On Friday afternoon Monkey and I were lucky enough to be invited to review The Christmas Circus at Squire’s Garden Centre near Washington. We actually attended the same event run by Chaplins Circus last year when Monkey was two and a half. It obviously resonated with him as when I told him we were going he got very excited and started talking about what he had seen previously. I was slightly amazed by this considering his age.

Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus

Its hard to miss the traditional circus tent in the carpark when you arrive. The garden centre has plenty of parking so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a space. There is also a cafe and amenities inside the garden centre if you need a refreshment break before hand. We queued patiently to be let in, meeting a very friendly looking elf in the process. Once inside the tent there is the opportunity to buy various treats and drinks, including hot drinks for the adults (which I would recommend!). Of course a circus is not a circus without candy floss:

Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus

As one of the first into the ring Monkey got to choose where he wanted to sit. He chose ringside seats in the front row along the side nearest to the entrance. I was a little worried that we wouldn’t get a very good view but the stage is just the right height and we could see perfectly. As well as three rows of ring side seating there is elevated seating towards the back, which would still mean you get a great view of the show. All around the stage hanging from the ceiling are hundred of twinkling fairy lights which makes the whole experience really magical.

Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus

The show is set up along a toy story theme (not the well known film). Twiglet  (above) is having trouble settling down to sleep, and we all know that Father Christmas will not pay him a visit until he is asleep. The ringmaster tries to encourage him to go to bed, but every time his back is turned Twiglet gets up to some sort of mischief. Sounds familiar? Including opening various presents under the tree.

Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus

Squires Garden Centre Christmas CircusAlso on stage is a magic box which when Twiglet puts the contents of each present in, they magically come to life to entertain the audience. From start to finish Monkey’s eyes were glued to the stage.

The first doll became a beautiful lady dressed in red who did some amazing things with hula hoops. Making it look effortless! She was then followed by a clever juggling act. Monkey was very impressed with his magic hat!

In between the acts Twiglet is getting up to mischief and causing hilarity amongst the audience. At one point he even fell off his bed bringing tears to some of the audience’s eyes as they struggled to contain their giggles. And don’t get me started on the yellow bandana….

My favourite part of the show was the acrobat on the trapeze

Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus  Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus  Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus

My photos really do not do this spectacle justice, she must be a good 30ft off of the stage at times and does all of this without a harness. Twisting the fabric around herself, climbing up and spinning down it really was amazing to watch. Monkey was silent throughout the whole performance.

Squires Garden Centre Christmas CircusMonkey’s favourite part (not including meeting Father Christmas), was when the fire juggler came out.  All around the tent you could hear little children going oooo and ahhhh as he juggled and threw the fire around the stage. At the end of his performance Twiglet finally managed to drop off to sleep, and of course once he had Father Christmas came to deliver his presents. Naturally Monkey got even more excited at this point, especially when the Christmas songs came on and everyone was invited to dance around the stage. I think his face below says it all.

Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus

After a short dance everyone is invited to queue up to meet Father Christmas on the way out of the tent. The cast hand out age appropriate gifts on the way.  The queue goes surprisingly quickly and everyone gets a chance for a photo.

Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus

We had a splendid time and will definitely be returning again next year – I think we may have started a new family tradition. The only thing I would say is make sure you wrap up warm as it can get a little chilly in the tent.

Things you need to know

  • Dates: Saturday 21st November – Thursday 24th December
  • Times: 11am / 2.30pm / 4.30pm / 5pm full details can be found on their website – http://www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk/circus/
  • Location: Squire’s Garden Centre, London Road, Washington, RH20 2BP
  • Cost: Front view tickets £10, Ringside tickets £12 or £14 and can be booked on line using the link above, by phone 01903 863505 or in person at the box office at Squire’s Washington. The show lasts approximately 60 minutes and there is a 10% discounts for groups of 10 or more.

After Christmas the circus will be running a more traditional show

  • Dates: Sunday 27th – Thursday 31st December
  • Times: 11am & 2.30pm
  • Location: Squire’s Garden Centre, London Road, Washington, RH20 2BP
  • Cost: Front view tickets £6, Ringside tickets £8


We were given tickets to the show for the purpose of this review, all views and opinions are my own.

Life Unexpected


  1. This show looks amazing. This is the first year Lamb understands the magic of Christmas and we have taken him to visit Father Christmas twice already! Alex x

  2. This sounds absolutely lovely, perfect for littler ones which a lot of circuses aren’t. I’m so impressed he remembered as well, that obviously made a huge impression.

  3. You Baby Me Mummy (@YouBabyMeMummy) Reply

    This looks perfect. What fun to have all that to watch and Santa to visit x

  4. Sounds and looks like such a lovely event, glad monkey enjoyed it all and had so much fun. I need that candy floss too my mouth is watering lol

  5. Becky, Cuddle Fairy Reply

    The Christmas Circus at Squire’s Garden Centre sounds fab! I’m impressed by all of the entertainment, Santa & gift for that price, it’s very reasonable. Monkey looks like he’s really enjoying the show! x

  6. Woweeee! What an event! We went to Haskins Garden Centre in Southampton over the weekend and it wasn’t quite the same!! 😉 hehe! We’ll bear this in mind for next year x #Whatevertheweather x

  7. Lisa (Travel Loving Family) Reply

    This looks like a great performance. I am impressed at your son’s memory too! The past performance clearly made a big impression on him #whatevertheweather

  8. That looks fantastic! it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a circus and I would love to take the boys to something like this. No wonder he was silent throughout, so much entertainment to keep him occupied. The acrobat looks fantastic, hard to believe that it’s just fabric twisted round her body keeping her up in the air.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  9. chloelifeunexpected Reply

    Oh wow this sounds so cool! It’s great that they get to meet santa too. Trapeze artists fascinate me. I wish I could do something like that. It’s so good he’s at the right age now to be captivated by it. Christmas is going to be so magical in your house. A bit off topic but I adore your new header!!!! Thank you so, so much for linking up to #whatevertheweather xx

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