The Greatest Show On Earth

I hadn’t been to the circus since I was a teenager so I was delighted when Mom Central asked me to be a Team Activator for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Zing Zang Zoom Circus coming to Philadelphia.  A few weeks ago we gave away a free family 4-pack of tickets to see the circus, and last night I got to take my family to see the show.

We were also invited to a private Meet & Greet prior to the show where we gathered with other Team Activators for a pizza dinner at Bullies Restaurant and an opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the circus performers.  I was afraid my kids would be shy and reserved, but they weren’t at all.  They had so much fun meeting the performers (and gorging on pizza and cookies before the show.)

I spoke for a while with Alex, the Ring Master. 

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He informed me that the Zing Zang Zoom show is the most innovative circus yet — a combination of magic show and circus tricks.  He explained that they are doing their best to keep up with the times, and I’d have to say, they are doing exactly that.  This was not the circus I remember.  There was so much going on that I couldn’t keep up with it all.  I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil, and parts of last night’s show were every bit as exciting; in fact I’d have to say that the acrobatics were my favorite parts.

Here are some of my other Philly peeps posing with the performers.  That’s Sarah and Girlymama with their girls and some of mine.  Actually, I see that Laura is missing.  She and my son must have been off scarfing cookies or something.

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This clown was quite friendly.

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Little R wasn’t so amused by his antics.  Just prior to this picture she was smiling cooperatively at the camera, but she wasn’t quite sure what to make of the clown who suddenly appeared next to her in the frame.

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One of the highlights of the night for me was seeing my blogging buddy and fellow Chic Critique contributor, Mel.  We’d only met once before.

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After the Meet & Greet, we headed outside to where the animals are living for the duration of the Philly tour.  It was clean and as spacious as possible considering they have to live in parking lots for weeks at a time.  I’m sure they’re well cared for, but I can’t say it doesn’t bother me to see them out of their natural habitats.

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My son lives for animals.  He was in his element.

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Before we went inside for the show, we paused for a photo opp.  In a rare moment of peace and harmony, all 3 kids complied.

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At 6:00 there was an “All Access Preshow” where families were welcome to come down on the floor and see various performing acts.  This was a great way to occupy the kids before the show started and get them all geared up.  I highly recommend getting there early enough to enjoy this bonus.

That’s C there in the purple, getting her book autographed by the clown on stilts.

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The kids had a blast trying on circus costumes.  The kids and Sarah, that is.  😉

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My 3-year-old was so funny; I think she thought the Pre-Show was the circus.  Once we found our seats, she started asking me if it was over yet.  Let’s just say it was a LONG night after that.  Nevertheless, she was the most enthusiastic of all 3 of my kids. She could barely contain her excitement at every new thing.

Finally it was time for the show to start.  The kids were QUITE excited.

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In fact, major kudos to the directors of the show; it started RIGHT on time.  And actually, about 5 minutes prior to showtime there was a little skit to entertain antsy kids (and their antsy parents.)

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Here is what I learned last night.  The circus tickets are affordable (4 tickets for $44 with the promotional code MOM at ComcastTix.com) but the food and souvenirs are NOT.  I paid $12 for a bag of cotton candy after I recovered from the stroke, and then I refused to buy anything else the rest of the night, much to my children’s chagrin.  The family in front of us had the right idea — they brought their own snacks.  I’m not sure if that’s “legal” or not, but it sure would be worth a shot.  Both girls kept asking for one of those light-up thingamabobs, and I informed them, “We buy toys at Target, not at the circus.”  Next time I will prep them beforehand so they aren’t disappointed.  Those vendors aren’t shy either.

We got to meet the Human Cannonball girls at the Meet & Greet, and that was a highlight of the show.  Both are moms who bring their kids along on tour.

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The kids were full of questions throughout the show, and it was a long time to sit still for my 3-year-old, but overall they did very well.  When the tigers appeared in their cage with their trainer, 6-year-old C looked up at me and asked, “Why are they not eating him?”  When I shrugged, she concluded, “Maybe God is closing their mouths.”  At least I know she’s listening in Sunday School.

The Zing Zang Zoom circus is going to be in Philadelphia through May 25 so there is still plenty of time to book tickets.  Remember to use the promotional discount MOM to get 4 tickets for $44 (and additional tickets are $11 a piece after that.)  I highly recommend getting there early enough to attend the Pre-Show that starts an hour before showtime.

Here’s one last piece of eye candy.

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I couldn’t resist.