Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Day at the Circus!

I was so happy today to join my grandson Henry, his mom - my daughter Katie, and his baby brother Pete, on his class trip to Albany to see the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus!  We started out on a yellow school bus, leaving from the Skidmore College campus, where Henry goes to nursery school.  Katie and Pete drove behind and met us at the Times Union Center.  There was a sea of yellow buses letting passengers off, and Henry was in awe before we even entered the arena.  We passed through a corridor of endless vendors selling all kinds of circus loot (swords, wands, stuffed tigers and elephants, snow cones, lemonade, cotton candy).  We breezed right by them to find our section, 119, and our seats:  E 12, 13, and 14.  They were great seats, mid-arena, and we had a terrific view of all three rings!

It's been so many, many years since I've been to the circus.  I remember taking my kids, when they were little, to a circus at the Glens Falls Civic Center, but I don't remember it being as professional or dramatic as this one.  The Ringmaster noted that this is RB&BB Circus's 141st year (if I remember correctly), and from what I can see, they have perfected and technically updated the circus while at the same time maintaining the old-fashioned and timeless essence that has mesmerized children of all ages since circuses began.

The festivities began with The Star Spangled Banner, sung by the Ringmaster to the American Flag which was carried by a beautiful acrobat atop a majestic elephant draped in red, white, and blue, who circled the arena as the anthem was sung.  At first, it seemed a little gimmicky to me, but by the time we got to "...and the home of the brave" I was choked up, as I always am at the end of that anthem.  It gets to me.  For the littlest children there, this may have been their first experience paying tribute to the flag, and what a memorable way to begin that tradition in their lives.

We were entertained for more than two hours by all the magic that makes up the circus -- clowns, acrobats, elephants, horses, tigers, jugglers, dancers, tight-rope walkers, fire throwers  -- even the vendors were entertaining, laden with glow-in-the-dark necklaces and faux-hawk headbands.  It was a joyful couple of hours, and nothing beats seeing the look on my grandsons' faces, captivated by the spectacle of their very first circus.

I hope they'll always remember today.  I know I will.


A Great Day at the Circus!

One sleepy boy on the bus ride home...


  1. Jeannie and Katie, Enjoy them while you can, they grow uo way too fast...

  2. The center photo (just under the elephant is wonderful. The looks of excitement and anticipation on their faces is priceless!

  3. I loved the circus, it looks like you had a great time. The classic picture is Henry sleeping on the way home. I'm sure he was dreaming of something special he just saw.

  4. Looks the very best day of all!