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“Nice Museum”
Review of The Ringling

The Ringling
Ranked #1 of 143 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Ringling is located in Sarasota, Florida and preserves the legacy of John and Mable Ringling. It is home to a Museum of Art, the historic Ca' d'Zan Mansion, Bayfront Gardens, an Art Library, the Circus Museums and the Historic Asolo Theater.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
140 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Nice Museum”
Reviewed April 6, 2011

Mansion and gardens were very beautiful, Circus Museum was interesting, and art museum was OK for me. We stayed there almost all day.

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Shimo625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
109 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“A Must See in Sarasota”
Reviewed April 4, 2011

One thing I did not understand before going was that the price of admission gets you into multiple museums including the miniature model circus exhibit, the circus museum, the Ca d'Zan (Ringling residence) and the art museum. Added bonuses are the beautiful rose garden and an amazing banyan tree grove. Check their calendar because they often have activities for kids and families, special exhibits and lectures, etc.

I read Water for Elephants before going and I recommend doing so as other reviewers have in the past. I also read Tents, Tigers and the Ringling Brothers with my 8 yr old daughter before the trip and that was a HUGE time saver. We didn't have to stop and read all the information plaques along the way of the exhibit. Seeing all the memorabilia really brought the grandeur of the circus age alive for her from the pages of the book.

The art collection is very extensive and quite interesting. Loved seeing the David statue (speaking of David, a couple other good fun books to read pre-trip are Sixty in Sarasota and Sexy in Sarasota by George C King).

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
Thank JRF-WS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Virginia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“B&B Circus or Vegas?”
Reviewed March 25, 2011

I took my 5 year old daughter to the B&B circus for the first time in Washington DC and it was horrible. This was no children's circus but instead a degrading strip show in Vegas. There were some acrobats and the motorcycles were thrilling to watch, but the tigers' and elephants' acts were boring and seemed cruel to the animals.
We spent a lot of money for the best seats, and it ended up being a disappointing waste of time. I will never go to this show again.

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank yaytrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“The circus museum is a must”
Reviewed March 22, 2011

This is a spectacularly good museum relating to circuses in days gone by. I cannot remember seeing anything quite like it. Preferably read water for elephants before going. Extraordinary to find the shop does not stock it. The mansion you can see pretty quickly. It is way OTT, but I guess so is the circus, so this should not have come as any surprise. Miss the art museum unless you really like baroque renaissance art.
Stand in the hanger with the decorated carts and figures and imagine how you would feel locked in there alone at night!
Note that if you blink you will miss the entrance from the road, but probably not three times like I did!

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
Thank robb_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sykesville, Maryland
Level Contributor
349 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 240 helpful votes
“A Full Day's Worth of Attractions”
Reviewed March 21, 2011

The Ringling Museum is an all-day trip. We saw the miniature circus, the Ringling's rail car and circus exhibits, their mansion, the gardens, and portions of the art museum. Well worth the cost of admission, which is steep. The grounds are well laid out and easy to navigate. Trams are available for those who need them. Staff members are everywhere and very friendly and helpful. Lunch in the gift shop cafe was very good and recommended. Local tourist maps and flyers have a one dollar discount coupon.

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
Thank FF13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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