We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read my full disclosure here.
You all know I love the beach and pool, but another summer (and spring/fall) activity that our family loves is to visit theme parks! This past winter we were lucky enough to visit Legoland Florida twice, have a brunch at Chef Mickey at Walt Disney World, and have visited our local amusement park, Adventureland, many times.
One park that has always made our summer must-do list is Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. I honestly do not think we will go this year, for the first time in 5 summers! I am a bit sad about this! But my guys have “graduated” to a bigger water park (we have a Splish Splash visit scheduled in a couple of weeks), but we have gone to Sesame for the past five summers and I am thrilled to share my tips to help younger families plan their most awesome Sesame Place trip.
hover over image to pin for later:
Sesame Place Tips
About Sesame Place
Sesame Place is a Sesame Street themed amusement park located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, about 27 miles north of Philadelphia. From where we live on the South Shore of Long Island, it’s a little over 2 hours away.
We first visited Sesame Place when little man was 3 and baby girl was about 9 months old. This park is definitely geared for little ones, I’d say about ages 1 -6 (maybe 7 or 8 if visiting with a younger sibling).
On all of our visits we chose to do Sesame as a day trip. We would drive down, arrive for the 10:00 opening and stay all day. We would then head out around 6 or 7, grab dinner in one of the restaurants off the highway and then head home with sleepy kids in tow. There are several hotels close by and many families choose to stay over and do two slower paced days at the park. Both are great options, depending on your kids. and how far you are traveling.
Rides at Sesame Place
Sesame Place is a two-part theme park. About half of the park is “dry” rides and the other half is a water park. The dry rides include traditional park rides, all with a Sesame theme. Our favorites include the Sunny Day Carousel, Elmo’s flying fish, Monster Mix-Up Teacups and the Elmo’s Cloud Chaser swings. The “scariest” ride is the roller coaster that has a hill, but nothing too major! You have to be 3 years old to ride the Vapor Trail (roller coaster) with an adult.
There are also some attractions that are just big slides, and areas to play in or climb – which are great because these don’t have lines or wait times!
The water rides are always my kid’s favorites… okay mine too! There is one big ride, the Sky Splash where you sit in a big round float with about 8 people and there is a big drop! I’m such a wuss about rides!
Other water attractions include water slides (some where you sit on a tube and some you just go down on your bottom), and a lazy river. There are also multiple splash park areas, which again are great because no lines and no waiting.
Dining at Sesame Place
There are several dining options at Sesame Place. There are fast service restaurants and food stands throughout the park. There are also character meals offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We are partial to Dine with Elmo and Friends because it is inside, a buffet meal with something for everyone, and the characters put on a show!
On all of our visits, we have opted for the character lunch. The breakfast (9am seating) would require us to leave too early, and could be stressful to be on time if we hit traffic driving down to PA. I think the character lunch is a great way to break up the day, and spend a mid-day hour in the AC.
The character lunch is located in the Dine with Me! restaurant and you must reserve ahead online. The lunch is a buffet, offering kid friendly type food such as hot dogs, chicken fingers, Pulled Pork, mac and cheese, and salad. A server brings your drinks and the kid’s beverages are served in souvenir cups that you can take home.
PRO-TIP: Before you head out, have your server refill everyone’s water cups and you can even ask them to give you a coffee to go!
The food is decent, I thinkthe mac and cheese is pretty yummy! But the best part of the meal is that they always have delicious desserts – especially the cookies! I guess they are Cookie Monster approved!
While eating, the characters – Abby, Cookie Monster, Count, Bert and Ernie make their way around to each table. You can hug them and take photos. To see Elmo, you have to go stand in line (usually not long) and a Sesame photographer takes your picture with the red guy! You can purchase the official photographs, or you can take Elmo photos with your own camera.
As everyone is finishing their meal, the characters put on a show where they dance around and the audience is encouraged to join in! My kids have always loved this!
The character lunch costs $28 per adult, $9 for children age 2-9 while kids 23 months and younger are free — definitely worth it in my opinion!
Helpful Sesame Place Tips
Because Sesame Place is both an amusement park and a water park, there are some logistics involved in your visit. Here are my best tips:
- Buy your tickets online and print them at home! I can never believe how many people are stuck waiting in line at 10am to buy tickets! We always dart right past them and into the park.
- Sesame Place offers a “two-day ticket” for the same price as a one-day ticket. If you opt for the two-day, you can return later in the season for the Halloween extravaganza or a Very Furry Christmas (or any second day the park is open that year). We went one December for the Christmas festivities and although it was cold, it was a nice stopover on a Philadelphia trip. Some promotions can only be used on certain tickets, so check Groupon and the Sesame Place site for current promotions.
- Rent a locker right when you arrive. The locker rental costs $20 and the rental desk is located by the park entrance. Then you have your key and you can stash away your water stuff.
- What has worked best for us is to arrive in dry clothes and ride the theme park rides first. After lunch we will retrieve our swim stuff from our locker (THIS giant LL Bean comes in handy here, not just for the beach and pool). We will then change into swimsuits, reapply sunscreen, and hit the wet rides!
- Life vests are provided at each ride. You do not have to worry about brining your own.
- At each wet ride there are cubbies for your shoes. We have always utilized these, but if you have water shoes those would be great for Sesame Place!
- Be sure to bring towels! They do not provide these.
- There are several shows throughout the day. I’m sure they are great, but we have never attended. The big parade usually happens twice a day – once at 3pm and once at 7pm. My best tip is to skip the afternoon parade and hit as many rides as you can during that time. People start to line up for the parade about a half hour before, and the parade lasts about a ½ hour, so during that hour the ride lines are significantly shorter! If you can catch the night parade that is always less crowded! Check the parade schedule HERE.
Sesame Place opened in 1981 and I remember visiting as a kid! My kids have loved our trips to Sesame Place, they ask throughout the year to visit, especially the water rides! I am sad that this year we will be checking out some other local theme parks, but its time to move on! I hope this post was helpful in you planning your own Sesame Place trip. Enjoy it, you blink and your kids are too old for Elmo!
Other Theme Park Reviews: