It used to be that the circus coming to town was a very big event because kids were not often entertained. Going to the circus was on the same level of excitement as Christmas and birthdays. Acrobats doing seemingly impossible stunts, trained tigers and elephants and potential danger thrilled a kid’s heart like nothing else.
Most kids still like to go to the circus, but they may not be quite as excited as kids used to be. Also, there have been some questions and problems with the treatment of circus animals and less than savory stories of some performers that may make you wonder about taking your child.
Since these things don’t usually come to surface during performances, if you’re okay with it, go. Take the kids and enjoy a good family outing in the atmosphere of sawdust and popcorn and silly clowns and disasters just waiting to happen.
Arena workers are there to direct you to the right line, the right place or whatever else you may need. With several performances going on at one time, it can be confusing, so don’t hesitate to ask for directions or other help.
Go early to make sure you get the seats you have tickets for. If you wait until just before the performance, you might find others in your seats and you will have no option but to hope you can find a row of seats that will accomodate your family.
The chances are that you will have to leave your seats to take the kids to the restroom. Make sure you keep your tickets handy!
Go ahead and get good seats. There is so much going on that if you don’t, you will miss out on some of the action. Don’t sit too near the performers, though. For one thing, it’s really not easy to see what’s going on if you’re too close.
A few, or even several, rows up is much better to be able to take it all in. Another reason for not sitting too close is that it can be dangerous. Things do happen at the circus with animals as well as mishaps with performers. It’s safer to keep your kids away from the possibilities.
Have a meal before you go, but go prepared to spend real money on drinks and snacks, anyway. It’s just too hard to resist, especially for kids. Snacks and drinks are part of the atmosphere, but you can control the cost a little by having your kids share the cotton candy or the popcorn. Cold cash is still the preferred medium of exchange, so go prepared for that.
Dress comfortably! Just like any other performance, there might be boring or quiet moments when you are suddenly aware that your feet hurt or that your shirt is uncomfortable. Your kids will feel the same, so let them wear casual clothing. A circus is no place to “dress up.”
When it’s all over, you might be lucky enough to see some of the animals and even performers outside the big tent!