Digital photography is an amazing invention. You can save thousands of pictures forever without worrying about losing all those dust-covered memories. Of course, when you lose your camera — including the memory card inside which you never uploaded — you’re screwed. And you’re also full of mom guilt over it. So I won’t explain why I don’t have pictures from our very first trip to Sesame Place when Jack was 21 months old. These pictures from his trip at 2 and a half were kind of a do-over 🤷🏻♀️
Sesame Place is located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania — just outside Philadelphia, PA and Trenton, NJ. It’s a small theme park featuring everyone’s favorite characters from PBS’ show Sesame Street.
Sesame Place has a lot of great options for older kids and families. It has a large rollercoaster and another coming in 2018. Approximately half of Sesame is also made up of water rides, which attract visitors of all ages. But since our trips are built around a toddler, we focus mostly on toddler-friendly attractions.
A big pro of Sesame Place with a little one is its easy navigation; it’s a small park and it isn’t overwhelming. There are a lot of cute references to the show and its characters throughout the park, which kids and parents alike will appreciate, including familiar music piped in throughout the park, Hooper’s Store, and the “backlot set” kind of recreation of Sesame Street itself, complete with that iconic apartment building #123.
The dry rides are decent, some better than others:
- We love the Sunny Day Carousel, which is small and slow and safe for babies and toddlers.
- Elmo’s Flying Fish was fun and not fast, but the park could use a couple more gentle rides for little ones.
- Even Cookie Monster’s High C’s Adventure was a bit of a tummy rumbler for us! But more adventurous riders should enjoy it without complaints.
Some wet areas of the park are great for babies and toddlers:
- We LOVE the Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave in Twiddlebug Village! It’s like a parking-lot sized wading pool no deeper than 1 foot! Parents can join their littles without needing to wear a bathing suit and it’s safe enough to let them play freely.
- The sprinkler pad right near the wading pool is small but cute and the oversized watering cans provide perfect showers for hot little ones!
- Big Bird’s Rambling River is a slow, relaxing ride in an inner tube for kids and parents (who can walk through the shallow water.)
Here are some of my favorite things about Sesame Place:
- It’s manageable for families and if you go early and plan well you can enjoy the park in a 1 day trip.
- They have great sales on tickets and incentives. They often offer “buy 1 ticket get a second day anytime free,” so you can pick your next visit any time of the year when they’re open. They also have valuable offers for season passes. Recently, they had a sale that offered an upgrade to season pass holder for about $50 per person more, which was essentially the price of another trip. This season pass included our admmission for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018! One more visit and it paid for itself, so I totally went for it and we’re now season passholders!
- Season passholders get great discounts in the park, including a generous 25% off food and merchandise! We all know how expensive those theme park snack carts and gift shops are, so this really does help.
- They have a Sunny Day guarantee… if it’s raining more an hour or more straight during your visit, they’ll give you a ticket to use another time.
- The music and parades are really cute and festive. They have a street party parade once or twice a day, and they are peppy and happy and get kids movin’ with their favorite characters.
Here’s the lowdown about the food: it’s not so hot. Some snacks are tasty and there are dining spots which are better than others, but my general rule about Sesame Place is not to go there hungry:
- Pack snacks! Outside food, except full-blown picnics in coolers, is permitted, and you can bring plastic water bottles or juice boxes too. This is a money saver too since park food is pricey.
- Plan to eat a real meal before or after your visit. We like to have a nice lunch before or dinner after at one of the family friendly restaurants located within blocks of the park, such as Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, Red Robin, or Friday’s.
- The character dining at Dine With Me was a big waste of money. After a first disappointing experience there, I honestly tried to give this place a second chance and we disliked it again. It’s overpriced and the buffet is minimal and terrible! The characters also dance to very loud music, so it can be overwhelming. If your child is very little or isn’t into that kind of thing, stay away. My son really didn’t like it at this character dining spot and now specifically asks us not to bring him there when we visit Sesame!
- If you need a snack, I recommend Elmo-shaped hot pretzels at several snack carts, the Nathan’s hot dog cart, or soft-serve ice cream at Snuffy’s… their pineapple soft-serve is delicious and a close match to my favorite Dole Whip in Disney World!
Here are a few more of my favorite tips about Sesame Place:
- Pack a bag with lots of essentials for you and your kids. You may need things like towels, sunscreen, water, snacks, extra diapers including swimmers, extra clothes/socks/flip flops, a hat and a bathing suit. You’ll want these items in case you decide to do both wet and dry rides.
- If you’re someone who has to park closeby, pay for parking, but if you don’t mind a short walk, save the $20. The Oxford Valley Mall is about 3 blocks straight down the street from Sesame’s entrance. I park at the tip of Macy’s and the walk is quick and worth it. We like to stop in the mall too, it’s a nice one! And they have large, private family bathrooms which are kept clean and perfect for cleaning up and changing after the park since Sesame’s bathrooms aren’t the greatest.
- I personally don’t recommend buying the Photokey that Sesame sells online with tickets. I purchased one on my first visit thinking I’d get tons of pictures like I do when I go to Disney World… no. It was a waste of money because they don’t have that many photographers all around the park. If you do take a pro photo at a Smile With Me location, you’ll get a scan for a picture that you can choose to buy later, even at home.
The best part of Sesame Place is enjoying a nostalgic trip with your children that reminds you of Sesame Street friends you grew up with too. You’ll make special memories together as you enjoy a sunny day, chasing the clouds away! 🎼 😀