Ringling Brothers Circus Review With Perspective From A Four-Year-Old
This past weekend, we drove three hours to Bossier City to see The Greatest Show on Earth. My four-year-old son is obsessed with The Greatest Showman, so when I heard the circus was coming to town (close enough), I decided it’d be a fun little adventure for the family.
So we packed our bags and headed to north Louisiana.
It was a true three-ring circus with performances happening pretty much anywhere you looked. The MC was joined by the typical co-hosts: the silly guy who fell down a lot, the guy who could do some amazing balance acts, another guy with the one-liners – and they could all juggle.
The different circus acts were talented groups from all over the world. A father/son duo who took “airplane” to the next level. A group from Argentina that swung fire and danced with long ropes. A family that dared to jump rope and dance on the high wires. Graceful trapeze artists that made swinging from 60 feet in the air look easy. Contortionists that made my back hurt watching them. BMX bikers flipping in the air and lots of other acts that you literally had to see to believe.
All the acts were amazing, talented and brave, sometimes leaving me scratching my head. “How did they do that? How did they even come up with that? How long does it take to practice something like that?” One guy set a Guinness World Record for pedaling a 30-foot unicycle. I wondered when the idea popped into his head to try this feat.
And then there was the 19-year-old human cannonball who was shot out of the cannon at 64 miles an hour. I learned later that her parents were also human cannonballs – just imagine the conversation at that family dinner table!
My Circus, My Monkeys
As my eyes bounced from act to act, I glanced over at my kids to see their reactions and to point out what was happening all around. Most of the time, their mouths were wide open in awe. They clapped and shouted when they caught something they thought was truly impressive.
And, of course, we indulged in the branded Ringling Bros. light-up wand and some obligatory popcorn (and let’s just say I already expected the swag to be expensive, but the unreasonable price I guessed in my head and the actual price for a light-up wand was probably more jaw-dropping than any of the acts, but hey, it’s the greatest show on Earth, right?).
At the end of the show, I asked my son what he thought. His eyes lit up, and he said, “It was so good.” His favorite part was the trapeze artists because “it looked like they were going through the roof!”
He was a little disappointed, though, that there weren’t any animals. “Why were there no tigers and elephants like on The Greatest Showman?” I explained that animals didn’t really like to perform in the circus and that they would rather be running around free, so the circus doesn’t have animals anymore. I was nervous that he would be more upset about not seeing animals because this was what he had been talking about for the past two days. But he seemed to understand, and the performances made up for the absence of roaring tigers and elephant rides.
Overall, our little adventure was a success. Watching the delight on my kids’ faces as their imaginations came to life was worth it.