Garden Bros Circus
Fascinated by the circus fun I’d had at Adventureland in Iowa, I got curious when I saw a big circus tent going up near my next stop in Colorado. The sign “Garden Bros Circus” lit up the night, promising a classic good time.
But what actually happened was quite different. It got loud, the acts were just okay, and it seemed like they cared a lot about making money.
In this article, I’ll tell you all about my surprising visit to the “Garden Bros Circus” and how it didn’t quite match my expectations for old-fashioned entertainment.
Garden Bros Circus
As stated on their website, Garden Bros Circus has been around for over a hundred years. But they’re not as famous as Ringling Bros or Cirque du Soleil, and they run a smaller show.
I stumbled upon their circus tent in a parking lot near a Denver outlet mall, so it seems they like performing in places like this.
If you’re planning a visit to the Circus, there are ways to make it more affordable and enjoyable. Here are some helpful insights to make the most of your experience:
Timing Matters for Ticket Prices
To save on ticket costs, plan your visit strategically. The Circus often offers pre-sale tickets at a reasonable rate of $14.50.
Additionally, they frequently have a special deal where one child can attend for free with each paying adult. Timing your visit to take advantage of these offers can make your outing more budget-friendly.
Be Prepared for Additional Expenses
When attending Circus, be aware of potential extra costs you may encounter once inside the circus tent.
While Garden Bros Circus tickets might be reasonably priced, the circus experience often includes temptations like enticing food, captivating light-up toys, and exciting pay-to-play games.
These can add up quickly, so it’s a good idea to set a budget for these extras in advance.
Keep an Eye on the Kids
When attending the Circus with young children, be ready for the inevitable requests for those appealing toys and treats.
Vendors selling toys and food items related to Garden Bros Circus roam the tent throughout the entire performance, hoping to catch your attention.
Managing expectations and deciding which extras related to Garden Bros Circus are worth the splurge is crucial.
Enjoy the Unique Atmosphere
Garden Bros Circus may not be as famous as some of the big circus names, but it offers a more intimate and cosy atmosphere.
Embrace the opportunity to get up close and personal with the performers and acts. The smaller scale can provide a different, more engaging experience compared to larger productions.
To get the most out of your circus visit, consider arriving early. This allows you to explore the surroundings, grab a good seat, and maybe even participate in some pre-show activities. Arriving early can enhance your overall experience.
My Two-Word Review: It’s Loud
When you visit their website, you’ll notice the circus goes by the name of Garden Bros NUCLEAR Circus, with a clear emphasis on “NUCLEAR.”
However, if you search for Garden Bros Circus beyond their website, you’ll find a history of allegations related to animal mistreatment in their past.
In response to these allegations, it seems they’ve made some changes. They’ve removed certain animal acts, especially those involving elephants, and put more emphasis on human performances.
The circus experience involves constant, loud music, with several acts happening quickly, sometimes all at once. It’s like a circus with a rock ‘n roll or rave-like atmosphere.
However, the question is whether the circus acts are worth watching. Unfortunately, in this regard, they only reach an average level of entertainment.
Act 1 – Wheel of Death
At the Garden Bros Circus, they start the show with a thrilling act right from the get-go. They do this to set up the complicated equipment early on, but it can make the other acts that follow seem less exciting.
The standout act is the “Wheel of Death,” a spinning contraption with rings on either end.
A circus performer makes it spin using their body weight and performs amazing acrobatics both inside and outside the spinning ring.
I’ve seen similar acts done by two people at a very fast pace, but the solo performer in this show is equally impressive.
However, it’s worth noting that there are times during the performance when it’s hard to tell if it’s the same dark-haired teenage boy performing or different people participating in various acts.
Act 2 – Clowning
Following that, there’s a hilarious act at Circus where a clown is tasked with cleaning up after the previous performance.
However, this act is even more entertaining because his efforts to tidy up are consistently interrupted by various distractions and encounters with his boss.
This leads to a comical and highly entertaining conclusion. These two characters related to Garden Bros Circus frequently appear throughout the show, ensuring that the fun and laughter continue to flow.
Act 3 – Aerial Rope & Silks
In the next part of the Circus show, you’ll witness some female performers taking to the air.
The main spotlight is on a solo act featuring a spinning rope, and in the background, three other performers are on aerial silks, each doing their own routines.
It’s an interesting and visually appealing segment, perfectly in line with the lively atmosphere of the circus.
However, it doesn’t quite stand out as something exceptionally amazing related to Garden Bros Circus.
Act 4 – Performing Dogs
In a delightful nod to classic circus shows, the next act of Circus features a trainer and his group of talented poodles.
This performance is a burst of quick, high-energy tricks, one after another, and it’s over in a flash. The poodles are undeniably adorable, and who can resist their charm?
However, it’s clear that this act is meant to entertain the youngest members of the audience at Garden Bros Circus, bringing joy to the little ones in attendance.
Act 5 – Clowning Part 2
I’ve come to realize that the only calm moments at Garden Bros Circus are when the clowns take the stage. Looking back, I should have appreciated those moments more.
In their second act together, the clown duo invites audience volunteers to join them in a musical performance, with a hidden drummer providing the beat.
Act 6 – Aerial Straps
As we move on to the next act at Garden Bros Circus, there’s some uncertainty about whether it’s the same performer we saw on the Wheel of Death.
If it is, then he’s certainly the standout star of this circus. In this act related to Circus, the dark-haired teenager gracefully takes to the skies, supported by two straps, and showcases his impressive biceps in the process.
Act 7 – Kyrgyzstan Horse Riders
The first half of the Garden Bros Circus wraps up with an exciting performance by riders from Kyrgyzstan.
These skilled riders showcase their abilities as they speed around the circus ring, performing impressive feats like standing up on the horses, riding backwards, and even balancing on two horses simultaneously.
Alongside them, two women also display their remarkable horseback stunts.
During the intermission, you have another chance to grab some food and toys.
(I was surprised to find that a small popcorn costs $10.) Meanwhile, inside the circus ring, children eagerly queue up for a special opportunity to take a ride around the ring on one of the Kyrgyzstan horses, with the supervision of an adult.
Remarkably, this experience doesn’t seem to come with any additional cost.
Post-Intermission: Act 8 – Human Cannonball
During the break at Garden Bros Circus, they spend a good amount of time setting up a big air cushion for the next act, which is “The Human Cannonball.”
While it’s not an incredible feat related to Circus and seems more about creating a show than displaying exceptional skill, it brings a touch of nostalgic fun.
Since the circus tent is relatively small, the cannonball performer doesn’t have to travel a great distance, but it’s still an unusual and entertaining sight associated with Circus.
With lots of excitement and the familiar presence of dancing girls who seem to appear throughout the circus, a brave individual is shot out of a cannon and lands safely on the cushion below.
Act 9 – Globe of Death
Circuses are known for giving their acts exciting names, and up next at Garden Bros Circus is the “Globe of Death.”
In this act related to circus, a surprisingly small mesh cage is used, big enough for up to three motorcycle riders, specifically dirt bikes.
The performance begins with one rider entering the cage, skillfully manoeuvring inside, even riding up the walls and upside down.
Soon, another rider joins, followed by a third, creating an adrenaline-pumping spectacle associated with Garden Bros Circus.
As you might expect, the noise from the motorcycle engines is incredibly loud, almost deafening.
Act 10 – Contortionist
At this point in the circus, after all the thrilling performances like high-speed horse riding, the daring human cannonball, and two “of death” acts, the regular contortionist act might feel a bit less exciting—and it turns out to be just that.
The contortionist is undeniably flexible, whether twisting on a table or in mid-air, but it doesn’t quite match the same level of excitement as the previous acts related to Garden Bros Circus.
No matter how loudly the rock music blares, the overall vibe doesn’t reach the same thrilling heights.
Act 11 – Hair Aerialists (??)
Next on the lineup at Garden Bros Circus are two women who showcase their aerial skills by suspending themselves with their hair.
I have to admit, it was genuinely impressive related to Garden Bros Circus, even though it did seem rather uncomfortable.
The standout moment was when they gracefully released confetti from their pockets while spinning in mid-air, adding a delightful touch to their performance at Garden Bros Circus.
The Finale, Act 12 – Juggling
To wrap up the Garden Bros NUCLEAR Circus, they present a grand finale featuring a juggler, with the support of approximately half a dozen other acts.
However, it doesn’t quite deliver the expected excitement when it comes to the finales. The juggler himself is full of charisma and skillfully juggles various items with impressive precision.
While I can’t say for sure, there’s a chance that this juggler is a different performer from the dark-haired teenager who previously appeared in the Wheel of Death and aerial straps acts.
Is Garden Bros Circus Right for You?
Garden Bros Circus offers a unique experience that combines nostalgia with contemporary entertainment.
However, whether it’s the right choice for you largely depends on your preferences and who you’re attending with.
- Nostalgia Factor: If you’re an adult looking to relive the kind of entertainment featured in old movies, Garden Bros Circus might provide that nostalgic trip down memory lane.
- Considerable Noise: Keep in mind that the circus can be incredibly loud, so be prepared for a noisy atmosphere.
- Content Concerns: Some individuals have raised concerns about the people behind the circus, which may impact your decision to attend.
- Kid-Friendly: Children often have a blast at the circus, and parents typically enjoy seeing their kids’ excitement.
- Affordable Options: Early-bird tickets are available at $14.50 each for general admission, making it a budget-friendly choice for families.
- Child-Friendly Policies: One child can enter for free with each paying adult, which can be a money-saving option for families.
- Early-Bird Special: 100 general admission tickets are available for $14.50 each if you book early.
- Regular Prices: Once the early-bird tickets are sold out, individual tickets cost $30 for adults and $15 for children aged 3-13.
- Free Child Admission: One child can attend for free with each paying adult, but additional children will require purchased tickets.
- Premium Seating: Ringside seats are priced at $60 for adults and $40 for kids. There’s also a VIP family package for two adults and two kids for $90.
- Preferred Seating: A preferred seating section exists right in front and under the human cannon, but specific prices may be available at the venue.
Finding Garden Bros Circus Near You
Garden Bros Circus is a travelling show that offers entertainment for families and circus enthusiasts.
If you’re interested in catching one of their performances, here’s a guide to help you locate a show near you:
The first step is to check their official website or social media pages for their touring schedule. They regularly update their schedule to reflect upcoming shows and locations.
In September, I personally attended a Garden Bros Circus performance near Denver. This gives you an idea of the type of experience you can expect.
Garden Bros Circus often travels to different regions during their tour.
For example, they are scheduled to tour Florida in November and January. However, it’s worth noting that they typically take a break in December.
In February, the circus is set to visit Atlanta, GA, providing an opportunity for residents in that area to catch the show.
Starting in March, they will head back to the western part of the country.
Keeping an Eye Out
If you can’t find their schedule online or want to see if they are performing in your local area, you can also watch for their distinctive circus tent. They often set up in vacant mall parking lots.
Once you locate a performance near you, check their website for ticket prices and availability.
Garden Bros Circus offers various ticket options, including general admission, ringside seats, and VIP family packages.
Q: What is the Garden Bros Circus known for?
A: The Garden Bros Circus is known for its long history of circus entertainment, featuring a variety of acts, including acrobatics, aerial performances, clowns, and animals.
Q: Where is the Garden Bros Circus currently based?
A: The Garden Bros Circus is currently based in Sarasota, Florida, often considered the world’s circus capital.
Q: Does the Garden Bros Circus still use animals in its shows?
A: Yes, the Garden Bros Circus continues to feature animals in its performances, including camels, ponies, and other animals.
Q: Is the Garden Bros Circus considered ethical in its treatment of animals?
A: No, the Garden Bros Circus has faced ethical concerns and violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including issues related to inadequate care and shelter for animals in the past.
Q: When does the Garden Bros Circus typically tour?
A: The Garden Bros Circus typically tours from the end of January through November, travelling to various states to perform its shows.
In summary, the Garden Bros Circus offers a mix of nostalgia and contemporary entertainment.
While it may appeal to those seeking classic circus fun and families with young children, it may not fully meet the expectations of adults.
The show features thrilling acts, including the “Wheel of Death” and a charming poodle act, but it can be exceptionally loud, and concerns have been raised about its management.
To make the most of your visit, consider early-bird ticket options, budget for extras, and arrive early.
The circus offers a unique experience, but whether it’s right for you depends on your preferences and who you’re attending with.