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outside walk around

Wanted to see this place for years. Finally got a chance to walk around the area and see some... read more

Reviewed October 11, 2020
Bloomington, Minnesota
Circus World Baraboo

This is a great place for kids of all ages. We recommend it to everyone. We visited in the midst... read more

Reviewed August 1, 2020
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Reviewed July 3, 2014

The big top show was excellent! The exhibits were educational; however, they could be more fun by having more hands on experience for the kids. We enjoyed this attraction overall.

Date of experience: July 2014
2  Thank Fung C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

We loved every minute of our day at the circus.
The Big Top... The ring master's welcome at the big top show reminded us of simpler days where magic of live performance ruled, where all troubles could be forgotten with the magic of the circus. The Argentinian family performers were excellent in the juggling and acrobatics. The animals performed well. Tristan the Magician was funny and talented. Roger the Clown was endearing and funny - the perfect children's clown.

A quick price breakdown of Ticket Prices
Spring March 17 - May 16 Summer May 17 - Sept 1 FallSept 2 - Oct 31
Adult $9.95 $19.95 $9.95
Senior Citizen (65+) $8.95 $17.95 $8.95
Children (5-11) $4.95 $9.95 $4.95
Children Under 5 FREE FREE FREE

Extras. Once you enter be prepared for the extra costs.
These include: carousel $2, elephant ride $10 (per person!), face painting $5-8, bouncy castle $2, pony rides $5

Personally, I hate extra charges once I pay a considerable entrance fee and I felt that $10/person to ride the elephant was OTT. That said, I have no idea what the cost of elephant feed and housing is these days especially when there is no income from Nov - March. So this charge may be totally justifiable. We would have loved the experience, but felt it a bit too steep a price to pay for four children and an adult. I do wonder if they lowered the prices if they might get more uptake.

Sign on entrance states 'NO CARRY INS' which is rather vague. I was not challenged on this although I was carrying a backpack. I can appreciate them wanting/needing to boost revenue through food sales, but I DO hate it being suggested that I can't bring in water and healthy snacks for my children. The food options, while quite reasonable (hot dog $2.50 and other items all under $5 except pulled pork sandwich, taco salad, and onion rings), are very much circus style food but not what I consider healthy. There was aMexican food vendor as an alternative but was closed. DO bring wet wipes for sticky cotton candy hands!

Schedule of events
10:15 Novelty Instruments Concert, Tristan Crist Illusion Show
11:30 Big Top Circus Performance
1:30 Kidsworld Interactive Circus
1:30 Wagon Tours
2:30 Clowning Around w Roger
2:30 Big Top Circus Performance
4:45 Tristan Crist Illusion Show
4:45 Novelty Instruments Concert
6:00 Grounds and Exhibits Close

Overall, the shows were great (get there early for good seats!) and allowed for fun audience participation. I enjoyed the brief bios about why and how the magician and clown made their way to the circus. The Kidsworld and Clowning around were particularly good with the exception that at Kidsworld most of the kids were selected from one side of the audience, leaving loads of disappointed children on the other side. I wonder if they have ever considered running a children's circus day camp to learn the basic arts of circus performance - that could be awesome.

There are several buildings to tour besides the shows, so plan for this. Make sure to see the old wooden wagons which are elaborately carved - you'll not see such a historic collection elsewhere! We missed some of the other historic displays in the buildings, but they looked very interesting as we passed. Basically the kids were too young to appreciate them and we ran out of time. I would recommend spending more time exploring them if you are a circus history lover as there is considerable resource and detail available.

Circus World is a Wisconsin Historic Site. If you live in WI or are staying in the area and love history, consider getting a Wisconsin Historical Society membership as it will save you money. https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294963805&dsRecordDetails=R:CS2913
This will get you into 12 sites at 1/2 off, the sites are well worth it and need to be supported.
You might also be able to get a Groupon discount if you watch for it.

Free WI-Fi, but it's slow!

I'd like to address the previous negative (and out of date) reviews. We were pleased to see well trained dogs (all rescue dogs!), elephants, and horses that performed tricks as one would expect at the circus. No monkeys etc on site. Bored elephants? I've seen elephants in the wild and even there they can look rather bored. The tent with historic manakins is not 'tacky', but is a reflection on circus performers who once traveled in the circus. Further, getting real people in to fill this space would be impossible in today's world. The magic show was very good, funny family entertainment, and the assistant was well covered by her costume. Basically, remember that you are going to peek into the historical past of what was once the height of entertainment, where animals did tricks and performers allowed hard working folks to 'forget their troubles' and be amazed by curious things.

Please tick 'Helpful' if you thought my review was.

Date of experience: June 2014
29  Thank pho2journo2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2014

This is a great place for families with young children and older people who once enjoyed a Ringling Brother's 3-ring circus. Younger kids will enjoy the performers under the big top. Personally, I appreciated the historical part of the museum and especially the collection of circus wagons. The old fashioned circus train coming to town is something only to be remembered by older adults. These wagons provide a bit of that nostalgic feeling. The exhibits in the original circus buildings are well done. We stayed to enjoy the final magic show. The grounds were very clean and handicapped accessible.

Date of experience: June 2014
5  Thank Ron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2014 via mobile

My family loves circus world.

Big top circus is old fashioned fun. We especially enjoy Roger the clown. Elephants in the big top are wonderful.

Enjoy the carasoul, magic show, children's circus show. One of the best days ever! We want to visit again and again m

6  Thank Elno21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2014

A great mix of history and the circus. I loved every minute of it. The kids loved it. I loved it too. Get a history lovers pass from the wi historical society and then visit. The 100 you spend on the family member ship is paid off in two visits to circus world. I can not recommend it enough. Clowns, animals, and a look at a world long gone. Neat.

Date of experience: May 2014
1  Thank Jason G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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