Sunday, August 17, 2014

Legoland Discovery Center Westchester Review @USFG

Disclosure:  I received this information through my relationship with US Family Guide. In exchange for sharing this information I had the opportunity to receive 4 free tickets to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester.  

Maybe you are like me and totally did not know that the LEGOLAND Discovery Center had opened up last year in Yonkers, NY.  Even more exciting, this is the only LEGOLAND Discovery Center on the entire East Coast of the United States.  Who doesn't like Legos? Well then, welcome to one of Westchester's top kids attractions and one of the world's biggest boxes of LEGO bricks! This isn't just Legos though, this new family friendly spot offers tons of indoor fun, even cool rides, interactive stations and this huge play structure for kids to get some energy expended for a good nights sleep (heh, heh, heh...that is always the plan!)

If you have boys or girls that are Lego fans then you might want to consider a little trip to this fun spot.  Who knew that it was just literally a hop, skip and a jump from the GW Bridge in this beautiful walkable outdoor Westchester Ridge Hill mall.  After you spend a morning or afternoon at the Legoland Discovery Center, you can take a nice stroll through the mall and do some shopping or window shopping.  Great stores and even nice restaurants. So jealous since we have nothing like that by us but at least I know this is a fun option for a special day. Meanwhile, the whole Legoland Discovery Center is an amazing play space that for Lego lovers of all ages from tots to tweens. They even have special deals for annual memberships if you live locally. 

The kids don't need to be Lego obsessed to have a fun day here either. My little one loved it! From the Lego building stations to the rides you can spend an hour or a whole day here. When you walk in you can have an immediate photo op with the huge Lego creature in the right by the door.  Of course she pointed that one out and how cool he was. I was so surprised how interested she was in the Lego Factory tour as an older kid...she thought it was really cool to see how they were made and all the fun stuff to touch and explore. We loved the rides like the Kingdom Quest.  You ride through and shoot all the evil ones and gather points.  Of course I grabbed two guns so I could finish off more of them....she thought that was hysterical. 

We saw all the little ones just loving the colorful Lego Fire Academy play structure. There were tunnels and nets and lots of places to climb and explore in a safe environment including a pit full of soft Lego bricks.  No shoes allowed for safety.

We just LOVED the Lego 4D Cinema. We both agreed that alone was worth the price of admission. Very cool and the special effects were something else. Lots of fun for the adults and kids and I recommend you do not miss this one! It is a short movie but worth the time. When we were there it was A Clutch Powers 4-D Adventure.

Don't miss the Lego Racers: Build & Test area. You can build and then race your Lego vehicle with other visitors. This was popular and she loved it. Not a long wait though which was good. 

One of the first things we hopped on was the Merlin's Apprentice ride.  It spins around in a gentle circle and you pedal fast to make your car go higher.  Ahhh, of course I had woken up super early and pounded my beat up self through a grueling boot camp regimen at 7:30am so my legs were crying even though the pedaling was easy.  You-know-who kept shushing my moans and groans and urged me to pedal faster.  No sympathy but it really was fun.

The detailed and amazing lifelike NYC landmarks in the MiniLand are made entirely from Legos.  You really must take a walk through and see the GW Bridge and all the other spots.  Some of them even move and light up.  

We really wanted to sit in on a Master Builder Academy workshop but we kept missing the session starts. No ones fault but ours really.  There were a ton of time slots and we decided we are doing that on our next visit.  You get to learn from a Lego pro which is pretty neat especially since the classroom is small. 

She was wishing that Legoland Discovery was around was she was a toddler as she watched the little ones play in the adorable Duplo Village.   Cute, cute, cute!

She could not be torn away from the Earthquake Table area.  She was having a ball building these Lego skyscrapers and then turning the knob to the max to see if the structure could still stand.  She was a good builder and all of her structures stayed put. Maybe architecture is in her future?? It would be good if there was a second little unit. This was popular and my daughter mentioned it got kind of crowded.  Kids were squeezing in on one another. It was that cool!

One other fun thing for the younger ones is karaoke at the Lego Friends Playhouse. It was cute to watch. She liked the Lego Friends playhouse. Cute, cute cute!

One option if you know you are going is to buy your tickets in advance. Yup. You can buy your tickets ahead of time.  There is a small service fee, but if it is busy you can avoid the disappointment of being turned away. It does sell out on busy days.  There is a cute little cafe inside but it is not gourmet. We ate before in one of the yummy restaurants in the Ridge Hill mall.  Plan ahead either to eat in their cafe or at one of the restaurants because you cannot bring your own food or drinks.

On a 2014 note, for safety sake, adults aren't allowed to visit Legoland Discovery Center alone. An adult must have a child under the age of 13 with them to enter. It sounds kind of weird but as a mom I totally get it. This makes me feel safer and I like that rule. Legoland Discovery Center is targeted for children ages 3 to 10 and that seems reasonable. My 10 year old enjoyed herself.  Three year olds would love it just as much.

Legoland Discovery Center is so close to the GW bridge so NY, NJ and CT drivers will find it a snap to get to. I am so awful with directions but my GPS got me there no problem at all.  It is even easy via public transportation. You can hop on the Metro-North Hudson Line to Yonkers and transfer to a Westchester County bus that will take you right to the Ridge Hill mall for a day of fun.

Admission is a reasonable $22 for adults and $18 for children ages 3 to 10. If you are making a day of it then the price is pretty reasonable. If you think you'll visit more than a few times in a year, an annual pass is the way to go. Have fun, we sure did! 

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