The Circus Comes to Town

I went to the Ringling Bros.and Barnum & Bailey's Zing Zang Zoom circus last Thursday at Madison Square Garden. In the days leading up to the event, it was all I could do to contain my excitement. The circus was all I could talk about. Would there be lions? Would there be tigers? (I saw no bears on their fliers, bummer). Had I even ever been to a circus before? As I arrived at the Garden with the swell of little kids, the enthusiasm was contagious. All around me were the shouts of sugared-up little ones. They were getting their faces painted, they were meeting the stars and eating their cotton candy, they were having a grand old time. Then the lights lowered and the show began, and I noticed that the kids around me seemed to really be enjoying the show, but it wasn't quite as fun for me.

That made me wonder: Does the circus lose its charm when you get older? When you take your kids, is it just as much fun for you as it is for them? I bet I'll feel differently when I have kids of my own. 

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  1. by Meredith

    On March 31, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Honestly? Yes, it does.
    I find that Ringling Bros is very much for the kids. Not that it was different before, because I only went when I was a child and then teenager and now with my own children. There isn’t very much going on to thrill adults or keep them interested. My kids loved it, though.
    Cirque Du Soliel, now there is a circus for adults. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Kooza in Atlanta on the last night. We took our 5 year old as well. My husband and I laughed and were transfixed by almost everything on that stage. The ‘clowns’ were the funniest I have ever seen. It helped that the humor was clearly mature in nature.
    If you are looking to love the circus again, try one of the Cirques. If you want to take your kids and let them experience the fun, stick with Ringling Bros.

  2. by zmama

    On March 31, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I felt the same way about the show (We saw it sunday) and it just wasn’t as much fun as i had hoped. My daughter enjoyed it but not as much as I had imagined.

  3. by Kimberly/Mom in the City

    On March 31, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I loved this show. (The last Ringling Bros. one at MSG – not so much.) My favorite part was when the woman was shot out of the cannon.
    My son enjoyed it too. He was clapping his hands in excitement.
    (I do find that The Big Apple Circus and the Cirque Du Soliel ones tend to appeal more to adult tastes overall.)

  4. by Janna

    On March 31, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    OMG! I LOOOOOVVVED it. I felt like I was a kid all over again.

  5. by ejp

    On March 31, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Perhaps the circus is less fun when you realize how much animal cruelty is involved. Cirque de Soleil shows there are alternatives that are fun for everyone!

  6. by Rachel

    On April 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    What ejp said. I would never bring my kids to a typical circus.

  7. by Reyna

    On April 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I love animals so much, that I just can’t go to a circus and watch these broken animals do tricks for the sake of entertainment.

  8. by cheryl

    On April 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Yes, I would have to agree with all the animal cruelty stuff as well (especially being a vegetarian!). Has anyone read Water for Elephants? All about circus animals in the circus in the old days…. hopefully it’s a little better now…but who knows?

  9. by Reba

    On April 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I did feel a little sad for the animals at this year’s circus, but they were also my favorite ppart of the show. I loved the dog tricks. The animals really saved the night for me because I could do without the clowns!

  10. by e cigarette

    On April 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    I think some of the magic is lost when we think about the treatment of the animals. There are so many horror stories about how these animals are treated it’s hard to enjoy the show.