A few weeks ago, my husband and I took our kids to see The Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center in NYC. To say my boys were amazed at their first circus experience would be an understatement. I can’t wait until the next time we go because this first time, I was so torn between watching the show and watching the looks on their faces! (Next time, I will also pay closer attention to the amazing magician, Scott Nelson, because I was SO close to him & have no idea how he was making that girl disappear!)
I knew ahead of time that The Big Apple Circus was going to be “intimate”. As part of their marketing, they stressed that no seat was more than 50 feet from the ring, but I was still not prepared for how close we were. Even the very last row was closer than I had ever been to the ring at a circus and I have to say, it made everything so much more exciting. The trapeze artists were literally over our heads and the animals were close enough to pet (which audience members were encouraged to do). There were no huge crowds, no long lines for food or the restroom – just happy families at the circus. (Tip: The bathrooms are port-a-potties in the tent with a screened-off baby changing station, but the Lincoln Center parking garage has a modern, super clean restroom with multiple stalls that was EMPTY after the show.) One of my favorite parts of the circus was the audience participation, but if you don’t want to get in on the act, don’t sit in the front row.
When I asked my son what his favorite part of the circus was, he said, after long consideration, “the animal driving the car.” I remembered the act that he was talking about, although I had no idea what the animal was. (I later looked it up in the press release and learned that it was a capybara! I’m not at all surprised if you don’t know what that is either!)
There were no lions or elephants at The Big Apple Circus, but the horses, dogs, porcupine, and our car-driving capybara friend were absolutely captivating. I think I said “Oooooo” and “Wow” just about every 15 seconds, because being that close to a hand balancer, human juggling act, and an ariel rope artist is a totally unique experience. The only negative is that the tent is really so intimate that we could read the faces of every circus performer and it was a little to see their looks of discomfort during the final act- this is a small detail that gets lost in a large circus.
Something else that I didn’t notice at the time but fully appreciated when we were on the way home was that The Big Apple Circus didn’t ram souvenirs down your throat. There was one stand in the entrance lobby and I didn’t notice anything else. I love going to a fun family activity where I am not pressured to buy something at every turn. The cost of the food was also reasonable – $10 bought you a hotdog, popcorn, and a soda, which was definitely cheaper than our local movie theater!
Visit Contests & Giveaways to see how you can win a family 4 pack of tickets to see The Big Apple Circus!
Big Apple Circus’ Dream Big runs until January 8th under the big top at Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center (62nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues). Tickets start at $15 and are available by calling (888) 541-3750 or at www.bigapplecircus.org.
Ticket Discount – Buy Now and Save Up to $33* Per Ticket!
To buy online, click here or buy by phone call 888.541.3750 and use code MOMMY12. To buy in person, visit Deals & Steals and bring a print out of the offer to the box office, located at 62nd Street between Columbus & Amsterdam Aves. in NYC.
*Conditions: Offer good on select seats and shows through 1/8/12. Other conditions apply. Children under 3 are free on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.
Disclosure: Kim Huber, a member of the LIParentSource.com Parent Panel, was provided complimentary tickets to the Big Apple Circus to facilitate her writing her review and all opinions expressed in this post are her own. LIParentSource.com was also provided with a family 4 pack of tickets to use as a giveaway.