Circus birthday party road trip

A couple of months ago, Jen got an email from her friend Kelly proposing something a bit crazy. Her daughters Keira (Molly's age) and Maya (Leah's age), who have been friends with our girls since they were infants, both have birthdays within a few weeks of one another. Kelly's brother works at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. Kelly wanted to see if people would come to a birthday party there.

This sounded crazy to drive to Philly for a kid's birthday party, but the circus school sounded like a lot of fun. Also, there was talk of staying the night and going to the Please Touch Museum the next day, which has been on our to-do list for some time. So, we said we'd love to join in the fun.

When we arrived at the circus school, they split the participants up into adults and kids. Jen participated, but I stuck to the role of photographer. Then it was time for the warm-up. Here the kids warm up the spring in their legs.

Birthday party road trip

Molly and Leah are getting stretched out.


Balance is an important skill for tight-rope walking and other circus arts. The 4 and 5 year olds started off working on balancing on things much more narrow than a normal balance beam (such as this 2x6 on end).


Molly’s group started out on the silks. I think she’s having fun already.

The silks

Jen’s group of adults started on the trapeze. Getting your legs onto the bar in order to hang upside down is tough.


Sitting up onto the bar isn’t easy either.

Sit up

Pretty soon after getting started, Molly was hanging around upside down.

Upside down

Look, Ma… no hands.

No hands

After the groups switched locations, it was Jen’s turn to try her hand at the silks. The adults did fewer upside-down hanging from your arms tricks, and instead kept their feet under them.

Adult silks

Nice pose, Jen.

Nice pose

Leah’s group moved to the trapeze. She had an easier time getting her legs onto the bar than the adults. Must be all that gymnastics she does.

Hanging around

Looks like she’s on the swingset at the playground.


This picture needs no explanation. Jen and Kelly’s faces say it all.

Different emotions

I don’t think this pose is actually relaxing, but it looks like it is.


Climbing is another important skill. They showed the kids proper technique, but Molly mostly just pulled herself up with her arms alone.

Rope climb

I never quite understood this activity the little ones did, but they seemed to enjoy it.

Handkerchief fun

Jen paid more attention to proper climbing technique than Molly.

Adult climbing

I’m beginning to think Molly prefers being upside down to right-side up.

Upside down again

Here’s the gym we were in, complete with lots of things hanging from the ceiling.

The gym

After the fun, it was time for a little lunch, or dinner. What do you call it when you eat at 3:00? Let’s go with linner. Molly was happy to get to sit next to one of the birthday girls.

Linner break

These birthday girls are having a good time.

Birthday girls

After eating, a couple of our instructors put on a show for us. I got video of the first, Christine, having some fun up on the silks.

The second performance was performed by Jackie flying through the air on the hoop. She used Disney princess music (The Glow), which the girls loved.

A show

All the kids and a couple of the instructors after a fun party.

The end

After the party and some dinner out at the Trolley Car Diner, we stopped at Miles Park in Whitemarsh to have some playground fun before heading back to the hotel. For some reason, the kids loved this seesaw. They would have stayed on it the entire time if we had let them.


I don't think we'll make a habit of road trips for birthday parties, but this was a lot of fun.

One Comment

  1. Grammy says:

    That was a long way to go fora birthday party, but all of you seem to have had great fun!

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