Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred,
and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit,
become a child again at Christmas-time.
―Laura Ingalls Wilder
I have this thing about Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, I just think it should stay in December where it belongs.
But the combination of Sesame Street and Christmas at Sesame Place’s A Very Furry Christmas was too much even for me. They do a great job doing Christmas up right; my curmudgeonly heart felt all full of Christmas cheer even though I hadn’t had my turkey yet, and that’s really saying quite a lot.
My little niece Eva was unavailable for this excursion, and I wasn’t sure at first if I should go. Jeff felt our kids are too old for Sesame Place. Jacob had other plans anyway.
But on an impulse I messaged my childhood buddy Larry and his wife April, who have a daughter only two weeks older than Cass, and they were awesome enough to meet me at the Street on short notice.
This is Larry. And the Count.
Larry is on the left.
(I was originally going to include a shot of the two of us at my freshman year Christmas dance, but figured that would be unnecessarily embarrassing for everybody. My early holiday gift to you!)
Make no mistake, Sesame Place is magical any time of the year, but the Christmas carols playing, characters in holiday finery, snow falling and Christmas lights shared with friends made this one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t stop dancing. That was probably embarrassing for everybody as well, but as far as I know no photographic evidence exists.
Oh, and I think the girls had fun too. Too old for Sesame Place? Not even close. Heck, I’m pretty sure I’m not too old for Sesame Place.
Please note: this is a very photo heavy post. And this is just a fraction of the photos and videos taken. Sesame Place is a camera-happy parent’s dream.
After an hour in the Dine with Me restaurant loading up on festive cookies, Rice Krispie treats, cupcakes, hot chocolate and apple cider, and being photographed with the characters, we spent the rest of the day cruising for more photo ops, watching the girls go on rides and the nets, and taking in the parades and lights.
Originally I thought we’d leave fairly early… that once it got dark and we saw the lights, we’d get cold and bounce. Nope, we stayed until just about the end, we were having so much fun… and we didn’t even see everything! A Very Furry Christmas has:
- a 25-foot Christmas Tree that lights up the night in sync with Sesame Street holiday tunes (this was fun)
- THREE Christmas shows
- Santa’s Workshop: the big man in red on hand listening to Christmas wishes and posing for photos (Santa was great)
- Sesame Place Furry Express, a brand new trackless train ride, which takes guests on a tour through the Twiddlebugs’ Gingerbread Cookie Factory and ends the journey with samples of their famous gingerbread treats (we missed this entirely!! Booo!!! I love the Twiddlebugs)
- concerts and character meet and greets (Imagination Movers was there the day we were, but we didn’t go see them.)
- lights, lights, everywhere. So pretty.
the girls were amazed by the “snow”
The girls marked on the map all the places we stopped and saw a character, or went on a ride, or whatever. It was Ava’s idea, and I think if you have kids who get antsy waiting for the parade or in ride lines this is a smart way to keep them occupied.
Near the front of the park there is a vending machine filled with individual diapers, wipes, disposable cameras, diaper rash ointment, bandaids, formula, pacifiers, a carabiner that fits onto a stroller handle… flipping genius if you ask me.
I believe I saw another vending machine with gluten-free snacks and indeed gluten-free was available in a number of spots throughout the park (the Starbucks definitely being one).
We had a bit of a scraped knee incident and visited the First Aid office, where the staff was speedy and generally lovely to deal with.
We learned it can take a little while for the photographs taken around the park to be downloaded for purchase. FYI.
There were warming stations that looked like lamp posts strategically placed around the park to keep you comfortable.
The potato soup is not vegetarian.
The parade is just as fun to watch a second time, in the dark.
And, if you yell his name loudly enough, Cookie Monster will in fact turn and gape at you 🙂
I’m hoping to make this a new Christmas tradition! My boys were sad they didn’t go once they saw the photos, and I can not wait to take Eva next year. Fun for young and old kids alike. Even if you’ve done Sesame Place tons of times before, A Very Furry Christmas is a hugely rewarding holiday experience, totally worth the price of admission.
YOU should go this year.
- Dec 1 & 2, 2012 (1-8 PM ): A Very Furry Christmas Variety Days
- Dec 8 & 9, 2012 (1-7 PM ): Sprout’s Pajama Party Weekend
- Dec 26 & 27, 2012 (1-7 PM ): Caillou Meet & Greets
- Open daily from December 26th through December 31st
- AND Sesame Place will celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks set to Sesame Street themed music.
Admission tickets for A Very Furry Christmas are $21.99 and include a free second visit. Guests with 2012 and 2013 Season Passes can upgrade their Season Pass to include unlimited admission to all 20 operating days of a Very Furry Christmas and a 30% discount on food and merchandise for $14.99.
For a complete schedule and all the deets go to sesameplace.com.
Disclosure: I received four admission tickets to A Very Furry Christmas as part of Media Day. All opinions are entirely my own!