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Doing the Circus on a Budget

We took our kids to the circus tonight. We've been to Ringling Brothers at the American Airline Center before . . . and if it wasn't for my blog, we would never be able to afford that circus. It's not only fairly expensive for tickets but everything they sell there is an arm and a leg. $12 glow necklaces and $7-$8 cotton candy. Seriously C~R~A~Z~Y expensive for a budget like ours.

But tonight we attended the Carson & Barnes traveling circus at its Garland location. I wasn't sure what to expect. You could see the carnival lights and the big top as you approached the intersection of Shiloh and 635. Garland must have strict signage policies because there weren't a lot of signs pointing in the right direction. As a result, we parked behind the circus and took our own personal backstage tour trying to find the front entrance. LOL

We arrived early - about 6:50 - and the circus wasn't officially open yet. Glad we didn't come any earlier than that, although I guess we could have visited the carnival that was located in the same area but not connected to the circus.

The deal we purchased through Plum District had 2 adult tickets, 2 kid tickets, 2 elephant/camel rides and $20 in Carson Cash. GREAT deal for $39 because this could have been very expensive.

Both boys chose to ride the elephant instead of the camel, but wanted someone to ride with them. It was a little confusing, but we did establish that any adult who rides to accompany the kids still has to pay the same amount. You must take your Carson Cash to the ticket window and exchange it for tickets. And the tickets cost $2.50 each, so the elephant ride costs 3 tickets (the equivalent of $7.50).

From the elephant ride, we walked into the completely empty circus tent and found our seats. This is the first time the circus has been in this Garland location and so the word hasn't gotten out quite the same way it has for other locations - like the Allen one that took place a few weeks ago. So last night you could have taken your choice of seats in the place. We sat on the front row and were able to see everything up close and personal.

My boys thought this circus was the best thing they had ever been to! Ringling Bros. bored them because they were so far from the action, they couldn't always tell what was going on. But not at Carson & Barnes, it was all happening right in front of them. (Just so there's complete disclosure, there were a few miscues on the performer's parts that were easy to see since we were so close but they were completely lost on the kids.)

If you're looking for something to do this weekend and you have little kids - my boys are 2, 4, and 6 - I would recommend the Carson & Barnes Circus. It's definitely a memory maker!


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