This year for Mother’s Day I went to Legoland. Truth is, my favorite part of Mother’s Day is all the empty kid destinations. Brooklyn, my four year old daughter, and I went on this adventure with friends – another mom and her four year old boy. The Westchester, NY location we visited is a Discovery Center, not the Legoland amusement park like the famous ones in Florida and California. This is a medium sized indoor playground with many hands on activities, rides, cafe, 4D cinema and lots of inspiring LEGO creations.
Legoland Discovery Center is located in Ridge Hill Plaza, an outdoor shopping mall with a fountain in the middle. The kids spotted the LEGO logo immediately and broke out into a run, sprinting as fast as they could to reach the doors.
After paying admission you enter a room designed to feel like a LEGO factory. This room is adorable with brightly colored tubes, giant LEGO figures, several interactive stations and fun LEGO facts. The kids really enjoyed pretending to design LEGOS on tablets, playing with levers and spinning wheels. From there we followed a path which brought us to a ride called Kingdom Quest. This is an automated car which holds about six people, each seat comes with a laser gun which you aim at monsters and dragons throughout the ride. The kids had mixed reactions on this, one was a little spooked, the other wanted to do it again. It’s dark and the monsters can be a bit scary. It’s short though so if your child gets scared it’s just a couple of minutes until you’re back at the loading dock. It’s also easy to bypass this all together.
Once the ride was over the layout of the facility leads you to stroll through Miniland, which is an elaborate display of NYC all made up of LEGOS. This remarkable presentation is behind glass but many areas have buttons so you can turn on lights or make parts move. We loved seeing the Empire State Building which we recently visited, and the George Washington Bridge.
After we made our way through mini NYC, the space opened up to a large playroom with different areas. Our kids were immediately drawn to the large climbing structure in the center, Play Zone. For this they removed their shoes and climbed, slid and chased each other though this maze of platforms and halls. In a section off the center of the main playroom is another miniland display, this one dedicated to Star Wars. My daughter knew many of the characters, although she’s never seen any of the movies…I’ll never understand this. For smaller kids there’s a LEGO Duplo Village, complete with a LEGO pit and slide. My daughter’s favorite area was the LEGO Friends Village which had a pretend ice cream cafe and karaoke machine. Our friend’s son loved the Build & Test area where you could build a race car and test it on a couple different tracks.
Every 15 minutes their cinema located off the main playroom shows a 4D movie. We enjoyed ourselves while swatting at the screen trying to catch the figures which looked like they were floating in front of us. My daughter and I rode Merlin’s Apprentice ride, it’s like a carousel but the cars ride up towards the ceiling is you pedal hard. Since her feet barely reached the pedals I did the work for both of us, it’s a cute ride. After getting a snack at the cafe and playing around with the race cars a bit more, the kids were done and there wasn’t much left to see. As you leave the path drops you off at the gift shop. We let the kids each pick out a toy. They really enjoyed themselves and as a mom it’s always rewarding to see your kids having a great time.
Overall, Legoland Discovery Center is really fun for kids, who doesn’t love LEGOS. It seems a bit expensive for a family to visit, but you can often find promo codes online which offer good discounts. They also have memberships if you think you’ll visit often. Your experience here will definitely be influenced by how crowded it is. I’ve been three times now, and by far the best experience was when it was less crowded.
- The average visit takes 2-3 hours but you can stay as long as you want.
- Best ages are 3-10 years old.
- Stroller friendly.
- Outside food is not allowed.
- The cafe sells mainly cold sandwiches and snacks like yogurt and chips.
- Bring socks for the Play Zone.
- Parents are not allowed in the Play Zone.
- You need to be 42″ tall to ride Merlin’s Apprentice.
- Once you pay admission all the activities are included.
- This indoor discover center is best experienced when it’s less crowded, take this tip seriously!
- Parking in the deck is $3 but the gift shop will validate your parking stub, it reduced our rate to $1.15 (it’s based on how long you park).
Check out our video from our visit!