It’s a Circus Turning Four! (And the Books that Make You Do Acrobats)

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It’s a Circus Turning Four!

(And the Books that Make You Do Acrobats)

08.21.2013

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

My little girl is not so little anymore. On August 14th, she turned four.

And rather than throw her a large family bash where she’d most likely get lost in the noise and attention of adult conversation and gossip, my husband and I decided to come up with another alternative. It is my firm belief that birthdays should focus on the happiness of the celebrant, so we opted out of a large adult, family gathering, and took her and her little brother out for some fun at Fantasy Fair in Toronto instead.

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(c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
(c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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Her first and favourite ride that day were the Bump-a-Boats. She was the perfect size and age for the ride, free to ride and steer on her own. And she was aggressive enough to give her brother and a couple of other riders a few bumps along the way! No one drowned.

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M. ready to steer her bumper boat. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
M. ready to steer her bumper boat. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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The decadence of the antique carousel attracted young and old riders alike and I couldn’t help, but take a few photographs. Mercedes was also keen on riding the carousel and did so, a total of five to six times the entire day. Giddy-up, horsie!

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Antique carousel. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Antique carousel. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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Giddy-up! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Giddy-up! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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Another delight was the Imagination Flight planes that hovered in circle formation for tots and up. Mercedes and her brother enjoyed their flight as well as co-piloting together for the very first time.

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Flying high at Fantasy Fair. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Flying high at Fantasy Fair. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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And a circus wouldn’t be complete without some balloons—especially ones that are large enough to ride in and go up high! The baskets twist and turn, too. While my son wasn’t too fond of this ride because of his fear of heights, Mercedes braved the way with her brother and Daddy by her side.

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M. excited to ride in the balloon! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
M. excited to ride in the balloon! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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While I was a little hesitant about letting the kids run around the Dreamers Play Village all day because of the price tag on our family pass (I mean, if they wanted to play at a Play Place, we could have simply taken them both to McDonalds for free!), but the size of the play space, the number of mazes, jumping stations, and caboodle, climbing slides…well, a kid (and his/her parents) can go completely nuts in here. My kids certainly did. Here’s a picture of Mercedes climbing, not the walls, but a rocket? Zoom-zoom.

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M. climbing in the Play Village. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
M. climbing in the Play Village. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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To adults a train usually means two things: a transit commute into and out of work, or traffic behind the railroad X and its annoying bars as a train goes by. Not for my kids at Fantasy Fair, though. Nope. They lined up for this thing a number of times. And it didn’t matter how long the lineup was either. They waited. They yearned for the front coach. They wanted pictures with the caboose. They yelled, “All aboard!” and no one was a bother. While the train took off to its Fantasy Fair destination of circling around the “park,” and through the tunnel, I ran to the other side as quickly as I could to capture this shot. (Thank goodness for my sports setting!) Choo choo!

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Choo! Choo! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Choo! Choo! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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And of course, Mercedes couldn’t resist riding these pink horses. I didn’t train her. It’s not a sexist thing. She absolutely LOVES this colour all on her own. Her room is pink. Her clothes are pink. Her toys are pink. She most likely dreams in pink. And when she was born, her grandfather nicknamed her “Pinky,” because her flesh was so flushed, you guessed it—pink! Pink, pink, pink. That’s my little girl.

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M.'s own carousel. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
M.’s own carousel. (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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I have a slew of other photos that I took at the Fair, but then you’d be here FOREVER.

After the day-trip to Fantasy Fair, Mercedes played outside while her small after-party with just our immediate family enjoyed a potluck dinner, light conversation, and some hearty singing on behalf of our little-but-I’m-a-big-girl-now, girl. She’s already four and it feels like she’s running into her future (that’s how it feels for me, anyway, as her doting-very-attached mother).

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M. running into her future. She's four-years-old! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
M. running into her future. She’s four-years-old! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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I’m uncertain as to what wish she made that day when blowing out the candles of her cake, but I’m guessing it had something to do with the circus and the colour pink.

Our wish for her, of course, is entirely different. We wish for her: confidence, beauty, grace, love, happiness, peace, strength, wisdom, good health, and prosperity…and, okay…a little pink, just because she loves it so much! Oh, and obedience. (I forgot obedience!!)

Happy birthday, Baby. You’re four and it was certainly a circus getting there! We love you!

May you always have the spirit of fun, creativity, and imagination in your life. And may your life be the best ride ever!

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Happy birthday, Mercedes! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.
Happy birthday, Mercedes! (c) Photo by Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez. All rights reserved.

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Here are the books that can make you or me (and even Mercedes) do acrobats:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

night circus cvr

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If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss

if i ran the circus

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A Son of the Circus by John Irving

son of the circus

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Cirque du Soleil: 20 Years Under the Sun by Tony Babinski

cirque du soleil

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Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

water for elephants

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Little Box of Wizard Tricks: Over 80 Tricks to Amaze Your Friends by Janet Sacks

little box wizard tricks

four yr old wild wonderful

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Have you ever visited the circus? If so, what’s your favourite act?

Do you remember your 4th birthday? What did you do? What was it like?

If you could be part of the circus, what would you be? A magician? An acrobat? Etc. And why?

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zara bird autograph

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