Friday, September 12, 2014

Circus trip and tips!

Barnum and Bailey Circus came to Sacramento this weekend. I have great memories of attending as a child - we used to get to watch them unload from the rail cars. I was very excited to take my little man and Grandma. 

I had to be in the area for another activity so I decided to purchase tickets a few months back. For some reason the opening night was half the price when I purchased. I used ticketmaster so there were a bunch of fees. My tickets were $11 each but with fees they were just under $20 per person. Parking was $12 per car. 

Thanks to buying early, these turned out to be fantastic seats. We were Row K in the lower level which was the 10th row from the floor. I was VERY pleased. We had some of the best seats in that price bracket. 

I went online the afternoon of the event to see how early we should get there. I'm go glad I looked because there was a not well advertised animal viewing that started 90 minutes before the show. My main purpose for seeing the Circus was to see the elephants. My son loves them but has never seen one in person. This animal viewing time got him about 15 feet from them. They were eating some dinner, throwing dirt and relaxing. If it was cooler, he would have just stayed to stare at them. He couldn't believe how big they were. 
And they enjoyed getting snacks off the parking lot trees. :) 

In addition to the elephants we also got VERY close to the tigers and lions. 

You could also see the goats, ponies and more. But those were less exciting for our family. We did enjoy the educational displays including this one where he could hold an elephant tooth. 

When we got inside there more more kids activities while we waited for the real show to begin. 

They even had freebies like a temporary tattoo!

We LOVED this show. It was a great value considering there were 2 hours of show plus about an hour and a half of unadvertised pre show extras. There was so much to see. Great performers, fun clowns, decor and of course the animals. 

The theatrics were very impressive. The costumes, lighting, music and props were all really well done. It all looked fresh, clean and really nice. 

I also loved that they started with the national anthem. Props for some patriotism at the Circus. 

Here are my tips to help you have a great trip!
1. Come early for the extras!
- We came over an hour early to enjoy the animal viewing time. This is not an option for all markets but it was for us. And it was awesome as I mentioned earlier. 
- When we came inside we were surprised to see a bunch of photo opportunities and a kids event right on the circus floor. This was free and I believe the photo opps here were free too. The lines were long but kids could even sit on the stunt motorcycle for pics. There was interactive activities, dress up and an elephant even came out to paint. My kiddo mostly watched for afar but did enjoy a temporary tattoo. 
2. Bring drinks and light snacks, especially if you come early. It was warm outside and my little needed some refreshment right away. We also had a baggie of cereal for munchies. This also helped keep him still while waiting.
3. Bring some glow sticks from a discount retailer. My kiddo badly wanted a glow sword but I was not about to pay $20 for one. A cheapie glow stick would have provided great distraction during intermission. 
4. When you arrive early, make time to get a booster seat. These apparently will run out early so get them while you can. My kiddo sat in it for a bit, but mostly wanted my lap. It was a good break for my lap at least and allowed him a better view.
5. Buy a snow cone. I can remember eating a one at the show as a child so we did buy one in a souveneir cup. When do you get to enjoy that otherwise? 

We had so much fun and will return to see Barnum and Bailey again! Look the. Up when they come to town and take advantage of any discount tickets! 

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