Some Specifics for This Week

Folks have been asking for more information about the upcoming Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus hoopla. If you’re thinking about buying tickets, here’s the link. As for the free stuff ahead of time, I called Mr. Circus to pump him for information.

The Animal Walk planned for 6:30 am on Wednesday is when they literally walk the animals from the train to the Times Union Center. First of all, keep in mind that 6:30 am is the plan. They aim for that schedule, but it all depends on the trains and the animals and such. So, I’d say that the earliest is 6:30 am and it could be later. How often have you planned to be somewhere at 6:30 am and actually achieved it? Anyway, the animals unload from the train at Church Street on the far side of 787, then start walking up Church Street. Actually, when I was on the phone, we were talking Church Street, but now I’m wondering if they actually continue on Green Street? That seems to make more sense. In any case, they hang a left and walk over toward South Pearl on either Beaver or Hudson. How long does all this take, you may ask? Wow, that’s a good question, and one I wish that I’d thought to ask while I was on the phone.

Then on Friday, the Street Scrubbing for the Tulip Festival is at noon at State and Lodge Streets in downtown Albany. Music and, yes: street scrubbing. I’ve never gone to this myself, so I’d love a comment from someone who’s taken their kids. The Elephant Brunch, meanwhile,  is planned (again, it’s just a plan! and it’s subject to change if there’s some kind of crazy Elephant Brunch difficulty–not entirely sure what this may be, say that they turn up their trunks because they’d rather have Mimosas instead of Bloody Marys? Anyway, consider yourselves warned: it is planned) for 1:15 or 1:30 pm. Basically, they bring the elephants out and put big bunches of food on tables and you watch the elephants eat. You don’t feed them or touch them, but you do see elephants eat out on South Pearl Street in front of the Times Union Center, which is not something that one sees every day.

Incidentally, for those of you ambitious souls who are pondering a spectacular Twofer Outing, the answer is yes, it’s totally walkable to go from scrubbing to brunching. Googlemaps puts it at a 5 minute walk. Which means that if you go with a stroller it will take 10 minutes, and if you go with a 6-year-old it will take 20 minutes, and if you go with a toddler or preschooler who absolutely refuses to be strolled or carried in any way, it will take about 3 hours. Right now, the weather looks decidedly iffy for the rest of the week, but if the weather improves, that’s a pretty fun Friday.

Whoops! I forgot one other detail that people had asked about: doors open one hour ahead for each circus show, and you should try to get there early because you can go down and see performers up close.


  1. Erin

    And how crazy is it that I briefly wondered if doing Story Art at the Museum, then street sweeping, then elephant brunch was do-able with a 2 year old & 10 month old…

  2. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Erin, I did the same thing! Pretty much every time there’s an event downtown I look to see if I can fit the NY State Museum in, too. I put it into GoogleMaps and was like, ummm, that seems a bit too challenging. But I admire that you aspire!

  3. Erin

    I stopped at the point where I realized I’d be walking up that ridiculous hill. 🙂

  4. mel

    I LOVE the street scrubbing. Its kitschy fun. I imagine the kids will enjoy watching it, but only if they are old enough to stand still for a bit. I am going to try to bring my boys, but they might not be entertained enough. There’s not much music at that point, I think the Carillon plays, maybe bagpipes (which I LOVE).
    As for TulipFest itself, in the past its been really crowded and alcohol driven, at least on Saturday. I have never gone with kids. Going to give it a try, going VERY early Saturday. Once there are too many people for strollers, we’re out!

  5. The Tulip Fest is really sort of ghetto-ized. If you’re over by the playground, it’s all family activities and families and you barely even notice that somewhere far off there’s a crowd of people having an entirely different category of fun. But, yeah, trying to navigate a stroller between the big white tents is so not worth it. Oh, and if you’re there early and interested in face painting, do that first. The lines becomes huge and the people doing the art are usually really good–I’ll scrounge for a photo.

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