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.