Hey! I was already writing a review of the circus for KidsOutAndAbout.com (yes! you can read it here!), so I thought that you might like another perspective from my friend Hollow Squirrel who keeps saying that she’s going to write a guest post when I go on vacation and then she never, ever does. So I cornered her and forced her to go to the circus and report her findings to you. Thank you Ms. Squirrel!
My husband and I took our two boys, ages 4 and 6, to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily FULLY CHARGED! Circus at the Times Union Center last evening. Like any big event in any large city, I strongly urge you to check out parking options if you are unfamiliar with parking around the arena or if you’re a control freak, like myself. My go-to flat lot was filled with Circus trucks, so we ended up down a skinny side street to $5 after 5 parking –easy! Map out some possibilities beforehand, so you’re not stressed getting to the event.
There’s plenty to see and do before the event begins, and circus performers are wandering the big top an hour before the event! You can take pictures, for a fee, on top of adorably colorful circus animal statues, and of course, there are plenty of circus-related treats and souvenirs, albeit they are very steeply priced. Prepare for requests for $12 bags of cotton candy, $10 (minimum) sno-cones and $20 flashy wand-like thingamajigs. I did not prepare the kids as well as I should have for how reluctant I would be to purchase any and all MUST HAVES from my six-year old. My smarter friend had told her kids that they could bring their saved money to buy a treasure; alas, my son has no savings. We ended up buying a $10 resuable circus drink bottle of lemonade, 2 colorful plastic elephants filled with sno-cone goodness ($12 each) and a $12 bag of cotton candy (that this year came with a crazy circus hat). I recommend the sno-cones because it took a long time for the kids to consume them! Plus, they love the elephants now in their rooms.
Enough advice — onto the SHOW!
We loved it! In the beginning, several times between acts, and at the end, the entire ensemble parades out, and my kids were speechless and in awe of the colors, lights, various performers, and crazy vehicles vying for their attention. My four year old sat in a glazed awe, waving his hand at everyone both at the beginning of the night, and at the close.
The major acts included jugglers, horses, “strong men,” highwire, circle walkers, tigers, cirque de soleil-type acrobat type, human catapult, elephants, glow-in-the-dark pogo-like dancer/tumblers, and tumblers. I am probably forgetting some, and I apologize to the performers, because they truly were all amazing. In between acts, the lively clowns amused the crowd.
The opening act, three rings of different juggling acts impressed us all — too bad they were going on at the same time, because I had a difficult time focusing on one without stealing away to watch another group. Honestly, the best juggling acts I’ve ever seen; and, every time I thought I’d been amazed, they’d one-up it with another amazing feat which would figuratively blow my mind. Bravo, jugglers — you all deserved center ring spotlight.
Like the juggling, my favorite acts were the ones performed by humans, not animals — I was blown away by the two young men who walked and jumped in and on top of giant rotating metal circles. Trust me. Go now. I was gasping, “wow”ing and clapping throughout their entire act. I took pictures, but alas, my camera and computer aren’t on speaking terms. Mostly, what I kept thinking was “do their MOTHERS know they’re doing this?!” Serenity.
My family have their opinions, too, on the acts not to miss. My four year old LOVED the circus — just ask his Papa, whom was ordered to go see it NOW, even though he’s 13 hours away in Michigan. He recommends the high-wire act, the human catapult and the “rumblers,” which we figured out were the tumblers.
My six year old’s highlights include, again, the human catapult, the bouncy glow-in-the-dark pogo-like jumpers (I’m sure they have a more marketable name), and the strong men (two partially clothed Asian gladiator-types with some pretty darn impressive feats of strength). I’m pretty sure you could bounce a quarter off their abs.
My husband also liked the 2 circle walker guys, the tumblers and jugglers…and the strong men. He, too, had trouble narrowing down his favorites, which is a great thing for the circus and its viewers!
If you’re considering going, I highly suggest you do. We had a fantastic time watching the performances and our childrens’ delighted and awed faces, and you will, too.