The long: In summer, Sesame Place is an open-daily water park with Elmo-Abby-Big Bird parades and performances, and 12-ish boardwalk-style rides. Winter weekends and after Christmas, the water's off. Decorations are up. Plays, parades and rides are main attractions. Tickets are cheaper. Lines ensue.
The short: Bucket list for serious TV-show watchers.
The crowd: Best suited to ages 3 to 7.
One surprise: SeaWorld runs things.
Another surprise: Lotsa Jets fans.
The staff: Calm and friendly in the face of hell-bent stroller rollers.
Don't miss: Twice-daily parade is best chance to see all characters at once. Stake out sidewalk space early. Like, 45 minutes early. (Parades at 4 and 8 p.m.)
Skip: Rides with giant lines - during a recent visit, the wait for the "Furry Express" train was an hour - unless, that is, you . . .
Splurge on: "Abby's Magical Christmas Queue," $15-per-person pass that lets you cut most rides' lines once.
Refreshments: Chicken tenders, hot dogs, french fries, Starbucks. Better company than cuisine at reserve-ahead character dinners ($15-$25).
Souvenirs: Elmos in all shapes and sizes.
Open: 1-8 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Dec. 13, 14, 20, 21, 26-30; 1-6 p.m. Dec. 31.
Closed: Jan. 1-Apr. 1.
Moment to yourself: Fuggedaboudit.
The basics: 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, $29 at gate, $24 online (under 23 months free), 866-GO4-ELMO, sesameplace.com.
If you SEPTA: West Trenton Line to No. 14 or 129 bus.
If you drive: About 30 minutes from Center City. Parking is $17.