You probably know that Sarasota is famous for its beautiful beaches, but did you know it is also famous for its Ringling Circus heritage?
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was a world-renowned show that traveled across the United States, and had its winter headquarters settled in Sarasota. One of the brothers, John Ringling, was a great deal of importance in the modern development in Sarasota. He also bought water front land, which he then built a mansion on and later built a museum to hold him and his wife, Mable’s, collection of Baroque art. It wasn’t long before John became extremely wealthy and bought the American Circus Corporation, thus owning every traveling circus in America. During this time he traveled Europe while adding to his art collection, which is now the couples growing legacy: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art; a unique gem of Sarasota.
Today The Ringling’s beautiful property includes the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, Ca’D’Zan, Historic Asolo Theater and the Bayfront Gardens.
Open 7 days a week
10:00am – 5:00pm Daily
Thursdays open until 8:00pm; The Museum of Art and & Circus Museum are open after 5:00pm
The Bayfront Gardens are open from 9:30am until 6:00pm
Senior 65+: $20
Students 18+ w/ID: $5
Child 6-17: $5
Active US Military: $10
Children under 6: No Charge
The Circus Museum was created to celebrate the history of the American Circus. When John Ringling made Sarasota the Winter Quarters of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a great deal of the performers moved to the area. Due to this The Ringling Museum of the American Circus was able to document their history with collections of wardrobes and circus memorabilia, which vastly grew over the years. Today the museum is a family favorite that includes performing props, equipment, circus railroad cars, the film The Life and Times of John and Mable Ringling, and even interactive galleries where you can walk the wire, squeeze into a clown car and have your picture take with a faux tiger.
The Ca’ d’Zan is the breathtaking mansion that was built for John and Mable Ringling. It is open to the public 10am-5pm, but if you would like to delve deeper into the palace there is also a summer tour special now through Labor Day, September 1, 2014 where you will receive a FREE Guided Tour of Ca’ d’Zan first and second floors when you purchase a Ca’ d’Zan Private Places Tour. Tickets are $20.
If you would like to see an affordable show that will make the whole family laugh while visiting Sarasota, then be sure to experience the Summer Circus Spectacular at the Historic Asolo Theater. Experience comedy by Chris Allison, award-winning hand-balancer Christian Stoinev and his canine cohort Scooby, the quick-change magical transformation act of Olga & Vladimir Smirnov, the magnificent “Queen of the Air,” Dolly Jacobs, and more!
Performances are Tuesday – Friday @ 11:00am and 2:00pm
Saturdays @ 2:00pm and 5:00pm
$15 Adults/$12 Children
Jun 17, 2014 – Aug 2, 2014
PLUS admission to the Circus Museum is just an additional $5 with your Summer Circus performance ticket! Tickets can be purchased in the Visitors Pavillion the day of your show.
The staff at Tropical Beach Resorts is happy to answer any questions you might have on The Ringling or your trip to Sarasota.
Tropical Beach Resorts
6717 Sarasea Circle
Sarasota, Fl 34242
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