Thursday, June 19, 2008

Can you tell me how to get there?

I wanted to take Noah to Sesame Place. Everyone I spoke to who had been raved about the water park rides. And he was SO into amusement parks last year I knew he’d love it. But when I checked out the website I was appalled at the price. It was over $50 a person for anyone over two. Insane. Of course they sell you on the “bargain” of getting a passport to come back a second time or even a season pass. But the prices are outrageous. Then I saw a banner advertising group discounts for Sesame Place. If you bought 15 tickets the price was nearly half. So I picked a date and sent out an email to all my friends with families to see if anyone was interested in making a group excursion – the price was lower and it would be fun bumping into friends all day at the park. And it worked.

Yesterday was the big day – we had a group of 8 preschoolers, 7 moms, 3 dads, 3 infants, 2 grandmas and a nanny! The weather was a little cool for water park weather and we had a few little thunderstorms but as a result the park was pretty empty which was really ideal. It seems everyone had a blast. My mom accompanied me and the boys and we alternated taking Noah on stuff. It was great to have another set of hands and it was nice watching Noah enjoy hanging out with Grandma. I didn’t even get jealous when he preferred her for most of the rides. And Ray was a champ. After only a one hour nap he was awake from 10:30 am to nearly 7:30 pm – and not even grumpy. He was just taking it all in. (Actually it isn’t too uncommon for Ray to go long periods of time without a nap. He is the second child after all and amazingly resilient.) It really was a fantastic day. And spending time with different friends throughout the day made it all the better. All of the kids were utterly ecstatic. I hope to do some other group outings, if not for a discount just for the companionship.

My favorite memories of the day were seeing Noah beam with joy and pride after riding an inner tube water rapid ride all by himself, Noah's fear and yet utter fascination with the roller coaster, Ray pointing at every costumed character, and Ray SO exhausted from the day that he got incredibly clumsy and proceeded to flop happily all over the padded toddler zone.

And now a few notes about Sesame Place: Bring insane amounts of money. Though we got discounted admission and discounted lunch vouchers – the $13 parking set the tone for the day. They don’t allow coolers but I did bring an insulated lunch box with snacks, fruit and veggies so we didn’t spend any additional cash on food until an evening soft pretzel purchase. See the parade and a show or two to break up the day. Both Noah and Ray really loved them. And wear water shoes if you have them, the ground is killer on bare feat. Take photos – unfortunately I had my hands full with Ray and didn’t really take any so I have to wait for others to share them some with me.


Missuz J said...

Fun! Living in a small town is so shitty sometimes. We don't get any of the good stuff.

lonna said...

What great timing. We're going to the Crayola factory today, and I was interested in Sesame Place too. Ethan was really thrown by the price. I guess they think they are competing with the really big amusement parks. I can get tickets for 38 bucks each through my unions, but that's still over 100 bucks for the three of us. And we don't know if Dermot likes this kind of stuff yet. Personally, I think it's probably worth it to try it out. But I grew up with that. We had Marriott's Great America outside of Chicago and it was really expensive (it's now a Six Flags, I guess). So are the Disney parks. That's just the way they are. They are big events that you do once in a blue moon, and that makes them expensive. They opened Great America when I was in 5th or 6th grade I think, and I think that I only went 4 times in my whole life, and it was only 45 minutes away.

I'm glad that you guys had fun. I used to love it when big crowded places were almost empty because of the weather. Good times. I personally prefer things a little cooler.

bengrim said...

We had such an amazingly fun time. Thank you again for organizing it all. You are the best.

Wendy Hitch said...

That was from me, by the way. I didn't realize that Bryan was already signed on.