Top delivers or sets up?
A: As long as we have a signed contract you do not have to be present. We will need you to leave us all phone numbers where you can be reached at during the day of your installation. Put a check in an envelope and tape it to the front or back door if you have not called our office with a credit card number. Also include in the envelope a diagram of your yard where the tent goes. Use sticks or lawn furniture to mark out where the tent goes. If you have a sprinkler system, septic tank or anything in the ground on your property we should be told about before staking then you will need to be present to point out where we should not stake so our stakes dont hit anything.
Q: When should I have my lawn cut before my party?
A: Make sure you DO NOT cut your grass the day of your tent install. The green sap that is left on the surface of your lawn will stain our equipment as we have to lay most of it on the ground during our install. Another reason would be is that we wouldnt want your landscaper or yourself to interfere with the installation of your party. It is always best to leave your grass a little long. Grass wears better when it is longer. If your party were on a Saturday you would want your lawn to be mowed no later than Wednesday. Cutting your lawn after the tent has been installed can be extremely difficult with all the poles and stakes in the way.
Q: Should I rent sidewalls for my tent in case it rains?
A: That all depends. It does not rain sideways and sidewalls will increase the temperature under your tent by 10-15 degrees. Sidewalls are good if it is cold out, for privacy (maybe a disliked nosy neighbor) or if you want to block out an unattractive view close to where your tent is set up.
Q: What is your rain date policy?
A: We do not allow our customers to cancel if it rains out. All of our items, with the exception of our moonwalkers, are usable outside when it rains as long as the equipment is under a tent or indoors. If you do rent a moonwalker and it is raining out that day and we feel that there is enough rain to classify
unusable we will not set it up and refund your deposit 100%. However if we do set it up and receive some unexpected rain we will not issue any refund.
Q: What is your policy for cancellation and order adjustments?
A: Cancellations may occur by contacting our office at 978-858-0250. The non-refundable down-payment of 33% will be forfeited in event of cancellation. A $25 processing fee will also be imposed in the event customer cancels and needs a refund on payment exceeding 33%. Table and Chair reductions will not be accepted within 3 weeks of event date; customer shall be responsible for 33% of total due as liquidated damages in the event we are not given at least 3 weeks notice. You may add to your order based on availability.
Q: Whats the difference between a frame tent and a pole tent?
A: A pole tent is held up by tension and requires anywhere from 12-40 stakes. A frame tent requires minimal staking, maybe 4-6 stakes, and is held up by a piped frame. People usually order framed tents when they want their tent in an area where they can't or dont want to stake. You can use water barrels instead of stakes ONLY on a frame tent. Water barrels can not be used on pole tents. We will not install any tent unless it is staked.
Q: How long do you rent the moonwalkers for and how big is it?
A: When renting a moonwalker you must provide constant adult supervision during the entire time the moonwalker is set up. Hundreds of children are injured each year all across the country on moonwalkers. Just about all injuries occurred when there was no adult supervision. Following the rules and having proper supervision will decrease any chances of injury. We at Big Top feel that your average party lasts 4-5 hours and that it can be extremely difficult to provide adult supervision any longer than that so we limit our moonwalk rentals to 5 hours on each rental.
*NOTE: All our moonwalkers are 15 x 15 and come with a big blue foam safety step that will allow jumpers to enter and exit safely. If your shopping around make sure you ask what size you are getting. The bigger the safer!
Q: How many tables and chairs can I fit under my tent?
15 x 30= 4-5 tables, 45 chairs
16 x 16= 4 tables, 26 chairs
20 x 20= 6 tables, 40 chairs
20 x 30= 8 tables, 60 chairs
20 x 40= 10 tables, 80 chairs
30 x 30= 12 tables, 90 chairs
30 x 45= 17 tables, 140 chairs
30 x 60= 22 tables, 180 chairs
30 x 75= 26 tables, 220 chairs
30 x 90= 30 tables, 260 chairs
30 x 105= 34 tables, 300 chairs
40 x 40= 20 tables, 160 chairs
40 x 60= 30 tables, 240 chairs
40 x 80= 40 tables, 320 chairs
40 x 100= 50 tables, 400 chairs
40 x 120= 60 tables, 480 chairs
(based on seating 10 to each table and other tables being used
for food, gifts or displays)
Q: I need to rent a dance floor, what size will I need?
A: Dance floor sections come in 3 x 4 foot sections. Each section can hold up to 4 1/2 people and cost $18.00 per outside section or $16.50 per indoor section. Below is a list of sizes and sections:
*All our dance floors must be under a tent or used indoors and set up on a flat
clean area. It is very important to keep our dance floors dry and clean
It is always best to set your chairs up the day of your event. Pollen and dust can build up when they set them up a day or two before then you may find your guest complaining about dirty chairs.
Make sure that you shut your sprinkler systems off while our equipment is set up on your property. Water and rain will absolutely damage our equipment. It is also very important that you make sure that all our equipment is set up under a tent or stored in a garage to keep the water away.