My oldest son has a dream. Some children want to be football players, firemen, race car drivers…. Well, not my six-year-old. No, he wants to be a LEGO® Master Builder. He l-o-v-e-s LEGOS® and so do his siblings.
And, that’s why he (and my other three children) were chomping at the bit to go to the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center located at Grapevine Mills Mall. Last weekend we finally had the opportunity to oblige them and they had a great time!
We arrived a few minutes before the center opened at 10am on a school day. Fear stirred my heart as I counted dozens and dozens of school children on a class trip. But, I was impressed by how well the LEGOLAND® Center handled the large group. They were taken in a separate entrance and even though there were at least two classes visiting at the same time, we didn’t feel lost in the crowd or have a hard time enjoying any of the attractions.
Our visit started with a greeting from a LEGO® professor-type character who allowed the children to “help” her make some LEGO® bricks. She briefly explained how LEGOs® are made and then set us loose to explore the rest of the center.
Then we took a ride on Kingdom Quest® and my video-game-loving six-year-old had a blast shooting at the targets with the pretend gaming-style gun. You ride on automated vehicles that hold about six people. It’s a little dark in there so some younger children may not like it, but for the age 4 (or 5) and up crowd – it was a lot of fun.
At the end of the ride we found ourselves in the heart of the Discovery Center. Wow! We were so surrounded by fun we didn’t know where to start. My daughter was immediately drawn to the pink and white princess area, so she and I dashed over there while my sons and their dad started working on their very own LEGO® race car to zoom down one of the many test tracks!
After some time watching my daughter sing karaoke in the Lego Girls® Princess Palace, my younger boys (almost 2 and 3 years old) enjoyed sliding and playing in the LEGO Duplo® area. Then, we all went to catch a 4-D movie in the theater. What does 4-D mean? Well, I hate to ruin a surprise. But, let me warn you to duck when a character in the movie sneezes and grab your jacket if the movie’s setting transitions to someplace cold! There were three movies total. (They alternate them so you can watch all three if you like). Each is only about 13 minutes long — just short enough to keep even my youngest’s attention.
Right outside the theater is the phenomenal Lego® Miniland. We spent a lot of time here marveling over the details of the Lego® made Cowboy’s stadium, DFW, Great Wolf Lodge, American Airlines Arena, Reunion Tower, South Fork, and many other local landmarks. My children loved to push the buttons that caused some of them to light up, or, for example, caused some of them to move (like the bucking bronco at the Mesquite Rodeo!) My oldest liked trying to find the hidden minifigure holding a video camera (a game like challenge presented on a video screen close to the entrance).
Hidden in the back of the Discovery Center is an area we almost didn’t notice — but were sure glad we did! A few steps behind the LEGO® Cafe is the incredible LEGO City® Forest Ranger Pursuit where children ages 4 and up can drive their own LEGO® cars! My oldest children thought this was the best thing ever. I found out my daughter has a lead foot (much like her mother) while my responsible eldest son excelled at yielding to other drivers.
After a few times around the track (it wasn’t very crowded so we were able to do it several times), we went back to the discovery area and my big kids hit the Lego City® Play Zone and Fire Academy. They had a lot of fun climbing, sliding, and building with the giant silicone-type bricks. The nicest thing about this area is that it was only for children between 40 and 57 inches tall. This kept the crowd limited to children around their age which made it a lot more fun!
There was one other ride that we didn’t get to try out – that was Merlin’s Apprentice. My older children aren’t much for rides that leave the ground, but we did see other children ride and enjoy it.
Our adventure ended at the Lego® gift shop, and since my children were lucky enough to have Grandma along, they were excited to each pick out a new LEGO® set and then build some of their own unique mini figures.
Because most of my children still need an afternoon nap, we limited our day at LEGOLAND® to just a few hours. But, it was just the right amount of time. I’d say plan to spend at least two hours there if it’s not crowded. If your children really enjoy playing on the play equipment and building — you could probably spend up to 4 hours there.
As the Texas weather gets warmer…I’d recommend LEGOLAND® Discovery Center at Grapevine Mills Mall as a fun day trip for your little builders! Buy your tickets online so you are more likely to get in at the time you want to. I’ve heard that it can get crowded on busy days. Also buy online so you can save money! Ticket prices are under $20 each for adults and $15 for children at the door, but much cheaper if you buy them online ahead of time.
**I was given a complimentary family pack of tickets so that I could try and discover the LEGOLAND® Center and share my findings with Dallas Moms Blog readers! But, the opinions expressed in this piece are exclusively mine.**