Jackson is now 2 1/2 and we have passed down our love of the The Muppets to him. So you can imagine how excited our family was to attend The Muppets Take Coney Island night at the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game.
We arrived when the gates opened. The Brooklyn Cyclones social media pages they said a very limited number of fans would be picked before the game to meet a Muppet so we figured we would keep our eyes peeled and ears open. We were dressed in our favorite Muppet t shirts. Our diaper bag is a Muppets backpack. Jackson brought along his Kermit plush. We took our seats and watched the teams warm up. We didn't expect anything but a fun night of baseball and some onscreen Muppet sketches. While we watched the players on the field, we happened to look up at the boxes upstairs and there were Kermit and Miss Piggy filming a sketch! So we decided to take a chance and get in the elevator to go upstairs and see if we could catch a glimpse of a Muppet.
The elevator arrived and as luck would have it, the car was full of people who work with The Muppets! They complimented us on our Muppet shirts and said hello to Jackson. A man in the group (who we later found out is named Chris) asked why we were going upstairs. I explained we saw the Muppets in the window so we wanted to see if we could find Kermit. He told us if Jackson could point out Kermit he would guarantee he got to meet him. Gaspar proudly said "He can name them all!" We asked Jackson who Kermit is and he happily pointed him out on our shirts and went on to name them all! Chris gave us blue bracelets and told us where to go and when to meet The Muppets. We, of course, thanked him like crazy and were beside ourselves with excitement. He informed us Sweetums would be throwing out the first pitch - to which my husband exclaimed "COOL!" - and then to go directly to the meet and greet area. Sweetums is my husband's favorite Muppet.
We excitedly watched Sweetums throw out the first pitch. Our seats were in the first row right above the dugout so we got to watch him walk out right next to us. I don't know who was more excited to see Sweetums, my husband or our son! (I think my husband wins that one.) He was huge! The three of us cheered, waved to Sweetums and watched him go back into the dugout, then headed off to the meet and greet area.
The main Muppets meet and greet at the game was for children from the Make A Wish foundation. Those of us attending the game that were picked to meet The Muppets were just a bonus. Rightfully so, they took a long time with the Make A Wish kids so our wait in the lobby was about an hour. Every time the door opened we caught a glimpse of a child and a Muppet laughing and talking. It was very cool to see. On line with us were about 20-25 other families with little kids all picked like we were - lucky to be in the right place at right time, and HUGE Muppet fans. Chris and the other people with The Muppets came out every now and then to check on everyone. The Brooklyn Cyclones mascots visited the line as well to keep the kids entertained.
The Make A Wish meet and greet wrapped up and then it was time for us lucky families. Chris came out and told us we would be meeting FOUR Muppets! Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Fozzie! He also made sure everyone knew that the Muppets were attached to their performers and wanted to make sure everyone was okay with that. They didn't want to "spoil the magic" for the kids. For most of the adult fans I think part of the excitement was getting to see the performers in person, too! They let us in one family at a time so we each got our own time with them. We weren't totally sure how our 2 1/2 year old would react. Toddlers can be unpredictable!
My husband Gaspar and I are lifelong diehard Muppet fans. When we got married Miss Piggy and Kermit were our cake topper and we walked into our reception to the Muppet Show theme. When our son Jackson was born we decorated his room with Muppet stuff. Jackson is now 2 1/2 and we have passed down our love of the The Muppets to him. So you can imagine how excited our family was to attend The Muppets Take Coney Island night at the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game. They let us in and there sitting on the floor are the performers and THE MUPPETS! My husband and I are in shock. There they are! In real life! Just right in front of us saying hello to us! It felt totally unreal. But the best part was Jackson's reaction. He started jumping up and down and pointing to them "Kermit! Gonzo! Miss Piggy!" Fozzie wasn't quite ready but Jackson spotted him and yells "And Fozzie!" and Fozzie quickly popped up and said "Hi Jackson!" And Jackson yelled "Wocka wocka!" The actual exchange is kind of blur because it really felt so unreal! As thrilled as I was to see the performers (particularly, for me, Steve Whitmire and Dave Goelz) they instantly disappeared and I could only see The Muppets, hear them speaking in those signature voices, to us and to our son. Jackson clearly only saw Muppets too and wasn't distracted at all by the people bringing them to life. Very surreal to hear Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Fozzie talking to us, saying our son's name, asking him if he was having fun, telling us they like our Muppet shirts. Getting to see Jackson get so excited to talk to Fozzie and exchange wocka wockas? It was like a dream! Our son did try to touch Miss Piggy's nose but she started talking to him and we caught him just in time.
Then it was time to take a picture which required standing behind the Muppets and their performers. Trying to explain to a toddler that he had to stop talking to and looking at the Muppets so you could stand behind them wasn't an easy concept. I mean would YOU want to stop your conversation with Kermit and stand behind him, especially if you were a little kid? So he started crying when it came time to take the picture. And all The Muppets started talking to him "Oh no! It's ok!" "Don't cry Jackson!" But the best was Fozzie (who seems to be Jackson's favorite) who turned around and started talking to him to cheer him up and make him laugh. As a result n our photo with the Muppets my husband and I are beaming and grinning ear to ear and our son looks kind of in shock. We had such a wonderful experience! The performers were not permitted to be photographed - again so as not to "spoil the magic."
I can't express enough how great this experience was. It was a total dream come true for Gaspar and I. To experience it as parents through our son's eyes made it all the more incredible. Everyone was so kind and generous with their time, from Chris and the people who worked with the Muppets, the photographers, staff of the Cyclones to The Muppets and performers themselves. It was truly an experience we will never forget!