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If you ever feel like running away and joining the circus, pay a visit to Baraboo, former home of the Ringling Brothers Circus and the largest repository of circus information in the United States. In the late 19th century the seven Ringling brothers, who were born and raised in Baraboo, started a small company here, Ringling Brothers Circus, which had human and animal performers. Years later they merged with P.T. Barnum’s Barnum & Bailey Circus to become the world’s largest circus operation. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! OK, not lions and bears but there are trained tigers and elephants at Circus World where you can ride an ...

If you ever feel like running away and joining the circus, pay a visit to Baraboo, former home of the Ringling Brothers Circus and the largest repository of circus information in the United States. In the late 19th century the seven Ringling brothers, who were born and raised in Baraboo, started a small company here, Ringling Brothers Circus, which had human and animal performers. Years later they merged with P.T. Barnum’s Barnum & Bailey Circus to become the world’s largest circus operation. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! OK, not lions and bears but there are trained tigers and elephants at Circus World where you can ride an elephant and watch tigers, clowns and trapeze acts perform under the hippodrome. Also here are two hundred intricately carved circus wagons dating to the 18th century, the largest collection of its kind in the world. The Circus Museum holds thousands of artifacts of circus life: rare photographs, banners, posters, costumes and a miniature circus diorama. To see the winter quarters of the circus performers and animals, take a walk through Ringlingville, a grouping of houses and barns dating from 1897 to 1918. Over at Kids World Circus children can dress up in animal costumes and perform their own circus acts.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Frances Folsom for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Sauk County, Southwest Wisconsin
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight
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  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to September