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Family Time: Visiting the Barnum & Bailey Circus

We received media passes in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

One of the most exciting “WOW!” memories I have growing up was going to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus so I was just PSYCHED when I heard that they were heading through our area this past weekend! My kids, ages 6 & 4, haven’t been to a circus in 3 years so they definitely didn’t remember ever attending a circus. We told the boys we were heading to the zoo (which we did later that day) but they had absolutely NO idea that we were going to the Barnum & Bailey circus first! In fact it added to the mystery that inside the arena it said “Barnum & Bailey” everywhere but there was NO word “circus” listed so my kids had NO idea what they were in for!! In fact until it hit intermission they were absolutely mesmerized….and still had no idea they were at the circus! It was SO fun and we certainly won’t be able to surprise them like that again for quite some time!

Barnum & Bailey Circus Fully Charged Iowa

The Barnum & Bailey circus was quite different from when I was a child, but for it being the first circus my kids remember they really enjoyed it. There were acrobats and dancers galore and plenty to look at during the special acts. For this “Fully Charged” tour the entire event revolved around a giant plug and electric “meters” indicating being charged which was a neat theme.

There was this sword thrower……which quickly made my kids eyes just pop open when he brought out the fire.

Barnum & Bailey Circus Fully Charged Iowa

Let’s hope my kids don’t decide to try this at home! 🙂

There were also some AMAZING jugglers. I’m not just talking juggling a lot of items, but all three actors juggling while walking around the stage, juggling with each other, juggling over top of each other, jugging each other’s items while juggling their own – I was quite enraptured myself at their incredible talent!

There weren’t as many animals as I remember when I was a child but there was a fun horse and pony show, a ton of dogs doing tricks (good ones too!), and of course the famous elephants that the circus is known for.

There were a lot of acrobats and stunts, however, that I just know my daredevil son was scheming to see if he could ever do them! These guys made being thrown up in the air look so simple! The characters and actors in the circus had great personalities and walked through the audience areas which were fun for the kids. There was also a VERY strong guy literally throwing around a telephone pole with one hand – it was jaw-dropping.

One particularly fun thing for the kids was the toilet paper leaf blowers that they shot into the crowd!

I wish I had captured a picture of my 4 year old’s face when he not only saw the tight rope walkers but when he saw them biking across the tight rope and doing stunts! Although I’ve seen this act in similar ways before I still find myself holding my breath every time!

These trampoline guys made their stunts look SO easy! I couldn’t believe it!!

Although the circus was very different than when I was a kid my boys just absolutely LOVED it and have been telling everyone about it all weekend. These kind of stunts and tricks are the types of things that little boys dream of and only see in movies. To see them in real life is such a treat and really inspires them to go out and dream big! It was a very modernized circus and had an AWESOME techno light show that my husband and I are just raving about (it was our favorite part!).

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