Friday Freebie: VIP Floor Seats to Ringling Brothers!

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Somehow we have manged to wrangle 8 VIP floor seats (YES! VIP! 8! ) to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents The Coney Island Illuscination for their opening weekend on Sunday, June 20th! That means that TWO families can each win 4 tickets!

VIP Floor tickets mean you can see David DaVinci’s illusions up-close, watch the Kung Fu Kings dive through hoops of sabers blindfolded, the Barons of Balance leap from wires and see the extreme hair-hanging act from your hair-raising seats.  Of course, you will also see what Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey are famous for: the clowns, animal acts (golden lionesses, a rare white lion, the Asian Elephants) and general silliness. 90 minutes pre-show you can go to the Animal Open House – FREE to all ticket holders, where you can meet Ringling Bros. performers and animals and learn circus skills.

What you win again (in case you couldn’t see it through all my exclamation points): You will win 4 VIP floor seats tickets for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s opening weekend: Sunday June 20. The winners can choose between the 1p.m. or 5 p.m. performances.

How to enter: Tell us your favorite Brooklyn or Manhattan playground and why! Just leave a comment here or on our Facebook page. (You can enter as many times as you like.)

Notification: The winner will be picked through a random number generator ( and will be announced on this blog next Friday, May 28th. Check back!

The show runs June 17 – September 6 in an air-conditioned tent on Surf Avenue and West 21st Street, the same location where Ringling Bros. spent its 2009 inaugural season. Tickets, starting as low as $10, are on sale now.  Tickets available via, Ticketmaster retail locations or via phone at 1-800-745-3000.

For more information on The Greatest Show on Earth visit

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  1. Okay…so Ringling cannot sell these tickets and they have resorted to giving them away! Excellent. The people who receive them (they are hoping) will buy tons of crap for their children. I am scared for anyone who attends a show. The elephants are ready to break — you can see it in their eyes and in their demeanor. I hear the lion is treated terribly, too :( Here is some accurate and up to date information on Ringling Bros. circus: Please do not attend or support circuses that use animals. In doing these we are keeping the slave trade alive and well. Here are some facts about Ringling Brothers: In 2009, PETA recorded Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus employees for many months and in numerous U.S. states. Eight employees, including the head elephant trainer and the animal superintendent, were videotaped backstage repeatedly hitting elephants in the head, trunk, ears, and other sensitive body parts with bullhooks and othercruel training devices just before the animals would enter the arena for performances. (A bullhook is an elephant-training tool that resembles a fireplace poker.) A tiger trainer was videotaped beating tigers during dress rehearsals. Footage from the investigation can be viewed at Former Ringling employees have reported that elephants are routinely abused and violently beaten with bullhooks. In December 2009, PETA released dozens of photographs taken by a retired Ringling trainer named Sam Haddock. The photos reveal the violent training methods used on baby elephants at Ringling’s Polk City, Florida, training center. The photos, which are available at, depict baby elephants bound with ropes and wrestled into physically difficult and uncomfortable positions by several adult men. According to Haddock’s notarized statement, the elephants scream, cry, and struggle as they are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. According to him, these violent training methods are the only way an elephant can be trained to perform in circuses.

  2. We love the playground on 17th street and 6th avenue, it is completely enclosed, great for my little ones as well as big kids

  3. One park I take my kids to is when i pickup my son from school, it is on 17th street and 6th avenue, the park is enclosed and has a great jungle gym for my little ones and big ones to run around, where I can relax with a cup of coffee,cause nobody can run out.

  4. We also love the playground that is next to the Brooklyn Childrens’s Museum.

    It is fabulous as well

  5. I love taking my kids to the park on 79th street and Shore Road Park. We also head to the 69th street pier.

  6. We also Owl Head’s Park.

  7. one reason underhill playground is the best is that the kids that go there are all so sweet and fun. it is a great mix of kids and my son is able to socialize and make friends easily- even though he is normally kind of shy.

  8. we love underhill because of the off-beat sculptures, my son loves to kiss them. it makes him happy to see them.

  9. underhill playground is our favorite because they always have so may ride on toys out for the kids. they do a good job of rotating the toys that are out.

  10. underhill playground is the best for us- it is so close and my son loves the sprinklers in the summer. we can spend hours there…

  11. the LICH playground (the southern one) on Henry Street in Cobble Hill. We’ve been taking our daughter there since she was born (three years and six days ago), and it has been so fun to watch her grow into (and surprisingly not out of) all of the equipment there. it’s maybe not the biggest, nicest or greenest, but it is the most familiar, for all of us. as long as she keeps asking to go there, we’ll keep going.

  12. Our favorite playground is the Harry Chapin Playground In Brooklyn Height, it’s very toddler friendly with lots of cool toys for the babies to play with.

  13. How could I forget our favorite outing with Dad on the weekends, Brooklyn Bridge Park, especially now that it is renovated.

  14. I asked my kids which is their favorite park, Prospect Park’s 9th street playground with the tire swing.

  15. I also take my kids to the park on Bay Parkway and 86 street, very enclosed, grassy area for kids to run and ride bikes as well.

  16. I would go to harmony in prospect park

  17. Did I say harmony at prospect?

  18. Harmony in prospect best for babies!

  19. McKinley park on 7th Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway.

  20. the playground on Shore Road and 79th Street is a fave of my daughter’s as well.

  21. My daughter also loves the park on Shore Rd and 79th Street in Bay Ridge.

  22. the marine park water park has always been a fave with my son …
    fillmore & about 34th street in brooklyn.

  23. I also love taking my kids to the Oliver Street playground on Shore Road, kids can see the boats sailing by as well as the Verrazano Bridge.

  24. I love taking my kids to Cannon Ball Park in Bay Ridge, on 99th street and 4th avenue, kids
    have fun climbing on the cannon and playing in the gazebo there.

  25. Dyker Park on 86th St & 14th Ave is our favorite park. My 2yr old daughter loves the space and the different slides they have there.

  26. We love Dyker Park on 86 street and 14th avenue, get to play and watch all the baseball games.

  27. We also love “Froggy Park” on 82nd street and 6th avenue. Great slide, twisty ones.

  28. Prospect park…harmony playground

  29. my son Jacob would lOOOOOOOOOove to experience this. (18 mos) he loves animals!! . Good luck!

  30. My favorite playground is Shore Rd Playground on 79th Street and Shore RD.

    Me and my little one love to sit on the frog sprinklers! It is just a really big and safe playground for her to run around in. And you can see the water and the boats from the playground and there is a nice cool breeze!

  31. Our favorite is Harmony Plyground at Prospect Park. It has sections for big kids and little kids, plus sprinklers in the summer. It also is nice because it’s right across the street from home! We would love to win the circus tickets. We saw the show last year at Coney Island and it was great!

  32. My daughter, Brooklyn’s(17 months old) favorite playground would have to be in propspect park off lincoln road and ocean avenue. As we approach the entrance, Brooklyn hears the laughter of other children, the churping of birds and she gets so excited she starts laughing. I pull the gate and Brooklyn goes right to the baby swings. From their we go to the baby part of the playground and she goes down the slides. Then if she is daring she will go to the big kid section and try to swing from bar to bar. But she is too young so she just hangs lol. At the end of our stay she will play in the sandbox and try not to get wet from water fountains. What I really like about this park is that their is a baby part and a big kid part. Also the community of people that come back everyday and my daughter has met fabulous friends.The mothers and I have actually started a baby play group for our kids. My daughter and I also love that the playground its surrounded by nature, beautiful flowers and trees. I have a collection at my house of flowers Brooklyn has picked which is right next to my husbands allergy medcine, haha. Yesterday we saw chipmunks chasing each other around and around the park it was quite funny because Brooklyn kept on calling them dogs.This park has done a lot for my daughter and I from entertaining her to making us part of the community. That’s why this is our favorite park.

  33. Everyday with his class my son goes to the playground in Fort Greene park on the myrtle side – I have always avoided it but it is great! for three year olds it is ideal – so much space to run and climb! Then we sit and have lunch on the pyramids worth of stairs leading up to the martyrs monument. He loves it.

  34. We also love the small playground that has a variety of jungle gyms on 25th avenue
    in Bensonhurst.

  35. We also love the Bay 8th street park in Bath Beach, it is a quiet park, gated all around, for babies to preschoolers with great fountains.

  36. We love J.J. Carty playground on 95th street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, accomodates babies to preschoolers to toddlers. Open spacious park, we spend hours there.

  37. Our all around favorite is Underhill Playground in Prospect Heights. It’s minutes from our apartment and my son’s school and we can always count on seeing a familiar face!

  38. We also like the park in Bay Ridge on 83rd and Colonial. They have awesome slides for the big and not so big kids alike. Also love the musical squares!

  39. Oh we often take many trips to Marine Parks’ playground when visiting the area and the slides there and open field are my 2.5 year old daughters favorite. I personally like it the best since I get to get a good run in when Im visiting my sister who lives there. :)

  40. I love taking my 2.5 year old daughter to the Imagination Playground at Prospect Park. She loves getting photographed with her face peeking through the frames of the various animals and loves dancing on the mini stage….

  41. Our alltime fave playgound has to be our neighborhood spot – Underhill. It is minutes away from home and school and I know that my boys will always have fun and that we will see a familiar face.

  42. Our current fav is “tunnel park” – really underwood…but the tunnels and bridges are great for billy goats trip trapping over trolls heads. or so my 3 year old tells me.

  43. we love the red playground on Greene Ave by PS 11 in Clinton Hill. I can hang out at the small kid part with my almost 2 yr old and still keep an eye on my pre-schooler running around with her school pals!

  44. I love the ps139 playground on cortelyou road. it has a gate and is small enough that I can sit back on the bench with an iced coffee, but has lots of kids for my 3 year old to play with all the time

  45. … I meant SPRINKLERS. My daughter loooves the sprinklers at Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge. (68th and Ridge Boulevard).

  46. Owl’s Head Park on 68th and Ridge Boulevard. Love the water fountains in the summer and the tire swing in the playground.

  47. Underwood of course, because it’s close to my house! I just finished reading Water for Elephants so I’ve got circus on the mind!

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