Over Spring Break my boys and I took a quick trip up to Dallas for a little fun. Stan couldn’t join us so I wanted some easy ideas that I knew they would love. Since they are in a can’t-get-enough-LEGOs phase, I knew a trip to the LEGOLand Discovery Center would be a big hit.
LEGO has six LEGOLand Discovery Centers across the US. Besides the one we visited in Dallas/Fort Worth, there are locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City and Westchester. These are perfect for all your little LEGO lovers. If you are planning a trip to a LEGOLand Discovery Center, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- This is not an amusement park. Yes, there are a couple of rides but it’s more of a play center. I saw a few negative reviews on TripAdvisor and most of them stem from people getting LEGOLand and LEGOLand Discovery confused. The boys and I checked out the website in advance so they knew exactly what to expect before we arrived. They weren’t disappointed at all!
- While there are options for younger kids, LEGOLand Discovery Centers are probably most enjoyed by kids 4 and up. I think the excitement will probably top out for kids around 8-10.
- Purchase your tickets online in advance! TheLEGOLand Discovery Center has timed arrivals for crowd control and time slots often sell out. In order to not have disappointed kids book in advance to guarantee admission. Another perk to this is that you will receive a discount when you purchase your passes online!
- There is a LEGO Princess section especially for girls. However, the Discovery Center is heavy on boys. I’m not saying girls can’t have a great time here and enjoy the non-princess LEGO areas. However, if you are planning a trip with just your daughter, there may not be a lot of other girls for her to interact with. You might consider taking a friend or other siblings.
Now onto the fun! Here are 13 Things to Do at the LEGO Discovery Center. While these are specific to the Dallas/Ft. Worth location we attended, most Discovery Centers have many of the same features and attractions but double check before you go.
1. LEGO Factory Tour – When you are first inside the Discovery Center you get a tour of the LEGO Factory. Kids get to spin wheels, push buttons and watch a few bricks get made. As you leave the Factory and go into the center, Professor Brick-a-Brack gives each kid a LEGO brick that they made.
2. LEGO 4D Cinema – There’s a small movie theater in the Discover Center that shows a short film every 20 minutes or so. Everyone gets 3D glasses and the full 4D experience includes rain, wind and even snow. We skipped this one because 3D is still a little much for our 3-year-old but everyone leaving the film seemed to like it!
3. LEGO CITY: Forest Ranger Pursuit – This was my older son’s favorite. Kids 4 years old and up can climb into their very own LEGO Police vehicle and drive it around the track. The cars are one-seaters so parents can’t help but there are several employees out there to help kids who get stuck. My 3-year-old was devastated that he couldn’t ride but a sweet employee showed him some secret buttons he could push to make different elements of the track light up. That brightened his face a little!
4. Kingdom Quest Laser Ride – This is a cute little ride for kids. Families can climb in a LEGO chariot and go through the kingdom to rescue the captured Princess. Kids get a laser gun to shoot. Whether you keep track of the score or not it’s a really fun little ride. We rode it 3 or 4 times. Kids of all ages can ride this one. However you must be 51” to ride without a parent.
5. LEGO Ninjago Training Camp – In this newest LEGO section kids get to help Sensei Wu! There was a really neat laser maze for kids as well as different Ninjago missions that tested coordination and reaction. My boys played in here for a long time.
6. Merlin’s Apprentice Ride – This was another neat ride. Kids climb in Merlin’s carriage. This has bicycle-like pedals attached. When the ride starts you travel round and round but if you pedal the seats will rise up. The faster you pedal the higher you go. You must be 36” tall to ride and kids under 48” tall must ride with an adult.
7. LEGO Racers: Build & Test – There is one are where kids get to design and build their own race car and test it on one of several tracks. Some of the older kids and parents build pretty elaborate cars. They were fun to look at. My 4 year old built one all by himself. He tried to race it on the track but their were some design flaws that prevented it from racing. He still had a ball.
8. Pirate Beach – This is a giant splash pad with water jets and fountains, squirt cannons and some small water slides. This hadn’t opened yet for the season when we visited but it looked really fun. It’s slated to open in May but double check before you go.
9. LEGO City Play Zone & Fire Academy – This was a HUGE enclosed playscape with nets, tunnels and a big slide. Kids must be between 40” and 57” to go inside and they must have socks. My kids had a blast in here. It also might have been my favorite attraction. The entire enclosure is gated and an attendant strictly monitors the gate. No child can exit without their parent present. This gave me a chance to go to the bathroom, grab a drink and sit down for a few minutes.
10. LEGO Girls: Princess Palace – In the Princess Palace kids can build their own microphone and perform on the karaoke stage. My boys took one look at the bright pink palace and turned the other way but I did see a group of boys and girls onstage who were having a great time.
11. Miniland – There was one section that had a full replica of downtown Dallas made from LEGOs. I would assume other cities have similar displays. While we didn’t spend a ton of time in here my boys had fun with finding things they recognized and I marveled at all the details.
12. Earthquake Tables – Build a tower as tall as you can and see if your tower is strong enough to survive the quake. Somehow we completely missed this! I guess we’ll have to go back.
13. DUPLO Village – Perfect for younger LEGO visitors. Kids can build with oversized soft LEGO bricks as well as traditional DUPLO blocks. There was also a small playscape.
All-in-all it was a really fun afternoon at the LEGOLand Discovery Center. We spent about 3 hours here and probably could have stayed longer. My boys have already asked to go back next time we make a trip up to Dallas. We may have to make that happen so my husband can some too!
The LEGOLand Discover Center in Dallas/Ft. Worth is located in Grapevine Mills mall. There is ample parking immediately outside the entrance. You can get directions here. If you live in Dallas, check out their Season Pass sale. Through April 30, 2015 you can save 30% off a LEGOLand Discovery Season Pass. It pays for itself in just 2 visits. Not near Dallas? Find a LEGOLand Discovery Center near you.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by me on behalf of LEGOLand Discovery Centers. All opinions are 100% my own.