When I was a kid, the term Lego referred to plastic, brightly coloured building blocks that you could use to build anything (or would cause you extreme pain if you stepped on one). Today, the term Lego refers to a vast empire that includes everything from blocks to video games to clothing to movies. This weekend we decided to make a foray into the world of Lego by taking Sawyer to see the Lego Movie and going to LEGOLAND.
Since I didn’t see the movie myself, I can’t say much other than both Daddy and son loved it (and I can’t wait to see it).
We visited LEGOLAND on a Friday afternoon which was great timing since it wasn’t that busy at all. We took the whole family which means I am looking at it through the eyes of a mother with a three-year old and one year old twins.
Location: LEGOLAND is located conveniently right inside Vaughan Mills Mall. Listed on my top 10 best cheap family friendly places in Toronto Vaughan mills had something for kids and adults alike from the waterfall at Bass Pro Mills to the amazing outlet deals throughout the mall. Plus, since it is in a mall it means that unlike with some other attractions, parking is free and it is easily accessible by transit (depending where you are coming from there are even direct shuttles from Union station and Yorkdale mall). We actually spend a few hours in the mall after having lunch and shopping around.
Cost: Hang on to your hat because if you have a big family this one will be pricey. Depending on when you go tickets can cost from $18-$22. Only kids two years old and under get in for free, which means you are looking at paying $16 for a three-year old. On the bright side, you can save some money if you prepurchase your tickets online, or if your twins are only one year old like mine are. Like most attractions, there is also an option to purchase a family pass if you live in the area and are looking for a fun hangout, but it is only good for four people, which unfortunately would not cover our family.
Interesting Facts: You are not allowed in LEGOLAND unless you have a child with you, so sorry DINKS you are out of luck. It is very stroller friendly and have baby changing facilities. In fact, they even support breastfeeding and allow it in all areas of the centre (yes, I know it’s the law, but that doesn’t mean it’s not always a battle).
ATTRACTIONS: LEGOLAND is made up of several different areas to explore.
Lego Toronto: This miniland was spectacular. They had downtown Toronto all done in Lego, complete with moving streetcars, running dogs and lights and sounds. There was also a replica of Niagara falls with running water. WE all loved this. Daddy spent half the time trying to hit a home run in the Rogers Centre while we explored. You could study it for hours and still find something new.
Rides: There are two rides, both of which are fun and appropriate for young children. The downside it that you can be waiting a long time even if the lineup is rather short, but that is to be expected.
Jungle Gym: There is a huge fire station that kids can rn around and play in, but even though he goes in Playland at McDonald’s, Sawyer was too scared to go. We couldn’t find a sign that said adults were allowed so we bypassed it since he wouldn’t go by himself. Other kids really seemed to be enjoying themselves, and it looked like a lot of fun.
Movie Theatre: There was a movie theatre that shows around 10 minute 4-D movies throughout the day. There are 4-D because while you are watching the movie in 3-D you actually experience it (there is wind and rain, yes you get wet slightly). Sawyer loved this.
Building Stations: They had fun building stations suitable for all ages. For the littles there was a duplo area which the girls absolutely loved. Then there is an area where you can build a tower and then test to see if it’s earthquake-proof, and another one where you build your own car and then get to race it. There was also a master class building workshop offered, but we passed on that since the kids were too young.
Café: There is also a café right inside so you can grab a snack or coffee. We chose to wait and eat in the food court, but it was still handy because I was able to sit at a table and feed the girls their lunch (that we had brought).
Pros: The kids had a great time! Since it wasn’t busy I actually let the girls out of the stroller and they really enjoyed building with the oversized duplo pieces. It wasn’t until after that I read the sign that said ages 2-5, but no one said anything to me. There is lots to see and do and it is good for younger children. Plus, it is really as long as you make it. Some places require the whole day and are too exhausting, whereas we were there for three hours which was just long enough for everyone to enjoy themselves without overdoing it. I like that is was very stroller friendly and had lots of benches for parents to sit down. I also appreciated the enthusiasm of some of the staff. There was one fellow who came up and sat down beside me while Daddy and Sawyer were building their car, and he enthusiastically told me all about the great movies they were showing and about what to check out, as well as pointing out one of the babies was missing I sock (which would have been good to know, had I not already tucked it away).
Cons: The place has a limited capacity. I don’t know how busy it usually is, but for us it was amazing. The school groups had gone, as well as people who would have to pick up older siblings from school so we had free run of the place. However, when it is busy it would be very tough since you would be waiting forever to get to the activities or get on a ride, and when you have kids, waiting for a long time is not fun.
Overall Rating: I give it a two thumbs up. It is a bit of a cost if you have a large family, but the place was great, staff was friendly, and all the kids had an amazing time. I would definitely recommend it, especially for someone who has younger children (ages 2-8).
For More Information or to purchase tickets online:
LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre
1 Bass Pro Mills Drive
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