Friday, December 5, 2014

Day Trips and Destinations: LEGO KidsFest Indianapolis 2014

On Friday November 7th, our night was filled with all sorts of fun. We were given the opportunity to attend Indy's first LEGO KidsFest, held at the Convention Center. The 2014 tour dates included November 7-9th and it was a weekend filled with interactive, creative, and educational activities for the whole family. We were lucky to get in the Friday night session, which ended up being a limited ticket availability, while both Saturday sessions and Sunday session SOLD OUT!

My kids were talking about it all week and counting the sleeps until it was here. We could not wait to check out all of the LEGO zones that we had read about on the LEGO KidsFest website. Since we live so close to the downtown area, it only took about 20 minutes for us to get there, it is so wonderful living so close to a big city where we can have opportunities like the LEGO KidsFest.
We got a parking spot right across the street from the Convention Center, which was good because it was freezing outside. We easily walked in and quickly found signs to lead us to where we wanted to go. Everything was very clearly labeled and there were people all around to help you find your way.
We found the Expo Halls and had our bags and tickets checked. Everything was very efficient and all the people we encountered were super friendly. You could tell they would be ready for large crowds for the rest of the weekend, everything was set up to handle it. We were handed two maps/brochures and welcomed in. We got there around 5:30 and there was already a decent sized crowd there exploring.
The layout of the LEGO KidsFest was very easy to see and understand and really flowed from one exhibit to the next. There was a Lost Kid/Lost Parent Zone in the front, we heard over the loud speaker announcements about meeting family members. I think this was a great idea, with so many people and so many zones, it could be easy to wander away from the rest of your group.

The kids immediately saw the Model Museum, which was directly in front of us when we entered, so we headed there first. This was by far my favorite part of the whole LEGO KidsFest. Life sized LEGO models of all kinds of things, how fun.
Checking out all of the LEGO Movie models

We found Emmet!
There was also a Star Wars model section. Darth Maul was pretty cool looking.
The animal models were more S's style. She loves zebras so we had to visit here for awhile.
and a cool tiger
All three of my gorillas visiting with a really neatly designed LEGO gorilla
Ahhh! They were eaten by a shark!!
We found Lightning McQueen, the kids thought all of his details were very cool.
Some Super Heroes displays and models were there too.
Such a funny movie-Guardians of the Galaxy.
S (who was Jessie the Cowgirl for Halloween) had to get in some time with her pals Buzz and Woody.
Then it was some Ninja Turtles we came across.
All of the LEGO Model Museum creations were so cool to see. I am always in awe of how someones brain can know exactly what LEGO bricks will work and go together to create these pieces. Simply amazing to me!

Next we went over to the LEGO Club area, where B is a member and got a special item. It was a special brick and minifigure. He was super excited about this perk. 
Behind the LEGO Club area was the LEGO Master Builder Academy, which offered demonstrations and build sessions. I knew the girls wouldn't be happy with having to sit that long in one place, so we skipped that area, but it did seem to be very popular.

Next up was the DUPLO area, this area is geared for 1-5 year olds. We let C get out of her stroller and play with big sister and brother for a bit. I felt very confident allowing her to play safely with the DUPLOS and know she really enjoyed her time in there.
There were two large piles of DUPLOS in this area, one of bold colors and one of the pinks, purples, and white variety.
S's creation
B's creations
While glancing around the DUPLO area, I noticed both a Mom's Room and a Dad's Room. The Mom's Room was both a changing and nursing station, while the Dad's Room was a changing station. I really liked how they made it available to both parents, Dads are great helpers too. We saw tons of younger kids at the KidsFest, it truly is an event for all ages.

There was also a Jake and the Neverland Pirates display
and a Cinderella's Carriage display for the kids to explore and play on.

Next to the DUPLOS was the Race Ramps section.
This area is made for building and racing LEGO cars and creations. The kids could have stayed here for the entire night I think. They had so much fun building, racing, and then changing their cars, even C was having a blast.
Next to the Race Ramps were bathrooms and a concession area for parents and kids who were needing a bit of refreshing. We did not eat there, but it looked like many people were.

Next we came to the LEGO Superheroes section, sponsored by CollegeChoice 529. The kids got some cool super hero capes that S wore the rest of the night. C loved, loved, loved the Hulk model and we had to drag her away from it.
There was also a model/photo op with Spiderman. There was an assistant there to take the photo and print it off for each family. The kids all loved this. I loved having this cute memento from our evening as well.

We then moved on to LEGO Mixels and LEGO Star Wars areas
Both of these areas were smaller but offered the chance to build and then display your creation. The kids had a good time thinking of crazy Mixels to make and Star Wars ships to build.

After that we headed to Creation Nation. This was such a cool spot. We all took the time to build a creation of our choosing to place somewhere in the United States.
S got right to building hers
B building his
You then give it to a helper who will place it somewhere inside the model of the United States. S didn't care where hers went, B choose New York, and Adam chose Utah.
At the end of the weekend, this is what it looked like. How neat!
On to the LEGOLAND area. Each child got a small square that was color coded for bricks. They each completed a square that was then placed into a larger picture (ours was a surfer eventually)
The kids liked building and being part of something bigger. We were at this part in the early stages so seeing the whole picture didn't happen but fun nonetheless.

We then visited the back corner which featured some Indy related sporting teams--Indy Fuel, Indy Eleven, and the Indianapolis Indians. There were mascots, trinkets, and activities to participate in.

Next was LEGO Fusion, Chima, and Ninjago.  I don't think we took any photos in the LEGO Fusion area because it was really busy. This section seemed to be the new hit LEGO item. From what we could understand, it is something that offers both actual building and virtual play opportunities. For the people who love Minecraft, I could see similar things to compare the LEGO Fusion too.

There was also an Art Gallery at the back of the Expo Hall to build and display your creations on small square boards. We chose not to do this area because we still had so much to see and our time was getting shorter. There was also a large retail store in the back section for all of your shopping needs. We did not visit the store either, but it looked very well stocked and with quite a variety of LEGO items.

At this point we split up for B to visit Chima and Ninjago and I took S to see the LEGO Friends and Disney section. Adam stayed with B and completed some building in these areas.

In the LEGO Friends section there was a photo booth set up. S and I took some funny photos, she said this was her favorite part of the night. We then went on to build some things to add to the Friends' City area.
S was really into the building and has even put a few LEGO Friends sets on her Christmas wishlist since visiting KidsFest.
Then on to LEGO Disney Princess where we added to the fairytale castle area. S would have loved to stay longer, but we really were almost out of time.
B and Adam checked out the LEGO Challenge Zone. They had to build a Transformer in 2 minutes using the pieces that were in front of them. They said it was fun and could have done a few more rounds.
Quickly visiting The LEGO Movie zone. We found Lord Business and Wyldstyle again. The boys enjoyed it, but said they wished there was more to it.
We also stopped by LEGO Hero Factory. These sets have been favs of B for awile and we had fun creating new and unusual guys who saved the city.
One of our final stops was the Big Brick Pile. I loved seeing all the kids and adults flock to this huge pile of LEGO bricks to build whatever you wanted.
My kids just enjoyed sitting and making LEGO angels
A few more photos before we headed towards the exit.
As you head to the exit, you could find a smaller marketplace that carried shirts, books, and other accessories. We did not shop but we did window browse.
There was also a DK Reading Rest Stop, filled with LEGO books and take a break. The kids picked up a few of the visual dictionaries and looked through them.

We actually ran out of time before we could hit the LEGO Theatre, LEGO Monochromatic Build, and LEGO Mindstorms. We were there for 3 hours total and obviously missed, skipped, or had to go through faster than we would have, but we still had 3 completely fun filled hours.

At each different area, you could pick up a small magazine specific to that area. Inside the magazine were pictures, products, stories, cartoons, and even craft ideas. There were also some gifts along the way, we got some Chima and Friends build sets. We truly had a super time at LEGO KidsFest Indy 2014!

~Check out the 2015 schedule~

LEGO® KidsFest

Upcoming 2015 Tour Stops:

• Arizona (Glendale): February 27–March 1
• Missouri (St Louis): March 20–22
• Tennessee (Nashville): April 17–19
• Texas (Austin): September 4–6

To learn even more about LEGO KidsFest, check out the website here.

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