18 April 2023
Circuses have been a staple family entertainment for centuries and many of us have fond memories from our own childhoods. But can children be too young for the circus? Here are some things to consider before taking your kids to the Big Top.
You should check with the circus that you intend to visit, but most don’t have age restrictions, as they’re designed for the whole family to enjoy. It depends on your child's maturity level, attention span and ability to cope with stimuli like noise. Some parents take toddlers to the circus, while others prefer to wait until the child is older. If your child is easily scared or isn't comfortable around strangers, they may be scared by the clowns or stunts on show.
Some children may feel afraid or uncomfortable seeing performers in the circus. Others may be fascinated by the sights and sounds. While clowns are meant to be comic and fun, some children (and adults!) find them terrifying. It’s a good idea to watch a video of a circus performance with your child before you go, so they know what to expect. Watch their reaction and make sure they're not feeling overwhelmed. If they seem scared or uneasy, it's probably not the right time to take them to the circus.
If your child has a short attention span, they may get bored and fidgety sitting through a two-hour circus performance. While most circus acts are exciting, some may be slow and dull for younger kids. If your child gets bored and restless easily, they may prefer a more active activity.
Some children may not understand what they're seeing at the circus. They may be scared by the clowns or acrobats, or they may not understand that the person jumping through fire is going to come out unscathed. You can help with this by explaining to them beforehand what to expect.
A circus tent can be loud and unpredictable, with the audience cheering and clapping, music playing, loudspeakers and potentially pyrotechnics. Performers may be doing dangerous things. This can be overwhelming for some children, particularly if they struggle with being overstimulated.
There is no definitive answer to the question of at what age kids can see a circus. It depends on each child's maturity level, attention span, and understanding. The noise of the circus environment could also be overwhelming for some youngsters. If you're unsure, it's best to wait until your kids are a bit older.