Friday Night (16): End-of-School year “Cirque du School” prom at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford pairs acrobatic artistry with carnival fun

STANFORD, Calif. – The “Cirque du School” hospital school prom at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford isn’t on tour in Las Vegas; but the dazzling décor and acrobats promise to be every bit as magical – with many surprises to boot.

“The best part of the prom is the look of awe and wonder on the kids’ faces when they first walk into the cafeteria,” said hospital schoolteacher Kathy Ho, chief organizer and party advisor, who is whispered to be wearing a tutu to the festivities. “All of a sudden, the children feel like they are transported. They are not in the hospital anymore.”

Part Victorian carnival, part kid-friendly cabaret, the 10th annual hospital school prom provides a getaway without kids having to leave the hospital, transforming the cafeteria into a mystical world. Doubling as acrobats, gymnasts from Stanford and Cal will do flips and tricks. Guests can enjoy a “Cabinet of Curiosities,” made in-house and filled with scientific marvels and strange creatures. Kids and families can take pictures in a special DreamWorks Animation photo booth, with photo printing courtesy of Hewlett-Packard. Want some additional razzle-dazzle for your outfit? Face painters will be ready.

The guest list? Anyone attending the hospital school over the past year is invited, including brothers and sisters who relocated to Palo Alto while their sibling received care. The event is such a draw that kids who are no longer in the hospital travel for hundreds of miles to be able to come, and kids who attended prom in years past as patients are eager to come back and volunteer.

Local organizations are also showing their Cirque du School spirit, donating goods galore to make the event special. Selix Formalwear is donating tuxes for the little gents, Feet First Entertainment will make sure that kids can boogie with the latest hit songs, a major sugar buzz will be provided by the Sugar Shack, and munchies will be on hand from Weir Catering. 

“The hospital is able to create a dream world for our patients through the creativity, dedication and generosity of countless individuals,” said schoolteacher Kevin Danie, who promises to don a top hat and tailed tuxedo for the event. “We are excited to get this party started.”

Event details

Hospital Prom “Cirque du School”
Friday night (16), 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, 725 Welch Rd., Palo Alto, CA


About Stanford Medicine Children’s Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at

About Stanford University School of Medicine

The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health. For information about all three, please visit