Peanuts and the Circus: safe to go?

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 12:17am
CatherineofGenoa's picture
Joined: 05/02/2002 - 09:00

It's been 20 years since I've been to a circus. However I can vividly recall peanut shells all over the place. My son is 11 and the scent (of peanut butter anyway,) does not appear to be a problem. But I guess I'm worried about the air quality with the peanut dust flying around. The allergist recommended that he take Benadryl before we go, but I want him to enjoy the circus; not go to sleep! What would you do?

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 12:23am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

CatherineofGenoa, I had a horrible experience taking my PA son to a circus a few years ago. I posted about it here and I know there are several threads (although old) where members posted their ideas on how to do the circus in relative safety.
As I say, our experience was horrible, we left at intermission, took all clothing off when we walked into the house (at the door), but again, if I wanted to go to the circus that is coming to our town in a couple of weeks, I would find the old threads here and see how people did successfully attend.
I'll see if I can find some later and hopefully you'll get some current input as well. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 2:53am
CorinneM1's picture
Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

Is your son contact allergic? Airborn allergic? We took our son to the circus, (first showing per suggestions here) so that the arena was cleaner. There were peanuts, but I didn't see them everywhere or anywhere really except for at the food stations.
We did not have any issues or problems and would go again. My son has not had a reaction (airborn) so we were more comfortable with our decision to go. You can also call the venue and ask them if they will have peanuts on the grounds. Some arenas do not.
But if you are not comfortable, and frankly if my allergist recommeded benedryl, I probably would skip it.

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 6:39am
DRobbins's picture
Joined: 07/19/2001 - 09:00

Does the Big Apple Circus come to your area? It's a terrific show -- my kids loved it -- and they don't sell peanuts. Since the show is in their own tent, you don't have to worry about left over peanuts from some other event at the venue.
If you search on Big Apple Circus on this site, I think you'll find an earlier discussion about it.
Personally, we won't be taking my PA son to other circuses, because the last time we went to an arena type place (the Fleet Center in Boston for a Disney on Ice show), the people behind us were all eating peanuts and the paper and dust were getting all over us. My son didn't react, and the people put away their peanuts when I explained about the allergy, but I wouldn't want to have to rely on the kindness of strangers again.
[This message has been edited by DRobbins (edited June 09, 2004).]

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 6:58am
CatherineofGenoa's picture
Joined: 05/02/2002 - 09:00

DRobbins, it's a Barnum & Bailey Circus (which is the same one 20 years ago I recall the nut shells.) I still haven't decided what to do...seems like such a fun opportunity but then again...I just don't know what to expect.

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 4:34pm
sebastian's picture
Joined: 05/26/2003 - 09:00

I took my DD to the circus when she almost 3 years old...It was the Barnum and Bailey Circus as well.
They did sell peanuts there but what I did was call the venue ahead of time to see if they could accomodate us and put us in a seperate area of some sort. They were at first a bit unhelpful but I got a little upset so they decided to be a little more flexible.
The box office attendant offered us a box section which was a section of about 10 seats that were enclosed. They were a little more money but worth it.
We tried to sell all the tickets in that section to our friends and family and we did except for 3 seats.
Also FWIW they did sell peanuts but I never saw anyone eating them. People were mostly eating popcorn.
I didnt let DD eat anything there though, I brought in my own food (after convincing the security people that it was a necessity and showing them DD's epi) and made sure to wipe her seat down.
Yes it was a lot of extra effort but it was worth it so that she can just be a kid and go to the circus!
Good Luck!

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 10:05pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

a bunch of people from my husband's office were going to the circus in the spring. my husband asked me what i thought. i immediately said no way!!!!
Then, i realized that there were going to be about 12 people with us and another allergic child. i figured that we could sit in the middle of all of these people.
We did go at Madison Square garden (we've taken son to other events there) and i didn't see one peanut shell, we didn't have any problems.
I just checked the floor where we were sitting, wiped off the armrest and had my son wear pants and a long sleeved shirt. No hives, no problems and had a lot of fun!
good luck

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 10:36pm
SaraO's picture
Joined: 02/18/2003 - 09:00

Just a word of caution about small circus venues that travel from town to town. I do not recall the name of the circus that was performing but a friend of ours asked my PA/TNA daughter to go and my first reaction was NO! Glad I said no because when they returned they informed me that they handed out bags of peanuts as you walked into the circus tent! THAT COULD HAVE BEEN A NIGHTMARE! I can't believe in this day and age anyone would do that! I'm glad we stayed away. I may keep an eye out for the Big Apple Circus though as I think my daughter would like it.

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2004 - 11:29pm
smack's picture
Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

I would never take my kids to a circus anyway, as I believe training these poor animals from the wild to entertain us is sick.
strong as it is sometimes [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 06/10/2004 - 11:25am
SF's picture
Joined: 06/06/2002 - 09:00

I have always stayed away from the circus since PA and thought we would never be able to attend one, until our friends invited us to join them in a private box. They had box seats, the entire private box was just us and we were able to control what food was brought and purchased etc.
At our circus the children could go to the 3 ring circus floor during the hour before the show. I called the event coordinator and asked if they fed the elephants on the floor...would there be any nuts etc etc...they were very knowledgeable and it was safe...too bad we arrived a little late for that part!
Anyway, our experience was a great one and I went prepared with my med bag with Epis and Benadryl, cell phone and safe snacks!!
Good Luck and stay safe! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 06/10/2004 - 11:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I swear the circus we went to that we had such a horrible experience at was one of the ones mentioned above. The kind that travel from small town to small town. I swear they were all Mexican refugees, no one spoke English (no offense meant). The costumes were old and ratty and it was just horrible. Horrible.
We were fine outside. No peanuts being sold outside. Hadn't even dawned on me (pre Went inside and part of their whole show was selling peanuts, like it was a "must have" for everyone to enjoy the show.
Jesse was wee and he was on my knee and his sister was on Dad's knee, but there were peanut shells everywhere and everyone was eating peanuts. It was horrible. Jesse was really too wee to notice what was around him I think so he wasn't freaked out, but Dad and I surely were.
We left at intermission. As soon as we got home, I made all of us take off our clothes at the front door and into the washer they all went. Stripped bare all of us.
It was after posting about it here that I did learn that other people do do the circus successfully and how they do it.
I think the one that is coming to the town I live in now is Ringling Brothers. Not sure though. Just saw the poster for it the other day and it was one of those moments where I thought, okay, do I really even need to think about it?
smack, I do rather agree with you. [img][/img]
I went to a circus 20+ years ago in Toronto and I can't remember there being animals. But it was considered an experimental or alternative circus - Circus Archaos. It was really fabulous. Of course, this was pre-PA so I'm not clear about peanut sales or anything.
Someone posted above that they did the circus well at Madison Square Garden and to me, in my mind, that has always been a very big venue (not that I've been there), so I'd take that kind of advice and see what happens. Truly.
Best wishes! [img][/img]


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