Guys night out for dads and sons: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus

“The Boy,” not to be confused with “The Baby,” “The Teen,” “The Wife” or “The Dog” is in kindergarten now and suddenly has a new social group of friends and things that he likes and dislikes. His likes include: Monster trucks, playing soccer, watermelon and trying to be like Nik Wallenda (thanks for that one). His dislikes include: girls, princesses, girls, Barbies, girls and listening to the words “stop” or “no.”

If you go

LEGENDS, presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey


Nov. 12 – Nov. 16, 2014

Allstate Arena

6920 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018


Nov. 19 – Nov. 30, 2014

United Center

1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612



If you have school-aged kids, then you know they come home with all kinds of new and interesting surprises, from whooping cough to the love of the Green Bay Packers. Their lives are suddenly a little less in your control as they meet and socialize with other kids.

One of these new things that the boy asked to do was go to see the circus. The idea of real life elephants, lions and yes, acrobats, has him more excited than the time I let him wake up The Teen with a leaf blower (which works wonders BTW).

This is where it gets weird. The Boy asked if we could do it without The Teen, The Baby or The Wife. He wanted to go with his buddies to hang out and have fun. A new request.

At first my answer was going to be “no,” because we are a family and have to do everything together all the time without ever taking a break from soccer and playgroups and dance and shopping to … Ahhh, I got it. He needed a break. Heck, we all need a break at one time or another and this was his way of asking.

“Yes” was my answer. We planned to have our first (of many) Guys Nights Out or GNO’s. Everything is in motion and yes, the circus is in town! LEGENDS, presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, opens this week at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

It has everything a boy, or girl for that matter, could ask for when it comes to circus-type stuff: Asian elephants, acrobats, a double-wide, high-flying trapeze act, a Unicorn, motorcycle daredevils, lions, clowns, popcorn, cotton candy and yes, his buddies, not his siblings.

Three kids and three dads headed off to the circus, to share in the excitement that we once felt with our parents.

I am not big into singling out my kids with super special treatment, cuz’ I can’t afford it.

However, I also understand the need to separate from the pack and spend a little alone time with your parents and pals, so off to the circus we went.

We went to opening night on Thursday, Nov. 6 and I am ashamed to admit, DAD broke Blogger Rule number two: Take a lot of pictures! Truth is, I completely forgot. The show had me, my son and the rest of the man-pack sitting on the edges of our seats, yelling, cheering and at times holding our breath in anticipation of what would happen next.

The Greatest Show on Earth is pretty darn great, for little boys who are seeing it for the first time and for their dads who are enjoying it through the smiles and cheers of their sons. Moms, daughters, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and even that weird cousin will dig it too.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus is like a gyro to me, it can never be bad. Now that we are entering the cold dark days of Chi-beria, adding a little indoor circus fun to your to-do list is never a bad idea.

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