We had the wonderful opportunity of going to the Big Apple Circus in New York City for the second time. We went last year to the “Dance On” show and I shared a lot of insight into our experience which you can read here.
Our tickets were for the 12:30pm show on a Sunday so we headed out from our home in Putnam County, NY around 9:30am. The NYC Marathon was on the same day so we wanted to give ourselves enough time in case we ran into traffic. Well, there was NO traffic at all, thank God. It was a straight run and only took a little over an hour to get there. The Big Apple Circus tent is only a few blocks in from the Henry Hudson parkway and there is a parking garage under Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center where the circus tent is. The cost was $36. I think that is for the whole day in case you wanted to make a day out of it.
We got there pretty early so we took a nice stroll around Lincoln Center and some of the side streets. Here are some pictures of us:
This one is my fave. Love the Lincoln Center Fountain. I think this may be the photo I use for our Christmas cards this year. What do you think? I just wish our youngest was looking. LOL
We were so happy to have my mom join us this year. She grew up in NJ only a short distance from the city and has wanted to go to the Big Apple Circus all her life. What a treat to share this experience with her.
So all in all, everything went very smoothly getting to the city, parking, walking around, and then grabbing our tickets. The ticket area had the heat blarring since it was pretty cold outside and we were able to go in and grab some lunch before the show. They have the usual circus food. We got the $10 meals which included 1 hotdog, 1 large soda (coke, sprite, or diet coke), and a box of popcorn or cotton candy. They have a nice seating area with tables so the kids were able to eat before we went into the show. I think this is a must because it winds up being way to messy. I will share more about that in a bit. Here is a photo of us eating before the show:
After eating, the next trip was to the bathroom. A new addition was the new portable potties. They were so cool! We had never seen anything like that before. (wish I had taken a photo) They were like airplane bathrooms, but a little bigger with the sink any everything. Very cool. Funny how the kids get a kick of those things. We made a couple trips there over the course of the afternoon.
This year’s show was called “Dream Big”. I was told that this is the last year that Grandma the Clown will be performing. (sniff sniff) She is retiring after 25 years of service. I was not really sure what to expect for this show – if it would be similar to the last show that we saw or what. But when we first walked in to the Big Apple Circus tent the backdrop was totally different. Here is a shot of it, but my camera really doesn’t give it justice.
If you read my previous post on our first Big Apple Circus experience, you will see that I wrote about the seating options and how the center sections are the best place to sit because that is where all the performers face when they come out and that is the direction they face when performing ( a lot of the time). Well, we got the PERFECT seats. Don’t get me wrong the other seats are totally fine, but it is a much better experience being right in the front.
The show was awesome. It was totally different than the first one we saw. There were different people, different acts, and even different animals. I think that is so great because now I know that since the circus IS different each season then you can go back every year and have a totally different experience. I would definitely make this a yearly event!
I took a couple photos in the tent, but there were a lot of people around us and I did not want to be rude by taking photos with them in the background. And the kids were acting up a lot this time around so I was not as camera happy as I usually am. But here are a few photos of us:
The show was a hit. There were acrobats, trapezers, clowns, magic tricks, animals, lights, music, and so much more. We all had our favorites. My mom’s was the funny clown lady with the wild blonde hair. The show lasted a total of 2 hours including a 15 minute intermission and the tent is heated for all of you worried about coming out in the winter months.
Some suggestions I have for those of you bringing small children are:
- Bring a stroller. This really helps to maneuver around the city a little better. They have a stroller check so that was where we kept all of our extra stuff including coats so that way we did not have to bring much to our seats.
- Don’t go overboard on the soda. We had a little too much soda left so we decided to bring it into the tent with us. We had 3 large cups as well as the boxes of popcorn and cotton candy. I put the sodas on the floor by our feet and with the kids moving around so much and not a lot of legroom, we wound up spilling TWO of the sodas. UGH. I think having sippy cups of juice might’ve been a better option. It is not a nice feeling having sticky soda under your feet.
- Schedule your trip AFTER naptime. We did not have a choice as to the time we could go to the circus this time around. They had a special showing just for bloggers and the only show was at 12:30pm. That is naptime for our 2 youngest children (ages 2 & 3) so I was not sure of how it would be. Our 2 year old slept for a bit in the car on the way to the city, but our 3 year old did not. By around 1:30pm (around intermission time), we had a VERY cranky 3 yr old on our hands who did not want to stay in the show any longer. I wound up having to take him out and walk around with him for a bit. I tried to go back to the show and my husband held him on his lap for the remainder of the show, but he cried the entire time. It was a bit frustrating.
Well that was our experience going to the “Dream Big” Show at the Big Apple Circus. I definitely recommend this for families who are looking for something fun to do with your family. There are a range of dates and ticket prices which you can check out. You can also follow the Big Apple Circus on Facebook and Twitter.
Here is a final picture of me and my family outside of the circus tent after the show: