The Big Apple Circus is a circus in New York City founded by Paul Binder and Michael Christensen. They were partners in a comedic juggling act and travelled the streets of Europe before raising their first Big Apple Circus tent in New York's Battery Park in 1977. The circus showcased trapeze and dog acts, tightrope walking, jugglers and fixtures like Grandma the Clown.
The circus was known for its humane treatment of animals, social and community programs. Two circus arts schools had been opened with money raised from the circus shows. In 2016 The Big Apple Circus filed for bankruptcy protection, and in 2017 its assets were bought by Compass Partners. The circus came up with a renewed program for its 40th anniversary season at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park in New York City which started in October 2017.
The Big Apple Circus and its performers were featured in Woody Allen's movie Alice. The circus also was part of legendary The Circus Starring Britney Spears world tour in 2008-2009.