All Aboard the (Niles Garden Circus) Train


You’ve always loved the niles garden circus. The bright lights, death-defying acrobats, wild animals, and cotton candy. It’s a magical place where anything seems possible. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to join the circus yourself? To run away and actually live inside the big top? Well, your dreams are about to come true, because the Niles Garden Circus train is rolling into town.

Climb aboard for a behind-the-scenes look at the nonstop adventure that is circus life. You’ll meet colorful performers from around the world and get a glimpse into their incredible talents. From jumping through rings of fire to balancing on flying trapezes, it’s going to be the most thrilling ride you’ve ever taken. All aboard the Niles Garden Circus train! Adventure awaits.

Welcome to the Niles Garden Circus!

Welcome one and all to the magical world of the Niles Garden Circus! This eco-friendly circus extravaganza aims to revive the enchantment of traditional circus shows while incorporating modern elements. You’re in for whimsical wonders and family-friendly fun.

As soon as you pass through the gates, the festive atmosphere will lift your spirits. Colorful tents, joyful music, and amusing acts surround you. Try your hand at carnival games like the ring toss, squirt gun race, or giant slide. Take a spin on the Ferris wheel for panoramic views of the venue.

The circus performances feature world-class acrobats, contortionists, stunt riders, and clowns. Prepare to be dazzled by acrobatic displays of balance, flexibility, and skill. The stunt riders astound with daring feats of horsemanship. And the comedic antics of the clowns are sure to have you chuckling.

Niles Garden Circus promotes environmental awareness and community outreach. A portion of proceeds benefits local charities and conservation efforts. They aim for zero waste and eco-friendly operations.

So gather your friends and family and come discover the wonder of this circus extravaganza. Thrilling shows, amusement rides, games, snacks, and more – the Niles Garden Circus has entertainment and enjoyment for all ages. Welcome to the circus!

A Brief History of the Niles Garden Circus

The Niles Garden Circus was started in 1850 by the Garden family, circus performers originally from England. For over 50 years, the Niles Garden Circus entertained audiences in Niles, California, eventually becoming part of the famous Garden Bros Circus dynasty.

The Garden family began performing in England in the early 1800s before immigrating to the United States. They founded the Niles Garden Circus in 1850, showcasing their skills as acrobats, equestrians and clowns. The circus started small but grew quickly, gaining popularity for its talented performers, exotic animals, and thrilling acts.

By the 1860s, the Niles Garden Circus started touring throughout California and other western states. They became known for their daring equestrian feats, amusing clowns, and the first elephant act in California. The circus also featured trapeze artists, contortionists, jugglers and tightrope walkers that wowed audiences.

In the 1870s, the Niles Garden Circus merged with other troupes to form the massive Garden Bros Circus. Though the Niles Garden Circus ended, the Garden family continued operating the Garden Bros Circus for over a century. Their pioneering spirit and showmanship helped establish the American circus tradition that continues to this day.

The legacy of the Niles Garden Circus lives on at the Niles Depot Museum and Niles Canyon Railway in Niles Canyon. There, you can see artifacts from the early days of the circus and learn all about this fascinating part of entertainment history.

Riding the Niles Garden Circus Train

All aboard! Climbing onto one of the vintage Niles Garden Circus passenger trains is like stepping back in time. Once you’ve purchased your ticket, head to the platform to await the arrival of the colorfully painted steam locomotive pulling open-air circus cars.

As the train chugs along the tracks, you’ll get to experience a relaxing ride through scenic woodlands and meadows. Gaze out at the passing scenery as a warm breeze brushes your face. The leisurely pace gives you plenty of time to spot local wildlife like birds, deer or foxes going about their day.

Onboard, roving musicians and performers will delight both children and intimate. You might encounter a juggler, magician or acrobat showing off their talents up and down the aisles. Clowns with colorful wigs and oversized shoes spread laughter and cheer. Animal handlers will also introduce you to some of the circus’ friendlier creatures.

About halfway through the 45-minute journey, the train will stop at a station where you can disembark for refreshments like popcorn, cotton candy or fresh lemonade. There are also souvenirs for purchase like t-shirts, stuffed animals or circus balloons to commemorate your adventure.

Before long, the familiar whistle will sound, signaling the train’s departure. Climb back aboard for the return trip to the circus grounds. As the big top tent comes back into view, you’ll likely feel a tinge of excitement for the show that awaits under the billowing canvas. The train ride adventure, while short-lived, delivers a perfect dose of nostalgia and wonder. A trip aboard the Niles Garden Circus train is truly entertainment for both young and old.

Other Attractions at the Niles Garden Circus

Beyond the big top, Niles Garden Circus offers a magical experience with whimsical attractions for visitors of all ages.

The Enchanted Menagerie

The Enchanted Menagerie allows you to encounter mythical creatures and exotic animals up close. As you meander through the Menagerie, you’ll spot fantastical beasts from fairy tales and folklore, like griffins, hippogriffs, and dragons. You may also spy some unusual creatures from faraway lands, such as camels, zebras, and emus. The Enchanted Menagerie brings fantasy and whimsy to life through interactive displays and animatronics.

Grand Carousel

No visit to Niles Garden Circus is complete without a spin on the Grand Carousel. This antique merry-go-round features intricately carved wooden horses, tigers, giraffes, and elephants. As the carousel spins round and round to the tune of a calliope, you’ll feel the thrill of childhood wonder all over again. The Grand Carousel is a must-see attraction that evokes nostalgia for simpler times.


For a behind-the-scenes look at the circus, check out the interactive workshops. Aspiring performers and circus enthusiasts can learn skills like juggling, stilt walking, aerial acrobatics, and contortion. The workshops offer a chance to discover the dedication and training required to master circus arts. You may even get to participate in a short performance!

Whether you prefer to observe mythical creatures, relive childhood memories, or learn circus skills hands-on, Niles Garden Circus has an enchanting attraction for you. A day at this whimsical theme park will spark your imagination and ignite a sense of playfulness. All aboard for a magical experience like no other!

FAQs About the Niles Garden Circus

You probably have a few questions about what to expect at the Niles Garden Circus. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you plan your visit.

Do I need to buy tickets in advance?

It’s highly recommended that you purchase tickets ahead of time on the Niles Garden Circus website or at local retailers like Walgreens to guarantee admission. Tickets often sell out, especially for weekend shows. If there are still tickets remaining on the day of the show, you can purchase them at the ticket booth when you arrive.

How early should I arrive?

Doors open 90 minutes before showtime. Arrive at least 30-45 minutes early to find parking, buy tickets if needed, grab snacks, use the restrooms, and find your seats before the show starts. The venue can get very crowded, so give yourself plenty of time.

Can I take pictures or video during the show?

Photography and video recording are permitted during the show, but no flash photography. Tripods, selfie sticks and other equipment that could obstruct the view of others or interfere with performers are not allowed.

What kinds of acts will I see?

The Niles Garden Circus incorporates traditional circus acts like acrobatics, aerialists, jugglers and animal shows with modern twists. You’ll witness stunning displays of balance, flexibility and skill. No two shows are exactly alike, so you’ll get to enjoy unique acts and performances at every visit.

Can I bring in outside food and drinks?

No, outside food and drinks are not permitted inside the venue. There are concession stands located throughout the circus grounds serving popcorn, cotton candy, churros, pretzels, ice cream, bottled water, soft drinks and more. Cash and major credit cards are accepted at concession locations.

We hope this helps answer some of your questions about the Niles Garden Circus experience. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have. Enjoy the show!


So there you have it, my friend – the story of the charming little Niles Garden Circus train that brought joy and wonder to so many. Sure, it was just a simple attraction at a local garden center. But for countless kids and families over the decades, climbing aboard that tiny train and chugging around the nursery was pure magic.

Those little details – the individual cars named after flowers, the tunnel of trees you’d pass through – they made it special. Next time you’re out running errands and driving past a garden shop or nursery, take a moment to see if they have a train. And if they do, hop on board and take a ride back to the carefree days of your childhood. Even just a short trip around the loop on a mini train can fill you with nostalgia and simple joy.

Leave a comment