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Saturday, June 21, 2008

There's A Sucker Born Every Minute

Last weekend we took the kids to the circus. It was the first time we have ever taken our kids to a show of any sort.


Her kids are 4 and 5 and she's never taken them to a show! The horrors!

I decided early on that I wasn't going to be carting my kids around to shows just because every one else was doing it. We are way to cheap for that.

So until last weekend they had never been to a circus. They have also never been to the Ice Capades or even to the movies.


Her kids are 4 and 5 and she's never taken them to the movies! The horrors!

But here's the thing. It's not that I don't want to take my kids to these things. It's just that I want my kids to want to do these things.

So about a month ago, the kids asked out of the blue when we would take them to the circus and I told them we would as soon as it came to town. Little did I know it was coming to town.

Darn TV commercials.


She let's her kids watch TV shows with commercials! The horrors!

So, anyway, we got tickets to the Greatest Show On Earth. The kids were very excited about going to the circus and kept asking "how many days till we go to the circus?" Over and over again.

I was tired of the circus before we even got there.

And as excited as they were about going to the circus, they were even more excited about getting snacks at the circus. They kept asking if they could get popcorn and cotton candy at the circus.

So we promised them popcorn and cotton candy.

And I was smug thinking how cheap we were going to get off.

Popcorn and cotton candy? Ha!

As soon as we got to the show, we started looking for the concession stand. I knew we were in trouble as soon as I realized that the only thing they were selling at the regular coliseum concession stand was drinks. Everything else had to be purchased at an official Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey concession stand.

I asked the clown running the concession stand (and it was a clown, I'm not trying to be funny) how much the cotton candy was.

Clown: $10

Me: What? $10 for cotton candy? Are you kidding me?

Clown: It's $10 ma'am (I hate it when clowns call me ma'am). But you are getting three different colored fluffs of cotton candy AND a souvenir clown hat.

Me: Well how much is the popcorn?

Clown: It's $6.

Me: $6 for popcorn? Really?

Clown: Yes, ma'am (how old do I look??). But it comes in a box the size of a cereal box and it's decorated with fun circus images.

So we bought the popcorn and we bought the cotton candy and then we paid $4 for a drink at the regular concession stand. Because Ringling Bros. were selling shaved ice and lemon aid in souvenir cups for $10-$14 depending on whether your cup was shaped like a clown, an elephant or a tiger.

My poor underprivileged kids had to settle for a plain cup-shaped cup with the words Coca-Cola printed on it. Nothing souvenir about it.

Other than paying too much for our concessions, we really enjoyed Boom A Ring. It was Ringling's one ring circus which is smaller than their normal circus and just the right size for a 4 year old and a 5 year old.

There were elephants, tigers and trained chihuahuas. Because what's a circus without chihuahuas?

And there were clowns, jugglers, and tight rope walkers.

And unlike the 18 month old kid sitting in front of me who watched me the whole show, my kids actually paid attention and really seemed to enjoy themselves.

And just in case you are wondering. And I know you are...

This is what three fluffs of cotton candy and a souvenir hat look like at the circus.

It's like P.T. Barnum said..."There's a sucker born every minute."

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BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

LOL! My dad is a Shriner so we usually get "free" tix every fall. However, we have a collection of hideous souvenir toys (try not one but TWO) obnoxious inflatable unicorns. I still haven't taken our 3-year-old but I have a feeling this fall is the year. I'll probably regret it as soon as they see the cotton candy.

Gee. I better start saving now! ;)

Texasholly said...

I can't even believe they get away with that...who do they think they are? Disney?

That is so funny. I am among the non-circus, gasp, non-movie, gasp, non-show, gasp parents. Yes, my children are deprived and sit in a dark cold room all day hungry.

Robin hill farm said...

We're the same way. We haven't taken our kids to any shows or circuses either. And our oldest is ten. Our logic is, we want to wait until all the kids are old enough to enjoy these things before we go. The problem is, we keep having babies! :)

AlaneM said...

I'm with you on depriving the kids, it's one of my favorite things to to - mwahahahahaha!

For me cotton candy is the pinacle of all things sweet & fluffy. I adore the stufff but for 10 bucks?? Man, I'd really have to think about it.

carrie said...

Hey, you got off way cheaper than a trip to the movies! Feel lucky about that! ;)

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Just to let you know, their prices haven't gone up much in a few years. Abouut 4 years ago, we took the kids, my brother asked for two cotton candies for his excited darling girls and was told $20 please. His eyes got wide for a second, he opened his wallet, put back in the 10 he had ready and took out a 20. Then he hung his head and said NO a lot the rest of the circus.

The one ring small town edition of the circus is a great show. I am not sure if that is the same one you went to or not.


Anonymous said...

Not a fan of the circus, could be my fear of clowns, huh? LOL

WOW...sounds to me like they violate people with their prices on popcorn & cotton candy, that scares me more than the clowns, LOL

jaime said...

lol! great post...
We attempted to take our son to the movies twice...didn't even get half way thru either time. I refused to go w/ hubby the first time because i knew he wouldn't sit thru it (AHEM, i was right)...he was like 2!! I think you went at just the right age, and your kids will actually REMEMBER this experience. I try to make every day exciting for my son, only for him to go home and when Daddy asks what he did today...he says "nothin". that kills me every time!

Wendy said...

I'm not a fan of the circus either. I know Xander has gone twice with school and that's good enough for me. I actually have a free ticket for him and one for Carter that I registered for when they were born (ooops ... sorry Ethan). They know what they're doing when they advertise these things on TV though. I mean do kids need to know they can go see Diego in person ... I think not. He's just fine stuck in the TV. I have taken the kids to the movies though, the free ones during the summer and its great. They enjoy it and it only costs me gas (which is bad enough right now). They even offer a popcorn or drink for $1 but I'm too cheap to even pay that for the kids. It wouldn't be a free movie if I broke down and bought that. You should try and take Peter and Sarah this summer though. If you're interested I'll email you the list. We just went this past week to see Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and even 10 month old Carter sat through it.

Rebekah said...

I wish they would make their food sizes smaller and charge less. Who needs that much pop corn- talk about waste, because most of it ends up in the trash.

We dont take our kids too many places like that- the movies a few times and the Reds game- and there is always lots of sharing of drinks and food. Who can afford to take their kids anywhere these days?

McMommy said...

I haven't taken my kids to the circus yet either!

Guess I better start saving my money now in order to pay for the concession stand snacks!

Unknown said...

My kiddos are 10 and 8 and they have never been to a circus.

I took the eight year old to Disney Princesses on ice when she was four and she spent the entire time crying, well, actually screaming, because she was afraid.

I would have left but I had carpooled with three other moms.

I am shocked that cotton candy was $10!!!

But you have to have cotton candy while at the circus...I guess that's what The Bros. are counting on!

Christina said...

That's highway robbery. I have never been to the circus since we have lived here because I have never heard of it here. I guess bringing elephants and lions and all to Hawaii would be rough. The carnival comes and that costs way to much in itself but I can't believe the price of the popcorn, cotton candy, and soda at the circus. I nearly had a heart attack reading this.

PS I wanted to thank you for all the prayers you prayed for my mom, she passed away unexpectedly yesterday and I know you were praying for her.

Anonymous said...

The first time we took our kids to the circus I think once the fun of the glowsticks wore off they were bored with it (ages 4 and 8). I haven't had to go back since - YAY! I am not a fan. LOL
And I am a take snacks in the purse kind of woman. HA!

Anonymous said...

What a rip off! My husband refuses to let us by any of these things- he thinks that these people see us coming and think we have 'sucker!' written on our foreheads (beth, your forehead of course is too pretty for such words) so he sneaks in drinks and food in his jacket pocket.
But the worst place, so I've heard, is a Mets need to take out a loan just to get a hot dog there.
Bella x

duchess said...

We hardly ever do that stuff either. We did do The Greatest Rip-off on Earth a few years ago...been there done that now we don't have to go back for a really long time.

Jonah K. Haslap said...

Exactly how many clowns have called you ma'am?

Jenileigh said...

Oh my! But what fun memories you have! I'm glad everyone enjoyed it! It's a shame they can charge that for cotton candy, popcorn and a coke! Sheesh!

Totallyscrappy said...

RRG! I hate taking my kids places only to be gouged by the over-priced "extras." I hate the circus that comes to town and supplies the schools and churches with "free" tickets. Yeah, the ticket is free, but everything else more than makes up for an admission fee. What really busted my chops last year was they really advertised a "pre-show". Pile up the kids for an HOUR early arrival only to watch a "show" which was actually an opportunity for the kids to ride over-priced elephant rides and purchase other pricey items. I was really put off knowing that the schools distributed these free tickets. What about the barely-making-ends-meet-family that thinks they are taking thier kids out for night of memories only to sit surrounded by elephant rides and cereal boxes of popcorn that they can't afford? Ooh, I think I'd better get off my soapbox!

Tracy said...

Ha! I understand your pain. We went to movies last week (to see Kung Fu Panda...excellent movie!) and it was $13 for popcorn and drink. $5 for one pretzel! $31 for the 4 of us to get in the door!

Am I doing okay? said...

*gasp* She writes very funny blog posts!

Sue Wilkey said...

I wish i could say "I'm going to bring my OWN cotton candy" - but how do you make it?

Simply Shannon said...

Thank you for the warning! At least now I know what to expect when I have to take my daughter for the first time!

Jaina said...

Nothing wrong with not carting them around to those places before they're ready, this way they really enjoyed it. And geez, those prices are worse than Disneyland! But I'm glad you had fun, I remember going to the circus twice when I was little, it was so much fun!