“Can you tell me how to get to”… a fantastic amusement park where toddlers under 6 can go on all the fun rides?
“Sunny day, sweepin’ the clouds away. On my way, to where the air is sweet.” It was the first week of May, 2008 and only 55 degrees, when an Upper West Side family and friends made a short, 1½-hour trip to Sesame Place (215/752-7070) at 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA 19047 for opening day.
On our first visit last year with our two kids and their friends, all between the ages of 2½ and 6, we were very skeptical that such an enjoyable place, one that had the power to take you back to your childhood, could be so close to New York City. It actually is true; the traffic was normal and the time flew by, and this time, parking at the theme park’s lot moved very quickly.
As always, the Sesame Place employees were all cheers and smiles. Upon entering the park, their welcome somehow made us forgot how chilly the weather was. The night before, we had discussed cancelling the trip due to the weather, but the kids stood their ground. (The girls provided fun facts from the previous year’s trip, chanting, “Cookie Mountain, Teacups, Nets & Climbs, Silly Sand Slide, Vapor Trail, etc.”) They were determined the trip would be repeated this year. In fact we all were, so there was really no resistance from the parents at all. Lol!
This is definitely a safe and comfortable family atmosphere. The first thing you see when you enter the park is the roller coaster, so my partner immediately took our older child there, while the rest of us headed off to the Elmo’s section of the park, which consisted of a huge suspended rope maze.
Like last year’s visit, we waited on line for the teacups, then Cookie Mountain. Even my littlest one needed no assistance in climbing since, if she fell, it was all cushioned. She felt like such a big girl. Due to the weather, we decided to keep to all dry rides, making multiple visits to Elmo’s Flying Fish, Peek a Bug, and Blast off.
I have to mention the water rides from last year; we had started with Big Bird Rambling River which I — forget about the kids — absolutely loved. Almost every water ride after that: Ernie’s Waterworks or Little Bird Rapids, Slimey Shutes, Sky Splash and more, were fun for the entire family. There were some adventurous families that did allow their kids to go on the water rides in the cold weather, but we were having too much fun on the dry ones to notice. My one strong recommendation is to bring sunblock; except the restaurants, there are not a lot of shaded areas.
We have been to many theme parks, however I have always had to deal with the height/age restrictions. If the kids missed the mark by a fraction they were booted off. You can imagine what a joy it was to just sail down the river with my toddler on my lap and my 1st grader right next to me. She was able to go on almost every ride by herself; she felt very empowered and adult-like.
Although the weather was on the brisk side, the park was still packed for its opening day and clearly everyone was having a blast. The grand opening of the Sunny Day Carousel was short and sweet, and this allowed the kids to get onto the muppetized horses sooner than later. Everywhere we went, we found characters bringing smiles to their little fan base (and some adults, too).
We left Sesame Place feeling happy, content that we did not cancel our trip. In fact, we could have stayed all weekend and many families do, as the park is less than a half-hour from Philadelphia’s attractions.
Overall, Sesame Place is a wonderful experience. My kids had a blast and that’s how we measure FUN. We already have talk buzzing around the house about going back this summer to enjoy the water rides and even again next year…
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