Should You Take the Kids to: A Circus School Workshop?
Next Circus School Workshops: Sunday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 22.
Tickets: $13.50 for adults, $11.50 for children age 5 to 12, free for four and under. It’s a bit pricey, but definitely worth one visit. My suggestion would be to go on a rainy/wintery day, get there early (around 12:30), and make the most of your time, since workshops run till 4 p.m.
The Verdun Circus School offers occasional family workshops on Sundays, targeting children age 3 and up. Kids and parents get to try trapezes, trampolines, juggling, walking on barrells, spinning plates, etc. Parents are encouraged to try all the stuff, too, so moms, dig out a sports bra!
For people with young children, the timing of the workshops isn’t great: they’re held at 1 p.m., which is often nap time. But, our determined two- and four-year-old were THRILLED to clown around for about an hour before collapsing at home in bed.
The workshop starts with a warm-up, then kids pick the circus act they want to try, with instructors helping out at each station. The biggest hit for little kids: a long, rectangular trampoline that’s piled with mats at one end. Kids generally gallop and giggle to the end, then hurl themselves into the mats. Then they gallop, giggle, hurl; and then gallop, giggle, hurl.
There’s more galloping at the “obstacle course” with mats to roll down and climb over. The low balance beams, juggling balls, rings, pins and spinning plates are also popular with the five-and-under participants.
Older kids will get more out of it, since they’re better able to manage the big trampolines, walking on barrells, tightropes and the swinging bars. Even kids who are familiar with gymnasium equipment from taking classes (Le Petit Gym or Kidnasium, for example) will get a kick out of having the freedom to zoom from one activity to another. The family workshops also allow kids to check out the circus school if they’re curious about classes there (recreational classes start at age 3).
Our kids loved the workshop, but given the time of day, they hit a wall after about an hour.
Good to Know:The Verdun Circus School is accessible from the bike path, and is located next to a beautiful park that has equipment for toddlers and bigger kids.