You don’t have to wait for the major circus groups to pass through Houston to enjoy the circus arts. If your kids — or you — have ever dreamed of being in a circus or getting an upclose look at how the circus works, there are many ways around town to live out this dream. From summer camps to circus classes made just for kids, your little clown, acrobat, lion tamer or tightrope-walker will never get tired of the fun.
Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston
5601 S. Braeswood Drive
Houston, Texas 77096
(713) 729-3200 ext. 3247
Dates: Camp: May 27, 2013 through June 15, 2013/ Shows: June 13, 2013 at 7 p.m., June 14, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
Circus of the Kids is a traveling event that will be in town at the end of May and through the first part of June. This group teaches kids the basics of circus arts during the first week. Then tryouts are held from the camp participates to see who will perform in the circus shows given to parents and friends at the end of the session. Those kids who do not excel at acrobats or juggling can still participate in many other support activities for the kids’ circus. This is truly a circus camp for every kid.
Big Top School of Circus Arts
17572 Bamwood Drive
Houston, Texas 77090
Date: Weekly Camps June 3, 2013 through Aug. 9, 2013
This summer day camp teaches kids from 6 to 16 a variety of circus arts. Even without any gymnastics skills, kids can learn to face paint, ride a unicycle, walk on stilts, make balloon animals, ride a zipline, juggle, walk a tightrope and much more. The director of the camp, Alex Chimal, has been performing in circuses for over 25 years and currently teaches gymnastics at a nearby private school. The unique combination of many circus arts for the campers to learn make this a highly demanded summer day camp for kids in the Houston area.
1824 Spring St., Suite 124
Houston, Texas 77007
Watching trapeze artists effortlessly flying through the air may give you the idea to try it yourself. You can at Gyrotonic Houston’s aerial arts classes. These are offered for older kids and adults, ages 14 and up. Choose from several different classes such as the hoop, dance trapeze, the harness and static trapeze. All of these are held at the Gyrotonic Houston studio, and are offered at various skill levels so you can continue to learn as you acquire new skills.
1 Reliant Park Drive
Houston, Texas 77054
Date: July 11, 2013 through July 28, 2013
Price: Click here for tickets.
If you see circus as more of a spectator sport, Ringling Bros. will be bringing their Dragons show to Reliant Park this July. The dragon theme of the show will be maintained throughout the traditional circus performances. One of the best-kept secrets of this circus is that all ticketholders can come 90 minutes before the show to see the circus animals up close and personal and enjoy an all-access pre-show. Both of these activities are free with your ticket. There is a reason that Ringling Bros. Circus is called “The Greatest Show on Earth.” It is one of the biggest and best known traveling circuses around. If you love circuses, don’t miss this one.
If you are planning a party or event in the near future, why not let the circus come to you? There are several groups that offer clowns or juggers for parties, but ABC Fun for All Events has both. As an added dimension of excitement to the juggling act, the jugglers are also fire-breathers. If traditional circus acts like jugglers and clowns aren’t your think, you can also book a comedian, magician, costumed character or cowboy trick roper. ABC Fun for All Events caters to churches and school groups, as well. Be sure to check their calender on the website for availability dates to get the act you want.
Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.