Mom Review: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

When you tell your kids they’re going to the circus, that’s when the excitement begins. Their eyes light up, and they jump up and down. At least that was the case when I told my 3- and 6-year-old we were going to see “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

There was a sense of excitement right as we walked into the Patriot Center…from the smell of popcorn and the sight of light-up souvenirs to the sound of commotion inside the arena. A pre-show on the arena floor an hour before showtime featured an elephant doing artwork, performers doing acrobatics, and a bounce house. When the lights go down and the ringmaster welcomes the crowd in his booming voice, you know you’re in for a fun and memorable show.

“Legends” was fast-paced and full of energy. The performers were all extremely talented, but what was so remarkable was their talents were so varied. One entertainer did amazing tricks on a horse, while another rode a motorcycle on a highwire.

Two of my favorite acts were the Torres Family in the Globe of Steel and Alexander Lacey with his lions and tigers. We all anxiously watched as Alexander was alone in a cage with growling tigers and lions, some of which took the occasional swipe toward him with their massive paws.

The clowns kept us constantly entertained, so we barely noticed the stage hands quickly changing each ring preparing for the next act. The clowns and their constant silly antics were my 3-year-old daughter’s favorite part of the show.

We all found ourselves on the edge of our seats more than once, especially with the trapeze and other high-wire acts. Although my eyes were usually glued on the performers, I would sneak glances at my kids to see their reactions. Sometimes they’d jump up, point and yell encouragement to the performers. It was really fun when the performers waved their hands asking for more cheers from the audience to encourage them to do an even riskier stunt.

The circus held the attention of my 3- and 6-year-old the entire time, and I also brought my 15-month-old (and my husband!). Although my baby did point and clap and like looking at all the lights, it was a little tough to keep him interested the whole show. The show is separated into two acts, with a brief intermission to allow plenty of time to use the restroom, get a snack or just stretch your legs.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey have always said the circus is a show for children of all ages. I really think that’s true. Our entire family had a great time. Tickets were reasonable with a variety of seat prices, and parking is free, but I thought the souvenirs were a bit pricey. Seeing “Legends” presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is a show my family will remember for years to come.

Pamela Prado is a former TV news anchor turned stay-at-home mom, with a passion for social media. If she’s not rushing her kids to acting/modeling gigs or taking them to dance, soccer or baseball, she’s heading out to explore the rich history of the DC area.

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