Bring Your Family to the Big Apple Circus NY This Holiday Season

Posted on: December 20th, 2017 by

Debra Wallace was provided with tickets to the Big Apple Circus as payment for this article.


The Big Apple Circus NY is back!

Step right up this holiday season and spend some memorable family time under the big top of the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, this time-honored family tradition has made its triumphant return to New York City, with performances through January 7. After that, the Big Apple Circus will be launching a national tour.


From the moment my 11-year-old son, our two friends and I entered the big top we all felt like giddy children. We took our seats in front of the intimate one-ring, European-style event, and held our breaths before Ringmaster Ty McFarlan took his place in front of the cheering multi-generational crowd. The Big Apple Circus has something for all of the senses: popcorn to munch on, light-up toys for the children, upbeat live music, and a feast for the eyes including a wide variety of seasoned performers in a rainbow of beautiful costumes. 


Ringmaster Ty (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY

Ringmaster Ty (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY


Big Apple Circus NY Performers

My animal-loving son was eager to see third-generation animal trainer Jenny Vidbel and her 16 ponies and horses, as well as her adorable rescue dogs. Vidbel, who learned the art of animal communication from her grandfather, grew up among a wide variety of domestic and exotic animals, and she trained her first pony when she was just nine years old. She is clearly an animal whisperer.


The extraordinary show features record-breaking acts such as the daring quadruple somersault on the trapeze by The Flying Tuniziani, and the adrenaline pumping famous seven-person pyramid on the high wire with circus legends Nik Wallenda and The Fabulous Wallendas. This marks the first time in circus history that both legendary feats are being performed under the same big top. Anyone who has been a fan of the circus knows that the name Wallenda is synonymous with daring acts and incredible feats on the hire wire and beyond. Nik Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of this legendary family, and holder of a phenomenal 10 world records on the wire, says that he and his family came to the Big Apple Circus shortly after the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus closed.


Erendira & Nik Wallenda, of The Fabulous Wallendas 2 (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY

Erendira & Nik Wallenda, of The Fabulous Wallendas 2 (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY


“I am considered to be the face of the industry, with a legacy of more than 200 years of circus performing,” Nik recently explained. “This is my family’s first year with the Big Apple Circus, and we thought it would be something special to give a shot in the arm to our industry that has been struggling.” In addition to watching Nik and his family members flying through the air, and complete many daring feats, he said he loves to spread his positive message when he and his family perform.

“My motto is never give up. I want to inspire people around the world to follow their dreams,” he explained. “I think in society today, and throughout the generations, there are people from all walks of life who are one door knock – or one email away from success, but they give up.” “My family has been living that motto of perseverance for many generations,” said Nik Wallenda, “and it is still a vital message today.”


The Fabulous Wallendas - Seven Person Pyramid (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY

The Fabulous Wallendas – Seven Person Pyramid (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY


Joining these daring acts is the return of fan favorite Grandma the Clown, an icon of the Big Apple Circus, and a member and member of the Clown Hall of Fame, and her comedic sidekick, Joel Jeske. During each show, Grandma the Clown picks children from the audience to help her with her act. To my surprise, my son was eager to join the circus that day, and he was chosen to help Grandma with her horns. Being under the spotlight for the first time, was a memorable experience for him, and something he will likely never forget. 


Grandma & Mr. Joel 2 (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY

Grandma & Mr. Joel 2 (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY


Also joining the cast are Dandino & Luciana, a dynamic duo who combine speed, acrobatics and daredevil grace on roller skates; award-winning contortionist Elayne Kramer; master juggler Gamal Garcia; Jan Damm on the Rola Bola; acclaimed Risley acrobats The Anastasini Brothers.


Dandino & Luciana 2 (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY

Dandino & Luciana 2 (c) Maike Schultz Big Apple Circus NY

For tickets please go to

For information on the Big Apple Circus

The Big Apple Circus NY runs until January 7, 2018.


Click over to see the rest of our Family Travel to New York City series.

Family Travel to New York City Series


To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher.


Posted in: All, Family Vacation Ideas, Family Vacations to New York, Family Vacations to the Northeast, New York City Events, Things to do in New York

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Journalist Debra Wallace is a Jersey Family Fun Entertainment Correspondent Debra Wallace is an award-winning Philadelphia-based journalist, author, feature writer, and online content provider with more than 25 years of professional experience. Her celebrity profiles, entertainment features, and heart-felt human interest stories have graced the covers and inside pages of Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, British Glamour, WomansDay.Com, Philadelphia Life, South Jersey Magazine, and many other publications and websites. Debra also writes frequently on autism and special needs parenting, and is involved in spreading acceptance, awareness, and love for all children, regardless of their differences, through the non-profit, Suburban Philadelphia-based, Autism Cares Foundation. Contact Debra on Facebook at Wallace Media Services.

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