The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ “Fully Charged” is electric with its upbeat music, crazy clowns, high wire act, the twin turbines of steel, human fuse, massive elephants and ferocious tigers. The action packed two hours flew by, leaving me wondering where the time had gone as we exited the stadium.
In some ways I think the best part of the circus is that the live show is never the same show twice! Anything can happen during a live performance: animals don’t always cooperate, performers sometimes trip or fall, and for me that adds to the excitement.
I have fond memories of seeing ”The Greatest Show on Earth” with my parents and brother when we were younger. I even have an old program with Gunther Gebel Williams on the cover somewhere in our attic. After seeing the animal walk on Monday, my daughter was excited and was anxiously counting down the days until Saturday. I’ll admit I was probably more excited than the kids or my hubby because it’s the beginning of a new tradition for our family.
This was the first time the kids experienced the circus and the beginning of an annual family event. Our daughter, 3.5 years old was able to sit through the entire show and her face lit up as she saw the colorful costumes and her pachyderm friends. Our son, a month short of two, wasn’t able to sit as still for the entire show, although he was mesmerized during the first half hour.
While I missed the motorcycles and the trapeze acts, watching Brian Miser a.k.a. the Human Fuse shoot out of a crossbow was spectacular! Exotic animal trainer and presenter, Tabayara “Taba” Maluenda, is amazing with the elephants, horses and tigers, using all of his 20+ years experience to make it look effortless. Fun fact: Taba’s love and admiration for Gunther Gebel led him to name his newborn son Gunther.
Here are a few tips for those planning to attend the Houston Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey “Fully Charged” Shows:
- Check your show to see if there is an animal open house which starts 1.5 hours before the show
- Arrive at least an hour early to enjoy the all-access show where the performers will autograph your programs, take pictures, etc.
- Stop by Target and buy some glow sticks/bracelets in the $1 aisle so when there is a complete black-out the kids aren’t afraid
- Unlike the movie theater where almost all the seats are good, you really want to sit in the floor seats to fully enjoy the performers and feel the energy
- Cameras are allowed. Strollers are allowed inside but must be checked with guest services.
- Parking at Reliant for the show is $10
We were only able to enjoy about 15 minutes of the all access show but I think this would have been the kids favorite part if we’d arrived earlier. My favorite part , the excitement and expressions of wonder on our kids faces as they saw the magic unfold for the first time. Our daughter liked the elephants and tigers the most while our son was fascinated with the singing and bright colors.
If you live in Houston plan to take your kids to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ “Fully Charged” which runs through 7/29 at Reliant Stadium, you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime. And if you live somewhere else, check the schedule to see when the “Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to a city near you.
A special thank you to Feld Entertainment for providing my family with complimentary tickets to Saturday night’s show. I did not receive additional compensation nor was I obligated to write about our experience.