A's godparents are pretty amazing people. They are always thinking of her and us, even though they just had a new baby of their own. So, even though we truly didn't request any birthday presents for her 3rd birthday party this summer, they had already gotten her the Cirkustalt children's tent from IKEA (LINK):
According to IKEA's site, this runs about $19.99 (although, if you get anything shipped any sort of distance through them, it costs an arm and a leg).
The assembly was insanely easy. There was a little bit of adjusting, and it was all done. I think it took me all of 30 seconds in our living room, and then we had to tear it back down and reassemble it down in her play room the next day.
We moved it because this thing is pretty big. You're going to want to make sure ahead of time that you've got the 3.5 feet diameter free (it's also about 48 inches tall). We had plenty of room in her playroom, as they knew, so this was an amazing gift - but definitely check that out before purchasing. Otherwise you may just want to move the crib in here.
...Which is almost exactly what A has done. She loves her circus tent. Here is her shortly after it was assembled (please pardon the dollhouse figures on the floor, we'd had visitors earlier that day):
That is a smile of pure, unadulterated joy. When we got it down into her playroom, she immediately put a ton of stuff in there, her most prized possessions. Her sleeping bag is in there to use as a backrest, several of her most special stuffed animals (they perform in the circus), and a couple of fake CDs she had on which she pretends to play circus music. (This mostly means her telling me to do the "doot doot doo doo doo doo doot doot doo doo" song at key moments.) So, I guess she's sort of the de facto circus barker, because she's super-duper bossy when we're all up in there.
What I like about this best is that it's all of the fun of the circus, without the depression of thinking of abused or neglected animals performing for our amusement. Win-win!
Value: We got this as an amazing gift, but I think it runs around $19.99. For an enormous circus tent that's really well-made, that's a pretty sweet deal.
Child entertainment level: 10/10. This thing is a great fort, as well as a circus tent. We also play house in here, etc., etc. Great toy!
Practicality: For us, this is a 10/10. You'll really want to make sure you have room first, though!