In full disclosure, we were provided tickets to Sesame Place in exchange for our honest review.
Raised on the legendary Sesame Street television program, I was actually not a child when Sesame Place first opened. Granted I am revealing my age by stating this as Sesame Place celebrates it’s 35th birthday, but there is nothing like being a parent and exposing your children to new experiences. As parents, there are times we bring our children to activities that we will not enjoy as much as them and then there are those events and places that we treasure just as much as our children. Sesame Place definitely fits in the latter category.
This part amusement park, part water park, part theatrical show, and a few other things that don’t fit a category is located just over the Pennsylvania border in Langhorne. Sesame Place offered not only my children but myself, as well, wonderful experiences that will be warm memories. As we left the park, my children were whimpering “I don’t want to leave Sesame Place” which is the ultimate stamp of approval from the toddler and preschooler population. However, at Mommy University we are always assessing the educational and developmental benefits of the locations that we visit and Sesame Place can now join our list of places to bring the family for learning through play.
Mommy University Presents the
Benefits of Visiting Sesame Place
Fosters an Appreciation of Theater
Looking for a break from the summer sun and running around? Looking to introduce the youngest children to theater? Looking to have a brief lesson taught at the same time? Throughout the day at Sesame Place there are shows that are designed for the attention span of young children while teaching them valuable lessons. We had the pleasure of watching Elmo: The Musical which lasted probably less than 25 minutes in a cozy theater. The show involved Elmo and Cookie Monster solving a mystery but more importantly I enjoyed how it emphasized to children to use their imagination.
For us, we caught the show at the end of our time at Sesame Place, but I thought this is perfect for exposing children to theater. I think the show is especially great if you (the parent) need a little break from the summer sun and just need to sit and relax, meanwhile your child is learning shapes, colors and how to participate as an audience member.
Encourages Imaginary Play
Throughout the park, the decorations absolutely reflect the world of Sesame Street. If you don’t look around you might miss some of the amazing details that are hidden. For example, there are plants decorated to look like Grover or Elmo. The decorations definitely invite children to an imaginary world where plants can come alive as we noticed several eyes hidden in various oversized flowerpots. Children can visit a section of Sesame Street where a life-sized scale of the firehouse, grocery store and street stoop are also present. This is phenomenal for family photos and the characters are constantly out and about for thirty minutes at a time to have their photos taken. What we love, however, is that it also invites children to play and dream.
My favorite and the most impressive invitation for imaginary play is during the parade. In honor of it’s 35th birthday, the parade is a special Birthday Celebration. Children danced along and some were invited to dance in the parade as Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, and more made an appearance.
Enhances Academic Knowledge
It is amazing how little details permeate Sesame Place that you may not notice. In the Elmo Musical, while children are listening to Elmo and Cookie Monster look for his missing cookie, they are identifying circles in various scenes. By the Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave, there are tiny cards that list interesting facts. I recommend reading different ones each time you visit as they do open the door for some thought-provoking physics and mathematical principles. For example, the postcards above the Mix and Match ride are so big that they would require a 136 foot tall postman to carry. For an older child who accompanies the family, this might be a good exercise in math.
Introduces Cause and Effect
Hidden under the Sky Splash ride is the Mix and Match ride which entertained my children for a good length of time. As long as the child can fit in the car, they can go on this particular ride. To make the car move, children need to push and pull the level. If they do nothing, then nothing happens (until the rider behind you becomes frustrated and does the work for you). What a great introduction to the scientific concept of cause and effect. It’s also great exercise!
Boosts Gross Motor Skills
It is not just the Monster Clubhouse at Cookie Monster’s Land but also the newly released Count’s Splash Castle that offer vast opportunities for children to stretch and use their muscles. As adults, we may not need to run around to burn energy, but children do. More importantly, the muscles that they build through physical activities enable them to have the strength they need to have the ability to write. They are learning about their bodies as they master the different physical challenges which helps them to become physically stronger and enhance their balance skills. These opportunities for gross motor development also help improve visual-spatial skills, coordination and problem solving skills!
Although we arrived at opening and spent the entire day, it was not enough time for our family. There are so many opportunities for fun and learning for young children, that we are determined to return. My children experienced their first roller coaster as we flew down the tracks on the Vapor Trail. I can still hear my daughter’s belly laugh, and I know we are creating amazing memories that they will treasure as much as I do. There are still so many more rides and adventures at Sesame Place that await our family and yours!
Sesame Place is located at 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA 19047. Currently, tickets can be purchased online for $55 which includes a second day visit or purchased at the gate for $65. Monday through Thursday the park hours are from 10am-7pm, and Friday through Sunday it is open from 10am-9pm.