Roll up, roll up!
OK, I have two fairly big admissions to make to you. One, I’ve not taken my kids to the circus. Two, I’ve not seen The Greatest Showman (hiding behind my hands now).
There’s not been a specific reason for either of those things, it’s just never happened, and I know that we’re missing out on something special. Many friends have visited the Christmas Circus at Squire’s Garden Centre and said how amazing it is.
Lucky for us, this year the theme is The Greatest Snowman, so I’m thinking that that’s two birds with one stone?
The star of the show is Frosty the Snowman, who loves the circus but doesn’t quite have the right level of skills to become the next Barnum. He watches a number of acts to see what type of performer he’d like to be.
On TV and in films, circuses are usually full of clowns, comedy and death-defying tricks, and the circus at Squire’s didn’t disappoint. It started off gently with a comedy trampoline act (the somewhat randomly titled Gigolo!) and then moved on to Miss Kyla and plenty of hula hoops. Then followed foot juggling, a laser light show, bicycle and unicycle tricks and traditional clown slapstick routines.
The highlight of the show for me was the beautiful contemporary dance routine performed by Yuri and Becci. And we’re not talking Strictly here, this was a full on romantic dance complete with amazing lifts and the couple soaring through the air on aerial straps. It all looked completely effortless and was the only time the audience was silent.
After the acts have finished, the show finishes with some cheery Christmas songs and each child gets to visit Santa in his special grotto.
My two children, aged three and six, were completely taken by the circus after the first few minutes and sat enraptured through the whole thing. All of the acts were great, they were all family appropriate and there was nothing scary for little ones.
My kids loved the fact that the circus was in a proper big top complete with yellow and red stripes, that you see as you pull into the car park.
I’m so glad that I took them and I would definitely go back again to Squire’s. It’s really convenient, with free parking, a restaurant plus a tiny soft play and outdoor playground.
My Top Tips
There are plenty of seats to choose from. The chairs right at the front are flat on the floor so children may not be able to see everything. The fold-down seats are banked and give a view of the whole arena.
The laser light show is quite full on and at times overwhelming (even for adults) so you might want to take really little ones out for that section. The ringmaster does give plenty of notice before it actually starts.
The big top and Santa’s grotto are outside, so make sure you take plenty of layers and hats and gloves if it’s really cold outside.
You will need to queue for Santa, so take your time getting up out of your seats when the show finishes.
Times and Prices
The circus will run at Washington Squire’s from the 24th November to the 24th December. Prices are £13 for children aged over 3 and adults until the 19th Dec and £14 to the 24th Dec. Under 2s are free but they must sit on an adults lap, and if you do want them to receive a gift from Santa you’ll need to purchase a ticket. Bookings of 10 tickets or more will get a 10% discount.
There will also be a traditional circus running from the 27th Dec to the 1st Jan.