I do not know why we had not before visited Sesame Place in nearby Pennsylvania, but we will definitely be back!
My family is always hungry for travel and adventure, but our budget can not handle constant week-long quests. Day trips, though? Those we can do, especially in summer when we try and make many days feel special.
A recent Sunday jaunt to Sesame Place was a winner. My elementary- and pre-school aged kids both loved the rides and water slides. The wet and dryland activity options make Sesame Place feel like two parks in one.
Amusement Park Rides
The thrill level of the rides was perfect for my sort-of-adventurous kids. The Vapor Trail is a kid-friendly roller coaster at the park gates that does not go upside down but delivers excitement. The rest of the rides are less intense but will still delight kids through upper elementary, with spinning in the air, high swings, tilt-o-whirls and teacups. For toddlers and timid preschoolers, there are lots of extremely chill junior rides and play areas, too. Check ’em out.
We were at Sesame Place on a summer Sunday and we never had to wait in a line longer than 15 minutes. However, on busy days you purchase the Abby’s Magic Queue options for all or select rides and jet to the front of the lines.
Shows and Character Experiences
For kids who love a show or have a special affinity for Sesame Street characters, there are lots of live entertainment options. There is Elmo the Musical, featuring Elmo and Cookie Monster, which also provides and extra VIP Meet and Greet option. We enjoyed the Neighborhood Birthday Party Parade in the afternoon, which provided a great chance to see all the key characters. There is an night parade on select summer evenings, too! My kids and I watched snippets of Let’s Play Together as we cruised around the stage on the lazy river and Alice expressed that she “definitely needs to see the whole thing next time!”
There are off-stage character meet and greets throughout the park, all day, too. Check the character line up and schedules so that your kids can meet their favs.
Knowing that we would be back for another trip in the fall, we spent most of our summer “sunny day” with the “clouds away” exploring the water slides and wet fun at Sesame Place. My two older, strong swimmers loved flexing their independence on single-rider slides and rafts. Our preschool dog paddler enjoyed the two-person raft rides for safely sliding with a parent or even an older sibling (on the most gentle slides.) There are several splash pads and interactive water playgrounds on site, as well as a wave pool and lazy river. We spent the majority of our day riding the slides though, again and again. as the lines were extremely manageable and the kids gained confidence. There are nine water fun areas total.
Dining and Savings
My family and I had a surprisingly yummy and affordable lunch at Cookie’s Cafe. The kids chose burgers or chicken nuggets, my husband and I got salads and sandwiches, everyone got a drink and our total was less than $30…the same price we pay at a fast food restaurant for our family of 5. Having a season pass provided us with 30 percent off all concessions which saved us a lot on lunch and the important afternoon break of ice cream for kids (and coffee for parents.)
You can also tailgate in the parking lot and picnic in the designated areas outside the park, just be sure to have your hands stamped for re-entry. Small coolers for baby formula and essentials are allowed. See cooler policy details.
We are saving our character dining experience for another trip in the fall, but if you have big Sesame Street fan, definitely look into the breakfast, lunch and dinner character dining options. I love how there is separate pricing for kids (starting at just $11) and adults (starting at $20), and children under two years are free (but require a reservation.) Compared to other theme parks, this pricing for a meal with photo opps with characters is very reasonable.
Ticket purchase tip: Buy your Sesame Place tickets online ahead of time to receive $10 off each ticket as well as a free visit next time!
Sesame Street Nostalgia
As someone who both grew up with Sesame Street and raised my babies to the sounds of Elmo’s World, being in the Sesame universe for the day was great fun. Alice could have run the cash register at Mr. Hooper’s Store all day! Definitely carve out some time in your visit for photos and exploration of Sesame Neighborhood, which recreates the sets that we all know so well!
We had an amazing first visit to Sesame Place. As new season pass holders, we will definitely be back this summer, possibly for the Labor Day fireworks or other special Sesame Place events!
Disclosure: A Parent in Silver Spring was invited to serve as a Sesame Place blog ambassador. Our family receives park tickets, parking passes and one season pass. All other expenses covered by me. All opinions are my own.