Monday, November 7, 2011

Sesame Place

There is a wonderful amusement park in our area called Sesame Place.  As the name implies, the theme of the park is the tv show Sesame Street.  Characters such as Elmo, Zoe, Abby Cadabby, Bert, Ernie, the Count, put on shows, make character appearances and star in the closing parade.

But this is not an ordinary park;  this is a park with heart.  Every year they team up with Variety - The Children's Charity and close the park to the general public in the spring and the fall and invite families that have children with disabilities to come and have fun.  And they do this for free.  The only cost is for parking and all that money is donated to the local Variety chapter so they can continue their work dedicated to promoting and protecting the health and well-being of children around the world.  Amazing generosity!

We have attended several Sesame Place days with the girls with the most recent even this weekend.  It was a beautiful sunny, cool Fall day and the park was the most crowded I've ever seen.  Chris' Aunt Mary Lou works there and she told us they sent out 15,000 tickets and I think the turnout must have been close to 100%.  Emma's favorite tv show is Sesame Street and I think this year she appreciated meeting the characters more than years past.  She kept trying to jump out of her chair to go up and greet them - it was the cutest thing!  Julia brought her baby doll this year so she could introduce her to Sesame Place and both girls were treated to some special gifts by Aunt Mary Lou (thanks so much!!!)!

Julia has become unusually attached to her Snufalufagus doll and is using him as a stand-in for Puppy on our outings.  Puppy is her most favorite stuffed animal and we don't let her take him places for fear of leaving him behind (a good rule implemented only after numerous late night searches that included car rides to locate Puppy).  Emma loves her Zoe doll and wants to hold her in the car.  She looks around for her when she is put in her car seat and when we ask her does she want Zoe Yes/No she always answers yes and makes happy sounds and movements when Zoe appears!  She picked an Abby Cadabby doll as her vacation memento last year and it seems like Zoe is becoming more of a favorite than Abby.

Sesame Place has a few rides but a lot of climbing and gross motor areas.  The park is very accessible and wheelchair friendly, but if you can't walk it's hard to participate in many of the rides.  The nice thing is that there are a lot of shows/mini plays that happen throughout the park and a large parade at closing time.  We arrived around noon this year and stayed through the parade.  We didn't see any shows because we did do a couple of rides, the bounce mat area and met some characters and since the park was so crowded these each took a bit of time.  Aunt Mary Lou suggested an area for us to camp out close to parade time and the seats were perfect!  The girls really enjoyed watching the parade and having the characters do their musical dances right in front of them.

Thanks so much to Sesame Place, Variety, and all the volunteers that made this weekend possible!  We truly are so lucky to have the opportunity to enjoy a great day out with our family.

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