Got a LEGO-crazed kid? Taken one too many trips to the Rockefeller Center LEGO Store? Then we’ve got some big, huge, 3-million-plus-bricks kind of news for you. The Northeast officially has a local LEGOLAND Discovery Center! The 32,300 square-foot indoor playland, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, is less than an hour drive away in Yonkers, as long as you don’t hit more than the typical traffic, and well worth a Zipcar rental. Geared towards kids ages 3 to 10 years old, you’ll find a 4D cinema, party rooms, two rides, play areas, a cafe, a LEGO Store, master LEGO building classes and an amazing NYC-themed MINILAND. Keep reading to find out what you’ll find at this awesome new family attraction featuring more than 3 million LEGO bricks.
The LEGO Low Down
There’s lots more to do than just marval at amazing LEGO models here. Take the Factory Tour to learn how LEGO bricks are made from raw plastic. The interactive exhibit lets you experience the colors and sounds of bricks in the making with the press of a few buttons. See a film in the 4D Cinema, which takes 3D to the next level by adding wind, rain, snow and other lifelike features. Or go on a ride: You can zip through a magical potion room on Merlin’s Apprentice or climb aboard a mighty chariot to fend off skeletons and trolls with lasers on Kingdom Quest.
Build, Build, Build!
What fun would a LEGO attraction be without places to get your hands on a bunch of bricks? It’s no surprise that you’ll find plenty of brick-building opportunities here. We think the Earthquake Tables – where you can build towers and then see if a shaking earthquake will cause them to tumble – are especially fun. Feeling competitive? Another must-do: LEGO Racers Build & Test Zone. Kids (and you!) can create a car and time it on the speed test track. Little performers will like the LEGO Friends area where they can build a microphone and sing on the karaoke stage. And you can’t go wrong with the building opportunities, fire trucks, dump trucks and more at the LEGO City Construction City and Fire Academy areas. You can also learn a few new tricks at the LEGO Master Builder Academy. Top builders are on hand to offer tips and teach noteworthy building techniques.
Local LEGO Flavor
While there are 9 other LEGOLAND Discovery Center’s around the world, you won’t find the NYC- and Westchester County-themed MINILAND Exhibit anywhere else. Built with more than 1 million LEGO bricks, the just-like-home display features landmark locations including The American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, the Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, Times Square, Lyndhurst Castle and Grand Central Terminal. With more than 50 models, the amazing display took a team of 20 expert LEGO builders approximately six months to build. Besides giving kids a chance to say, “I’ve been there!,” MINILAND will wow kids with its day to night cycle. Every five minutes the city will illuminate.
For the Youngest LEGO Fans
Take your preschooler to the DUPLO Billage attraction. They’ll find hundreds of large LEGO DUPLO bricks to play with in a farm-themed area sure to spark their creativity.
Good to Know
If you get hungry while you’re there, the LEGO cafe will save the day. And before you go, the LEGO store might cost you a pretty penny unless you strategically plan to avoid stopping and buying goodies there!
Got a family of serious LEGO fans? Get an unlimited-visit annual pass for $60 per person or $230 for a family of four. Besides getting in the door, you’ll get discounts on food, drinks, birthday parties and discounts at the on-site LEGO store.
The Nitty Gritty
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
Westchester’s Ridge Hill
39 Fitzgerald Street
Yonkers, Ny 10710
Cost: $22/adults, $18/kids ages 3-12, free for kids under age 2
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10:00 am – 9:30 pm; Sun.,11:00 am – 7:00 pm
— Julie Seguss
Photo credit: Jim Sulley/newscast