Friday, November 2, 2018

Weekend holiday trips: Sesame Place - 'A Very Furry Christmas'

If you're looking for family fun as the weather gets
cool and you have little ones, Sesame Place makes for a great overnight or weekend trip. Located in Langhorne, Pa., Sesame Place is a theme park featuring, who else? Those lovable Sesame Street characters.

The park opens up in April and runs through December (with brief breaks in September and October to prepare for the seasonal festivals). During the warmer months, the park is open daily with water rides and summer fun, however, once the temperatures cool, the park transforms itself to reflect the holiday season and is only open on weekends.

Limited days during the fall and winter months does 
not mean the fun has to stop. For instance, once the Halloween events end, the park shuts down for the first two weeks of November during this time Sesame Place transforms into a winter wonderland and holiday celebration. From mid-November through the end of December, the park presents "A Very Furry Christmas".

The official arrival of "A Very Furry Christmas" at Sesame Place typically comes in the second half of November, just before Thanksgiving. While Sesame Place is mostly geared towards the toddler through the early elementary school-aged set, the park is fun for all ages, especially for those who grew up watching "Sesame Street"; a definite feeling nostalgia emerges as one wanders through the park adorned with Christmas cheer. Visitors to "A Very Furry Christmas" are welcomed by multi-colored Christmas trees prior to the ticket entrance, and once inside, the full effect of Christmas on "Sesame Street" comes to life.

Once inside the park, there is plenty for the family to do. However, not so much that it is overwhelming, especially for the little ones. For instance, the park is nowhere near as large as any of the Disney parks.



Shows


One of the highlights of "A Very Furry Christmas" is the Christmas-themed shows featuring popular favorites such as Elmo, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Abby, Zoe, the Count and more. In typical Sesame Street fashion, the show has a teaching angle that relates to the holidays. 


Usually, there are several shows running multiple times during the day, and, from what I can tell, the shows change every year. However, the 1-2-3 Christmas Tree Show, a musical light show displayed on the park's large Christmas tree, and the 'A Very Furry Christmas' Parade seem to be annual staples. 

There are two parades, one in the late afternoon and one nighttime parade. The traditional year-round "Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade" celebrates Christmas as holiday-themed songs and winter garb is worn. The evening show is pretty, as "Sesame Street" comes to life all lit up.


'Dry' rides

Throughout the visit, in between shows and character meets, there are plenty of "dry" rides to enjoy. There is "Big Bird’s Balloon Race", "Grover's World Twirl" (this one resembles the teacup ride at the Magic Kingdom), various Elmo-themed rides, a carousel and more.


Other things to do during 'A Very Furry Christmas'

Throughout the day there are numerous opportunities for meet and greets and photo ops with the various "Sesame Street" characters and also, Santa. Additionally, there are playground-like activities where kids can do what they do best - be kids! There are also several snack carts, featuring festive winter snacks, such as cookies and hot chocolate" and a couple of cafes. There are also carnival games (for an additional cost).

"A Very Furry Christmas" is a family-friendly 
event at Sesame Place, highly recommended if you have young children. From the D.C. area it's about a three-hour ride, so you'll probably want to stay overnight. We did it a few years ago and drove home. It was way too long of a day. To see what's offered and dates the festival is open, see the official website for current details.