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We went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus a few weeks ago.
I was apprehensive about going because my Gracie isn’t exactly the kind of child who sits quietly for two hours. I was plain old scared, in fact.
We arrived at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus about ninety minutes early. I’d heard that there was a pre-show, and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it. Some shows (like the Hershey, PA and Philadelphia, PA events) offer an animal open house even before the pre-show.
I’d only been to the circus once before. I was about eight, and it was a small circus held outdoors in a large tent. The pre-show was similar to that small circus. We walked around three rings while jugglers and animal handlers and acrobats and clowns entertained us. A small elephant came out and painted a picture. We also had the opportunity to speak with and have our program autographed by various performers.
After the pre-show, we had fifteen or so minutes to find our seats and prepare for the circus. Grace got antsy, and I (again) was worried about whether she would sit through the show.
And then the show started, and Grace hardly moved for the next two hours and thirty minutes.
We saw acrobats and dancers and clowns and elephants and tigers and horses and dogs and motorcyclists and trapeze articles. It was great.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is like a Broadway show with animals and tricks. There was music and a light show. I was impressed. Each of us had a favorite part of the circus.
Grace’s favorite was the horses. She liked all of the animals, but for days afterward, she was talking about the white horsies with the blue hats. I didn’t tell her that the blue things were feathers and not hats.
Joe’s favorite was a big metal cage in which people rode motorcycles. First, there were two riders, and then there were three riders. They worked all the way up to seven motorcycle riders in that one little metal sphere. It was something to see.
My favorite part was the flying trapeze. Just before the trapeze artists came out, the Super Silva shimmied up a rope looking just like Spiderman. The trapeze has always been my favorite part of the circus, probably because I can’t even hang from a tree branch successfully. I tried to take pictures of them, but the pictures didn’t turn out.
My sister’s favorite part of the circus was the tigers. They were the chubbiest tigers I’d ever seen; they reminded me of my obese cat, Zeus. We wished the tiger portion of the circus would have been longer. One of the tigers danced and another hopped, but they were back in their tiger train too soon for us.
My mom’s favorite part was the next to last act, a troupe of dancers and acrobats from China who wore fluorescent-colored costumes that transformed the arena into a beautiful garden. It was crazy and amazing to watch the flowers twirl as men lept between enormous poles.
There are a few things that we’ve all been talking about since our visit to the circus, too. For one thing, there were one elephant that was smaller than the rest. We presumed that it was the youngest. That little elephant skipped instead of walking. When she came into the area, and when she went out of the arena, she skipped. She looked like she was having a great time. It was adorable.
The other thing we’ve been talking about ever since is how captivated Grace was. When people danced, Gracie danced. When they sang, she sang. And when the animals disappeared behind the giant curtains, she clapped and said “More animals please!”
All in all, the circus was a wild success. We’re thinking about going again when they’re in Hershey in a few weeks.
I have some coupon codes to share with you, Dear Reader! They can be used to purchase discount tickets for any of the shows in the coming weeks. The circus will be in Hershey, PA from May 20 to 25 and in Philadelphia from May 13 to 25. If those aren’t close to you, you can see the whole tour schedule here.
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Coupons
Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for $44 by entering the code “MOM” at select ticketing channels. Offer good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required. Additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Gold Circle Seating, Circus Celebrity Seating, Front Row, and VIP Seating or combinable with other offers. Other restrictions may apply.
Offer #2: A select number of Front Row and VIP seats have been reserved for families. Enter the code “MOM” when purchasing these seats.
All tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster. To get the discount, make sure you enter the MOM code in the “MC promotional box” when ordering your tickets.
© 2009, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.