I just got home from a little trip to Sesame Place. If you haven’t heard of it, Sesame Place is a Sesame Street themed family friendly theme park located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. It’s about 30 minutes north of Philadelphia.
Even though we were only there for two days, I learned a lot and want to share my tips for visiting Sesame Place!
This post contains “affiliate links”. This means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you subscribe or purchase something through the links. See our privacy and disclosures for more information.
Visit During Weekdays
I had read that Sesame Place is less crowded during the week, so we went on Thursday and Friday. Thursday the park was practically empty! There were no lines or crowds; it was awesome! We figured it would be similar on Friday, but boy were we wrong! It was busy, so I imagine it’s even busier on the weekends. We are planning to go back in a couple of years, and next time we are thinking we will go more mid-week and avoid even Friday.
Wear Your Bathing Suit
Okay, so I had heard this before we went and thought I don’t really want to wear my suit, I’ll just get changed when we are there. I totally regretted this! First, it was sooo hot when we were there! I was wearing denim shorts and a t-shirt. Personally, I’m not a big fan of denim anyway so I was miserable walking around in the heat.
Also, the water rides are so mixed in with the regular rides. Just walking around you would see regular rides and then the next thing you would see is a water play area. My daughter was a little disappointed when we couldn’t just walk into the water area. We made sure to have our suits on when we went back!
Bring Water Shoes
We got water shoes for our toddler, and I thought flip flops would be fine for us. When we got to the water rides like the lazy river, I realized I didn’t want to risk losing my flip flops on the ride especially since I didn’t have other shoes with me. And then, walking around barefoot the pavement was hot and it wasn’t always super smooth. Next time we will all be bringing water shoes!
You will be spending a lot of time in the sun here. They sell sunblock there if you forget to bring some, but of course it is more expensive. My favorite sunblock is this ThinkBaby brand
If you are traveling and staying in a hotel to visit Sesame Place, I definitely recommend staying nearby. There are a bunch of hotels that are super close. We stayed at the Red Roof Inn just down the street. Nothing fancy, but no complaints aside from the bed not being the most comfortable, but we would totally stay there again. It’s not one of the Sesame Place official hotels, but it was much more affordable – at least when we were going.
It was literally a three minute drive. We could have walked, but there weren’t sidewalks on the main road so we didn’t feel comfortable. We found out that once you paid for parking, you can leave the park and come back and as long as you have your parking receipt you won’t have to pay again! How awesome is that?!
A long, hot day at a theme park is a recipe for melt downs in my book, so we made sure to plan and take breaks. We broke up the day by leaving around noon so our little one could take a nap and then we would head back for the afternoon until close. This worked out so nicely! Since we were all in one hotel room there isn’t much we could do while she napped, so mom and dad got naps too! I’m surprised to say what a relaxing mini vacation this was for us!
Plan ahead for meals
The food at Sesame Place is not bad, but it’s not how we typically eat. We tend to have more veggies and grilled meats than what was offered there. You are allowed to bring a small cooler into the park. You can also leave and re-enter as long as you get your hand stamped. So one idea would be to pack a picnic lunch and head out to the car to eat. We saw a lot of people doing this.
You can bring single serving snacks and drinks – just no glass. We packed a bunch of snacks and got the little boxes of milk that don’t need to be refrigerated.
The first day we were there we did breakfast with Elmo (more about that coming up) so we weren’t really hungry for lunch. We had some snacks and then did dinner at the park. The next day we had breakfast in our hotel room, had lunch at the park, and then went to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
We liked lunch at Abby Cadabby’s Garden Grille. I guess this is a newer option. It is outside under a pavilion with lots of fans. You order and are given a number and the food gets delivered to your table. They had a yummy veggie wrap and a strawberry salad. All kids meals come with souvenir cups too, which my daughter loved!
If you’re going to do a character meal, do breakfast!
This is my recommendation at least. The park opens at 10, and breakfast starts at 9 so you get to get in early and with smaller lines. The food was okay, my daughter loved the sausage links, fruit, and french toast sticks. Options were limited and if you are on any type of healthy dietary restrictions you won’t have many choices aside from the fruit – which luckily there was lots of fruit available.
When you walk in the door you are greeted by all the characters. We had to wait in line to see Elmo, but the rest of the characters mingled throughout the room offering kids high fives and hugs. My daughter liked them from a distance but wanted nothing to do with any of the characters up close, and they were great with this.
Of course, we had to buy the $25 picture of her trying to get away from Elmo! They also let you take your own pictures which is really nice. Partway through the meal, the characters each do a few songs and then they have a dance party where everyone is invited to participate. It was a fun experience!
We are early birds, so we liked the option of getting in early for breakfast. I could see others would prefer to do lunch, and enjoy a break midday in the air conditioning so that’s something to think about too!
See a show!
We went to Elmo the Musical Live!, and it was adorable! The theater was air conditioned, so it was a nice break from the heat. My daughter was in awe of everything, it was so fun to watch.
If you are sitting in the first couple of rows too, the characters may even interact with you. At one point, Cookie Monster sat right down between a couple of families – the kids were so excited! The show was half an hour, so it was the perfect length for us.
Think about the rides you do
One thing I learned is just because your child fits the requirements of the ride and is allowed to ride, it may not be the best fit. I wanted to do the Sky Splash, which is a family raft ride with a water slide. I was pretty excited my daughter could do it.
If I really thought about it, I probably could have guessed that she wouldn’t like it even though she was saying ‘wow’ and ‘weee’ while watching it. She cried on all the rides we did – even the carousel!
Like one of the roller coasters requires kids to be at least 3 years old. I don’t know many three year olds that would enjoy that roller coaster, it was pretty fast! You know your kiddos though so think about what they like and what will be best for them!
All the requirements are listed on the map they give you each day, so be sure to check these out.
Check out the Parade
If you are going for multiple days, I would say to just see the parade once. It was very cute, you got to see all the characters, and the performers would interact with the kids. We found a spot near the end of the route, about fifteen minutes before the parade started. On busy days I’ve heard you should claim a spot at least a half hour before the Okay, start time!
Make sure you get a map!
The maps list all the rides, their requirements, and where they are located. The map also lists the restaurants, shows, parades, and photo opportunities, park hours, and any news. Parks news could include information about ride closures or if any rides have different hours than the rest of the park. All good info to have!
Sesame Place is a Certified Autism Center
Okay, this isn’t a tip but this is something that is cool to know. Sesame Place is the first theme park anywhere ever to get this certification. When you look at their attractions and ride on their website, everything is graded with a sensory guide. It gives you an idea of what to expect and how each sense may be impacted. They even have a couple of quiet rooms at the park and offer noise cancelling head phones. Their site also says their staff have received training specific to working with children and children with special needs. I love that Sesame Place has put this extra work in so that all families can have an enjoyable experience.
The most important part of any family vacation of course is to have fun! Have you been to Sesame Place? Any tips you want to add? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email!
If you are planning your summer vacation, you have to check out this post full of tips for staying on budget!