What a beautiful day we had last Saturday to explore Sesame Place, on opening day of its 2011 season. This was our family’s real first visit and my boys were very excited. (We had been in the past only for a fundraising walk and most of the park was closed.)
We arrived at opening, which to our surprise, was a great time to attend. For the first 45 minutes or so we were able to enjoy the park without too many crowds. Those who were there, were checking out the opening parade. So we checked out Vapor Trail, a very cool roller coaster, and then headed over to Big Bird’s Neighborhood and Elmo’s World. These areas were easy enough for the toddlers to play in yet still challenging enough for the older kids.
Yes, even my 2 year-old went through the Nets ‘n’ Climbs with daddy. What was especially nice about this activity is that although there are several layers, you can enter or exit at any level. (We’ve been to rope and netting activities like this before where once you are in you have to work your way through the entire maze to get out. That can be tough on a toddler with little legs.) Each level of rope netting also had a sheet of netting above and below it ensuring the safety of the kids climbing through.
Within this area, there were several activities to choose from including Big Bird’s Nest and Court (a playground) for the 5 and under crowd. All of our boys enjoyed that as well as jumping on Ernie’s Bed, navigating the Monster Maze, and climbing Cookie Mountain.
As a parent one of the things that made our Sesame Place visit easier was the signage. Beyond telling you the height requirements or health restrictions for a ride, the signs clearly identified who could and couldn’t ride and if they needed an adult. My boys simply had to stand next to the sign to know if mommy or daddy would need to ride with them.
From there it was time to head over to Big Bird’s Pavilion for one of the highlights of the day, a special meet and greet with Murray, the newest character to Sesame Place. As we waited, my boys enjoyed a miniature, yet oversized playground. It reminded me of our trip to Elmo’s Green Thumb, where Elmo and his friends shrank and everything around them was larger. In this play area, for the 7 and under crowd, kids could climb into an oversized flower pot and slide down the other side. All 3 of my boys ages 2 – 6 had quite a bit of fun before we headed off to meet Murray. Murray, was so friendly and charming with all of the kids. We even hear he rocked one blogger’s baby to sleep. (Can we bring Murray home?) Big Bird’s Pavillion is in a nice shaded area so we took advantage of the tables there to refuel and have a little snack.
From there we headed back to Elmo’s World. The kids bounced between rides like Blast Off, Flying Fish, Snuffy’s Slides, Elmo’s Cloud Chaser, and Grover’s World Twirl. You can catch videos of some of our rides on YouTube by clicking here.
We took some time to stop in Sesame Neighborhood. We took tons of pictures and did some shopping in Mr. Hooper’s store and Oscar’s Garage (everything is $10 or less.) We caught up with some of our Sesame Street pals like Ernie, Bert, Grover and Rosita. It was great that Sesame Place had staff there to check the lines and help us find the line’s end. Even though the lines moved quickly, we never felt rushed. We were allowed to take as many pictures as we wanted. Then, before we knew it, it was time for the debut of the Neighborhood Street Party Parade. Although it starts at 1:30 pm you’ll want to arrive early to snag a great seat.
Looking at my son’s face, you know the Neighborhood Street Party Parade was (in his words) AWESOME! Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and all of our Sesame Street Friends were there. They sang. They danced. They moved back and forth so everyone had an opportunity to see them. They even brought kids up to dance along with them at several points along the route. It was one of the highlights of my day. (My only disappointment, I was so close to the action that it was hard to get a good video for you. Guess you’ll have to visit for yourself.)
After that we squeezed in a few more rides and then headed into the Sesame Theatre to catch Elmo’s World Live. What a great performance, that again, had us laughing and dancing with Elmo, Dorothy, and Mr. Noodle. You can catch some videos of that on YouTube as well.
The day went so quick that I can easily see why so many families take advantage of the two-day tickets. Although we arrived at 9:30 am and stayed till 5 pm, there were many more shows and rides we could have enjoyed and possibly will enjoy on a second trip. And of course there are all the water attractions too that had it been just a little warmer, surely would have sucked us in. But our youngest was falling asleep and it was time to go. :( The rest will have to wait for another day. Our thanks to Sesame Place for inviting us to be their guests on such a special day for all of us.
You can view our complete Sesame Place Opening Day photo album on Facebook, just click these words.
Now it’s your turn. Go visit Sesame Place and tell us what you think.
In full disclosure, Jersey Family Fun did not receive any cash compensation for this post. We were provided with tickets to visit and giveaway for a visit to Sesame Place. We paid for our own traveling and food expenses. Our opinions are honest and our own.