Feeling bold, I tweeted @SproutTV last month, inquiring whether Jax and I could visit the set of The Sunny Side Up Show in Philadelphia. I didn’t expect a reply, let alone a yes only a few minutes later! But that was before I knew firsthand how sweet the Sprout people are.
So after a few e-mails to set things up, my husband, Jax, and I excitedly headed to Philly last Tuesday morning to watch The Sunny Side Up Show be filmed and possibly meet that day’s host, Kelly, and Chica, the chicken.
I was impressed the moment I set foot into the building itself, and my enthusiasm only grew with each passing minute. Before I knew it, we were standing outside the production room, or as I like to call it, “the room where all the magic happens.” We stood outside the glass door and watched the staff of maybe 6 or 7 (if I had to guess) do their thing while Kelly and Chica sang, danced, and laughed on the other side of a window facing them. We stood watching the monitors , mesmerized, for about 20 minutes. Ashley, our tour guide, answered my questions about the various Sprout shows and hosts until Play With Me Sesame came on, giving Kelly and Chica a short break during which they were happy to meet us. In case you’re wondering, most of my questions revolved around Dennisha’s pregnancy and the addition of Liz, the newest host of The Sunny Side Up Show. Having watched Sprout for so long now, I have grown to feel like the 4 hosts, Kelly, Sean, Dennisha, and Liz, are friends of our family.
On we went into the Sunshine Barn, where Kelly and Chica greeted us warmly. I became instantly starstruck by Kelly, whose personality in real life, I could immediately tell, matches her personality on TV—friendly, generous, sweet, and someone who loves being around children. She asked if she could hold Jax, and I agreed, although I was nervous he’d start to cry—he still doesn’t go freely into the arms of strangers. I was shocked at how willing and happy he was to be held by Kelly! I suppose he recognized her from more than a year of seeing her on our TV at home. Silly me for considering Kelly a stranger when she’d been part of our lives for so long!
Kelly inched closer to Chica so Jax could reach out and touch her. My eyes watered from the excitement of watching my son so happy. We’ve been huge fans of The Sunny Side Up Show since Jax was, I dunno, 6 or 7 months old (a million years ago). Back then, when he’d hear Chica even from another room, his head would turn to look for her. It warmed my heart to have this opportunity with him.
Kelly then handed Jax the string to pull Mr. Mailman across the back of the barn. Wow! We watch Mr. Mailman deliver the mail on our TV at home, and here is my little boy helping!
After a few minutes in the Sunshine Barn ,which, by the way, is more cramped than I’d expected (so I give the hosts a lot of credit for doing their stuff in that small space), we said goodbye to Kelly and Chica and continued on our tour.
Our next stop was a visit to Nina’s original chair on The Good Night Show. The big, inviting blue and purple chair sat up against a wall of windows overlooking the city. It is the kind of chair you want to snuggle up in and throw your legs over its side and stay put for hours. I guess Jax would agree, as he instantly climbed up on the chair and made himself at home atop some stuffed Sesame Street characters. When Ashley offered to take a photo of the three of us, my husband and I climbed on next to Jax, but he pushed us off before we could take the photo! And then my camera battery died. Oof! Bad planning on my part.
At the end of our tour, Ashley handed Jax a swag bag, which included some temporary tattoos (of Chica & of the Sprout logo), a cool crayon thing (I don’t know how else to describe it), a coloring book, a pen, and a pencil. We were invited to stay in the building and check out the restaurant, with its amazing view, but it was a work day for my husband, so we had to leave. But it was hard! We had such a great time, and everyone we met was so kind and genuine. I am already considering making this an annual trip!
If you’ve done anything similar with your kids, I’d love to hear about it!