Hold onto your LEGO bins, ladies and gents- this is going to be one, super build-tastic adventure! This time last week, my family and I were getting ready to head to Raleigh, NC, to attend LEGO KidsFest NC. The annual traveling LEGO expo, which visits just a handful of cities around the country. We were lucky enough to work with our friends at US Family Guide to promote the show, and attend it, as well. We received four comp tickets to the opening night of the expo- February 28th, and my husband and I were very excited to take our son B, and cousin C. Cousin C is nine years old, and he's totally into LEGOs! B is three, and is really starting to explore building with DUPLOs. So, we packed up the car and made the two hour drive to the Raleigh Convention Center to enjoy the show!
LEGO KidsFest, here we come!
After finding a place to park and making a pit-stop to potty, we're ready for a LEGO adventure!
The Raleigh Convention Center is a huge place, so it was a little intimidating to me, to take two small boys to this event, where there were thousands of people. It made me feel good that security was tight, as far as checking tickets, checking bags, etc.
The sights upon walking in- Welcome to LEGO KidsFest!
We're here! Cousin C, B and me! B couldn't wait to shake hands with the first LEGO dude he came across.
The entrance to the hall happened to be closest to the DUPLO area, which was quite large, so we headed there first, to appease B. There was a huge pile of DUPLO bricks on the floor, and families could freestyle build whatever they wanted, for as long as they wanted to! As I scanned the area, I noticed a private nursing/changing station for moms. I thought it was awesome that the folks at LEGO KidsFest made sure not to leave out the littlest LEGO lovers out there!
B, building his heart out at the big DUPLO pile...
The boys got free Pirate hats in the DUPLO area...
...and we met our friend Jake, constructed entirely out of DUPLOs!
And where there's Jake, Buckey isn't far behind!
I thought the ship built out of DUPLOs was awesome! The boys actually got to go onto the ship, and the life size Jake model was cool, too! Hmm- if only we could have fired the DUPLO cannon. Kidding!
Next up, we headed to the Race Raps, where we built our own LEGO race cars, and raced them down the racing ramps! B had a blast doing this. In fact, he and I stayed in this area for quite a while, racing some of the other kids' cars, while daddy and Cousin C went over to the LEGO Art Gallery.
Racing our LEGO race cars...
The Art Gallery was super cool! There were tables set up with small square LEGO boards, and lots of tiny LEGO pieces. There were patterns on the table, and you were asked to pick a picture pattern, and make the picture out of LEGOs on the board. Afterward, everyone was asked to hang their board in the Art Gallery, to display their work for all to see!
Here's Cousin C's LEGO Board Artwork!
Sacha freestyled and copied a design off of his backpack, and B did his own design, as well...
All of the boys hung their artwork up in the gallery!
There were some really neat LEGO boards, and we had fun walking through the Gallery, looking at all of the designs.
One of my favorite boards!
Next, we walked through the LEGO Model Museum, where we found lots and lots of life-size characters. Of course, we took lots of photos!
One of my favorites... Lightning McQueen!
Ah! The boys in the LEGO shark's mouth!
We walked around the Model Museum for a while, and then found ourselves in a very long line to test out the LEGO Mindstorm models. We waited in line for about thirty minutes, which was not easy to do with a three year old, who just wanted to see the darn things up close. The Mindstorm LEGOs are remote controled, or controled with your smart device! In other words, they are awesome and $$$!
Cousin C couldn't wait to get his hands on the Mindstorms!
...and neither could B- with daddy's help!
They could both control their robotic machines at the same time...
...and make them battle each other!
The Mindstorm robotic LEGOs could pick objects up and carry them- at the touch of a button!
The coolest of them all- the Cobra! The boys had such fun playing with this one!
We were getting pretty hungry after our Mindstorms adventure, so we grabbed a snack at the concession- two pretzels, one drink and a bag of plain potato chips for B- to the tune of $16.00. I wish I had known there was a Whole Foods concession stand on the other side of the venue- with fresh fruit!
We enjoyed catching sneak peeks of the LEGO Movie, and other animated LEGO adventures on the big screen, while we snacked. Our next plan of action, was to visit the make-shift LEGO store, where the boys were itching to explore. The only thing was- once we got there, there was hardly enough air to breathe with all the people in there! We quickly grabbed a DUPLO set for B that we hadn't seen in stores before, and then waded through a sea of people to get to the LEGO City sets for Cousin C. The line for the check out kept getting longer and longer, and the wait in line time was around thirty minutes, so I took B to play at the LEGO Castle build area, while hubby and Cousin C waited in line to purchase their LEGO sets.
This was the pandemonium that was at the LEGO store!
After we made it out of the LEGO store with the bright yellow bags in hand, we headed over to the CHIMA play area. The boys had to show me how to play with the CHIMA LEGOs, but once I got the hang of them, I thought they were pretty cool, and had fun racing the little cars with the boys.
Building the CHIMA LEGOs and racing them on the ramp...
One of our last stops of the night, was heading over to the LEGO City area, where we were encouraged to help build the giant LEGO City display. There were huge bridges and towers, and the kids could build their own and add to them, as well!
Lots more fun building the LEGO City!
There were a lot of things we didn't get to do or see at LEGO KidsFest, because we were doing other things...
The Monochromatic Build, sponsored by HONEST
LEGO Master Builders Workshop
LEGO Hero Factory
Brick Battle Zone
LEGO Challenge Zone
DK Reading Rest Stop
We were so lucky that we got to attend this event! All five sessions for LEGO KidsFest NC sold out, and there were zero tickets available at the door! Yes, it was crowded, but we all had a great time. It was definitely worth the drive, and I'd definitely recommend going to this event, if the tour comes to a city near you!
Upcoming LEGO KidsFest Tour Stops...
Novi, MI - April 25 - 27
Alberta, Canada - May 16 - 18
Atlanta, GA - June 27 - 29
Dallas, TX- August 29 - 31
Richmond, VA- October 3 - 5
Indianapolis, IN - November 7 - 9
If you'd like to attend one of the upcomin LEGO KidsFest Tour Destinations, be sure to get your tickets while you can!
You can learn more about LEGO KidsFest by visiting their official website, which features photos, testimonials, videos and more! You can also connect with LEGO KidsFest on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
Special thanks to LEGO KidsFest and US Family Guide for providing our family with tickets to this event, and allowing us to experience all of these awesome LEGOs!