• Sandy Green


toddler, mom, and Cookie Monster at sesame place

This is not an advertisement or a collaboration with Sesame Place or the Sesame Street Workshop. There are no affiliate links in this blog. We really did just have the best day.

If you follow my IG stories, then you already know that last week our family had one of the best days ever at Sesame Place. It seems a little dramatic to say, but I think that I would place it in the top 5. It was definitely Avi's best day ever.

I planned the trip weeks in advance, worried that it might be overwhelming for Avi. He is only 23 months, after all. But I think we did just enough to make it meaningful and fun without overloading him.

I highly suggest this plan if you’re thinking of going to Sesame Place with a young toddler.

Tuesday night, we picked up Avi from school and drove directly to a hotel in PA. I originally wanted to put him in the car at bedtime so he would sleep the entire ride, but this ended up working out well. We stopped to get dinner on the way and Avi was in bed a little after 8 Not much later than his normal bedtime.

Wednesday morning, he woke up on the early side. He tends to do that when he's in a hotel or an unfamiliar room. We ate our first breakfast of the day at the hotel, and then Jared found us a great playground nearby. I had gotten us reservations at the Elmo breakfast but it didn't start until 9:30, so we had a little time.

We arrived at the park and all of my fears disappeared. Avi went nuts. He was so thrilled just to see pictures his favorite Sesame Street muppets everywhere. He was overjoyed as he called out their names! When we got to the breakfast and Elmo came on stage, he was in awe. He danced to the music and watched with amazing focus. He high-fived and hugged each character that came to our table. He even got to dance with Elmo - the highlight of his day.

After breakfast, we continued on to the water park part of the park. We ended up spending most of our time there. For one thing, it was a really hot day. I also felt like it was much better suited for the little kids. Avi was a little nervous at first. He was apprehensive about the splashing and the sprinklers. He loves to swim but he doesn't like to get water in his face. I was so proud of him as he faced his fears and did it anyway. He didn't love every minute - I think the lazy river was his least favorite part of the day, but he did it. He didn't freak out or insist that we get out immediately.

I bought him an Elmo hat and Jared let him pick out a stuffed animal. To my surprise, he picked The Count over Big Bird (we already have Elmo). But he’s been hugging him and counting to 10 since last week, so I guess it was a good choice!

We watched Avi’s mood carefully and ended up leaving the park around 2pm. It was much later than Avi’s usual nap time and he was exhausted. If he had been a little older, we might have stayed for the parade at 3pm. But this was the right time for us to go.

The details of the day - the Elmo breakfast, the water rides, the splash pads - were fun. But they weren't what made it the best day ever. At least not for me. I was in complete amazement at how Avi's happiness affected my happiness. I never knew that someone else's joy could give me such joy! When he danced with Elmo, I almost burst into tears. I would do pretty much anything if I knew it would make Avi this happy all the time. When we got home, I spoke to my mom and told her this. She laughed (I assume she knows the feeling) and told me to enjoy it while he's young. Because, as we know, we can't be responsible for our kids' happiness every second of their lives. And life gets complicated; this beautiful kind of purity gets harder to come by.

I had a short moment as we left the park where I realized that Avi won't remember the day. For a brief moment, it made me sad. We had such a wonderful time. But I think that even though he won't remember the details, these are the kind of foundational memories that will shape who he is. These are the kinds of days that will create associations of love and family in his little heart and brain. And Jared and I will get to hold on to these memories forever. And we've got plenty of pictures.