***Disclosure: As a US Family Guide Blogger, I received complimentary tickets to this event. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
For the past month, my kids have known that they'd be going to the circus. Sadly, since they're only 2 and 3 and have absolutely no concept of time, they asked EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. is today was the day....So today, when asked if Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Built to Amaze was here yet, imagine their delight when I could finally say "YES!"
As we all know, preschoolers are not always the most patient of creatures. They got their coats and shoes on and literally stared me down, giving the evil eye, until it was finally time to go.
It's about a 45 minute drive to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Other than traffic, rain, and the fact that it's already fuh-reeeeezing here in Ohio, the trip went well. And I had never been more thankful for heated leather seats in my life!
Once we parked and made our way into the arena, there was a definite buzz of excitement in the air. There were several vendors with stuffed circus animals, clown hats, and other novelties everywhere. Of course there was also cotton candy, hot dogs, nachos and other tasty circus food.We decided to head right to our seats to get situated. Our seats were a bit high up, but were right in the center of the arena, giving us an amazing view of the action.
Before show time, there were loads of activities like a bouce house, clowns, and other fun that families could enjoy.
Sophie and Xander absolutely freaked when they saw the elephants! They had never seen one in person before, so they were amazed by how big these gentle giants were. Of course, like any good mom would do, I took tons of pictures of the pachyderms for the kids to see later on.
There were also amazing feats performed by skilled talent. This gal was climbing up this rope and did some really awesome flips and spins. It made me dizzy just watching!
The Boys VS Girls feature was also very entertaining. As you can see, the female is on the bottom and she repeatedly supported and lifted her male partner. Talk about girl power! And yes, this gal is ripped. She has more muscle than my husband does. Pretty impressive, although it made me realize that I really need to start exercising more often!
And the clowns...Oh, the clowns. What a merry bunch of pranksters! We loved the act where the clowns got into a massive paint fight! They were slipping and sliding and dumping buckets of paint all over each other! My kids laughed and laughed....I hope they didn't get any ideas to try and pull off at home!
Being the crazy cat lady that I am, I loved seeing all of the tigers. Wow, they are really huge! I'd hate to see what their scratching posts look like! Anyway, the trainer had the tigers doing some really neat tricks. My favorite part was when they got up on their hind legs and stood up.
No circus is complete until someone gets shot out of a massive cannon. At least I think that's in the Circus handbook somewhere. There was one brave little lady that got launched out of this baby. She flew across the arena and landed on a big air-cushion.
Now I am going to embarrass myself. There was one part of the evening that almost gave me an anxiety attack. The horses. I am absolutely, positively terrified of horses. I don't know why, either...I just am. So the few times the horses were out I definitely cringed and was glad the I could get to the nearest exit by jumping over a few people and bolting up the stairs. Needless to say, no horses escaped or tried to trample me to death. But still. This is the stuff that nightmares are made of in Brandy-Land. Go ahead and laugh...You know you wanna.
All of the action and excitement must have worn my littles out. By intermission, Sophie was passed out in her seat. She fought a good fight, too. She really tried to stay awake. Xander didn't fall asleep, but was in Daddy's lap doing his little finger-sucking thing. We decided to head back home about 30 minutes before the show was over. This way, we wouldn't have to fight through hordes of people with 2 sleepy preschoolers in tow, and we could avoid the traffic heading out of downtown Cleveland.
Overall, we definitely had a great time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Built To Amaze show. The circus talent was exceptional, human and animal alike. My kids had huge smiles, laughs, and wide eyes the whole time....Okay, the whole time they were awake, at least when it comes to Sophie!
Speaking of animals...I wouldn't feel right unless I addressed this. I had always heard horrible rumors about how circus animals are treated. Before the show, I did have an opportunity to briefly speak to one of the animal handlers who just happened to be on the floor. He was very nice and explained that sadly, bad things can happen to performing animals. He assured me that Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey treats their "stars" humanely and train them through a reward and repetition system, not by beating or harming them. They are also given very good diets and have veterinary care available at all times. In fact, all animals are housed in public view, and the areas are cleaned very regularly. This made me feel so much better. I had never been to the circus, so I really did want to see for myself before making any snap judgements.
So if you're a circus lover or are just curious, definitely be sure to check out Built to Amaze! It's a lot of fun for the whole family!
You can check show dates and locations HERE.
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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