Big Apple Circus in Boston Review

Event Disclosure.jpgThis weekend the kids and I rode the train into the city for the Big Apple Circus. Any outing with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old can be unpredictable. We didn’t even make it through an hour of The Lego Movie so I was prepared for anything that came our way.

In Boston, the circus is in a big tent right in City Hall Plaza. If you’re taking the train, it’s a block or so from the State station with the entrance on Cambridge Street. (Don’t forget–Government Center Station is closed!) What impressed me right away when we came inside was how cozy everything is. With seats most of the way around the center ring, no one was very far from the action.  They also have a live band, the sound levels were just right.

This was the first time I’d taken the littles to a live show and I was pretty impressed at the impact it had on the kids. Compared to a trip to the movies there was way less wiggling, way less whining, and less requests for snacks. (Not that there were none, there were still plenty, but much less.)

So what did they think of the show? They were big fans. The only problem they had was intermission, I thought about leaving then since they got a little restless and weren’t anxious to get back to their seats. Luckily the first act when they started again was horses and they are nuts about animals.

Graham loved the tightrope, the acrobats, the clown (who made several appearances), and the horses. But his favorite (and Tessa’s) were the trained dogs. Only one act had them a little bored (they don’t quite get the subtleties necessary to watch a magic act) but it was a short one and didn’t cause us any real trouble. So if you’re looking for a show that’s little-kid friendly but that will also amuse the bigger ones, the circus is a good bet.

And I’m a fan of this selfie we took while waiting for the show. You can see how happy and excited they were.

As a parent I was happy to see that the circus wasn’t too heavy on pricey toys and trappings like I’ve run into elsewhere. (*cough*SesameStreetLive*cough*) The snacks and drinks were more than you’d find outside a show, of course, but they were still better than lots of others. $3 for a hot dog and $1 for a juice box meant I could satisfy those intermission whines without breaking the bank.

On the train ride home I asked Graham if he wanted to join the circus. He said no, it would be too scary. So Graham, he reminds me of myself as a kid, a little more cautious and sensitive. Definitely moreso than Tessa who tends to just keep on going forward no matter what. I agreed that the tightrope might be scary, but made some other suggestions. Juggling? Too hard, he said. Good point. But then I suggested the acrobats, who used a springboard to catapult themselves into the air and he was hooked. Yes, he wanted to do that. That’s my boy.

The Dosov Troupe with Big Apple Circus.
The Dosov Troupe with Big Apple Circus. Maybe we’ll see Graham there one day?

Big Apple Circus will be in Boston until May 11th. Don’t forget, you can use promo code BIGAPPLE to save $10 per ticket.


  1. Alexa says

    We LOVE the Big Apple Circus! A friend with grown children invited us along several years ago so she’d still have an excuse to go. So now she’s been about 20 years in a row. We had one year when our noise-sensitive daughter walked out, but now we bring noise-dampening headphones, and she sits through the show.

    If you want to learn circus arts, there are plenty of places in the Boston area to learn, even for kids. Just google it. I started taking flying trapeze lessons with my older daughter when she turned 7, and we have never looked back. All the instructors we’ve met have been super friendly and encouraging, but not pushy. Try a single swing at TSNY Beantown, in Jordan’s Furniture, Reading, some weekend afternoon. Who knows, you may actually have a future circus star on your hands.

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