My 10 year old’s dream job is to be a LEGO Master Builder. My boys play almost exclusively with LEGO—every day. LEGOS can often be found in the washing machine, in the kitchen, as living room decor, in the bathroom, and under my feet, most assuredly you can guess that they end up under my feet. When some one offered to hook me up with 4 review tickets for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, I said yes.
Confession, if I had said no my kids would have found out some day and in some way and I would never hear the end of it. Quite honestly, I wanted to see what it was all about. Before we hit the road we planned our day there. You can find our plan for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester here.
The day was here. The kids were prepared….earlier than we were ready. This made for a quick and easy get away. No fighting with kids who want to sleep in. They were ready to go the night before. If you are coming from a distance make sure to plan some other fun things to do for your NYC adventure. Spur of the moment add-ons are difficult and if you aren’t prepared you will end up just going home. Be prepared to spend about 2-3 hours exploring LEGOLAND Discovery Center, then another 30 minutes in the gift shop because it’s LEGO overload for kids and the decisions are TOUGH. Yeah, they loved the gift shop.
Tip 1: if you are driving from a distance, plan a few other NYC adventures for your day or overnight trip.
After a very long car ride, we were there. Finally, we spotted the sign and it was magic. We were truly there—the moment they have waited for THEIR WHOLE LIVES. We parked in the lot right around the corner from LEGOLAND Discovery Center. We were pleasantly surprised that parking was only $3.25 for up to 6 hours. LEGOLAND Discovery Center also validated tickets so anything under 3 hours was $1.25.
We walked into the building to smiling employees, bought my husband his ticket, and bought the activity packs. The activity packs ($4) had a page for stamps that you get at every station you visit and a little trinket at the end of the tour in the gift shop. Here is where I was a little bummed. I was hoping it would be a LEGO piece or mini-figure or something they could use. They get a little LEGO plastic piece. If it has a purpose we have yet to figure it out. The kids did have fun looking for the stamps stations and the activities are great busy work for the ride home.
Then the doors opened and we were IN! *Cue angels singing*. Here they were each given a LEGO DUPLO piece that can connect to the mini LEGO also. We figured out the stamping station and learned how they make LEGOS. Dave and I loved checking out this part longer than the kids. They checked it all out and wanted to be off to the next part.
Next up was the Laser Ride. We all piled in and were off to save the princess. The daddy came in first with the 10 year old coming in a close second. We won’t talk about the rest of our scores. The ride was fun, the princess was saved. That’s what matters, right?
Tip 2: Make sure you pre-book your tickets so you can save a little bit of money. Also beware that you MUST bring a child for your visit unless it is a special adult visitor event.
Then we entered NY, NY, aka Miniland. A mini city made of LEGO, that goes from day to night and back again. This was my favorite part. I am pretty sure you could be here half the day and still miss something. The amount of detail and the interactive parts of it are pretty amazing. I am also pretty certain this is one huge reason my son would love to be a Master Builder.
In the center of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, is the soft playground for the younger kids (36 inches and under), DUPLO Village, an animal themed building area for the littles, and Earthquake Towers (DUPLO).
Off the side of this main area are small centers. The LEGO Racers Speedway was a favorite for kids and daddy alike. They each built their racer, thinking carefully about how it would play out, then tested them on both tracks. Oddly enough, without watching each other, they all chose the same basic design. The LEGO Friends area was skipped by the boys while the girl checked it out. She loved that there was a karaoke station even though she didn’t really know the song. You can choose different songs but she was too anxious to move on to the next ride.
Merlin’s Apprentice Ride played a catchy tune and was the perfect ride for kids. It was fun, like a carnival or amusement park ride, but not scary. It went “high” but in reality was probably no more than 12 feet off the ground at its highest point.
We finished the ride just in time for the LEGO Master Builder Academy. The kids were excited about this and were a little bummed they couldn’t bring their creations home. We got pictures though and they now know how to build their tree and bird creations at home. The cool thing about the Master Builder Academy is that what the Master Builder is doing is put onto a TV screen so the kids can see what he is doing from a different angle as he talks and teaches them. It would be cool if the creation was either included in the ticket price or cost just a few extra dollars.
Our final stop was the 4D theater. We saw a 15 minute LEGO Racer movie, and at points you feel like you are in the movie. They also have weather effects that are really cool for the kids. Careful, you might get a little wet.
Tip 3: Remember cash for tolls and bridges if you don’t have E-Z Pass. Also remember to go through the proper booth so you don’t pay extra toll. Don’t ask how I know this.
There is a nice little cafe in the center of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, with kid friendly menu options. The Discovery Center is located in a plaza with many shops, a variety of restaurants, quick serve and sit down, and a Whole Foods Market. There many options for food and shopping available just a quick stroll away.