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Field Trip: Circus at Coney Island


Coney Island is the height of seedy romanticism even now that the gloriously rickety, lovably decrepit Astroland park has been shut down. (RIP, cracked-speakers haunted house!) Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey has moved in with a one-ring circus. We went on opening night to check it out, as did Mayor Michael Bloomberg and our beloved Borough President Marty Markowitz. It’s not at the mind-blowing level of RB’s arena shows, but there are still incredible acrobatics, trick-performing elephants and terrifying clowns. And there are now also $10 tickets and twelve (!) shows a week. Best of all: it’s in CONEY ISLAND. The subway’s right there and there’s easy parking on the street. If you have a little kid who can’t sit through the whole show, you can bail at intermission and hit the beach. There’s a pretty magnificent playscape about two minutes down the boardwalk. Finish it all off with a lemonade and hot dog at Nathan’s and it’s the perfect summer night! — Ada Calhoun

Here are photos from our trip out there, taken by Brendan Kennedy.

Check out Babble’s past Field Trips: Backstage at Mary Poppins, the Eric Carle Museum, on the Johnny and the Sprites set, and more!

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