Circus Museum at The Ringling
Sarasota was once the winter home of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, so it’s a fitting place for this unique museum, which also happens to be on the estate of John and Mable Ringling. Step right up to see all the wonders of the circus—from costumes and props to banners and posters to wagons of all types. You can even check out the private elegantly appointed railcar that John and Mable used when traveling with the family business.
Don’t miss the miniature model circus which took model builder Howard C. Tibbals 50 years to create. It features 8 tents and more than 42,000 hand-carved pieces, including 1,500 workers and performers, hundreds of animals, 150-plus wagons, 7,000 folding chairs, and a train with 55 cars. You’ll need the better part of an hour to scan all 3,800 square feet of it—and it’s worth every minute.
You could easily fill a day touring the Ringling complex, which also includes John and Mable’s lavish Ca’ d’Zan Estate and its equally lavish Bayfront Gardens; the Museum of Art that houses the couple's enormous collection of Dutch Baroque and Italian Renaissance art; and a café, restaurant, and museum store. The Historic Asolo Theater and the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts are also here.
5401 Bay Shore Rd.
- Sarasota, Florida 34243
- 27.38169000, -82.55918800
- Mon.--Wed. and Fri.--Sun. 10--5; Thurs. 10--8.
- Visit Website
- (941) 359-5700