Abby Cadabby's Treasure Hunt Show at Sesame Place

Abby Cadabby's Treasure Hunt

Now that our youngest is adept at toddling and running, we felt ready for our first family vacation. We’ve previously flown to visit both sets of grandparents, but this would be our first vacation with just the four of us. Due to my husband’s work obligations and our budget, we could only take an extended weekend getaway. After polling our friends for suggestions of family friendly places within a four-hour drive of the D.C. area, we settled on the children’s theme park Sesame Place.
Even with traffic, the four-hour drive to Langhorne, Penn. was relatively easy. We kept 5-year-old Little Miss S busy with a travel bag full of activities and plied Rocker J with snacks during the drive. My main worry about Sesame Place was if my daughter would enjoy it. She frequently tells me she’s no longer interested in watching “Sesame Street,” and that it’s for babies. However, I catch her enamored with Abby Cadabby while her brother repeatedly yells “Elmo!” at the screen. I had nothing to worry about.
When we arrived, the park was decked in Christmas decorations to celebrate their Furry Christmas celebration on July 25. A children’s choir sang carols near the front gate while bubble blowers blew snow-like suds in the air. We arrived 10 minutes before the park opened, and the lines were already long. Once we scanned our tickets and made it into the park, we grabbed the large colorful map.

Sesame Place offers typical theme park attractions but geared for the younger crowd. There are rides kids can ride solo or with a parent (depending on ride requirements). Little Miss S rode the Vapor Trail roller coaster three times. Thankfully, I only rode with her once, leaving the other two times for my husband. The roller coaster wasn’t scary, but my stomach was not happy after the first ride. She also loved the huge rope climbing area, Nets and Climbs. Be warned: it’s quite the workout, especially for the parents who have to keep up with their kids. Sadly, Rocker J did not enjoy the one ride I took him on, Grover’s World Twirl.

A highlight for me were the live shows throughout the day. Rocker J squealed with delight as his favorite characters sang and danced before his eyes. As a parent, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Elmo Rocks! show, especially when Cookie Monster performed a rap version of “C is for Cookie.”

Family Photo with Oscar the Grouch

As we strolled through the park, we ran into character photo ops. We got in line for pictures with Bert & Ernie, Cookie Monster and even Oscar the Grouch. Sometimes we didn’t catch them at the right time because the character wrangler had to get those poor guys back into some air conditioning. There is no schedule published anywhere so it seemed to be the luck of the draw. We never caught a glimpse of  Elmo for a photo. There is a dedicated booth where you can take pictures with the very popular Elmo and buy print on demand photos.

As if there wasn’t enough to do, Sesame Place also has a water park consisting of a lazy river, water rides, and two wading areas. The water park is included in your ticket price. We saved our the water park for the end of our day as I didn’t want to walk around in wet clothes all day. My plan was completely foiled by the thunderstorm that hit around 3 p.m. It rained for the entire duration of the Abby Cadabby’s Treasure Hunt show. Even though the seating area’s roof was covered in tarps, we got pretty soaked. One bonus about the storm was the park cleared out quite a bit. The rest of the day was less humid and the water park was not crowded at all. The Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave was the perfect way to end our day at Sesame Place.

Because of the rain, we had the option to exchange our tickets for vouchers to return again any day this season (see Sunny Day guarantee for details). The line to exchange our tickets was long so we opted not to do it. Looking back I think it was wise choice. Little Miss and Rocker J would have enjoyed another day at Sesame Place, but my husband and I were worn out.

The park clearly understood their visitors’ needs. The bathrooms were big and roomy enough to park our stroller near the baby changing area. We never had to wait in line to use the bathroom. The park photographers and vendors were not pushy about their wares. The cafeterias offered typical kid options such as chicken nuggets and macaroni but offered fresh fruit and other healthier options as well. There was plenty of parking for our sit and stand stroller at each attraction.

Since the park was geared for those young kids, I fully expected to just mainly wrangle the kids. Both my husband and I surprisingly enjoyed the live shows and found the wading pool relaxing after a long hot day.

Little Miss S has already requested that we return next year.

Come back next week for my tips to make your trip to Sesame Street fun and relaxing. Better yet, subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Sesame Place provided complimentary park tickets for our family. All travel expenses were our family’s responsibility. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thien-Kim Lam’s favorite Sesame Street spoof is Grover’s Smell Like a Monster. She also blogs about parenting at I’m Not the Nanny and shares her food and crafty obsessions at Cup of Creativi-Tea.