Zippos Circus – The Best Night Of The Summer


Every once in a while, a press trip comes along that is an absolute dream come true, because not only does it give me some fantastic pictures and a great story to share with you, but it makes my son laugh for two hours solid too. Monday night delivered such a trip. My family and I went to along to see Zippos Circus at the Low Green in Ayr. We were gifted tickets to see the show and have some snacks, but all opinions are my own.

Zippos circus tent

If you live in the UK, you might have seen posters for Zippos Circus around over the years. I know I have. They were recently in my area as part of the Big Top 2019 Tour – The Magnificent Top Hat but then moved on before coming back for the shows in Ayr. The ringmaster was Norman Barrett MBE. In case you don’t know who he is, but many of you will, he’s a veteran and possibly one of the most famous ringmasters around, if not THE most famous. I remember seeing him on This Is Your Life when I was a wee girl. He’s also got the Guinness World Record for the being the world’s longest-serving ringmaster. So, seeing him made it a pretty special night to begin with.

norman barrett mbe ringmaster

There were so many “wow” moments, I don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with the Mongolian contortionist. She appeared in a jar. I’m not even kidding, she was curled up inside an actual jar, as you can see from the photo. How she got in there is anyone’s guess. She didn’t seem to have much trouble coming out of it. She then went on to fire a bow and arrow with her feet. For someone who, at times, struggles to climb in and out of the bath without getting into a cramp, this was an incredible act.

mongolian contortionist in a jar zippos circus


Then there were a group of Kenyan tumblers who appeared numerous times throughout the night. They’re super talented and just seem to bounce and roll around the ring. What’s it like to have that much energy? They also did a limbo act where they performed under a limbo pole that was on fire.

kenyan tumblers

There was also a group of springboard acrobats from Cuba called Revolution. At first I thought they were simply dancers but then this mattress appeared. I knew there was something bigger coming. So, what they basically do is use a see-saw to springboard each other into the air, where they revolve and obviously stay graceful and then they land perfectly onto the mattress. It’s impressive! You can see it on my Instagram story, which is pinned to my profile.

The highlight for my family were the team of Brazilian motorcyclists – also known as the Globe of Death Lucius Team. Now, the first time I saw the Globe of Death, I was intrigued. It looks like a giant cat toy.

zippos circus globe of death lucius team stunt motorbikes motorcyclists

Then they wheeled it into the centre of the ring as the last act before the interval. They opened it up and the motorcyclists started driving in, one by one. You see the first and you think, this is crazy. This guy is driving a motobike inside a ball shaped cage and not toppling over. Amazing. Then the second guy goes in and it’s even more impressive, but when a woman stands in the middle of the cage and they manage to do it with her in there? My blood pressure hit the roof. Thankfully, the woman stepped out but then three more motorcyclists went into the cage. They’re so skilled and brave. Rather them than me!

zippos circus motorbikes

circus performer high 10 little boy

There were numerous other acts – too many talented people to mention individually. I do love the acts that perform at height but the exclusion of a net or mattress terrifies me. They also do that thing where they make themselves drop a few inches really quickly and you can almost feel everyone in the room panicking. You certainly hear all the gasps. I’ve included a few videos in pinned my Instagram stories so you can see for yourself how these acrobats created an atmosphere that was electric within the ring.

high height performer zippos circus

child circus

What else can I say? Knife throwers, foot jugglers, people who dance with fire? Norman Barrett’s famous budgie show? I have to leave something to the imagination and let those planning to go to Zippos Circus experience it for themselves! But I do want to say a little about Paulo Dos Santos, my son’s new hero. To be honest, he stole the show. He’s not only a martial artist and acrobat who displays incredible strength and skill, but also a hilarious comedian and quite simply, a phenomenal showman. He entertains and excites inside the ring, but has that unique connection with the crowd that few possess. He broke down the invisible walls between performers and audience. I just love him! He’s awesome.

paulo dos santos circus performer

Ok, so to round up, here are a few facts that people might like to know before going.

  • The seats are comfortable, especially if you get the ringside seats which are padded and covered in velvet.
  • The toilets: Take extra toilet paper in your bag in case they run out because they get busy.
  • Popcorn is £5 per tub, as is candyfloss. They take contactless payments throughout the circus for snacks and souvenirs.
  • The only animals involved are budgies in Norman Barrett’s part of the show.
  • The show lasts around 2 hours with an interval that lasted around 20 minutes.
  • They offer face painting for kids

Tickets for Zippos Circus cost between £7.50 for kids or £9 for adults and £27.50 for the best seats in the house/tent and if you use the code ZIP50 you can get 30% off the price of your tickets. Personally, I’d recommend buying ringside seats if you can. It really does make a big difference to your circus experience. Here’s a quick list of where and when you can catch the rest of the 2019 Zippos Circus tour.

5 – 10 September – Fulham

12 – 17 September – Twickenham

24 – 29 September – Peckham Rye

1 – 6 October – Guildford

8 – 13 October – Rochester

15 – 20 October – Finsbury Park

22 – 27 October – Hampstead Heath

zippos circus inside the tent


What Will Your Kids Be Doing In Summer 2019?

It’s approaching that time again when the schools are finishing up for summer and up here in Scotland, that’s going to be happening very soon. In fact, it’s going to be next Friday! I can’t wait to spend more time with my son. That’s one thing I don’t understand about other parents and can’t relate to; they complain about the summer holidays and are desperate for their kids to go back to school. I don’t feel that. In fact, I’m really excited about all the fun things that we’re going to do together over the seven week break. Despite starting a new job, I’ll still have plenty of time to spend with him. So, here’s my list of things to do to keep you and your kids busy over the summer break.

Cook Something

As if my family need an excuse to eat?! One of my favourite things to do with my son is to bake. He’s allergic to egg so that limits our choices when it comes to what recipes we can make and he’s not a huge fan of cakes etc. anyway. However, we do have a great recipe for low-fat scones that we got from a Weight Watchers book a few years ago. Once a week, we like to make scones together and that’s definitely something we will be doing over the summer break.

little boy baking scones


Yep, food features heavily on this list of top 5 things to do with your kids during summer break. We’re a little short on money this year, but thankfully we do have a bus pass that we can use to get around and neither of us need to pay. We’ll be using that to visit various different parks and gardens around Ayrshire and we’ll be taking a picnic with us. Our favourite things to have on picnics are cold pizza wedges, scones (obvs!), little juice boxes, bread sticks, crisps and raisins. Neither of us are into sandwiches. It’s so much cheaper than eating out and helps those with food allergies to enjoy eating out without worrying about cross contamination.

mother and son on picnic


This is like a treasure hunt, but you use your phone’s GPS to find the treasure. It’s fun to do and doesn’t cost anything. Or alternatively, you could play augmented reality games that get you out into the fresh air. They’re a real hit with my son because he’s very much a visual learner and he’s more likely to learn valuable life skills if we bring technology into the games.

Find a new batch of characters

You know what it’s like. Kids can get a little bit bored with the same characters. For example, Luke was crazy for the Numberjacks once, but he soon got bored with them. Then it was Angry Birds and then Minions. They go through little phases. The best thing to do to keep them occupied during the summer is to introduce them to a new batch of characters and keep a supply of toys in the “going out” bag. For those wondering, we have a bag filled with toys, games and things that Luke isn’t too familiar with and doesn’t get to play with at home. We bring this bag out at restaurants and stressful situations where he needs something to do or something to play with. Yes, we have at times used a tablet or phone to help him through that kind of situation but he tends to zone out with those and it’s useful to have a bag of toys that he can really enthuse about and might use to play with other kids.

Top Wing Mission Ready Track

Top Wing Rod toy

I’ve kindly been gifted a few Top Wing items by Hasbro which I’m adding to this summer’s bag. Top Wing a new show on Nick Jnr. and I have a sticker activity book, a hardback book and some Penny and Rod figures, complete with their vehicles! We’ve also been gifted a Top Wing Mission Ready Track, which I think we’ll keep at home because it’s so big. I would highly recommend discovering some new characters like the Top Wing ones and introducing them into your child’s play set to combat summer boredom.

Top Wing Penny Toy

Top Wing Meet The Cadets Book things to do with your kids during summer break

And last but not least… A pillow fort!

You can’t beat a good pillow fort. And you’re never too old. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. In fact, I sometimes think I enjoy building pillow and cushion forts more than Luke does and I am not ashamed to say it!

What will you be doing with your kids this summer? Drop your ideas in the comment box below!