As with most children out there, Ella started to become obsessed with our furry little red friend Elmo from Sesame Street when she was one. It was strange as she never watched an episode of Sesame Street or even TV at that point but yet she still loved the character. My friend’s brother lived in Pennsylvania and told us about an amusement park – Sesame Place that was completely Sesame Street themed, was smaller in size and with rides that were geared towards younger children. After doing a little research, we discovered that it was located in Langhorne Pennsylvania, 30 minutes from Philadelphia or 90 minutes from New York City.
On our first trip, we decided to fly into Philadelphia, spend a few days downtown to explore the city and catch a Phillies game before renting a car and heading to Sesame Place. As Langhorne is a pretty small city, the best and closest hotel option was the Sheraton. Luckily I am an obsessive points collector as well and instead of paying $180 per night for the hotel, it only cost me 7000 SPG points instead! The Sheraton was a pretty basic one but given that it was so close to the park, I wouldn’t have stayed anywhere else. In addition they have a frequent shuttle that goes back and forth to the park throughout the day which saves on having to pay for parking.
We chose to go second week of June on a Thursday to avoid the weekend crowds and also before summer break started for the school aged children. This proved to save us a little on tickets since they offered a one-day spring admission ticket for $43. You can pay a little more and get a two-day pass which is their standard ticket but for us, with an almost two year old, one day was perfect. The only issue I had was that everyone required a ticket to enter the park and there was no special pricing – all tickets were the same price.
In addition, there was an option to have lunch with the characters. If you are interested in doing this – book in advance as the times do fill up. The food was terrible (buffet style with chicken fingers, pasta, fries, salad) but the experience was completely worth it! All of the main characters were there – Elmo, Abby, Big Bird, The Count, and Cookie Monster. You should have seen Ella’s eyes light up when she entered the cafeteria style room – she was ecstatic! You get a reserved table to have lunch and there is a spot in the corner where you can get your picture taken with Elmo. You can either pay for their photo or you are welcome to take your own. In addition, all of the other characters came around to visit the tables – again you are welcome to take pictures. They end the lunch with a little show and conga line where the little ones can join in – so much fun. I’m not sure if Ella even ate anything during the lunch as she wanted to be near all of the characters and get hugs whenever possible. This is one of those parent moments where you sit back and really enjoy – the pure joy on her face was worth every penny.
The rest of the park was split into two sections – dry rides and wet rides/pool. The park overall is pretty small and manageable in one day. Some of the rides requires children to be at least 38″ so Ella couldn’t go on all of the rides but that was OK as there were so many other options that she could go on.
There are several shows that they put on throughout the day in their theaters which we didn’t get to go to until the second time we visited but we made sure we made it for the parade (be sure to check out parade times and get there early to get a front row spot). The parade was a blast as well and came a close second to the lunch with the characters. I think Ella’s hand was probably sore from continually waving at the characters.
A few tips if you decide to go:
- Bring a hat and lots of sunscreen as there is almost no shaded area.
- Get the wristband that they attach to your credit card so you can pay for food and souvenirs without having to fumble around with your wallet.
- Have them already dressed in a bathing suit underneath before you get there to save the hassle when you’re there.
- Stay at the Sheraton on points – great value.
- Go early June and pick a day during the week to avoid the crowds.
- Spend the money to have lunch with the characters as you won’t likely see all of the characters around in the park or have a chance to get up close for a photo opportunity.
- Bring a small blanket (something light so you don’t mind carrying it around) so you can sit on it during the parade.
- Bring your own snacks and drinks to carry in a backpack as the food is expensive (but not anymore than any other amusement park).
Feel free to comment below for anyone who has other suggestions, comments or questions! Share with a friend if you know anyone who has a young child obsessed with Elmo!