The possibilities of the carnival world, full of magic and twinkling lights in colourful tents, are endlessly exciting for kids. We’ve found 16 circus experiences from juggling or flying on the trapeze, to dress-ups and playing circus-inspired games. So rain or shine, ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, welcome to the greatest show on earth!
LEARN TO FLY (Auckland)
Flip N Fly located in Eden Terrace, Auckland is a quality circus school that runs classes and workshop for ages above 5. Kids here are encouraged to have fun and make new friends while learning circus skills including trapeze, juggling, trampoline and flexibility. (Watch out, they might just be walking around the house on their hands soon!)
CARNIVAL CHALLENGE (Auckland)
Run by experienced Circability teachers, weekly classes will be held at The Auckland Performing Arts Centre in Auckland. Children aged between 5-7 and 8-13 will be taught the challenges and fun that comes with performing in a circus environment. Make sure you sign up before the next 10-week term begins.
AERIAL ACTION (Auckland)
Located in Penrose, Auckland, The Dust Palace provides children with the opportunity to take aerial-focused classes and learn a range of other exciting skills. There are introductory beginner classes appropriate for first-timers, and holiday programmes for those with a busy term schedule.
GET CREATIVE (Christchurch)
The Christchurch Circus Trust are another awesome circus education provider that fosters creativity and community participation. They have weekly classes between 4-5.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays that incorporate art and aerial skills. During school holidays, they hold workshops for those wanting to give balancing, juggling and acrobatics a try.
CIRCOOL CIRCUS (Waipu)
Located at the Waipu Community Hall, Circool Circus work alongside the Whangarei Community Circus Trust to deliver unique and fun circus classes to the local community. Each Friday they have workshops for primary school kids where they are able to learn performing arts skills (clown, magic, acrobalance) and object manipulation (spinning plates, juggling, diablo).
WELLINGTON WONDERLAND (Wellington)
The Circus Hub in Newton, Wellington is home to all the circus fun in the capital. Providing specific classes for preschoolers (3-4 years), juniors (5-7 years) and older kids (8-12), Circus Hub caters for all ages and abilities. Preschoolers get to dress up, play games and perform in a circus parade, while older children begin to learn to the basics of circus performance.
OUT AND ABOUT
CIRCUS-THEMED CAFE (Auckland)
Home to all things carnival, Circus Circus located in Mt Eden, Auckland is an epic dining experience for the whole family. There is a range of cabinet food perfect for kids, and paired with carnival themed décor, what’s not to love?
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL (Christchurch)
Making its debut in Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena, Cirque Du Soleil will be in town between 1st-10th of September. Don’t miss out on one of the most exciting and imaginative events of the year. The kids will be sure to love it!
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL (Auckland)
Some of the world’s most talented circus performers will take the stage this September at Spark Arena, Auckland for six incredible shows. Inspired from Avatar, Cirque Du Soleil will amaze you with its visuals, costumes, storytelling and overall cinematic skill. This will be the ultimate family night out, although be pre-warned that tickets start from $75.
KIDZ KINGDOM (Auckland)
If the family is up for some weekend or holiday fun, Rainbow’s End has an awesome area dedicated to children under eight. In this area, there is plenty of carnival-inspired fun including magic dragon bikes, carousel and circus characters.
If your child is a bit of a joker, Look Sharp’s clown costume is colourful, crazy and full of personality. For only $23, it includes a jumpsuit, hat, shoe covers, red nose and bow tie.
ANIMAL BALLOONS AND LOLLIES
Ideal for a carnival-themed kids’ birthday, Pixie Party Supplies stock everything from party balloons, circus invitations and animal lollipops. Whether small or large, you can find all you need to have the most magical party of the year.
Splat! Pieface is the best game around for your child’s upcoming carnival-themed party. All you need is some whipped cream and a wet sponge on hand and party-goers are in for a treat. This can be found at local retailers including The Warehouse, Farmers and FishPond NZ (never-ending laughs guaranteed).
Going all out for your carnival-themed party? Why not hire a bouncy castle to match. With a slide and an area for kids to play, Neverland Castle, located in Auckland has a bright and animated castle that kids (under 10) can enjoy all day long.
CIRCUS MEETS LIGHTNING McQUEEN
When we think of the carnival, juggling is the first activity that comes to mind. Both affordable and a great holiday distraction, FishPond sell a multi-coloured three pack of juggling balls ideal for kids of all ages. If your young one is a lover of Disney’s animated movie Cars, FishPond also stock juggling balls with our favourite Lightning McQueen.
By Finn Jelicich
More entertainment ideas from tots to teens