Legoland Discovery Center Boston

LegoBostonMap
All Images: http://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/boston

New England Geeks rejoice! A Legoland Discovery Center is coming to Boston on May 23, 2014. Since my son recently graduated from Duplo, this comes at a pivotal moment in my parenting journey. To be honest here, I may be more excited about this than I was the day Catching Fire came out.

builder-figureLocated on Assembly Row in Somerville, it’s just outside of Boston proper, but with easy access by T. House rules mean that occupancy will be limited, so before setting out you can book online and guarantee your spot. Outside food and drink isn’t allowed, except for the needs of babies, and the whole place is fully stroller and wheelchair accessible. They recommend between two and three hours for a visit. But what will you see when you do visit? What won’t you see is a more appropriate question.

LEGO® Factory Tour: Learn how LEGO® bricks are made with Professor Brick-a-Brack. An interactive game has you guiding the factory workers through each stage of the Lego brick making process.

LEGO® 4D Cinema: You can watch one of the Lego 3D movies, Spell Breaker, Clutch Powers, and Lego Racers, but with an added touch of rain, wind, and a few other surprises thrown in.

kingdom-quest-rideKingdom Quest Laser Ride: A ride in which the riders have laser guns and have to blast bad guys. Beyond brilliant.

Miniland: Iconic Boston attractions and local buildings made out of Lego bricks. There’s a miniature Fenway Park that was constructed in the UK and shipped over.

Lego Racers: Build & Test: It is what it says on the tin, build a Lego race car, then race it, time it, test it.

Merlin’s Apprentice Ride: An old amusement park pedal ride with a Lego twist, pedal faster, fly higher.

Lego City: Play Zone: Construction site playzones with climbing walls, slides, and a jungle gym.

Lego Model Builder Academy: Meet with Master Builder Ian Coffey, take a workshop, get building secrets.

Lego DUPLO® Farm: An area of the center devoted completely to Duplo, recommended for only under fives, a place for the younger crowd to cool off and play on their own terms.

Earthquake Tables: Build a tower, flick a switch, and see if your building can survive an earthquake as the building plates begin to move beneath the foundation.

Lego Friends – Olivia’s House: Whatever your thoughts on Lego Friends, the center has a section devoted to them. There’s karaoke and cupcakes, and I promised myself I would reserve judgement until I see real kids interacting with the toys they love.

Beyond the main attractions, the above and beyond deal sealer for me: Minifigure Trading.

minifigure-trading

I haven’t been back to Walt Disney World since Pin Trading began, and Minifigure trading takes it to a whole new level. Simply bring a Minifigure with you, say hello to staff, and check out the minifigure on their name badge. If you want to trade, the website advises you to ask them nicely, and swap! Looking for a particular Minifigure? Simply ask staff, they might know where one is hiding. I know what I’m going to be scouting yard sales for this year!

figure-holding-annual-passPutting aside the sheer awesomeness of Lego, there are several things about this attraction, that as a parent, make me jump for joy.

1. Kids under three are free. While I plan on leaving the two year old at home so that my four year old can go nuts, I probably won’t leave him at home every time. And since he is definitely not of Lego age, it’s nice that I won’t have to pay for him for another year. For people with smaller babies, it will be nice not to pay for a child to sleep or sit through the experience.

2. Recognizing that this a children’s plaything, the attraction is for kids and their adults only. Adults must be accompanied by a child in order to enter.

3. Recognizing that adults love Lego too, they will be hosting Adult Nights where you can get away from your kids for the evening, or simply have access to the attraction if you don’t have kids.

4. I’m a big fan of annual passes, and an annual pass for this attraction works out at $58.50 a person for a family of four. With pricing at $18 for ages three through 12, and $22.50 beyond that, you’ve made up your fees in just three visits. If you buy your pass before opening day, you save 10% and get all kinds of discounts.

We usually go down to Boston for the Aquarium, but for the next few years, I think the Legoland Discovery Center is going to be seeing a lot more of us.

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