Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sesame Place and kids with special needs



Saturday we were at Sesame Place, along with everyone and their mother. Crowded, but fun! The kids weren't into the character meet and greets, though they loved the water activities, the rides and the big parade at the end, complete with a gigantic plastic birthday cake Max seemed eager to eat.


Max's fave was Ernie's Waterworks, especially because he thought a lot of the fountains and geysers looked like a car wash (the obsession lives on!). Afterward, we floated in big tubes along "Big Bird's Rambling River," Max sitting on Dave's stomach, Sabrina in a tube next to me. I couldn't believe it—15 whole minutes of relaxation.


Then Max played the duck game, and attempted to walk off with one, only a Sesame Street SWAT team descended upon him. OK, they didn't. The lady at the booth was very nice.

Actually, everyone at the park was super helpful. At lunch, the caf├ęs were crowded and Max couldn't deal, so I asked a park staffer if there was anyplace quiet to eat. She walked us over to a table at Captain Ernie's Bistro, then had a supervisor come out of the jam-packed eatery, take our order and deliver it. Wow. We were also able to get a special pass for Max, so we avoided the long lines that he can't tolerate. We did wait on the shorter ones; it is a fine line between working with Max's limitations and teaching him that he has to wait his turn, too.


Max and Dave went for a spin.


Sabrina jumped around...


...then attempted to climb Cookie Mountain. Problem was, I'd neglected to bring along an oxygen tank and proper climbing gear, so she failed to reach the summit, though we might turn her attempt into a major motion picture, I'll keep you posted.


Biggest surprise of the day: Max got in a pit with sandbags, "Monster Maze," and fearlessly pushed his way around. I think he might have a future in boxing. Seriously. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, buddy!


I love how Max recognizes his name. "Why is Max's name always everywhere?" Sabrina wanted to know.

Saturday night, we crashed at the Sheraton Bucks County Hotel, five minutes away from the park. I am a total sucker for sleeping in hotels, always happy to. As with the other major hotels in the area, there's a shuttle bus to Sesame Place so you don't have to deal with parking. Also, the bed was ridiculously comfortable.


On Sunday, we drove a half hour to New Hope, Pennsylvania. It's mostly an adult place to play (shopping, antiquing, nice restaurants), but we took the kids on a ferry boat ride and they didn't want to get off.


The ducks enjoyed Sunday brunch, courtesy of Max.

Another great trip, especially because Max was so open-minded about trying new things. It took a little while for him to warm up to Sesame Place but once he did, he was everywhere.

Up next: We hike Mount Everest! Yeah. Actually, next weekend I'll mostly be at BlogHer, a whole other kind of adventure.

16 comments:

  1. Ellen,
    Your family is beautiful. I love that picture of them on the ferry. (Max looks just like my brother did as a little boy.) Your kids look so happy. Keep up the good work, Mama!
    All best wishes,
    Renee Bacher

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  2. LOVE the pic of the kiddos with their dad! Sabrina's face is priceless!

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  3. What a great minibreak! Such FUN, I never knew there was a Sesame Place, wish there was one near me!

    Sabrina is so funny, noticing how Max's name is everywhere. You should tell her you thought about naming her Exit so her name could be everywhere too, but you thought "Sabrina" was so much prettier!

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  4. BWakaBarbara from BostonAugust 3, 2010 at 4:13 AM

    Wonderful pictures! My favorites are Sabrina being protective of Max on the water slide, and Dave with both kids.
    Felicia, what a great idea about "exit".

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  5. Looks life fun. Just wondering if you ever worry about losing Max in a crowded place like Sesame Place. I would love to take my 5 yr old with down syndrome there but he is a real runner and I can totally see him disappearing..maybe I'm just paranoid?

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  6. Felicia, thank you for that morning laugh! Have to try that "We almost named you Exit" line on Sabrina next time!

    Hi, Renee! It is good to see you here, thanks for the nice words. Yes, the kids really are happy.

    Ruchi: I do think about that. I recently ordered a special ID bracelet for Max, I'll let you know about them as soon as we give them a go.

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  7. What a fun day! I love that the pictures tell that story :) Have fun in NYC!

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  8. That place has come a LONG way.

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  9. This was so fun to read! Great sensory and motor activities for both children.

    Barbara

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  10. Too funny, Ellen, we were JUST there with our two youngest. And the whole time I kept thinking about how different it is to go through an amusement park w/o my SN kid.

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  11. So glad you had such a good time! I'm telling you, I'm hearing more and more about Sesame Place. I may have to plan a trip out there so we can go!

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  12. Regarding kids running and getting lost, a big, corporate amusement park like Sesame Place and Disney is probably one of the safer places for a kid to get lost. The park employees are very well trained in dealing with lost kids--they have to handle it every day. It's harder when you have a kid who isn't verbal, but they have protocols for locating lost children and bringing them to a designated safe area in the park until they can be reunited with their parents.

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  13. We are thinking about taking our kids. Not sure how T-man will fare - he needs constant holding onto and supervision. But we know he'll love the water part.
    Your post has made me really want to go now!
    Thanks!
    Kristen

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  14. My older brother's name is Marc and when I was small I could never understand why it was always "on your MARK get set go"

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  15. That looks almost as fun as Disney...and way closer to us...mayb have to try it next summer!

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  16. I love New Hope! (I grew up about 45 minutes away, in Jersey.) My youngest sister and her family live in Lambertville, just across the river from New Hope. I spent many an hour wandering the shops in New Hope when I was in high school...

    Sadly, despite growing up in central NJ, I've never actually been to Sesame Place. My sister went with friends when we were kids and acquired ringworms that my mom blamed on Sesame Place, so we were always barred from going there from that time on. So, my one sister is the only member of our family to ever have gone. *sob sob*

    (Yeah, I'd totally go with my kid now, but these days I live many hours away in western, upstate NY so it isn't quite the short drive it was in my youth.)

    Looks like it was a fun mini-vacay! Cheers!

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Thanks for sharing!