In your mini engineer’s dream world, she would ride to school in her LEGO car and return to her house built of LEGO bricks. Make your brick lover’s dream a reality (well, as close to a reality as possible) at the LEGO KidsFest national tour, a fun event of building, breaking, and bonding. This three-acre smorgasbord of everything LEGO is full of entertaining demos, glorious galleries, and, of course, the constructing station of your child’s dreams.

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When to Go: Friday, Aug. 30 from 4:00pm-8:30pm; Saturday, Aug. 31 & Sunday, Sept. 1 from 9:00am-1:30pm & 3:00pm-7:30pm

Insider Tip: All sessions offer the same activities and exhibits, so you can plan according to your schedule.

Admission & Getting There: The festival is located at the San Jose Convention Center. The cost is $19 for children (ages 3-17) and seniors (65+). $21 for adults. Kids under 2 are free. Buy your tickets here; they sell out quick!

Heading over by car? From the city, take 280 South to the Vine St./Almaden Blvd. exit. Follow signs for the San Jose Convention Center. From the East Bay, take 880 South to the Coleman Ave. exit, continue on Coleman Ave. until it becomes Market St., turn right on San Carlos St., and then left on Almaden Blvd. From the South Bay, take 101 South to Highway 87 South, exit at Park Ave., turn left onto Park Ave., and then right on Almaden Blvd. Get more directions here.

For parking, the convention center will offer a $10 flat rate, or $1 for every 20 minutes. Spaces are limited, so arrive early and check the convention center parking map for alternative spots.

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What to Do: With tons of awesome LEGO-themed activities, your kids will be off and running right when you get in the door! Check out the LEGO Model Gallery, with dozens of awe-inspiring life-sized models made entirely from LEGO bricks, and get inspired early in your visit. Visit the games arena and play interactive LEGO board games, or head over to the Creation Nation area to add your creative touch to a custom map of the U.S. And, of course, don’t forget a visit to the Construction Zones, where kiddos can have some free play with other engineering enthusiasts.

For your littler LEGO lovers, pop over to the LEGO DUPLO area and let your kids explore imagination through building. Younger kids will also love the LEGO Master Builders, where they can ooh and aah over the awesome live demos from big “kids” who get paid to play. And don’t forget a visit to the KidsFest Marketplace! With tons of LEGO merchandise and official KidsFest goods, they’re sure to find the perfect souvenir (or five). With so many activities in such a giant venue, it might be worth it to plan your visit in advance. Check out the KidsFest floor map to strategize your day.

Insider Tip: Bathrooms are located all along the right-hand wall of the convention center, so you can visit periodically. In case your little one wanders off, find the Lost Parents Zone, situated right next to the entrance.

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What to Eat: After all that creative energy, kids are sure to have some rumbling tummies. As no outside food or drink is allowed (except for children under the age of 2), the convention center’s concession stand will be up and running. Stop by for a quick bite to eat amid all that LEGO action.

Which exhibit will you be sure to check out at the LEGO KidsFest? 

– Claire Schillings

Photos courtesy of LEGO KidsFest National Tour