Sesame Place: A Very Furry Christmas

IMG_2540In the great tradition of my post about Sesame Place’s Halloween event, this is posting after the relevant holiday has come and gone. But like I said in that post, the Internet is forever…and A Very Furry Christmas will be back next year.

Sesame Place is one of the best “family-friendly” theme parks around. It generally appeals to the very youngest kids—up to about 5 years old. My daughter is at the upper end of that range, and though she doesn’t choose to watch Sesame Street anymore, she still loves Sesame Place.

Only a couple rides have height restrictions, and they’re very generous for shorter kids. (The one roller coaster in the park actually has a lower height restriction than the similar, but tamer, ride in the Sesame Street Forest of Fun at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.)

In short, if you’ve got little kids, and you like to have fun, and you’re in the Philadelphia area, make sure Sesame Place is on your list.

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Since this is the “post-season,” only the dry rides are open—and most of them are located in Cookie’s Monster Land. During the summer, Sesame Place is almost evenly divided between dry rides and water rides. Since November and December in Pennsylvania are too cold for the kiddies to go swimming or use the water slides, they’re drained and not in use.

Just like with The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular, there are several holiday-themed additions to the park to get everyone in the festive spirit (and to compensate for the closed attractions).

  • The large pool is the site of Sesame Place’s Furry Express, a miniature trackless train that travels through the Twiddlebugs’ Gingerbread Cookie Factory.
  • Trader Bert’s shop in the back of the park has been transformed into the North Pole and an adorable Santa’s Workshop (where Cookie Santa awaits).
  • The temporary Bat Race and Bat Swing rides from Halloween are still in place.

We noticed far fewer character meet-and-greets than during the summer or even during Halloween. This is most likely due to the weather and shortened hours of the event (the park is only open 1–8), so if pictures with a character are your thing, don’t wait until later. They all seemed to be wearing winter outfits, too, which was cute.

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When we were there, “Santa” was none other than Cookie Monster himself. It was a wonderful surprise since we were expecting a traditional Santa. Not sure if it’s always Cookie. We were there after December 25, so they may still have the big guy before Christmas.

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Again, just like Halloween, the main reason to attend A Very Furry Christmas is for the shows. All of the standard shows that play throughout the summer have been replaced by special Christmas-themed shows.

Elmo The Musical Live — Christmas takes place in the Sesame Studio. This is the usual home for the Elmo The Musical show, but the show includes Rosita and Grover as they deliver presents to Elmo, who is trying to figure out the best present of all (hint: it’s friendship).

They’ve managed to work True Blue Miracle into the show, and that is A-OK with me. Not sure how many kids in the audience knew the song, but mine sure did! Christmas Eve on Sesame Street is a holiday staple in our house.

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For us, Grover clearly steals the show. How could he not, with a costume like this? Cute and Adorable Package Delivery Monster.

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Elmo’s Christmas Wish Show is in the outdoor Monster Rock Theater. Almost the whole gang is here (Elmo, Cookie, Grover, Zoe, Murray, and Rosita) singing and dancing to holiday standards and talking about what each of them wants for Christmas.

I wish there weren’t such an emphasis on Elmo in all of these shows, but it was nice to see the other characters get a chance to take center stage. Murray Christmas!

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The Sesame Place parade is always fantastic, and the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade doesn’t disappoint. Telly leads the parade, and the first float is usually the sun. For Halloween, it was dressed up as a burst of candy corn. For Christmas, it’s a snowflake—of course.

Sesame2 Sesame3Once the sun goes down, 1-2-3 Christmas Tree Show takes place at the large Christmas tree just inside the gate. It’s essentially a synchronized music and light show to Sesame Street Christmas tunes. Very cute.

A Sesame Street Christmas Show is in Abby’s Paradise Theater, and unfortunately, we missed it. It was late, dark, and the kids had had a full day. The premise sounds cute, though: “Abby Cadabby is not familiar with the celebrations and traditions of the Christmas season. But, with the help of her friends, she soon discovers that the spirit of Christmas doesn’t have to be on just one day out of the whole year.”

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place generally runs from the end of November through the end of the year. The park is located in Langhorne, PA (about 30 minutes north of Philadelphia), and is open weekends with shortened hours (usually 1–8). Check out the Sesame Place site for dates, times, and prices.

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.

One thought on “Sesame Place: A Very Furry Christmas

  1. Thanks for this review! I was surprised at how tight the seating in the Elmo’s World theater was for adults – and we also had to stand in quite a long line to get in (in the cold, which wasn’t too much fun!) – but the show was very cute. I think we will go back next year!

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