The only actual circus in Sarasota is performed by kids, and it's worth planning a trip around. The PAL Sailor Circus, founded in 1949, is truly unique: it's an extracurricular activity for Sarasota County students, who gear up for two big shows a year: during the December holidays, and for 10 days in late March and April. They call it 'The Greatest Little Show on Earth,' but don't be fooled: there is nothing little about this show, which includes high wire and trapeze, hand balancing and unicycles, and innumerable mid-air ballets while dangling from tissues, rings and bars.

Outdoor Activities activity

Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Eco-Tour

$50

If you miss the show, consider arranging a tour; customized individually, they include the big tent, costume shop, museum and – hopefully – attending practice. Please bring your own kids; just know they will nurture, forever after, dreams of running away to the circus.