Coupon Code & Giveaway to Cirque du Soleil Amaluna in Atlanta!

Basically, I’ve tried writing an intro to this post four times so it doesn’t sound like a commercial. But I seriously can’t help it. I’m practically giddy over here because I get to giveaway FOUR tickets to Cirque du Soleiel’s Amaluna in Atlanta!

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Y’all. I’ve been to Cirque du Soleiel’s La Nouba in Orlando (Thank you, Disney Mom’s Panel!) and to Totem here in Atlanta and I told my husband it’s one of those things that you need to save your money to go to–even once in your lifetime because it is so amazing.

I’m a sucker for a circus anyway. I love the old circuses with the wagons and fat ladies and striped tents. I love imagining that lifestyle–being talented in such a crazy way and then traveling around the country stopping in dirty little towns to entertain. It seems so romantic and exotic. (Ooh, did you ever see Big Fish? That’s one of my favorite circus stories.)

Anywhoo. I was invited to see the new Amaluna show (well, new to Atlanta) last week and I pretty much walked out of that striped tent with the same level of brain mush as the last time. I cannot describe how astonishing the performers of Cirque are.

Let me show you a few highlights…

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Yes, I know this girl is scantily clad but it’s mainly because she did a one-handed handstand for about 12 minutes—ON A POLE. Plus, splits and flips and all sorts of other insanity. Y’all. I can barely do a handstand against the wall at CrossFit for 45 seconds. Seriously.

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Then. With absolutely no music, this girl gets up and has every single person in the tent spellbound as she picks up these sticks WITH HER FEET and balances them all one stick. What in the world?!

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Look at this costuming. I mean, seriously. I thought he really was a lizard.

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Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. The handstand girl also did flips into the water.20141002_amaluna-1275

There were gymnasts dressed like Amazon women. Only instead of Summer Olympics Gymnasts, they were like action-packed, synchronized, gymnastic Amazon women.

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And a man who was so strong he could walk up a pole with his hands. Or his pinkies. Or maybe his hair. Again, my CrossFit pride has been dashed after watching the power and strength and beauty of this guy simple climbing up and down this pole.20141002_amaluna-1541

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I thought the Lizard Man was just you know, a lizard man. Then, he ended the show with one of the best juggling (FIRE JUGGLING) routines I’ve ever seen. (And you are probably not surprised to know, I’ve seen a lot.)

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I actually sat in the tent before it started thinking, “I hope I like this one as much as the other two. I wonder if you continue to go to Cirque if you kinda get used to it and it’s not as awesome?” UHM. NO.

Amaluna actually had a little more story line to it than the other semi-new-age-y shows I’ve seen before. This one was a love story between a boy and a girl—and the people (and lizards) standing in their way. So, there was a little more sensuality to it. Not sexuality. Not even PG13. But hey–just letting you know in case you think they are just juggling and doing handstands–this one actually has a story and heart!

My husband & me. #cirqueselfie

My husband & me. #cirqueselfie

After the show, I had the opportunity to meet a performer and her husband (also an employee and former performer of Cirque). I was a total geek wanting to get all the info about how the shows are run, how they choreograph and work together creatively.

When you see the acts you wonder, “Were these acts made for the show? Or was the show made around the acts?” because the acts are so incredible it’s hard to imagine how they imagined it! Apparently, there’s lots of fluidity to the acts. Of course, these performers are artists so they are always thinking of new ways to perform and challenge themselves. There is a bit of growth and change in the acts as the show goes on.

I think it’s such an amazing lifestyle–being around a small group of people (150, I think they said) who are artists, performers, actors, musicians and technical folks and performing night after night. It’s got to be a rush! Plus, they stay in a town for 2-3 months so imagine getting to know so many towns around the world!! The performer we talked to was on the tour for 2 and a half years and even if she only toured for that short time–what an experience she has had.

I just love it. I want to be in a circus. I mean, if they let former puppeteers and people who are good at sending tweets in the circus.

OK. Let’s get on to the super awesomeness I have for you. First of all, Cirque du Soleil is giving you 20% off Family 4 Pack tickets when you click through this link or the graphic below. Y’all! That’s a deal! The tickets range from $35-120!

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We sat in the $55 section (I think) and I’ll tell you, when I sat down I wasn’t thrilled. The stage is in the round and we were at 3:00, in the very last row. But as the show began, the performers (and the stage itself) rotated so I never felt like I was missing a thing. It was gorgeous.

Now. How would you like to WIN FOUR TICKETS?! This is for the Wednesday, November 5th show at 7:30pm at the blue-and-yellow Big Top at Atlantic Station. So, if you win, you gotta go then and there! Just leave a comment below telling me about your Cirque (or circus) love and I’ll pick a winner on Friday night, the 24th!

(If you’re contemplating entering because you life a couple hours away, I think you should do it. Totally worth a mini vacation.)
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I was invited to attend Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna as a member of the media. They are giving the coupon code and tickets away out of the goodness of their artistic little hearts. I’m not being compensated for this and all words are my own. Pictures are property of Cirque du Soleil. 

Asa’s How To Train Your Dragon Party

All last year Asa wanted to have a Spy Party. I was all set to do spy training for his little friends. Then. How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Dragon Week happened. And we had to have a Dragon/Viking party. So, here it is!

How To Train Your Dragon / Viking Party // ohAmanda.com

I didn’t want it to feel like a cartoon party covered with Toothless and Hiccup. Asa’s always had a soft-spot for Vikings (is that possible? Can you have a soft spot for people who love to pillage?) so I wanted a rough hewn wood, furry Viking feel to the day.

We started off with a fun Viking-y entryway. I bought some cardboard cake boards for the shields (I did NOT want to cut out a bunch of circles!) and made shields with them. I used colored masking tape on a few and hand-painted the others.

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Then, my mom came through with all kinds of dark, burlap, furry fabrics and we basically just threw them all over the house. I especially love the three brown pieces of fabric hanging from the landing above!

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On the floor of the entry way was a bear skin rug…er, scrap of furry fabric, plus my son’s shield. Yes, he has a giant semi-authentic Viking shield with his name on it. My dad gave it to him when he was born. (He gave Lydia a bow and arrow!)

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The little table holding up the shield has our guest book, a squeezy dragon (50% off at Wal-Mart!) and a metal Viking ship bookend my Grandfather made in shop class in High School!

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I absolutely love having a guest book at the kids’ parties. It’s fun to see all their friends’ handwriting and I think it will be a sweet keepsake to have when they make their first home.

When the kids arrived they signed the book and then moved to our giant map. Just like Hiccup, who is making a map of where all the dragons live and all the islands in the surrounding area, the kids got to add their own designs to the Isle of Asa!

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When they had their fill on the map, they got to make their own Viking shields! We used the cake cardboard circles again and I added a little duct tape handle to the back of each one plus a silver circle to the middle. Then, I collected all my foam pieces (which randomly included sea animals), duct tape and masking tape plus dot markers. The kids were so creative and really enjoyed making them.

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Now. The food. Because, really, that’s the most important part of a party, isn’t it?

First off is dragon claws—bugles dipped in chocolate. The kids loved making these and they were kinda delicious.

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Asa really wanted to have turkey legs from Disney World but that thought literally makes me gag. We contemplated hot wings but instead, I settled on a Buffalo Chicken Dip I found on Pinterest. Super yummy. Especially with the “shield” chips. (Right?! You like those, don’t you?)

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Our next food I apparently never took a picture of when it was open but basically it was a mix of goldfish and gummy worms. In the movie, Toothless likes fish but not eels!

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Probably my most favorite food of all was the Fire Breathing Popcorn. Who would have thought pouring hot sauce and parmesan cheese on popcorn would be addictive?!

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Now, for those of us who would like to be a tad healthier, I found the most perfect food ever: DRAGON FRUIT! We coupled that with some strawberries and starfruit and I thought it was beautiful!

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(Ooh, all those How To Train Your Dragon signs were printable postcards from the official site!)

For cupcakes, we grabbed some fall-colored cupcakes from Whole Foods and added cashews to the brown ones to look like Viking hats while the orange and yellow ones had Sprees on them for dragon scales. (It kinda looks like a dragon’s back, doesn’t it?)

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We just did water to drink and I did my favorite trick–add stickers to plain old cups to make them a little more fun.

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Now. Let’s get to the games. I wanted the games to feel like the moment in How To Train Your Dragon when Hiccup makes his giant dragon-killing-catapult-crossbow machine coupled with dragon games scene from the second movie. Since I had neither a catapult-crossbow or actual dragons, we went with WATER BALLOONS.

Buying water balloons in September is kinda awesome because everything is 50-75% off after summer! (Although, I did have to go to several stores before I found them!) We played a few traditional water ballon games (balloon on the spoon, water balloon toss and basically whatever game I could come up with before the kids got bored).

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Then we pulled out the big guns. My dad bought two giant slingshots. I painted over our Toy Story Midway Mania targets with Viking shields and let the kids have at it. Well, actually, it was kinda hard and we had to help them. But they l-o-v-e-d it.

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Did I mention the slingshots were hard to hold?

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It seriously almost knocked me over once or twice. After the dads got in on it, they started shooting the balloons into the treetops and over the house. Boy heaven.

After a few good turns on the slingshot, we had a Dragon Egg Hunt. I bought about 16 different pieces of fruit from lemons to watermelon to dragonfruit and then hid them all over the backyard where we had been playing. We split the kids into two teams (boys against the girls) and gave them each a hula-hoop (“nest”) to collect all their dragon eggs. I told them they each had to collect 8 eggs and when they were all done, to sit in their nest.

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They LOVED this. The boys were super fast and found 8 eggs quickly–including the large watermelon and the bright dragonfruit. After the girls found theirs (try finding an avocado in a backyard–almost impossible!) we counted up their points: 100 for each fruit EXCEPT the watermelon was worth 2 points and the dragon fruit was worth 300! Boys win!!

We did actual goody bags this year because I found these sweet totes at Target for $1. Inside was another little bag with a treasure stone (shaped like an egg isntead), a sticky ball (actually, it looked like a flail which is creepy but also very appropriate) and some How To Train Your Dragon stickers and tattoos I also bought for $1.

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After presents and cake, the day ended with a good, old-fashioned water balloon fight.

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It was a super fun day and my little Viking, dragon-trainer was a sweet host and enjoyed every second of his 6th birthday party!

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{I made that shirt with a graphic I found online but cannot find it again to link to it! Lemme know if it’s yours. And I’ll keep looking!}

Follow my Dragon Party Pinterest board for more dragon fun…

Follow ohAmanda’s board Asa’s Dragon Party on Pinterest.

  Here’s all the products we used (& some I wish I’d used) in one tidy spot…

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Affiliate links included. When you purchase anything via these links, I make a small commission. Very small. But very appreciated. Thanks for loving ohAmanda! 

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