Our much-needed family vacation has come and gone, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve made no secret of the fact that the past year has been tough on our family, and we’ve never needed a getaway more than now. So, we took the little time we had off and headed off to one of the best destinations PA has to offer parents and kiddos: Sesame Place!
I’ve been a Sesame Street devotee since before I can remember, and my son fell in love with Elmo even before his first birthday. As he grows, he discovers more and more to love about the classic PBS show, so I was SO excited to take him to meet all his Sesame Street friends in person!
Throughout the day, we were able to meet and greet all of our favorite characters. They were accessible, friendly, and super cute. The best part: each time you meet a character, a park associate takes your photo, but you can also take your own at no cost! I’m totally getting a Shutterfly photo book made from these photos so my little man can remember meeting all of his friends.
Our day started out with rain, and I was afraid all of our fun would be ruined. Not so. By noon, the clouds were swept away and everything was A-OK! Because it wasn’t very hot out (we planned our trip for early in the season, before school let out) we decided to skip the water rides in the park. We’ll hit those next time, for sure, because they were crazy impressive and looked like lots of fun! Despite skipping some of the major attractions, we still had plenty to keep us busy all day.
We spent most of our time in the Elmo’s World section of the park. It was a dream come true for my little climber…
I was glad to see the number of rides suitable for my 2-year-old. Each time a ride stopped, he was ready to hop right back on! His favorite was the big yellow slide…he went down 4 times all by himself, and was absolutely beaming that “I did it!” smile.
Of all the attractions in the park, I was looking most forward to walking down the lifesize replica of Sesame Street. This was where I took my own moment to just stop and take it all in.
Mr. Hooper’s store, Big Bird’s mailbox, and of course, the stoop at 123 Sesame Street. Does it GET any more iconic than that!?
I’ve been to Disney, and I live near Hershey, and both are great parks…but if I’m being honest, my heart belongs to Sesame Place. Most of my days are spent 100% wrapped up inside a small cubicle, or dealing with the many “grown up” problems that have plagued us for the past year. Spending a day bonding with my son over our shared childhood loves left me feeling healed, refreshed, reconnected…and I know that makes me a better mommy.
It might sound a bit cheesy, but I got choked up more than once that day, and I will always treasure being able to share those magical moments with my little boy. Many thanks to the folks at Sesame Place for a true day to remember!
A few more thoughts about Sesame Place:
- We found the park to be clean and well-kept, with lovely landscaping and attention to detail at every turn. Even the restrooms were impressively clean.
- The gift shops were well-stocked with unique merchandise, although the clothing prices were a little high (I paid $12.95 for a hat, but stopped at $50 for a raincoat.)
- Food choices were varied, from hot pretzels shaped like Elmo to chicken fingers and pizza. We were happy to find a strawberry and blueberry parfait for our little fruit monster!
- Consider wearing your Sesame Street gear to the park! I didn’t, and when I saw all the other parents decked out in Oscar and Cookie shirts, I kind of regretted not being more fun.
- If you stay at a local hotel, make sure to ask about a shuttle to and from the park. We used one, and it made the whole day so much easier.
- Download the Sesame Place iPhone APP! This super cool application lets you navigate your way across a full map of the park via GPS as well as find restrooms, shops and eateries, track the location of characters, and keep track of showtimes. It helped our entire day run more smoothly!
- And my #1 piece of advice when visiting Sesame Place: Don’t miss the parade! Line up along Sesame Street as all the characters converge in one place to sing, dance and put on a spectacular show that literally brought tears to my eyes. You may want to plan a little better than we did, though – my little guy slept right through it! (That’s a sign of a good day, for sure.)
Sesame Place is located just 30 miles from Philadelphia and 90 miles from NYC. Learn more about the park here.