I have very clear memories of my lifetime visits to the circus. Once as a child, my father's employer sent us to see Ringling Bros and I our seats were directly underneath the motorcycle tightrope rider. Our small Iowa town used to have a real-life traveling circus set up the striped big top tents in an open field each summer. We took B as a baby to another Ringling Bros circus that was way too loud for any of us to enjoy. And we all went a couple years ago to a Shrine Circus, which was great because we got to meet all the clowns, but not great because the tigers wouldn't perform and the stunt performer cut his act in half after almost falling from the ceiling.
My circus experiences have been a roller coaster ride, but the circus is a childhood rite of passage I want my children to remember, too. I am glad to be able to report, after taking B & P to the Jordan World Circus, that is an experience I can recommend, and will take them to again. Here are the reasons it stood out to me as a worthwhile family outing...
My biggest pet peeve about the circus comes in the form of scantily-clad women. The performers usually are wearing minimal clothing and nude coverings. Spinning and hanging and tumbling in suggestive positions that make me as an adult uncomfortable, and always leave me wanting to cover up my young boys' eyes or needing to explain why they shouldn't be seeing what they are seeing.
The Jordan World Circus acts were very tastefully prepared. The female performer costumes were flashy and form-fitting, but designed with pant legs and torsos that were appropriately covered. Even better, the acts were not all female. Several of the acrobats and aerialists were men, without even their shirts hanging open. The Spiderman aerialist was absolutely the most impressive performance of the night, and a role model for my boys who couldn't take their eyes off of him.
The Acts The Jordan World Circus has done a great job offering a variety of circus acts that keep the audience entertained. There are standard performances like tigers jumping through fire, a motorcycle ball, and clowns, but also unique productions involving dancing camels and Chinese vase balancing. The troop of acrobatic jugglers was actually endearing. The finale, an elephant act, was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen.
The Suspense Of course there is a degree of heart-pounding suspense to be expected when taking the family to the circus. It was remarkable to me on this occasion, because the stunt acts were performed invoked all the gasps and screams they should from the audience, while obviously being in control of everything they were doing. (Remember, my last circus experience had us gasping, but because the performer nearly killed himself). While my heart was in my throat much of the time, I can admit the skill it takes to walk outside of a spinning wheel is quite impressive!
Was there anything I didn't like? Not really. It was a great show. The only downside was my own poor planning. I never remember that there are going to be loads of flashing toys, good-smelling food, and extra activities that my kids are going to ask to have and do. We tend not to buy extra things once we are inside an event on principle, but normally I have myself prepared with distractions or at least good excuses. Learn from my lack of planning, at the Jordan World Circus there are going to be opportunities to by snow cones and cotton candy, light swords and stuffed monkeys, elephant rides and tiger photographs. They cost extra. Bring money if that's something you want the kids to do.
If you live in the intermountain west, be sure to watch for the Jordan World Circus coming to your town soon, and take the kids for a fun family night of entertaining!
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