A day at the circus


Circuses forever changed when Cirque du Soleil shook up the industry. Many closed their doors, but not Big Apple Circus. Rather than go out of business, they reinvented how old-school circus is designed borrowing elements from Cirque du Soleil. Ringmaster Stephanie Monseu creates a magical experience making kids want to join the circus again.


Little did we know by taking our 2-year-old to Big Apple Circus, it would unlock a new energy in her. Always hesitating to leave the DC city bounds, we begrudgingly drove to the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. However, the moment we passed security into the giant circus tent, our daughter’s eyes lit up. Bright lights, the color red everywhere, and the lively music set her off. She was here to stay.

For a giant tent, it feels like a more intimate show because there aren’t an overwhelming amount of seats inside. We sat ten rows back, but felt like we were in the front row. The show itself is well curated. It’s split into two 45-minute parts with a 20-minute intermission in between. Each part is split between trapeze artists, comedy, and magical human acts. Animals only make an appearance twice (a dog show with a pig guest appearance and a horse act).


The entire time our daughter’s eyes were locked on the circus. From time to time, her body would break into dance and laughter, her eyes never leaving the center of the tent. During intermission, she tried cotton candy for the first time inviting her to experience her first sugar rush…and crash. To avoid the traffic, we left a few minutes early and were surprised parking was only $5 (we expected $20 being the National Harbor). Our big day at the circus ended up being the perfect outing for our toddler.


Tickets are available through March 24, 2019 here.

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