The biggest pile of LEGO® bricks you've ever seen. . .
Numerous building stations and places to test your creations. . .
Life-size LEGO structures of Friends, Star Wars characters, Superheroes and more.
What else could a LEGO-lover want in the course of one evening?
Last night, we spent the evening at LEGO KidsFest in Cleveland. My kids were ecstatic and truthfully, we never even paused to eat dinner. The kids kept wanting to try something else and there was so much to experience.
LEGO KidsFest is a traveling LEGO extravaganza featuring millions of LEGO bricks and dozens of hands-on, educational, and fun building activities for all ages. (Check here to see if the show is coming to your city.) Sessions are 4.5 hours long and usually sell out in each city. Cleveland's five sessions had sold out and I was concerned that it was going to be too crowded to do anything. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Any line we waited in was brief (albeit one) and there were always open tables to design and build.
Here are our favorites and 5 things you won't want to miss:
(Please know that some activities do change over the course of time.)
1. The Big Brick Pile - I am not usually too excited when there is a monster pile of bricks on my son's floor and I can't walk through his room. But there was nothing but fun for the Big Brick Pile at LEGO KidsFest. Twice, we hung out in the pile, building towers and not caring about the mess. And if you've ever stepped on a LEGO and felt the pain, you will love that you can wear your shoes.
2. The Brick Battle Zone - In this exhibit and show, teams work to build a bridge of LEGO bricks and then test their creation by adding weights. The first one we saw held over 35 lbs! I loved the creativity, engineering and teamwork involved in this activity. Plus, win or lose, each participant received a little bagged LEGO set.
The boys' bridge didn't hold much weight but the experience was fun!
3. Master Builder Lab - This MUST DO exhibit starts as a 35 minute show (which was awesome on so many levels) and then leads to building and testing of the kids' creations for strength. The show was lead by Master Builder, Chris. He is one of eight Master Builders . . . in the world! He talked about the start of LEGO, how they design and build new ideas and giant displays that are sent around the globe. It was very interesting and made use of videos to show the kids examples of what Chris spoke about. Design comes to life! At the end of the show, he opened up for questions and there were many children who wanted to ask the Master Builder their question.
We talked to Chris after the show and learned so much!
4. Free Mini LEGO Sets - As I mentioned for the Brick Battle Zone, there are other places where the kids can earn free bagged sets. At LEGO Friends, you can build a design and then show a staff member and the child will receive a set with a mini-doll figure. My son also received a set at the Challenge Zone for participating. The kids were very excited and I liked the added value it brought to the evening.
5. Free Unique Photos - Yes, you can take tons of photos with all the characters made of LEGO bricks (and we did), but there were two things that I thought were extra fun. One was in the LEGO City area, where kids held a rope and stood in front of a green screen. The staff took their picture and then emailed the superimposed image with the child in the picture. It was so cool, especially when you like LEGO City and chasing crooks.
The other opportunity for a unique photo was in the LEGO Friends area where you can get in a photo booth and take a couple pictures. The pictures print on a LEGO Friends background paper and my daughter just loved getting our photo taken.
Here are some other fun pictures we took:
All of the staff we encountered were nice, but Travis went beyond. While we were waiting in line for the Master Building Lab show, he asked my son if he had tickets for the show (which of course didn't exist). He told my son he would have to play Rock-Paper-Scissors to get in. I love seeing staff who are excited to be there, have a smile on their face and interact with customers. Thanks, Travis! (I have his permission to share the photo.)
So, what would have made LEGO KidsFest better? LEGO-themed food. We probably would have stopped to eat dinner for this. I would have loved to see kids' meals served in an upside down giant LEGO. However, I am willing to bet that KidsFest-associated food violates the location's contract. But, it sure would have been fun!
What would your kids enjoy most about LEGO KidsFest? Be sure to check the calendar and find out when the show will be visiting a city near you!
Disclosure: I received admission in exchange for my review. All opinions are mine.