Sesame Street is one of the first TV shows I allowed my toddler to watch. Since I grew up on the show like most of America it was an easy decision. I knew it was wholesome entertainment that’s occasionally amusing to adults – True Blood parody, anyone?
My son quickly grew fond of Elmo, Abby, and many of the other characters on the Sesame Street. And amazingly lucky for us we are not too far from Sesame Place, the children’s theme park based on the classic television show.
This weekend we were invited to explore the park and watch the debut of their first ever night time parade!
We arrived in the late afternoon and almost immediately ran into Oscar the Grouch hanging out in his trashcan! Shortly afterwards, Liz from SixYearItch spotted us walking down the main street through the Sesame neighborhood. She and her daughter were checking out the fire station that’s part of the life size recreation of Sesame Street.
We moved on to the rides. Big Bird’s Balloon ride was the most anticipated ride of the day for X. He also loved the Sunny Day Carousel and for the very first time he stayed on a horse for the whole ride instead of on the bench seat!
In between rides, we caught a couple of shows. First was Elmo’s World Live which is wonderful live recreation of the Elmo’s World you see on the TV show. The ‘episode’ that plays at the park focuses on the art of dance. Kids and parents are very much encouraged to get up and dance throughout the show.
We found an easy and fast dinner at Elmo’s Eatery. The food is moderately priced, and even better if you get the 30% off season pass discount, considering kids’ meals come with a cute souvenir plate and cup. But this is where my only real (and maybe silly) gripe of the day happens. This is our 2nd time visiting the park, the first being very early in the season. I was looking forward to getting a 2nd matching Elmo plate. Unfortunately, they’ve since changed the souvenir plates and we now have 2 different Elmo plates that don’t stack well. I also like the look of the 1st plate better. Bummer! I do appreciate that the 2nd plate specifies that it is BPA free on the back though.
Finally, it was getting closer to the debut of the parade. You could tell everyone was excited because despite the parade not starting till 9PM families were staking out their spots along the parade route as early as 8PM! We were invited to the VIP pre-parade character meet & greet so made our way to that area. Meet & greets are generally reserved for Big Bird and Super Grover season pass holders only. With only a dozen or so families there, this made the meet-and-greet experience more intimate and less overwhelming.
X was immediately excited when the first characters started trickling out. He desperately wanted to give Telly a hug and a high five. He had his arms open and ready to go… until we actually got up to Telly at which point he decided we were WAY TOO CLOSE and that he wanted nothing to do with this monster touching business. After our quick photo, he cheerfully chirped, “Bye Telly!” and waved as we walked away. A similar scenario played out with the rest of the characters! But we had fun nonetheless and got to meet so many characters, including: Murray, Elmo, the Count, Bert & Ernie, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Cookie Monster, Rosita, Big Bird, Prairie Dawn and Telly.
After the meet & greet it was finally dark and the night parade kicked off with lots of fun music and lights along the entire way. All the kids loved it and it was just the perfect length for holding little people’s attention. Not too long or short!
(Sorry for the blurry cell phone pics, next time I definitely need to bring a real camera)