Violet is at such a lovely age where she just wants to see and do anything and everything. The world has opened up to her and you can see her soaking everything up and taking it all in. So, this weekend we decided to take her for her very first circus experience as I was kindly invited along to sit ringside at Zippo’s Circus, which is pitched up on Hove Lawns at the moment. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go with Violet as we were worried that she might be a little too small to enjoy it but we decided there was only one way to find out – so we went along to see what she’d make of it all!
It was a beautifully sunny day in Brighton, after a leisurely morning and some food in town we strolled along Brighton seafront to Hove lawns where we met up with some friends Kirstie and Lauren (of Scrapbook Blog) for our circus experience. As we took our seats, I could see Violet was instantly mesmerised – the lights, the colours, the sounds and smells overloading her senses, but she was in awe! Especially when she saw Lauren’s son Arlo’s flashing light-sabre and we knew we’d have to get her one too (that ‘guilt’ buying thing started way earlier than I thought it would).
The circus was every bit as exciting as I remember it as a child, the smell of sawdust and popcorn with the anticipation building as we waited for the show to begin. I felt like I’d been whisked back to my childhood as memories of circus trips from years gone by came flooding back, it hasn’t changed a bit and I wouldn’t want it to.
This year the Zippos show is called ‘Jigit’ which means courageous or brave and that was a fitting description for the show. Each of the acts so different to the next, I felt like the show kept me on the edge of my seat from the word go. I don’t even know where to start telling you about all of the acts, there was everything you’d expect and more – trapeze artists dangling precariously above our heads, flame throwers, crazy knife throwers that took my breath away (he was SO quick), amazingly talented horse riders with beautiful stallions, juggling, hula-hooping, a contortionist (who I couldn’t look at without wincing!) and the grande finale – 5 motorbikes in a giant metal orb, you have to see it to believe it!
The show is a two hour sitting, with an interval halfway and I was amazed by the interval that Violet was still loving every moment of it, standing on our laps, she’d bounce up and down with excitement as she watched each act – I think her favourite was the horse riding as she LOVES animals, as they circled the ring I’d feel her jiggle with excitement as the horse came past our seats. During the interval we had the chance to get a ‘souvenir photograph’ with her and one of the beautiful horses, so of course we did (guilt buying strikes again!) She patted and stroked the horse, then decided to lick it’s saddle for good measure as the picture was taken! Towards the second half of the show, as much as she wanted to watch it all she got way too tired and had to be taken out for a little walk about in the baby carrier for a snooze – it was a long performance for someone so little but she did so well to watch over an hour at least. She wasn’t phased at all by the loud noises or rounds of applause – she loved every minute and absorbed the magic of the circus, even at her tender age.
I left the big top absolutely buzzing – my heart had been in my chest watching each act, it was immense to say the least. I also loved that Violet enjoyed it so much, getting to share those first moments with her are so magical too. After the show we decided the only thing to do would be to enjoy the sunset over an ice cream from the best parlour in town, Marrocco’s. Of course, I had my favourite combo – Lemon Sorbet and Chocolate, people tell me thats a weird combination but I love it and always order it! It didn’t let me down….. I mean look!
I also popped into the shop for two moments and came back to this – Violet being led astray and taught bad habits already. She was reaching out and grabbing at the ice cream, she LOVES it and covered herself in thick chocolate ice cream, all over her face, bib, sleeves – I think she’d bathe in it if she could and I don’t blame her!
All in all, we had a lovely family day out at the circus! Zippos Circus is in town until the 3rd September, so if you are a Brighton local I’d highly recommend popping down and watching a show before they leave (and if you aren’t local check the website as they may be coming to you soon too!) We will most definitely taking Violet again next summer as I’m sure by then she’ll just love it even more by then! 🙂