Sesame Street Live is a popular live stage show featuring beloved characters from Sesame Street. With bright costumes, upbeat music, and interactive segments, it aims to both educate and entertain kids. But between ticket prices, concessions, and other costs, is Sesame Street Live actually worth the investment for parents? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Sesame Street Live?
Sesame Street Live is a series of live touring stage shows based on the long-running PBS children’s television show Sesame Street. The shows feature life-size puppet characters like Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover, Rosita, Count von Count, Abby Cadabby, Bert, and Ernie. There’s singing, dancing, interactive segments, lessons on things like counting and the alphabet, and appearances from celebrity guests. The shows often have plotlines loosely based on Sesame Street episodes. Popular Sesame Street Live shows have included Elmo Makes Music, Elmo’s Colorful Adventure, Make a New Friend, and many others over the years.
Sesame Street Live shows began touring in 1980 and have been performed in countries around the world. VEE Corporation has produced the shows since 2008. The target audience is preschool and early elementary school kids and their families.
What’s the experience like for kids?
By all accounts, most kids absolutely love Sesame Street Live. Getting to see beloved characters come to life on stage provides an immersive, interactive experience that TV alone can’t replicate. The shows are highly visual, colorful, musical, and fast-paced enough to keep most young kids engaged from start to finish. And the interactive segments like sing-alongs and counting activities get kids out of their seats and involved in the show.
Seeing the sheer joy and excitement on kids’ faces as Big Bird comes dancing down the aisle or Cookie Monster goofs around on stage is priceless. Getting to meet and pose for photos with the characters after the show is often a major highlight as well. Most kids leave the show all smiles, still singing and dancing along to the songs.
What’s the experience like for parents/chaperones?
For parents and other adults bringing kids to Sesame Street Live, the experience is more mixed. On the positive side, seeing how overjoyed the experience makes their kids is certainly heartwarming. Some parents also get a nostalgic kick out of seeing favorite Sesame Street characters in person. And the bright, upbeat atmosphere is fun for all ages.
However, the shows are very clearly aimed at young children, which can make the experience a bit tedious at times for adults. The repetitive educational songs and simple lessons are great for kids but not necessarily mentally stimulating for grown-ups. And if you bring infants or very young toddlers, be prepared for them to potentially get scared or antsy seeing the big, loud puppet characters up close.
Overall though, most parents seem willing to put up with some boredom and inconvenience in order to give their kids a special experience and memories that will last a lifetime.
How much do tickets cost?
Sesame Street Live ticket prices vary based on the venue and seat location, but expect to pay at minimum around $20-$30 per person for nosebleed seats. For front-row seats or VIP packages, expect to pay over $100 per person in many cases. Group rates and discounted tickets are sometimes available. Here are some typical Sesame Street Live ticket price ranges:
|Average Price Range*
|Nosebleed/Upper Level Seats
|$20-$35 per seat
|Middle Level Seats
|$35-$60 per seat
|Lower Level/Front Row Seats
|$60-$120+ per seat
|$125-$150+ per seat
*Prices are approximate and vary by venue
So for a family of four, expect to pay $80 minimum for basic seats or over $400 for front row. VIP packages that include perks like meet-and-greets, signed merchandise, premium seating, and more are another popular splurge for special occasions.
Are there other costs to factor in?
Beyond just tickets, there are a few other costs families should anticipate when attending Sesame Street Live:
- Parking: Many venues charge $10-$20 or more for event parking.
- Concessions: Food, drinks, souvenirs, and other items at the arena can cost a family $20-$40+ easily.
- Merchandise: Expect stuffed animals, t-shirts, light up toys, and other Sesame Street branded items to start around $15-$25 each.
- Photos: Pricing varies, but expect to pay at least $20 for a basic photo package with your kids and the characters after the show if you want professional photos.
You don’t have to splurge on concessions or merchandise, but most parents find it hard to say no to those excited, pleading faces. Many families budget $100+ for these “extra” expenses beyond just the tickets when attending Sesame Street Live.
How does it compare to seeing Sesame Street shows/characters at theme parks?
Theme parks like SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Sesame Place also offer opportunities to see Sesame Street shows, parades, meet-and-greets with characters, and more. But there are a few key advantages Sesame Street Live has over theme park experiences:
- It’s a lengthier, more immersive show instead of just quick parade walk-bys or mini meet-and-greets.
- The experience is focused entirely on Sesame Street instead of mixed alongside other non-Sesame Street attractions.
- You are guaranteed seats up close instead of viewing from potentially distant park parade/show viewing areas.
- The characters and visuals feel more authentic without needing to withstand all-day outdoor park conditions.
However, theme park Sesame Street entertainment is obviously included along with admission (which can be pricey itself) instead of a separate ticket fee. So if you’re already planning to visit a theme park, it may be more cost-effective to see the characters there instead of spending on a whole separate Sesame Street Live show. But for an immersive Sesame Street experience as the main event, Sesame Street Live can be worth the splurge.
How does the experience benefit kids?
While Sesame Street Live is primarily entertaining, it can also provide some benefits for kids such as:
- Educational content: Reinforces lessons on numbers, letters, colors, etc. that kids learn on the Sesame Street TV show.
- Social development: Practice sitting quietly, engaging with performers, controlled excitement around characters.
- Creativity and imagination: Immerses kids in a colorful, imaginative world with puppetry and costumes.
- Family bonding time: Special shared experience parents & kids can enjoy together.
So while it may seem like just flashy entertainment, parents can feel good that Sesame Street Live does provide some developmental value beyond just thrills for kids. The unique interactive learning segments you can’t get from just watching Sesame Street at home are especially beneficial.
When is the best age to take kids?
Sesame Street Live is geared toward preschool to early grade school ages, approximately 3-8 years old. This age range is typically old enough to enjoy sitting through a live show yet still young enough to really get excited about the characters and participate in sing-alongs. Here are some general Sesame Street Live age guidelines:
- Under 2 years old: Probably too young, may get scared of loud music and characters.
- Ages 2-4: Perfect target age, will get the most thrill from seeing characters up close.
- Ages 5-7: Still ideal and able to follow plotlines and lessons; may start to outgrow by age 7-8.
- Ages 8+: Often start to lose interest as they view characters more critically.
Of course, every child matures differently so use your own judgement when picking the right age. But aim for the preschool to early grade school sweet spot to get the most enjoyment and value from Sesame Street Live.
Do kids ever get scared of the characters?
While Sesame Street Live is a lively, stimulating show, some of the very young viewers can become frightened seeing their TV pals suddenly larger-than-life on stage. The loud music, flashing lights, and bigger-than-expected characters are a lot to take in. So anxiety or even full-on freak outs are not unheard of, especially for toddlers around 1-2 years old.
To minimize fear, try waiting until kids are at least 3-4 years old or assure very young ones the characters are friendly. Sitting further back can help them warm up to the on-stage spectacle slowly. For kids prone to anxiety, come prepared with headphones or other distractions in case it becomes too much for them.
But the vast majority of kids seem to absolutely relish seeing these characters live instead of being scared. Just gauge your own child’s maturity and temperament to determine if a Sesame Street Live show is something they can handle and enjoy.
Is it worth buying a VIP ticket package?
Sesame Street Live offers premium VIP ticket packages that include perks like:
- Prime/front row seating
- Exclusive pre-show Meet & Greet with characters
- Souvenir lanyard & VIP badge
- Sesame Street Live folder with activities
- Official tour merchandise item
Pricing varies but expect to pay over $100 per VIP ticket, sometimes over $150. For super fans, the chance to meet characters face-to-face and sit right up front may be well worth the splurge. It becomes a special occasion they’ll always remember. But for more casual fans, standard tickets are often sufficient to enjoy the show.
If budget is a concern, consider getting just one VIP ticket for your biggest Sesame Street enthusiast and standard tickets for others. Many venues also offer less expensive “pre-show passes” with meet-and-greet as an add-on that are worth considering too.
While certainly not cheap, most parents and kids find Sesame Street Live well worth the cost. The experience creates lasting memories and joy that makes the show a worthwhile family activity compared to many other forms of entertainment. From the huge grins on kids’ faces to the special bonding time with parents, the educational and developmental benefits are icing on the cake.
As long as you budget wisely for tickets, concessions, merchandise and other costs, Sesame Street Live offers a fun, memorable experience that will brighten your child’s day and maybe your own inner child as well. There’s arguably nothing quite like seeing your own kids get to enjoy the same Sesame Street characters you grew up loving in an exciting live stage show.