Best Touring Circuses
in The U.S.
Circus might be slowly losing its popularity among many famous closings and new regulations for animals, but circus is definitely not dead, just different and evolving. We would like to take a look at some circuses that are making rounds around the country and bringing their Big Top to the venues near you.
While going through this alphabetic list, keep in mind that you should visit particular circus’ website or call it directly to find more information if needed.
1. Big Apple Circus
The shows are scheduled from October 12th to January 30th, 2020 in New York’s Lincoln Center. The circus is under new management and hopefully overcoming its financial problems of the past.
2. Billy Martin Presents the Cole-All Star Circus
Since 1938 this circus has been performing at school auditoriums in Pennsylvania and New York. It’s doing great today and can be booked by your school in those two states. The circus has acrobats, canines, clowns, cyclists, and other traditional performances.
3. Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
This unique act has started as a small circus in New York State that incorporated elements of circus, burlesque, sideshow, and vaudeville. They produce festivals for communities and host after school and summer camps for kids.
4. Carden Circus International
The circus works with Shrine organizations to organize events in many cities. You’ll see acrobats, clowns, aerials, and animals that are treated exceptionally well, according to their website. You can often get BOGO passes for kids.
5. Carson & Barnes
The circus is based in Hugo, Oklahoma and has been popular for over 80 years. They have traditional circus acts and all kinds of exotic animals that mesmerize and engage the entire family. They have limited show dates, but can be booked by cities and organizations for events.
6. Circus Bella
The circus offers many free events for Oakland and San Francisco area. They have no animals, but offer one-ring acts of rope walking, single trapeze, juggling, hula hoops, contortions, and more. The shows are organized during fairs and concerts in the parks and last 20-90 minutes.
7. Circus Flora
St. Louis, Missouri circus under a Big Top brings areal and floor acts, trapeze, clowns, acrobatics, and more. They work with communities and organizations to schedule shows, but also bring entertainment for underprivileged kids.
8. Circus Hollywood
This act is perfect for fairs, shrine sponsored, corporate, private, and public events with their old-school shows, aerials, animals, acrobats, clowns, contortionists, and more. Kids love their racing pigs and animal encounters.
9. Circo Hermanos Caballero
Red and Blue units of this circus tour California and have done so for three generations. Besides all traditional acts, you will see motorcycle globe and trampoline.
10. Cirque Du Soleil
This world-famous Canadian circus has been known and loved since 1980’s. You won’t see any animals, but you will be captivated by acts, acrobatics, costumes, dance, drama, street performances, music, and lights. Las Vegas is their most famous residency, but various units of this circus tours all the states.
11. Cirque Italia
This is a non-traditional water circus with water displays, cascading waterfalls, lights, and music combined with acrobatics and traditional acts under the Big Top. Gold unit travels in Florida, Silver – in Texas.
12. Cirque Mundial
The circus travels in southern and Midwest states and is available for fairs, festivals, and private events.
13. Culpepper & Merriwater
You can see them in 17 states 32 weeks per year. It’s a traditional Big Top circus with dogs, big cats, and horses in addition to human acts. You can tour the grounds and see how animals are cared for before and after the shows.
14. Flynn Creek Circus
This is an all-traditional circus in a tent without animals. There are summer camps for kids available for booking.
15. Garden Brothers Circus
This circus has been around for 100 years in the Northeastern part of the country. It is currently offering indoor acts with motorcycles, traditional acts, clowns, camels, and aerialists. Animal acts are being slowly phased out at the moment.
16. Great Benjamins Circus
It’s a traditional circus for family entertainment without animals. It tours Midwestern states.
17. Hamid Circus
The New Jersey based circus does shows on the ground and in the air, works with communities and charitable organizations, has some elephant and tiger acts.
18. Lewis & Clark Circus
The circus is based in South Carolina and tours eastern and southern states. They have clowns, aerials, acrobats, jugglers, motorcycles, camels, goats, and horses in the cities that allow that.
19. Midnight Circus
This Chicago-based circus offers shows in city parks under tents, but only with human entertainers.
20. RJ Circus United
The circus offers traditional and modern experience in its own three story building, which can be booked for community and charity events. They have all kinds of human and animal acts and performances.
21. Ramos Bros. Circus
You can visit this circus in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Two hour shows under the Big Top feature clowns, magicians, motorcycles, horses, and more.
22. Royal Hanneford Circus
You can expect lots of history and tradition from this circus that is very versatile, performs under the Big Top or in structured buildings, and features various show elements, including tigers, zebras, camels, horses, and barnyard animals.
23. Super American Circus
This is great fun for families with daredevils, balancing acts, air ballet, acrobats, and motorcycles.
24. Universoul Circus
You can enjoy traditional circus accompanied by great music under a Big Top and traveling.
25. Circus Vargas
This organization has eliminated all animals in the recent years and is now focusing on aerial art, clowns, illusions, acrobatics, and beautiful visuals. The shows are available in California, are very engaging, and last for two hours.
26. Circo Hermanos Vazquez
This circus has moved from Mexico to US and offers shows in Spanish with traditional floor and air acts.
This Portland based show has cabaret and nightclub elements with aerialist acts, bicycles, western dance, stilt walkers, exotic dancers, contortionists, and acrobats.
Circus History, Preservation, and Education
These are organizations and schools who seek to educate, preserve, and instruct everything that is circus related. You can often find performances and shows there, schedule classes, and tour facilities:
- Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota, Florida
- Circus Harmony in St. Louis, Missouri
- Circus Juventas in St. Paul, Minnesota
- Circus Smirkus in Vermont
- Gamma Phi Circus in Illinois State University
- Great All-American Youth Circus in Redlands, California
- Triton Troupers Circus in Chicago, Illinois
- Wenatchee Youth Circus in Washington state
Circus Museums and societies
- Circus Historical Society
- Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin
- International Circus Hall of Fame in Peru, Indiana