"Fun" at the Carson and Barnes Circus

So a couple weeks ago we received some coupons in the mail for the Carson and Barnes circus. I don’t ever remember going to the circus (maybe I did when I was really young...I’ll have to ask my mom), so I thought this would be fun.

First, it was really small. It was held in a small rodeo arena in Mesquite. Are all circuses as small as this one? Unfortunately, I have no frame of reference.

Second, it was fairly pricey. As I expected, you get coupons to get in fairly cheaply so they can gouge you on pony rides, the bounce house, elephant rides, over-prices mediocre food, and little toy trinkets. The whole fam got in for $20. But we spent quite a bit inside on little things. We bought two flashy lighty things for the kids. One of them stopped working within about 10 minutes.

Third, unlike what they say, it is not fun for the whole family. Abigail (2) was pretty enthralled. It took a while for Jonathan (4) to get impressed. After about 10 minutes of the show he said he was ready to go. We stuck around a while and he eventually started enjoying himself. But for adults...well...calling it lame would be by association an insult to everything which has to this point been called lame. There was so much obviously fake sponteneity. It took about 10 minutes for the "acrobats" and such to actually do something that I didn’t think I could do. That’s pretty bad. I’m uncoordinated, a slight bit overweight, clumsy, and relatively weak. And I have no experience in gymnastics. The trapeze artists fell once. That was kinda funny.

The supreme act of lame circus-ing was the "volunteer" horse rider. A guy came out to the middle ring and rode standing on the back of two horses. They made a big todo about calling out a volunteer from the audience. The volunteer tried to get up on the horses and fell, and swung around by the safety harness that was attached. In shame she walked off, only to be goaded into doing it again by the ringmaster and the crowd. This time she actually climbed up the horses, but eventually fell off again. Then we saw the trickery. In mid-swing her pants fell off and she was wearing her gymnast-circus-leotard thingy underneath. SHE WASN’T EVEN A VOLUNTEER! That was just the last straw...

If you have really young kids, they might enjoy it. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.


Bob Anderson 2006-12-14 08:08:09

Carson & Bombs Circus - you bet! These crumby travelling circuses are boring, boring, boring. I took my kids once like you did and that was more than enough and it also cost more than enough even with the "free" tickets they handed out. I guess I learned my lesson that this cirucs is boring and a ripoff so I won’t go anymore but what i really hate is even if I don’t go they still have all those animals they beat and drag around and who looked as bored as my kids.

We joined a nature walk club in my hometown and my kids - who are 7 and 9 now - really love packing snacks in their backpacks and heading out to see what animals they can see and they actually learn something because the walks are with a guide who really knows the area.