Squires Christmas Circus Washington: Last year we were lucky to be invited to the Squires Garden Centre Christmas Circus and Monkey loved it! So when we were invited back this year to see the 2017 show I was interested to see if they could live up to the high expectations we now had. You enter the big top either from the front or the side and thankfully there is no distractions of popcorn or light wands.

Unlike previous years there is no raised stage in the centre, instead just a piece of coloured plastic to represent the ring itself. Which also means there is no padding should one of the acrobats misjudge a turn and end up on the floor! The fact that there is no raised stage means that its easy for all to see the acts. Even those people sitting right at the front. Around the centre there are three or four rows of grey chairs and then towards the back some stalls. I would expect wherever you set you would get a great view. We sat right at the front since we had Kipper with us and the red chairs were raised. Kipper has a thing for stairs so it was interesting trying to keep him contained.

He was particularly interested in the fact that the lights would go on and off between acts. He would point up to the ceiling of the big top eery time almost demanding they came back on. Although you are technically outside we all sat inside in our jumpers, without coats. Previous years it has been a little on the chilly side, so it was good to see that they had a hot air blower into the big top.

Unlike other years there was not an obvious theme, although the show centred around Pip and his soft toy polar bear Boris. Pip was a very loveable clown who made Monkey laugh out loud. Especially after giving the gift of marshmallows to the Ring Master.

There were several acts, the first was a lady acrobat on aerial ropes. It really is something to watch bearing in mind there is no safety nets. She was followed by a hula hooper who made it look easy as she paraded around the ring. The big top was then thrown into darkness as a juggler came out with florescent balls. Once she had wowed the crowd she then did some bounce juggling on a set of drums. Not something I had seen before and Monkey was transfixed. The music did take me a back a bit focusing on the dance music of the early nineties. More aerial acrobatics followed, before watching some rola rola balancing. This act finished with the guy balancing on a set of six stacked tables, it was very impressive to watch. The last of the main acts saw another male acrobat on his way home from work doing some aerial stunts with straps. Dressed in a suit and glasses I did wonder if he want going to reveal a superman outfit under his shirt at one point!

The main acts were broken up with some hilarity from Pip and Boris. At the end Father Christmas made an entrance and magically turned Boris the soft toy polar bear into a life size one. I was secretly hoping that he would twerk like last year. Unfortunately that was not in the script. Instead they invited all the children into the ring to sing some Christmas carols which was a nice end to the show.

At the end we went out via Father Christmas’ grotto with the opportunity to pose for a photo. Monkey received a gift of a Diablo which he thought was excellent and has been playing with ever since.

Things you need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday 25th November – 24th December
  • Times: vary depending on the date you are visiting but they have shows at 10.30am / 2.30pm / 4.30pm. Full details can be found on their website.
  • Location: Squire’s Garden Centre, London Road, Washington, RH20 2BP
    Cost: £12 per person, 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

After Christmas the circus will be running a more traditional show

  • Dates: 27th – 31st December
  • Times : two shows a day at 11.30am and 3.00pm, expect for the 27th which only has the 3.00pm show.
  • Cost: £10 per person and the show lasts approximately 60 minutes.


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


  1. Tracy K Nixon Reply

    Looks like you had a great time! I have to admit I have NEVER been to a circus before!

  2. Margaret Gallagher Reply

    Magical fun for all the family
    Must book our tickets too

  3. It sounds like a lot of fun. I’d been wondering whether it was worth taking the grandkids to the Badshot Lea one, and now I know there are no animals performing I might well do so.

  4. A.E. ADKINS Reply

    Certainly looks more entertaining than I may have supposed

  5. Leila Benhamida Reply

    I love a good circus. Unfortunately my children are. It so keen.

  6. This looks so good and something that would appeal to a range of ages.

  7. LYNN HEATH Reply

    This looks like it was so much fun, its years since ive been in a big top – I will have to look out for one near me to take the kids to soon!

  8. Kelly Hirst Reply

    I love visiting the circus with my family and the acrobats are definitely my favourite act

  9. Awww I have to admit I haven’t taken my boys to the circus yet as I didn’t know quite what to expect but I think I will after reading this.

  10. Iris Tilley Reply

    Cool circus looks better then the last one I went to. The acts looks fun & sound daring

  11. Lyndsey Cooksey Reply

    I’ve never been to a circus before, I don’t know why though! This one looks and sounds good! I’m glad you had a good time. Not badly priced too!

  12. Taking my kids to the circus is on my list of things to do. Unfortunately we live too far away from London but it looks like you had a fab time. I remember going to one when I was a child – back then they had animals and I remember feeling sorry for the poor things. Glad it isn’t like that these days.

  13. Another set of fabulous pics of the children enjoying themselves. Whoever would have thought of a circus in a garden centre? Well done Squires.

  14. One day soon all the circuses will gone and a great tradition will be gone with them. My parents took me to the circus when I was little and it is something every kid should have a chance to

  15. Matthew Warman Reply

    I’ve never actually been to the circus but it looked like a lot of fun!

  16. Kev Cannon Reply

    I’ve never taken my son to a circus because i’m not a big fan as I had a scary experience at one when i was a kid. First the guy with the whips was cracking them too close to me (probably not but i was about 7 so it felt like it) and then one of the trapeeze girls fell off of the swing and they had to get an ambulance – put me off circuses for life. Maybe the wife will take him

  17. Kayleigh Watkins Reply

    It’s sound like you all had a wonderful time, my five year old daughter recently went to the circus for the 1st time with my mum sister and niece and absolutely loved it, they got to meet the clowns, see the animals and had a fantastic time, I have a photo of her and my niece with Alagrea and she loves looking at it and telling me all about it again and again bless her, I will definitely be taking her next time they are near xxx

  18. Anthea Holloway Reply

    I love the circus and there are not so many now as there used to be. This one sounded great fun.


    This circus looks amazing, my grandchildren would love it

  20. sharon stanley Reply

    I’ve never been to a circus but I would love to and especially now I have three daughters to enjoy it with. The circus looks amazing.

  21. Looks great, we were going to take our children to the local circus last month but one of them was ill so it would not have been fair

  22. Sarah Pearce Reply

    Wow, this circus looks great especially with a Christmas theme, wish we had a Christmas one around our area x

  23. Kirsteen Mackay Reply

    A Diablo was a unique and appropriate gift, what fun! I love the Christmas theme.

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