A Day At Sesame Place

Sesame Street, the quintessential children’s television show, has been loved by generations in our family. As a parent, it’s been amazing to see the show evolve and experience it through the eyes of our children.  With appearances from folks like Feist, India Arie, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show really has appeal to all ages.  It was the first television show viewed by our children and we consider the Sesame Street characters to be among their first loves.  Adrian’s partial to Ernie, and L.P and Elmo go way back to the days of when she called him “ya ya”.  Given this on-going love affair, it’s pretty cool that Elmo and his pals live a mere 90 minutes away from NYC at Sesame Place.

Since Lucia adored her Sesame Place toddler experience, we’ve been looking forward to embarking on another Sesame adventure with both of our children for quite sometime.

bert
Little Lucia and her friend Bert, back in the day.

We were in the midst of trip planning when an invitation to a blogger playdate made it all possible last weekend.  Little ones were literally counting down the days until going to “Sesame Street”.  Their anticipation was sweet and exciting.

I came armed with a Sesame Place iPhone App.  It enabled me to plan our day according to show times, view an interactive map with GPS navigation and search for a restroom (among many other things).

Our kids are still in the height of character adoration and meeting them seemed to be their top priority. Luckily, we had many opportunities to do so.  Upon entering the park, Adrian had the chance to tell The Count that he didn’t like his teeth and give his cape a good tug.  We then headed to Dine with Me for lunch with Elmo and Friends.  I highly recommend booking a character meal, as they are a memorable way to spend time with all the friendly monsters.  We saw so many furry friends, that we didn’t feel the need to take photos at 1-2-3 Smile With Me.  To say that my kids loved this experience, is an understatement.  They were in full on Sesame heaven.  Cookie Monster ate one of our cookies,the kids danced with Elmo and friends and mama cried, (a weakness of mine) during the conga line.  As you can tell, we snapped a lot of photos.
elmo and kids
cookie and adri
fam with oscar abby and lucia big birddancing with elmo and friendsoscar and adri
kids with cookie and abby
count   family with elmo

We then ventured over to the carousel and had the chance to see the amazingly talented  Dan Zane and friends perform. We are huge Dan Zane fans and have been bopping around to his music in our home ever since Lucia saw him play “jump up” on Sesame Street.  His live show was awesome and packed with positivity – encouraging families to start a “family band” and hanging out after the show to talk to fans.  We definitely danced and even had the chance to tell Dan Zane in person how much we enjoy his music.

adri carousel
Dan Zane dancing lucia

We relaxed as the concert wrapped up and then journeyed over to the pool area to cool off.  After splashing around in the water, the kids had a ball playing on the equipment and made sure to watch the parade. Thank goodness Adrian finally had a chance to see his beloved Ernie.

slide climbing adri
bert and ernie

Adrian then took a nap with Daddy and I took my girl to see Elmo’s World Live, where we were excited to score front row seats.  The interactive dance show really appealed to Lucia and I thought that Mr. Noodle’s dance moves were off the hook.

elmo

After grabbing a quick dinner I was thrilled to notice that the souvenir cups and plates are BPA free.  I’m so glad that we will be able to reuse them at home.  Right on Sesame Place!

We ended our evening with another visit from Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch, over Elmo cupcakes at a blogger social.  We capped off the night with a Super Grover sighting and little ones were soon sound asleep in their car seats.

cookie and kids cookie
oscar and adri
We then changed exhausted, limp bodies into P.J’s without even waking them.  Can you guess where they asked to go the next day?

sleeping

What a memorable experience we all had.  We will definitely be back for more.

My family and I were given complementary admission tickets and parking to Sesame Place.  All opinions are my own.

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Literally Alive Theatre’s Alice In Wonderland – The Players Theatre, NYC (Giveaway!)

Yesterday we ventured down a rabbit hole in Greenwich Village to see Literally Alive Theatre’s musical Alice In Wonderland at the Players Theatre.  Creators Michael Sgouros and Brenda Bell brought this childhood classic to life with an incredibly talented cast and percussion ensemble.

Since the last performance took place today, we were able to attend a special benefit performance supporting three weeks of free family theater taking place this July.  This event included a reception, multiple raffles and an auction.

Upon entering the theater the children were welcomed on stage to create a show themed craft:

The kids were really happy about the crafting and Adrian’s love of using Elmer’s glue in abundant quantities was solidified. 

As a parent, I really appreciated this part.  Instead of having antsy pants kids whining waiting in anticipation in their seats, they were able to craft (with the assistance of staff!) and feel like little stars on the stage showing off their freshly created hats.

Perfecting his serious Mad Hatter.

A great component of  Literally Alive Theatre’s productions is that each show begins with an hour-long interactive pre-show family workshop, where (in addition to crafting) the playwright and a company member discuss the transformation of classical literature into a musical.  Major themes, musical instruments and show components are discussed so children can contextualize what they will soon experience in the show.

The one hour production was magnificent.  Alice’s whimsical character really captured a child-like essence in her movements, and her pal the white rabbit was hilarious.  Additionally, the use of projections was pretty amazing.  My four year old was captivated for the entire hour and was thrilled that the Cheshire cat (which she calls the treasure cat) was female.  The queens of hearts, (my favorite character) was played so exquisitely by a male and she kept us laughing with her over the top “off-with-their-heads!”.

Here comes Alice!

The show really had appeal to both the young and the old.  My whole family enjoyed the peculiar animals- my kids liked the caterpillar’s many arms and finger cymbals, and my husband and I found it amusing when he told Alice that she was “killing his buzz.”  Although the show is deemed appropriate for all ages – we imagined our almost two year old (only four days away!) needing to be swiftly removed taken out mid-show by my husband.  To our amazement he spent the majority of the time mesmerized in his own seat (in a theater issued booster chair).  I was able to get in a few cuddles as he comfortably found his way into my lap towards the end of the performance.  

Enjoying the theatre at nearly two.

We were happy that our little guy was able to actually pay attention, enjoy himself (he did elicit a lot of laughter upon declaring “Ohhhh no Alice” during a moment of silence) and experience live theatre for the very first time.  When the show ended my daughter made it clear that she needed me to sew her that Alice costume after-all.  For those of you that know her well, the show colored her weekend fantasy play, as she has been Alice ever since.   

My entire family really enjoyed this performance and we will definitely be back for another show in the future.

Sporting her souvenir in the heart of the village.

Win It:
I’m thrilled to be hosting a giveaway for a family four pack of tickets to any show in Literally Alive Children’s Theatre’s 2012 season.  The season includes:  Sleepy Hollow- the musical, Cinderella, Percussion People, Tico Tales and A Christmas Carol.  Information on the upcoming season and ticket purchases can be found at www.literallyalive.com.

Enter:
To enter, become a follower on my blog and leave a comment telling me the show you’d like to see.  I’ll announce the winner on Thursday evening.

Update:
Congratulations Kurukurupa Tokyo Mama !

All opinions are my own y’all.  

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