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Philadelphia Auto Show

29 Jan

Our family had a great time at our first Philadelphia Auto Show this year. The venue was family friendly and very accessible from public transportation options. This is an event that we will certainly consider visiting again in the future ! Not to mention it was fun for daddy !

Location: The Pennsylvania Convention Center

1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19107

Dates: January 19th-27th 2013

Cost: Adults: 12.00, Under 12- 6.00, Under 6- Free  * there is also a senior citizen discount during the week* There are many ways of getting free tickets for your family. Car dealerships often give away free tickets via their social media sites. We also ran into several people with extras that they were willing to give away.

A Special Thanks to Bergey’s Ford for our Auto Show Tickets

2013 Auto Show

2013 Auto Show

Getting there: from the reading area I feel that your best and only choice is to drive into the city of Philadelphia  Once in the city most of your parking options are going to run you $15-20. As with almost everything in the city. We decided to stay with family and take SEPTA’s regional rail to market street. Saving both gas and parking !  The market street station connects directly to the convention center.

Train Ride

Accessibility The convention center it’s self is handi-capped accessible, which also means it is stroller accessible. We decided to go with our toddler sized carrier. Our girls almost never want to sit in the stroller unless we are outside. This also made getting on and off the train much easier !

Food: Their are basic concessions stands open. We packed our own snacks and only purchased drinks. There is no food allowed in the actual show room though so you have to eat it in the atrium like area. The convention center is also across from the Reading Terminal Market- a great indoor market that could be a lunch option.

Bathrooms: The bathrooms were well kept and mostly updated, believe it or not we did not have to wait in line for one and they have changing tables etc.

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Sesame Place <3

8 Aug

It was pretty clear to everyone that I was the most excited to go visit Elmo and friends at Sesame Place. I just couldn’t wait to see the girl’s light up when they saw the characters that they know and love and I hoped beyond hope that the rides and activities would at least be fun for my 2yr old. Sesame place was even better then I expected and was VERY family and age appropriate

Location: Sesame Place – 100 Sesame Place, Langhorne Pa

Ticket Options: 

There are many different ticketing options for sesame place and the best place for all of this information is on their website, though I do have a few recommendations:

Twilight: admission into the park after 3pm. We chose this ticket option because the girls can hardly handle and entire day at the park ! They were beat by the end of the day and we were able to visit most things.

Elmo 2 day: this is 2 full day passes for the price of one. The best part is that it can be used any remaining day during the regular operating season.

Season Passes: there are many different options for season passes and they pay for themselves in about 3 visits to the park

  • Once at the park you can apply the ticket you have already purchased towards the purchase of a season pass, this is a great way to check out the park and make sure you like it before you make the investment !
  • If you wait until the end of July ( check with the park ) you can purchase a season pass ( same price) for the remainder of the current season and the rest of the next season.

* Babies under 24 months are free*

Accessibility: 

sesame place clearly recognizes the importance of accommodating families of all ages, sizes, and physical abilities

Parking- there are 3 options for parking at sesame place

  1. General: $15 this parking option is across the street from the park and could be a bit of a walk on a busier day, an okay option for families with older children
  2. Preferred: $18 this parking option is next to the park. There is a picnic area with tables and umbrellas and a drink vending machine. For the extra $3 this is the way to go ! It’s a short walk back to your car or the picnic area which is great if you decide to pack a cooler or prefer to keep extra clothes in the car.
  3. VIP: $30 this parking option is the closest to the park (right outside of the entrance). It is recommended that you reserve this parking ahead of time.

* What we did: we chose to go with the preferred parking, this was probably one of the best decisions that we made ! it was a short walk to the park, we were able to go back to the car after we were done in the water-park area and get the babies changed ( something I despise doing in public restrooms !) we also utilized the picnic area by keeping our big cooler in the car and packing sandwiches and drinks for dinner. We were also able to restock on some drinks and snacks in the small cooler that we brought in with us.

Wheelchairs & Strollers:

You are able to rent a wheelchair or stroller at sesame place, you are also able to bring your own (which is what we did) The price to rent is right around $15 for the day.

It is so easy to get around in Sesame place and the staff seem very helpful when it comes to making sure you are happy and comfortable.

Ages:

I would say starting around 2yrs to 6 + would be the ideal time to visit with that being said my 11mo old still had a great time at the shows, on some rides, in the pool etc

Everyone at Sesame Place understands when a child has a melt down, is scared, falls asleep, needs special food and drinks etc .. which is what makes it so great, it seems that the park and the staff are in tune with the needs of their guests and know when something isn’t safe or age appropriate

Food & Drink

There are many food and drink options at Sesame Place … even a Starbucks ! As with most places they are expensive and crowded. Even if you purchase a meal plan you will still be waiting in line.

I would suggest

  1. purchase one of the refillable cups. Refills are only a dollar and that way you can stay hydrated throughout the day and not worry about how much your spending each time
  2. Pack a large cooler and leave it in the car ! It’s faster to leave the park and walk to your car or the picnic area for lunch or dinner then it would be to wait in line. It is also about a quarter of the price !
  3. Pack a small cooler and put it in your stroller. We brought in baby food pouches, a few juice boxes, crackers, and even a bottle or two of water.. this is at least enough to get you to your next meal.

Water-park

if you are like me then you will want to get the water rides out of the way ! it doesn’t mean you can’t take your time and enjoy them but it just seems easier to break up your day into part wet and part dry !

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Wave Pool: Great for all ages, my 11month old was able to sit in the shallow end of the water and loved it !

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 Tube Slides: My husband took my 2yr old on one and she loved it ! the tubes are made so that children can sit in the front and not fall through, they also provide life vests in line.

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Water Works: A fun area for kids of all ages to get wet

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  • Body Slides : Defiantly for the older kids and adults (but I think we knew that )
  • Rambling River: tube floating river, very popular !, all ages
  • Counts Castle: its like a huge playground filled with water! Great for all ages, some water slides, a small wading area, water buckets, all sorts of crazy things.

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Shows & Parades

alright so after your all dry I would recommend planning the rest of your day around the shows, the shows are worth it, don’t leave them out! They provide interaction with the characters and some much needed relief from the heat ! I would plan on arriving at least 15-20 minutes early for each show. I include the parades into this as well, they really do great job and the night parade is fantastic !

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Dry Attractions

What rides each family chooses is clearly going to depend on the ages of their children

Younger crowd:

Big Birds Court: I think my two girls could have spent a lot more time here ! my 11 month old even enjoyed crawling around with the foam blocks etc.

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Ernie’s Bed Bounce: They separate the big kids from the little ones and let them JUMP

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Carousel

There is so much more ! but these are the things that my 1 and 2yr old got the most out of while we were in this area of the park. It’s nice to go somewhere and have activities for children this young. Please look for more ride information on the sesame place website

Pictures 

Sesame places allows lots of pictures pretty much everywhere !

  • 1-2-3 Smile with me: Check this out to get pictures with your favorite character, they will take the picture for you but you can also have someone from your group take pics at the same time
  • Neighborhood street: Pose on the steps, next to Oscars trashcan etc for DIY sesame pics. They also have characters walking around and will sometimes stop for pictures in this location.

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Gifts

guess what ? These prices are actually pretty good !

if your looking to stay under $10 check out Oscars Garage where everything is under $10

Summary

Our trip to Sesame Place was wonderful ! It is great to go to a major park that accommodates children that are so young, something that is really hard to find.

Preferred parking and packing meals is really going to save you $ and time

Go to the shows, they will make the price of admission feel more justified, I mean think about what you would pay just to see an hour long sesame live show …

Go MID-WEEK ! we went on a Thursday and it was nice, I cannot imagine waiting in long lines with little babies.

I hope I didn’t miss anything from our trip or get too wordy, if your looking for more feel free to ask !

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Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party

29 Jul

I really always wanted to tote my babies along to some music events I just never actually thought we could pull it off ! Guess what ? We did it ! My husband and myself love music and the festival atmosphere. When we looked into the details of the 104.5 Summer Block Parties and saw all ages with an early start time… we decided to give it shot…

Location: The Piazza at Schmidts: 1050 North Hancock Street  Philadelphia, PA 19123

Accessibility: The venue was fairly easy to find (just follow the other people). We actually decided to bring the stroller (surprise surprize) but it  served us well at this venue and because of the plastic rain cover we have the girls stayed dry !. There were really no steps and everything was handicapped or stroller accessible.

Amenities:

  • Parking was not too terrible, we didn’t pay, and parked in the upper level of the superfresh parking lot that is across the street from the venue. There is an elevator in superfresh when you enter look to the left. As always there were parking lots looking for $ and some on street parking. I would seriously suggest checking the parking garage 1st.
  • Within the venue there are some vendors set up selling jewelry, clothes, drinks etc. The businesses surrounding vary from a 24hour diner, a coffee shop, gallery, recording studio etc. They are all accessable from the concert.
  • There are bathrooms located within the stores and shops

Ages: It really was all ages ! of course the normal concert atmosphere did exist but it was in the area that was closer to the stage. From about the halfway point and further back there were some people standing, others sitting in lawn chairs and even some like us with their kids ! babies, toddlers, children, adolescents.

Additional information: Going to a concert with my whole family is something that I dreamed about before I became a parent. Once I had the girls I just wasn’t sure it was the right thing, or the expected thing ( damn those expectations). While I cannot speak for all concerts I can say that the radio 104.5 concert series was a wonderful experience for my family and we plan to attend in the future !