The Chicago Children's Museum has become a
three-ring circus. Literally.
On a recent Sunday morning, my 3-year-old daughter stepped right
up to clown around at the temporary Circus Zirkus exhibit at the
museum-an interactive play space where ladies and gentlemen, boys
and girls, children of all ages can pretend to be circus
Seriously, some of the areas looked like so much fun, I
double-checked to see if I could have a turn.
A few months ago, I took Anya to see her first circus, and while
she adored it, she was disappointed that she didn't get her turn at
the trapeze, the ropes and the tumbling show.
That's where Circus Zirkus gets it right-it's about time the
kids could run the "circus" and actually perform.
Anya started with the flying trapeze, which is actually a swing
about five feet off a mat. Then she moved on to the spinning hoop-a
swing in the shape of a vertical hula hoop that she sat inside
In another ring, she dressed up in massive clown boots, a
multi-colored tutu, a ginormous hat and some bright scarves.
There was even a pint-sized tightrope.
She loved pretending to be in the circus, but I wish the museum
splurged on videos in each area so the kids could really understand
what they should be trying to do. There were some pictures, but a
circus deserves a video.
The big top held her attention for about 15 minutes-long enough
to try everything once and even pretend to sell concessions to her
The circus exhibit is included in the price of admission to the
But be warned: Since the exhibit is quite small-the size of a
large room-the lines for each of the acts could take a while. The
day we went, there was a five-minute wait for each of the popular
acts-an eternity in the toddler world.
Circus Zirkus will be under the big top-err, inside the
Children's Museum-through Aug. 12.
Danielle Braff lives with her two daughters and husband in downtown Chicago.
See more of Danielle's stories here.
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