Sesame Place Visitor Tips

I often wonder what specific pieces of early childhood my children will remember most.  Undoubtedly, they’re likely to remember my responses, actions and displays of love (one can hope!).  I’m also pretty sure that some of our adventures will become stand out memories.

We haven’t yet been to Disney World, but we do have a place of childhood magic just ninety minutes away from NYC at Sesame Place.  The kids go absolutely bananas at the prospect of visiting, and we’ve been lucky enough to have attended a handful of media events at Sesame Place.

Sesame Place recently opened for their 2013 Season and we decided to surprise the kids by not filling them in on our plans to visit on opening day.  We arrived to a bambini parking lot freak out (the good kind!) and thoroughly enjoyed watching the immense joy through excited eyes.  Each trip has been incredibly memorable with fun filled experiences.  This time Lucia was big enough to ride her first roller coaster (the vapor trail) and Adrian had plenty of running hugs to give to his favorite furry friends. I even had my own moment of massive public embarrassment when the staff was kind enough to shut down a kiddie ride on my behalf when motion sickness nearly got the best of me (memorable indeed!).

Here are a few of my visitor tips:

Book A Character Meal 
If your children love character interaction than a character meal is the way to go.  You will not be paying for the experience of amazing food, but for the experience of watching your child/children interact with every single one of the characters. The characters also make their way to the tables during the meal, and a Conga line and dance party take place in the end.  It is hands down a worthwhile (and photo worthy) experience.  If character meals don’t fit into the budget, there are still plenty of opportunities to catch characters around the park and at the designated Smile With Me photo stations (just be prepared to wait in a line).

Plan Food and Drinks ahead of Time
For some families, dinning at Sesame Place is part of the experience. You can leave with the BPA-free Elmo plates and character cups to reuse at home as a memory from your trip.  Although Sesame Place has made great efforts to become more healthy with salad options and substitutions of apples for french fries – I find it helpful to pack a small cooler of snacks and water for the entire family.  It’s especially important to hydrate as the day will most likely involve a lot of walking and sun exposure!

Rent a Locker
Lockers are available to rent in the front of the park and renters can visit them as many times as needed.  Locker are a great place to stash an extra set of clothes, towels, and things that would generally weigh you down during your day at the park.

Stay in a nearby Hotel
There are so many affordable near by hotels, and it’s fun to turn the Sesame Place experience into an entire weekend.  In addition, second day admission is FREE with the purchase of one ticket.  I also think that it is exhausting to drive home after a full day in the park. 

Give Proper Warning
As in many aspects of parenting, it’s important to give kids proper warning about when the day will come to an end.  We always leave after the magical parade experience and sort of assumed that our children would remember our arrangement.  On our recent trip, I only mentioned our exit plans once to the little guy, and he had a serious meltdown when it was time to go.  Make sure to give the little ones warning to keep the excursion fun for all!

As a Sesame Place Sunny Day Blogger, Sesame Place provided Media Tickets and an invitation to a media day happy hour event.  All opinions in this post are strictly my own. 

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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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