We enjoyed a little family vacation last week, visiting family in New Jersey. I spent the first 10 years of my life in NJ, so for me (and my dad), we were visiting our old stomping grounds. We stayed with my uncles last week, and there were seven of us under one roof, with four dogs! It was so nice for us all to be together, but I knew that we would want and need to keep our three year old son occupied, and perhaps even out of the house for part of the daytime. I did a little researching about some fun, educational things for kids to do nearby. The list was a mile long, being so close to NYC. I noticed that there was a LEGOLand Discovery Center not too far away, and we made plans to visit.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is located near Yonkers, NY, about 45 from where we were staying in Fair Lawn, NJ. We didn't tell B where we were going the morning of our LEGOLAND visit. We just put him in the car, and hit the road, because we wanted it to be a surprise. Half the fun was in getting there, and going over the Tapanzee Bridge, because you can see the entire NYC skyline up-close and personal, as you drive across the bridge.
LEGOLAND Disocvery Center Westchester, is one of Westchester's top kids attractions and one of the world's biggest boxes of LEGO bricks! The LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a world of entertainment, color and creativity for families with children aged 3-10. We offer a wealth of attractions, 2 rides, 4D cinema and more! The average visit takes 2-3 hours, but you are welcome to stay and play as long as you like.
The lobby of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester.
We arrived at LEGOLAND Discovery Center just after it opened for the morning, and the line was out the door! I was glad that we had tickets reserved, and waiting for us at the desk, otherwise, we might not have gotten in. The best way to ensure that you get in on the day of your visit, is to purchase your tickets online in advance. There were tons of day camp groups there the day we visited, which made it very crowded, but we really wanted B to have the experience, so we muddled through the crowds.
Awaiting our turn to enter LEGOLAND Discovery Center!
Once you purchase your tickets, you are escorted to a green screen area, where your family photo is taken. You're then given a ticket to hold onto, which can be turned in later, if you decide you'd like to purchase your family photo. Only a certain amount of people are able to go through the tour at one time, so we waited with a small group of people, until the doors were open, and we were escorted into the factory.
Checking out how LEGOs are made...
These tiny plastic balls represent what gets turned into LEGO bricks!
B and Sacha were intrigued by how LEGOs are really made...
Our tour guide, explaining hoe the balls are heated, and how the bricks are molded.
So many bricks!
There was even a scale we hopped onto, and it told us our weight in LEGO bricks!
Taking a turn on the LEGO scale with B... I didn't want to know how many bricks we equalled together!
As we headed out of the factory, each child was gifted a special LEGOLAND Discovery Center LEGO brick. B was so excited to add a special new brick to his collection of big boy LEGOs! Next, we walked down a dark hallway, and waited in line to board one of the two rides available at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, Kingdom Quest. This ride seats a whole family together, and takes you through a laser quest course, where the goal is for you to zap trolls and skeletons with your lasers, and save the princess!
Ready to board Kingdom Quest!
A peek at what we saw on our quest! Spiders everywhere!
B's first laser ride experience, and he loved every second of it!
Sacha and B, awaiting whatever trolls might pop out next!
After the ride ended, the guided part of the tour was over. The next thing for us to do, was to walk through MiniLand, which housed some incredible NY landmarks, all built out of LEGO bricks. I think it's amazing what can be constructed completely out of LEGOs! I couldn't wait to see what types of buildings would be on display.
Let's check it out...
This was probably Sacha's favorite part of our LEGOLAND experience. He loves LEGOs, too!
One of the first displays upon entering MiniLand...
My favorite display- Yankee Stadium!
Yankees girl and her little man... who thinks he's a Boston fan (say it isn't so!).
The boys, in front of the NYC skyline...
St. Patrick's Cathedral, a NYC landmark.
Recognize any of these landmarks? LEGO store, anyone?
Lady Liberty was most impressive.
Next, we headed straight over to the LEGO 4D Theater. Every 20 minutes or so, they showed a short LEGO movie. We waited in a short line, and were handed a pair of 3D glasses upon entering the theater. We wound up seeing two different movies- one with Clutch Powers, and the other was a LEGO Chima movie. Both movies were fun, action-packed, and B really enjoyed the 3D experience. 4D meant that if it rained or snowed or there was air blowing in the movie, the audience really felt it! At one point, we were all splashed by water sprinkles, and blasted with chilly air! It was pretty neat!
Me, being totally silly, and ready for a LEGO 4D experience!
B wasn't quite sure about the 4D theater at first, but once he saw his LEGO character pals on screen, he was totally into the short movies.
After the movie ended, we made our way over to the Earthquake Tables area. There was a large round area for free building LEGO towers. After building your tower, you can turn a little dial, which shaked the platform. Our goal was to build our tower well enough so that it wouldn't fall over during a quake!
B, leading the way to the next attraction...
The towers in the middle of the building table were awesome, and all lit up!
Sacha, and B- ready to put their LEGO building skills to the test!
Sacha explained why they needed to start with a wide base as they built the tower together.
B was itching to turn that dial on the table to make the tower shake!
After B approved of the tower, it was time to test it out!
B thought the shaking tower was so cool, and even cooler was the fact that our tower didn't fall apart like some of the ones around ours.
After we had fun building our tower, we took a potty break. The restrooms were very clean, which I was thankful for. Next, we headed over to the LEGO Racers area. This was one of the most crowded areas, because lots of older kids wanted to build and race cars. B already has quite a knack for constructing cars out of LEGOs, so he was eager to build a racer. We had to wait for a spot to open up at one of the building areas, but once it did, B and Sacha were all too excited to start building an awesome racer!
These two worked together to hunt for the right parts for their racer...
B was very patient, and handled so many other kids wizzing by very well. He was eager to share with others, and take turns.
Once the base was built, it was time to add some cool stuff to the race car!
There were so many bricks to choose from at the building stations.
After the boys finished building their car, we waited our turn at the race ramp. There were lots of kiddos who wanted to race their cars!
Check out the awesome race ramp!
B, taking a turn and racing his car!
A lot of the other kids were pushing and shoving, trying to get a turn at the race ramp, so we didn't stay over there for very long.
We then wanted to check out some of the cool displays made out of LEGOs. There were lots of LEGO dudes around the Discovery Center... a bicycle, a girrafe. and even Merlin the Wizard!
B, checking out the LEGOS...
B loved the LEGO bike & dude.
I thought the giraffe was pretty cool!
Merlin the Wizard was everyone's favorite!
Once we came across the giant Merlin figure made out of LEGOs, we stood near the Merlin's Apprentice Ride. The ride seats only 12 people at a time, so the wait was pretty long. We weren't sure if B would like it, but he said that he wanted to be brave and ride it with his daddy. 30 minutes after waiting in line, B and Sacha boarded the ride, got buckled in, and then the ride began to spin round and round. The riders pedal as the seats go round, and also go up and down. Riders can also read through Merlin's potion books as they ride! The ride doesn't last all that long, but for little guys and gals, it's the perfect amount of ride time. I enjoyed seeing B's face light up as he and Sacha went round and round on this fun indoor ride. B liked the ride so much, that he rode it two more times before we left!
Merlin's Apprentice ride
View of the actual ride.
We also spent some time over in the DUPLO play area, which is perfect for the younger children. B still loves his DUPLO blocks, so he was excited to head to the play area to swim and build in a sea of giant DUPLOs! There were also slides and climbing areas for little ones to explore.
DUPLO play area.
DUPLO play area.
B, having a wild and fun time in the DUPLO area.
The biggest DUPLO blocks we've ever seen, in a safe, soft play area.
The larger indoor play area.
There was also a really cool looking play area, and B so badly wanted to play on it, however, there were just too many kids playing much too roughly on it. Many of those kids looked like they were way too old to be playing in this area, and since there were so many day camp groups there, many of them were not well supervised. If it had been less crowded, we would have let B play over there. It did look like tons of fun.
There were lots of play areas we didn't explore, because we felt that B wasn't quite old enough to handle some of the activities, and many of the other areas were also very crowded. We didn't experience the lego Ninjago Laser Camp Training area, the LEGO Friends Karaoke Lounge, or the Master Builder Academy, but those all looked quite popular among the older kids.
The main hub at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester.
We didn't visit the LEGO Cafe, but it looked like there were plenty of snack and drink options, and there were even meal deals, so you could stay and play all day, without having to leave for lunch. There were coffee and cappucino options for the grown ups, too. We saw many, many moms walking around with coffee!
We ended our visit with a trip to the LEGO Store, which you actually have to walk through in order to exit LEGOLAND Discovery Center. They had lots of cool LEGO sets, and LEGO merchandise for the littlest LEGO fans to the big LEGO fans, like my hubby!
We had such a fantastic time at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester! We pretty much spent 4-5 hours there, and didn't even experience every attraction! I would recommend getting there early, wearing comfy shoes, bringing socks for your children if they want to play in the playround area, and maybe even packing a few of your own snacks. You can plan your visit, directly from the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester website!
Ideal for children aged 3-10 years, LEGOLAND Discovery Center is perfect for the biggest fans of LEGO families! With 15 different attractions all included in the admission price, purchasing tickets online is the only way to guarantee entry to the Center as tickets are limited. They look forward to welcoming you!
Want to Go? Plan Your Visit!
Get $5 off tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, through US Family Guide! General admission tickets start at $15.00 + tax. Ages 2 & under are free! You can also connect with LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester on Facebook and Twitter!
We can't thank LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester enough for hosting our family for a day of LEGO building fun, and lots of LEGO adventures! It was truly an experience we won't soon forget, and we hope to visit again sometime!
Disclosure: My family was provided with tickets to LEGOLAND Disocvery Center Westchester free of charge, in exchange for our honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Your experience may differ.