What's New on Sesame Street

Season 53 Curriculum
Season 53 Special: Sesame Street The Nutcracker

Season 53 Curriculum

Sesame Street’s 53rd season reflects Sesame Workshop’s Coming Together initiative through a curriculum designed to help children grow up with a healthy self-identity and sense of belonging—and do so in full celebration of their race, ethnicity, and culture. Preschool children will see themselves in engaging, developmentally appropriate stories as they explore concepts and language that help them learn ways to honor and rejoice in themselves, their friends and families, and the wider community.

Our approach builds on children’s emerging sense of empathy and keen interest in learning about others. As beloved and brand-new Sesame friends model the power of relationships, children come to understand the ways we are connected to each other and belong in our families and communities. Because concepts of self and other tend to be both behavioral/actions (“what I can do” and “what you can do”) and physical (“what I look like” and “what you look like”), Season 53’s stories act like mirrors in which children see themselves and their families and like windows framing the wide diversity of our world, as children are encouraged to develop a positive self-identity and learn to treat each other with kindness, fairness, and respect.

Read on for stories that celebrate differences and embrace similarities belonging in this season’s episodes:

  •  Episode 5307 Happy Hair Day (December 15, 2022): Elmo and his friends are singing about hair and how hair is part of what makes each of them special and unique. Celebrity guest Samuel L. Jackson joins Elmo to talk about different colors and styles of hair.

  • Episode 5313 Nani Bird Visits (January 26, 2023): Big Bird’s aunt, Nani Bird, is visiting Sesame Street from Hawaii. Nani Bird shares with Elmo, Abby and Nina how to say “aloha,” make paper flower lei, and how to hula – all special things Big Bird’s family does in Hawaii. 

  • Episode 5314 Family Album (February 2, 2023): Gabrielle and Tamir are making a family photo album for Grandma Nell. They learn about melanin and that sometimes people in a family can look the same and sometimes they can look different.

Nutcracker Special

Season 53 Special: Sesame Street The Nutcracker

The classic story of The Nutcracker is retold Sesame Street-style in a brand new animated holiday special that follows Elmo and his new puppy Tango on a fantastical adventure filled with new music, friends, and a talking Tango. This 30-minute festive feature is a celebration of the greatest gift of all: friendship.

The holidays are here on Sesame Street, and Elmo is determined to make it the best Christmas for Tango. At Elmo’s family holiday party, friends and family sing about how wonderful this holiday will be. The Count arrives bearing gifts for everyone, including a wind-up rocket ship for Elmo and a cute, nutcracker-shaped doggy toy for Tango. After a fun-filled night, Elmo and Tango fall asleep listening to Elmo’s dad, Louie, read them the story of The Nutcracker. Elmo drifts into a dream sequence where Tango can speak, and that’s when the adventure begins!

Sesame Street The Nutcracker is the official special of Sesame Street’s 53rd season. The special, sure to be a new holiday tradition for families, is available on HBO Max on November 17 and comes to PBS in 2023

Select Episode Descriptions

episode 5301
5301 Community Mural - November 3, 2022

Celebrity Guest: Mickey Guyton, Amber Ruffin Friends on Sesame Street are painting a mural to celebrate the people in their neighborhood. When Abby has a hard time finding a paint color that is the same color as her fur, she learns to mix paint to make a color that looks just like her. Everyone works together to make the mural special, showing that we may be different on the outside, but we’re all friends and neighbors on Sesame Street. Celebrity guest Mickey Guyton sings a song about community, and Amber Ruffin makes a surprise appearance as Ms. Noodle.

Episode 5302
5302 Sesame Street Super Heroes - November 10, 2022

Elmo, Abby, and Rosita are playing superheroes! When Elmo and Abby suggest for Rosita to be Super Carga, a superhero who turns on everyone’s superpowers with a Spanish catchphrase, Rosita says that speaking Spanish isn’t the only thing that makes her special.

episode 5311
5311 Gold Medal Tango - January 12, 2023

Celebrity Guest: Brett Goldstein Elmo, Rosita, and Chris are making a doggy obstacle course for Tango. They find a hula hoop that Tango could jump through, but it won’t stand up. This is a problem! They wonder how to make the hoop stand up and have enough room for Tango to jump through. What if they put the hoop through the slats of two chairs? Let’s try! Celebrity guest Brett Goldstein plays a game with Elmo and Grover.

episode 5321
5321 Grouch-ercise - March 23, 2023

Oscar’s been feeling terrible and Elmo, Abby, Grundgetta, and Nina find different exercises he could do to feel better. When they come back, they find Oscar feeling good and rotten again after a long, grouchy walk.

episode 5323
5323 Horsing Around - April 6, 2023

Julia and Sam are helping Elmo learn to ride a pony at a horse farm. Before riding the pony, Elmo learns how to greet, feed, and brush the pony. When it’s time to ride, Elmo feels nervous. What if he practices belly breathing? Let’s try!

episode 5325
5325 Fans of the Fan Dance - April 20, 2023

Today is Ji-Young’s Korean fan dance class, and she invites her friends Elmo, Zoe, Gabrielle, Charlie, and Tamir to join. Together they learn how to use the fans and thank Ji-Young for sharing this dance that’s special to her and her family.

episode 5329
5329 Wash Day - May 18, 2023

It’s Wash Day today, and Gabrielle gets to spend time with her Auntie, Kayla. Auntie Kayla combs, shampoos, conditions, and detangles Gabrielle’s hair. During bath time, Gabrielle’s hair is twisted up in a shower cap and at the end, Gabrielle gets to pick out a new style for her hair. Wash Day is really special to Gabrielle and her family.

episode 5333
5333 Grandparents’ Day - June 15, 2023

It’s Grandparents’ Day on Sesame Street! While Elmo, Tamir, and Gabrielle help Grandma Nell prepare Grandpa ZZ’s Triple Cheesy Macareenie, they learn that the best part about making it is being able to cook together as a family.

Two women and two young children smile with Rosita outdoors.

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