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We Turned a Sesame Place Trip into a Bucks County Family Weekend

Tickled literally and figuratively by the Count at Sesame Place's character dinner

Watching with rapt attention, clapping like crazy, and generally awed by all his favorite Sesame Street friends!

Watching with rapt attention, clapping like crazy, and generally awed by all his favorite Sesame Street friends!

Sesame Place was the Heart of Our Bucks County Weekend, For Sure

My son watches only two shows on television: Dora the Explorer, and of course, Sesame Street. At 3, he is deeply in touch with all the magic and wonder of the imagination...only much of that world of wonder is real to him. He understands make-believe (one of his favorite lines these days is, "I'm just pretendin'!!"), but he can escape into the realm of make-believe and reside there for hours at a time. So imagine the joy—pure and simple joy—when that world came to life right before him at Sesame Place. Joy was literally oozing out of his pores. Many parents have blogged about all that Sesame Place has to offer, and I am sure I can't add much new to that conversation. (I will be writing a more detailed travel piece about quick holiday getaways, including recommendations for Bucks County and Lancaster, PA—so look out for that in the pages of all of our NYMetroParents magazines.) For now, I just want to pass along some of that joy! A few of my favorite moments:

"OH, NO! We can't let Cookie Monster get my cookie!!!"

Cookie Monster made my boy giddy. V giggled uncontrollably as he got lost in a fuzzy bear hug, and after Cookie Monster's visit to our table (during a meal with the characters) my normally reserved son chased Cookie Monster down clear across the cafeteria. He became a gleeful stalker—see proof at left: A little poke in Cookie Monster's very big butt did the trick, and my son scored some more undivided attention from his new friend! Pure blue joy. Poor Abby got very little love when she visited right after Cookie Monster. At that point V had discovered the monstrous, yummy chocolate chip cookies on a nearby table and was chowing down—too preoccupied with protecting it from Cookie Monster, he couldn't be bothered with this delightful pink fairy. Sugary sweet joy. Lots of Elmo love (two up-close-and-personal encounters, plus a front row seat to a performance of Elmo's World!), one lollipop (a well-deserved treat after a full day without asking for a single thing—imagine!), some unexpected playfulness from the Count, and a quick Bert and Ernie sighting were among other happy moments in a day filled with them. The best part: Watching my husband watch my son. Proud daddy joy. The best.


The Bucks County Children's Museum & More Area Fun

The massive Light-Bright-like display at the Buck's County Children's Museum was one of my favorites.

Because during the fall Sesame Place is only open on weekends, we spent all day Friday fitting in our other activities beforehand. I know so many NY families make the round trip to Pennsylvania in a single day, but I highly recommend an overnight stay. Beyond that serene feeling of being far from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life (and having the bed made by someone else), there's an added bonus: Your kids will wake up fresh and energized the morning of your outing, making for fewer tantrums and a calm toddler waiting on all those theme park lines. It worked for us.

A ride on the New Hope & Ivy Railroad is like taking a step back in time.

We stayed busy with a few hours at the Bucks County Children's Museum, a gem of a place run by a most amazing and dedicated team. We haunt the Brooklyn Children's Museum often, and while we love our hometown museum, there's no denying it can get...crowded. Since we were there on a school day, the Bucks County venue was almost empty and we enjoyed running the post office ourselves. We had the entire architectural dig installation to ourselves, too. Every interactive exhibit was spot-on for targeting fun and learning, from the simulated hot-air balloon ride to the giant Lite Brite-like wall (which I think I liked more than my son). While eating lunch right across the street from the museum, we spotted an old-fashioned steam engine that seemed to be working. We made it a point to stop back on our way home Sunday morning for a ride on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, a historic 45-minute tour that's worth the upgrade fee for the outdoor car. They've got some awesome haunted Halloween trainscoming up, so check those out (a ride tailored to younger kids, and another that ups the spooky ante considerably and is for adults-only).


Keeping Elmo's Spirit Alive

My son turned three about a week after our trip, and while we had ordered a cake for his party, we took on some serious cupcake baking. Thanks to Red Tricycle for the tips on making these fab Elmo cupcakes—they were a hit with every child at our party, and we had fun making them, too!

Also Check Out:

Roundup of Family Outings Suggestions (Short Trips in the Greater NYC Area)

Tips for Family Road Trips on a Budget

Kid-Friendly Museums in Our Area


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Dawn M. Roode


Dawn M. Roode was formerly editorial director of NYMetroParents, where she launched the award-winning semi-annual magazine Special Parent. She was managing editor at Parenting, BabyTalk, Child, Harper's Bazaar, and Latina magazines. She is a strategic content specialist and currently writes and edits parenting, health, travel, and special needs features for various media outlets. Roode is mom to one son and recently relocated from Brooklyn to the suburbs of New York City. Follow her on Twitter @DawnRoode.

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