Elephants, Tigers, Acrobats, and Bikers performed at the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Xtreme Circus at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. It was an evening spent eating junk food, watching clowns, jugglers and other entertainers perform before the big show. Than we would sit in awe of the Ring Master and all the other performers for the Greatest Show On Earth.
First, we ate dinner at the Green Turtle prior to the show. Nothing fancy, the adults had wings and the kids pizza and fries. From there we entered the venue for the preshow activities. They had jugglers, clowns, and an area set up where the children could try on various costumes. After 15 – 20 minutes we moved to our seats. We had great seats about 10 rows from the floor. We were high enough where those standing didn’t really affect our view of the show, but low enough where we had an incredible view of the ring.
Take plenty of money because outside snacks and drinks are not allowed. Security will search you and your bags at all entrances. I slipped money into my pockets and carried my camera. I just left my purse in the trunk. However, it’s nothing unusual. I actually don’t know many places that allow outside food in their venues.
Inside the Big Top, they are sold before the show and during intermission. Outside the Big Top they are sold until everyone vacates the premises. The kids wanted cotton candy before the show started. Count it, $14.00 per bag. It does come with an adorable circus hat that can be kept as a souvenir. I also saw bags being sold without the hat at the concession stands outside the arena. Lemonade is $12.00 per drink. They also offered Italian Ice in adorable elephants cups for $14.00 – $15.00 depending on the size.
Our show started at 7:30 p.m. It lasted approximately 3 hours. It was about 2 1/2 hours for the actual show and about 30 minutes for an intermission. We enjoyed all aspects of the show. Personally, I could have done without the clowns, but what’s a circus without clowns. I was a little afraid that the 4 year old would become bored, but that didn’t happen.
The performers were able to engage the audience through music and/or their acts. There were plenty of Oohs and Awes. The audience clapped along with the Ringmaster and the band was quite good. I even participated in the clapping and the Awes. The lions were beautiful, but there were no flaming hoops to jump through. I did enjoy the Mermaids. I’m fascinated by Mermaids and my granddaughter’s favorite princess is Ariel.
The elephants have been a part of the show for 145 years. Sadly, they will no longer be a part of the show after May 2016. Fortunately, the elephants will retire to a conservation center in Florida. The company hasn’t said how it will rebrand their shows once the stars, the elephants, retire.
The tightrope walkers and bikers were amazing. I loved the camels. It was an amazing 3 hours. Most importantly, it was nice to converse with my 8 year old grandson about the acts. We ended the evening with the kids having their faces painted. Count it, $14.00 each. Additionally, another $30.00 to park in the Verizon Center garage. But the evening was so worth it. Finally, I’m happy that I would create an evening that the children will always remember.