We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Punchy Saves the Day!”
Review of Circus World

Circus World
Ranked #2 of 46 things to do in Baraboo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Circus World in Baraboo is America's favorite circus attraction! Baraboo was home to The Ringling Bros. Circus from 1884 thru 1918, and during those thirty-four years the operation grew to become the largest circus enterprise the world has ever known. Although the Ringlings left in 1918, many of their original structures survived.During the summer months, Circus World comes to life with daily live shows and demonstrations. See the world’s largest collection of glorious parade wagons plus 7 authentic Ringling Bros. buildings filled with colorful, big top memories. Enjoy elephant, pony and carousel rides; cotton candy, ice cream, tasty sandwiches and our main lobby gift shop. Experience a live circus performance and entertaining Nothing But Nonsense show with Steve & Ryan. Experience the thrill that never grows old at Circus World!
Reviewed September 3, 2012

My family has a yearly trip to Circus World. The kids go for the circus, I go to get one family picture of my babies made up like clowns. The regular face painter could not be found, so Punchy (from the clown duo Judy and Punchy) stepped in to paint my little clown faces. He did a wonderful job and was so funny that he had everyone laughing.

I appreciated his willingness and his time. With staff like this, Circus World will continue to see us every year.

Thanks Punchy!

Thank kdeme1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (509)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

400 - 404 of 509 reviews

Reviewed August 31, 2012

This is quite an unusual attraction - part circus show, part magic show, part museum. I found it extremely engaging and could had easily spent more than the 3 hours that I was able to spare here. The circus show is a great set of performances with short explanations about circus history which makes is more than just a show. The magic show was ok - some good tricks but lacking true slickness.

The highlights for me were the exhibitions of circus history, posters and - most of all - the circus carriages. I'd never have thought that these would appeal but to see all of these which were used for many years in real travelling circuses was very interesting.

The price is good value, and even better if you are able to get a 2 for 1 coupon. Highly recommended if you're in the area.

Thank RS10675
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

I believe that this circus is famous for creating these famous lines. Actually, if you are not a "Sucker", you will enjoy the amazing historical significance in the exhibits here.

The performances are very good and the Hippodrome shows should not be missed. A note of warning; If it's over 75 degrees outside and the crowd is large, the Hippodrome gets very hot inside.

Spoiler alert: My guess is that the best magic trick is a "Twins" act. Still quite amazing!!! Much of the magic act is "cheesy", and could use some upgrades, but I'd still recommend it for the couple of very good tricks.

My favorite ongoing exhibits are the rare circus posters and the beautiful parade carriages. You won't find better, or more examples of these wonderful artifacts anywhere else on Earth.

This place is worth the full price of admission, but because you read Tripadvisor reviews and aren't a "Sucker", be aware that there are quite a few discounts available to see this place, many for half price. If you have a Dells area coupon book, chances are you have one of these.

Thank flintjarvis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

Back in the days before kids and parents alike were mezmerized by super waterparks and giant coasters there was the Ducks and Circus World. I have lived in the midwest all my life, but have never made it to Circus World until recently and it did not disappoint. We arrived about a half hour before the 11am big top show and had ample time to tour the visitor center's many exhibits dedicated to the history of the circus. We got our son's picture taken in a costume, crossed the bridge and got a front row seat for the show. In minutes, everyone from the magic show flooded over to the Hippodrome and there wasn't a seat to be had. The show was a little cheesy, but sometimes chessy is what we all need. Great dog show, clowns, elephants and a ring leader whose dedication to the show included sharing stories about the family histories of the entertainers. Kid participation was encouraged, which really made everyone smile. After the show we had a lot of options including elephant rides, a carousel, and more. We took a tour of the magnificent carriages and the numerous exhibits in the original buildings. They really give you a terrific sense of the history behind the circus industry of the past. If you like old-school fun and enjoy watching the young ones giggle then Circus World is definitely worth the trip.

Thank sloomis31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

We did so many shows, attractions, rides, tours, zoos and so many other things, this was definitely the least favourite. The shows are small, and if you are not expecting too much, then it's okay. The wagon's in the museum were beautiful. Tristan Crist's show was not good (very cheesy, even for little ones) and would not recommend taking children, it is not family friendly. The young girl Cassidy is dressed in very little. It is not only how little she wears, but her behaviour in those tiny outfits. Her last performance on the stage, she does an exotic dance in a black little bikini that I believe was meant for a strip club. It is sad to see that she is part of the family that owns this place and that they want to exploit her in such a way.

1  Thank Jenn3031
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CircusWorld, Public Relations Manager at Circus World, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2012

We are sorry you did not enjoy your visit to Circus World. People have different thoughts about what an appropriate costume is for a magic show. We appreciate your view and will keep it in consideration in the future. We are surprised you found the show cheesy...the magic show has been one of our most popular additions this year. To quote a few of the reviews below, Tristan Crist's show is "great," "entertaining," "amazingly funny," etc... Please do come back in the future and give us another try! To correct one of your statements, Circus World is owned by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin - not an individual family.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Circus World also viewed


Been to Circus World? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing