I adore puppeteers. They display an art form that few appreciate nowadays. They bring life into characters and show off their agility, flexibility, and incredible vocal chords. The art of puppeteering was brought forward by many incredible creators over the years with a few that truly stand out as royalty in the art form. In particular, my creative heroes Jim Henson and Carroll Spinney revolutionized exactly what is possible with imaginary characters and just how brilliant a communicative media puppets truly bring to the table. I set the stage for this piece with my adoration for puppets as Caroll Spinney, the voice, talent, and character behind Sesame Street’s beloved giant avian Big Bird announced his retirement in October 2018 after 50 years of feathery magic. But all is not lost. Although a protege has been waiting for decades to fill the voice Spinney would eventually silence, there are still ways for you to show your Big Bird love across the world. And with that, here are the Big Bird and Sesame Street sites you should add to any trip itinerary.

 

Sesame Street and Big Bird Attractions for your Trip Itinerary
Sesame Street and Big Bird Attractions for your Trip Itinerary

Bird Bird Fun Facts:

  • Big Bird’s age is supposed to be 6!
  • He started off by have a yokem-type personality to which Carroll Spinney suggested to change to have him more child-like learning together with children.
  • Big Bird’s friend Mr Snuffleupagus was imaginary for many years on the show. This was changed in the 1980’s so children didn’t think they had to keep quiet about things they believed or things they saw happen.
  • Big Bird’s reaction to the death of “Mr Looper” on Sesame Street (Mr Hooper, played by the late Will Lee) revolutionized children’s programming.
  • Mr Hooper used to make Big Bird birdseed milkshakes!
  • “Follow that Bird” was Big Bird’s first full-length feature.
  • Although there are many references to avian species, Big Bird’s exact origin is unknown. However, I’m still sold on Mrs. Bear’s suggestion in Muppets Family Christmas that he is a huge canary.
  • The story has it that Big Bird was adopted by the adults on Sesame Street and lived in his nest there for the duration of the show. He grew up initially with Granny Bird.
  • When Big Bird has Radar, a second muppeteer is used to help steady the bear in the scenes.
  • There are approximately 4000 feathers on the Big Bird costume.
  • At Jim Henson’s Memorial Big Bird sings “Bein’ Green” in his honour. At the end in tears, he looked up in the sky and said “Thank you Kermit.” A truly moving show that brought me to tears as a beloved fan <3

  • Big Bird earned a star on the Walk of Fame in 1994.
  • When Caroll Spinney, beloved “Muppeteer” was on location as Big Bird and couldn’t see the video feed on his monitor, a hole was used in the costume so he could see out front. When this happens, Big Bird’s character wears his tie to hide the hole! Whoa…
  • Big Bird’s teddy bear is named Radar.

Sesame Street and Big Bird Attractions for your Trip Itinerary

So this beloved television program has charmed and inspired audiences for nearly 50 years. Through the decades the educational whimsical variety show of skits, songs, learning, and comedy has evolved and introduced world and societal issues to the table for children and adults of all ages to address, respond, and embrace. Everything from HIV awareness, to Autism, to natural disasters, to death, Sesame Street has worked these major topics into scripts and into our homes through our television screens. Jim Henson i’m sure would have been happy and proud to see his creation develop to what it is today. And in light of this, we are going to showcase here some of the various spots around the world you can find Sesame Street attractions and locations to add to your trip itinerary.

Sesame Street Attractions for your Trip Itinerary
Sesame Street Attractions for your Trip Itinerary
Credit: Gavin St Ours

The Centre for Puppetry Arts – Atlanta Georgia

So this was a gold mine for a Jim Henson fan. Imagine entering a world of imagination and seeing the works of your creative hero in front of you. That’s how I felt about the Centre for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta Georgia. See original puppets, costumes, and artifacts that shaped the programs Jim Henson created. In particular, be sure to check out the Big Bird costume as well as the Muppets and Fraggle Rock original pieces.

Thinking of visiting the Centre for Puppetry Arts? Check out our guide here.

Big Bird!
Big Bird!

 

Elmo
Elmo

 

The entry photo of the Jim Henson section
The entry photo of the Jim Henson section

The Filming Locations in Brooklyn New York

Can you tell me how to get…how to get to Sesame Street!? These song lyrics are synonymous with any other theme song that serves as an earworm. A pop culture tune that you honestly cannot help but hum, brought viewers to the famed spot in with each episode.  If you take one of those hop-on hop-off buses in New York City that includes a brief visit to across the bridge, you will see the real Sesame Street!

Sesame Street Set in New York City
Credit: Scarecroe

Sesame Place

I was tickled pink when I learned of Sesame Place – a theme park for children with Autism. Finally someone has recognized this terrible disorder that affects millions of kids yearly with something special for them to forget their problems for a brief time.

Sesame Street Attractions for your Trip itinerary
Sesame Street Attractions for your Trip itinerary

Located in Philadelphia, families will feel right at home surrounded by favourite Sesame Street characters, rides, shows, and more. The character encounters are especially wonderful giving children that special interaction they crave or sometimes fear. With the official training in place, the characters and actors throughout the park give the children the comfort they sometimes truly need after facing frightening and confusing times in the real world.

Sesame Place is so special, they are the only theme parks designated Autism centre in the world. Jim Henson would seriously be so proud. Amazing! Admission is reasonable with season pass options for individuals and families. Make sure you head here to meet the beloved Sesame Street characters and enjoy the fun-filled atmosphere that is doing so much good enriching the lives of children who could really use some fun.

Sesame Place in Philadelphia USA
Sesame Place in Philadelphia USA
Credit: RubyDW

Sesame Street Live

Cannot make it to the park? Why not check out your favourite giant canary on the stage!? Sesame Street Live is a wonderful show that brings all the characters from Sesame Street to your hometown for a fun time of laughs and learning. To book tickets or to see just when they are hitting up your neighbourhood, check out their site here.

Big Bird and the Count at Sesame Street Live. A show to include on your Trip Itinerary
Big Bird and the Count at Sesame Street Live. A show to include on your Trip Itinerary
Credit: Selena N. B. H

Busch Gardens, Tampa Florida

I love this theme park. It brings a unique combination of rides, attractions, and wildlife to the table. It was a yearly tradition back in my childhood to visit this park and my dad didn’t mind the visit as he would always get free beer. (the Busch factory conveniently gave a couple of pints to any guest of age.) I haven’t visited in a little while, but have always respected and loved the introduction of Sesame Street Safari of Fun to the park’s offerings. Kids can identify Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie, and many other characters, giving them an outlet of familiarity while on holiday. Enjoy rides, climb Elmo’s treehouse, and stop for a break with a meet and greet with such friends as Grover, Elmo, and Rosita. I particularly think Big Bird’s Whirly Birdie is a ride not to miss and should be enjoyed along with the splash area on a hot day.

Sesame Street Safari at Busch Gardens in Tampa Florida. A must-see on your Trip Itinerary!
Sesame Street Safari at Busch Gardens in Tampa Florida. A must-see on your Trip Itinerary! Credit: Jeremy Thompson

The Yellow Feather Fund

As you can probably imagine, Sesame Street is heavily involved in philanthropy. Along with raising awareness for various causes, Sesame Street and the Children’s Television Network contribute to the community. One of those ways is through the Yellow Feather Fund.

The Sesame Street Yellow Feather Fund is a registered charity that gives educational materials to children in need across the world. Everyone from children with Autism to military families, the Yellow Feather Fund helps them all. Donate today and know wholeheartedly that you are supporting important causes to give children of all races and cultures a better and more learned life.

Yellow Feather Fund Helps Children in need around the world.
Yellow Feather Fund Helps Children in need around the world.
Credit: Yellow Feather Fund

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So there you have some wonderful Sesame Street spots for your trip itinerary that showcase the wonderful legacy Carroll Spinney has left in the hearts of children and adults alike. I know that Jim Henson loved Carroll and his depiction of his giant bird, and that the world wouldn’t be the same without having this adorable 6-year-old to giggle with for the last 50 years.

 

Honour Carroll Spinney's 50 year legacy by adding these Sesame Street Attractions around the world for your trip itinerary. Our post gives you the details on where you can learn more about the original puppets, filming locations, and theme parks. #bigbird #sesamestreet #traveltips #jimhenson #carrollspinney #ernieandbert
Sesame Street Attractions around the world for your trip itinerary.

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