Bert, Ernie, Elmo

Bert and Ernie, as well as Elmo, center, are among a donation of additional Jim Henson objects to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Miss Piggy joined Kermit the Frog in the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of Jim Henson’s Muppets, and Bert and Ernie will have a place in history, too. Henson’s daughter, Cheryl Henson, is donating 20 more puppets and props to the National Museum of American History. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

NEW YORK (AP) — Big Bird, Elmo and stars of "Sesame Street" are leaving their quiet neighborhood and embarking on a road trip.

The nonprofit Sesame Workshop said Tuesday a selection of Muppets will take part in a 10-city trip to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary campaign with free park festivals, live performances and kid-friendly activities.

Steve Youngwood, the chief operating officer of Sesame Workshop, says the tour is both "a nod to the work we've done and a nod to the work we're going to do" but also "a celebration and reward to everyone who helped us get here."

The Muppets will spend Friday-Sunday in each city, filming segments for the show with local kids and highlighting people and places important to the community. There also will be activities like a giant maze, a treasure dig, photo opportunities, sweepstakes and a cookies-and-milk snack station.

The tour starts June 1 in New York and then has Saturday celebrations in Washington, D.C., on June 8; Pittsburgh on June 15; Detroit on June 22; Chicago on June 29; Dallas on July 6; Kansas City on July 13; Denver on July 20; Seattle on July 27 and Los Angeles on Aug. 3.

"It brings together who we are — from the show to the local community organization to the fans — in a way that we had absolutely never done. It's amazing. You think 50 years and things we've never done before: This level of local engagement in a comprehensive way is something we've never done. And we're really, really excited."

The 50th season of "Sesame Street" kicks off in November with a star-studded primetime special that will include new takes on classic segments and visits from "Sesame Street" icons.

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