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“Great Museum - Free on Mondays!”
Review of The Ringling

The Ringling
Ranked #1 of 148 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 the State Art Museum of Florida, the historic Ca' d'Zan Mansion, Bayfront Gardens, an Art Library, the Circus Museums and the Historic Asolo Theater. The grounds and gardens are free to visit, and the Museum of Art offers free admission on Mondays.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed May 9, 2011

This is a phenomenal museum on Florida's west coast. Pretty decent admission prices with the typical discounts (also, a student discount for all Florida educators). The museum is totally free on Mondays each week (just the museum - not the circus museums or the Ca d'Zan mansion). Beautiful collection, nicely manicured grounds - a great way to spend a day in the area. Very close to the wonderful St. Armand's Circle (shopping/dining) in Sarasota. Combine the two for a memorable day.

14  Thank bish322
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,414 - 5,418 of 5,816 reviews

Reviewed May 8, 2011

Just saw the Fundrum Blue Tour today. We paid $22 per ticket (plus another $40 in fees to Ticketmaster). While the show had some great moments, overall it was disjointed, with no clear concept to tie it all together. There were many different themes, some with no apparent purpose or act to go with them other than a song and dance number. If you want signing and dancing, you can find better than at the circus. The music was WAY too loud (I actually had trouble hearing for about an hour after the show) and the worst part was that it almost completely downed out the Ringmaster at times, so you couldn't tell what he was saying.

Unlike other reviewers, I did NOT think the animals looked unhealthy or poorly cared for (though I'm no expert) however, most of the animal segments were boring - particularly the tigers. The elephants were an exception, they were quite entertaining.

The food and souvenier prices were out of control. We easily spent close to $100 on parking ($10), lunch (hot dogs and drinks $44) and souveniers (cotton candy $12, two toys $20 and $12). There were so menay vendors that my 4 year old actually had trouble enjoying the show because she kept seeing all these things go by. (However, the 6 year old really enjoyed the whole thing.)

To sum up,
Pros: Motorcycles, trapeeze, trampoline and other acrobats, elephants
Cons: price, tigers& other animals, song and dance numbers, sound mixing, lack of clear concept, too much stuff going on at once

3  Thank Vermont17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2011

We went on a Monday when admission was free. The mansion was closed that day for filming but there was still so much to see and do that we didn't feel the least bit cheated. The four of us agreed that even if we had paid full admission, it would have been well worth it. The circus museum and the art museum are wonderful. The grounds are beautiful and we were able to walk around the mansion and enjoy its setting on Sarasota Bay We were impressed that we were all able to get reasonably priced, healthy food items at the Banyan Cafe on the grounds. There is another restaurant on the grounds as well. We recommend checking their website prior to going in order to find out if all the attractions are
open the day you want to go.

2  Thank Lynn_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2011

Unbelievable museum, mansion and grounds! The mansion is breathtaking, circus memorabilia was amazing, grounds are beautiful. Spent almost the entire day and did not see the art museum. Don't miss the miniature museum - learned so much about the history of the circus!

1  Thank spidersuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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.

1  Thank Shimo625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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