There's An Interactive Circus-Themed Museum Hidden In Central Florida

Interactive displays, art, and even a beautiful mansion by the sea you can tour!
Museum In Florida Is Dedicated To Everything Ringling Bros Circus

As a kid, who didn't love the circus? Between the clownin' around and snacks (we're looking at you cotton candy) the word circus could almost be synonymous with a good time. If that's one part of your childhood you miss or something you never really got to experience, you can get a little taste of the circus life at this museum in Florida.

Even if you haven't been before, it's likely that you've heard of The Ringling Bros. Circus.

Often referred to as "The Greatest Show on Earth," they stopped their traveling show with Barnum & Bailey in 2017, but their legacy lives on at a niche little museum in Sarasota.

The museum, known as The Ringling, showcases the ins and outs of circus life, from massive miniature displays to in-depth history lessons, but it also lets you get in on some fun.

Though if you have a fear of clowns, you might want to stay away!

At the Tibbals Learning Center within the museum, one of two buildings on the property dedicated to all things circus, there are interactive displays that let you cram yourself into the tiniest clown car, test your balance on the back of a horse, and much more.

There are plenty of photo ops scattered throughout too, like corral cars and cannons, funky mirrors that make you short and squat, and even elegant hallways full to the brim with circus imagery.

After you've had your fill of clownin' out, wander the art museum and courtyard to admire exquisite works and architecture that will make you feel like a modern-day Cinderella.

They're known to host musical events and entertainment in the courtyard gardens from time to time too.

If history is more your thing, you can watch tons of videos teaching you more about circus life, or wander the path of melty looking banyan trees that will take you to the waterfront — where you'll find a magnificent mansion known as Ca' d'Zan.

The mansion features immaculate stained glass windows and historic decor throughout, not to mention the stunning seaside views and romantic Italian vibes that offer the perfect backdrop for an IG shot.

It definitely feels like something straight out of a Disney fairytale.

It was once the home of the King and Queen of the circus, John and Mable Ringling; and while it may cost a little extra on top of admission to tour, it's truly a sight to behold.

Admission to The Ringling is only $25 per adult, and it has a whole day's worth of beauty, fun, and experiences worth checking out.

The Ringling

Price: $25 admission per adult ticket; tours of the Ca' d'Zan Mansion are also available for an extra fee.

Address: 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL

Why You Need To Go: A whacky museum dedicated to everything Ringling Bros. Circus! Learn more about circus life with interactive displays and admire breathtaking art. You can even tour the mansion that was home to John and Mable Ringling.

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