As a kid, I loved LEGOS®. I made houses, towers, cars, mini-cities – anything I could think of in my imagination. I rarely stayed on script, most often straying from the instructions that came packaged with a new set of LEGOS®.
Flash-forward thirty years, and I’ve shared my love of LEGOS® with my three kids. Addie totally digs creating houses while Evan stacks his toddler-sized Legos into towers. Kate enjoys flipping her giant LEGOS® over and pretending they are drinking cups. Two out of three ain’t bad…
When I got an email inviting us to a blogger event at the new LEGOLAND® Discovery Center in Boston, MA, I was ecstatic. Immediately I called my sister, Kim, and we made plans to take her three kids and Addison. On the big day we all piled into Kim’s car and made the quick jaunt into Somerville, MA. (Because LEGOLAND® is geared toward kids ages 3-10, we left the twins at home.)
Once we exited the parking garage, it was easy to spot LEGOLAND®. There’s a giant LEGO® giraffe standing just outside the glass doors which sets the tone for the awesomeness ahead.
Our first activity was a “tour” of the LEGO® factory – which is actually a huge, circular room with a 360 degree projection screen. Each kid stands at a station and first makes a digital LEGO® character, which is followed by a quick interactive movie about how LEGOS® are made. Addie was overwhelmed, so we stepped outside and waited for Grace, Bria, and Eoin.
Next stop was the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride – I took Eoin, Grace, and Bria in one car while Kim and Addie climbed into the one behind us. Each seat had a toy pistol and a score screen. As we traveled through the LEGO® landscape, the goal was to hit as many of the LEGO® targets on the big screens as possible. Bria was completely uninterested, but Grave and Eoin had a spirited competition. Eoin was quite pleased with himself when he won. After her reaction to the factory tour, I was worried that Addie would be scared, but she walked off the ride exclaiming it was her favorite part of LEGOLAND®.
While we waited for a private LEGO® building class with master model builder Ian Coffey, we explored the incredible Boston landscape made entirely or LEGOS®. Much of it was interactive, which the kids loved. Let’s be honest – Kim and I loved it too. My favorite part was having a rowing race with Grace. (Little know fact – my siblings and I have all rowed since high school, while Kendra and I both rowed in college and coached until Addie was born.)
After checking everything out, we headed to the building classroom for our master class. It was awesome – Ian walked us through building a dragon. I was worried Addie and Bria might have trouble following along, but they rocked it!
It was awesome to meet Ian in person. His story of how he came to Boston, and became a LEGO® Master Model Builder is rad. After graduating from Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in history, Ian landed a job working in politics in his home state of NY. Meanwhile, a family friend spotted an ad in the Boston Globe for a contest to find the LEGO® Master Model Builder for the soon-to-be LEGOLAND® Discovery Center in Boston, MA. Ian tossed it aside, but one of his best friends entered for him. He decided to go through with the competition, but packed his skis for the trip, assuming he’d be knocked out of the running in the first day, and could spend the rest of his weekend hitting the slopes.
Fate had other plans – Ian beat out 99 other competitors for the job of LEGO® Master Model Builder, and was faced with a life-changing decision – decline his acceptance to Barry University’s Law School and pursue his childhood dreams, or continue on the path he’d planned. With a leap of faith, Ian accepted the position at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. Now he spends his days running master classes, training the staff at LEGOLAND®, and designing and building pieces in mini-land. Not too shabby for a guy who spent his childhood creating a LEGO® city in his basement and now proudly exclaims, “I have every LEGO® piece at my fingertips.”
We set the kids loose once the class was over, and they immediately ran to the indoor playground. Nothing like getting out some energy after sitting for 20 minutes. By the time we left, they had checked out everything in LEGOLAND®! They built race cars at the Racers Build & Test station, then spent over a half hour testing them out on the two race tracks. Addie LOVED this attraction – though she could barely reach the top of the highest track, she managed to get her car on and racing and was so proud of her race car.
My favorite attraction was the Merlin’s Apprentice Ride – basically a typical carnival ride with cars that are all connected to a center post and revolve around a circle. The cool part is that the faster you pedal, the higher your car goes in the air. We all had a blast on this ride!
There are several other LEGO® building stations, a 4-D Movie Theatre, and even a Duplo blocks farmland for the toddler crowd.
We would all highly recommend a visit to LEGOLAND® – it super fun for kids of all ages (including adults!) and a great place to explore, build, imagine, and play. Definitely make sure you set aside a big chunk of time. You could easily spend half a day or more here. And with a café that serves up healthy food, there’s no need to worry about finding lunch! On your way out, make sure to stop at the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Shop and get some new LEGOS® for the ride home!
Know Before You Go
All of LEGOLAND® is fully accessible, and includes a family restroom and baby changing facilities!
Tickets: Kids 2 and under are always free; the price for everyone 3 and up is $22.50 per ticket. Pro-tip: Buy online before you go, and you’ll pay only $18.00 per ticket! If you buy tickets online for after-4pm Monday-Thursday admission, tickets are $15 per person.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday 10am-7pm.
Directions: The LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is located at 598 Assembly Row, Somerville, MA 02145
- From the North: Take I-93 South to exit 28 toward Sullivan Square/Charlestown/Assembly Square. Merge onto MA-38 South. Turn left following signs to Assembly Square.
- From the South: Take I-93 North to exit 29. Stay right at fork to merge onto MA-28 North Everett/Malden. Follows signs to Assembly Square.
- From I-90 East: Follow I-90 East and merge onto I-93 North. Take exit 29. Stay right at fork to merge onto MA-28 North Everett/Malden. Follows signs to Assembly Square.
- Public transportation from downtown Boston: The Orange Line T stop at Assembly Row is now open! Check MBTA.com for more details.
Adult Nights: Ditch the kids on the third Wednesday of every month from 7pm – 9pm. Tickets are $22.50 per person.
Birthday Parties: There are two packages available for kids’ birthday parties. See the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center website for more info.
S.T.E.M.-based Workshops: There are several great workshops available for school field trips for ages 3-10.