This year we decided to do a early summer vacation and check out some age appropriate kid activities. While we always do a beach vacation at the end of July, that seemed just too far off last winter so I came up with a few places that would be great for kids our age but far enough away to get us away from home for a few days.
We started by headed to Yankee Stadium for a Sunday afternoon game. My husband is a die hard fan and was especially anxious to see Derek Jeter play one more time before he retired.
It was also bat day so each kid got a full sized Yankee bat! But it is a long time for kiddos to keep still and pay attention. We let Connor take some photos to help keep him entertained.
Then we hopped on the highway and headed south to Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA! While we were there we stayed at the Sheraton which is directly across the street from the park. Best decision ever! They get a completely unsolicited two thumbs up! Everyone was super friendly. They have a Sesame package which includes a kid friendly continental breakfast and free shuttle to the park, complete with a knowledgeable driver.
We spent the entire day at the park and both kids had a blast! I was a bit worried that Connor might be too old for the park, but it was perfect. Even at almost five, there was a lot that he wasn’t big enough to do yet so we could easily go back in a few years and both kids would still love it. We happened to be there on the opening day of Cookie’s Monster Land which had lots of great new rides. About half of the park is a water park. I brought the suits for the kids and I should have gone back to get our bathing suits too – which I could have easily done, staying so close.
The next day we traveled just an hour north to the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA. It was a blast. The whole building is an old converted factory and painted in all the colors of the crayon box. There were so many activities – trying out every Crayola product they make and a huge climbing structure to get those sillies out. They start by giving you a bag of tokens that you can use for almost all of the activities that weren’t already free. There was only one activity, the puffy paint kit, that was an additional cost and it was tucked away in a back corner so Connor didn’t see it!
You can create a wrapper for your own crayon, make a marker, play with clay. There is room with the cool glow in the dark products, a giant touch screen on the floor and dancing markers on the wall. There is a room where you can create drawings on an ipad and see them projected on the wall.
All throughout the building there are coloring and craft stations to tryout all of the products that Crayola is know for. One of my favorite areas was the top floor where it is all about melted wax. You can create your own drip art, melt a crayon in a mold and “paint” at colored wax station.
Our last stop was the Legoland Discovery Center in Westchester, NY. This was a good midway stopping point for us so our ride home after all that playing wasn’t too long. It is a much smaller version of the Lego Lands. The Discovery Centers are all enclosed with a few rides and tons of legos at different stations to build with. Again, there is a huge climbing structure in the middle so those kiddos can get there gross motor energy out!
They have a great Miniland – lots of New York’s famous attractions built in legos along with large lego creations scattered throughout. Dad was particulary entranced with the Mets/Yankees stadium built from legos complete with lots of fans in the stands! They have a 4D theater with four 15 minute movies and lots and lots of play areas for big and little kids to play in.
It was a great summer vacation! Albeit exhausting! This was an expensive trip for us. Usually we stay in family homes and bring all our food with us when we go away. It was a big deal for us to spend money on hotels and restaurants.
To save money, all three attractions have discounted tickets you can buy online. We bought and printed at the hotel, but I saw one mom but tickets while waiting in line on her smart phone! We also took advantage of hotel continental breakfasts and ate as much as we could. We brought lots of water and snacks from home for in between times.
The hardest part for me was having to say “no” at all of the gift shops. They were all so expensive and it is so hard for Connor to be tempted by it all. Gosh it was hard for me to be tempted by it all! I did remember to pack their Elmo and Abby dolls to help with Sesame place temptations. There was one stuffed Crayola crayon that Connor was just obsessed with so we caved on that one.
What is most important is that we had quality family time and the kids both had so much fun! I just need a few days off to recover!