If your kiddo’s dresser is lined with original LEGO creations. If you’ve seen the LEGO Movie every weekend since its release. If you lie awake at night dreaming up LEGO storage solutions, you’ve come to the right place. Because we’ve rounded up the coolest LEGO activities and events Seattle has to offer for brick lovers big and small (that’s right, parents, you can play too!). Read on for the LEGO-licious scoop!
The Seattle Public Library is jumping on the LEGO bandwagon with their LEGO Mania! playtime this spring and summer. Many branches will be hosting their version of the playtime from now through the end of June, bringing LEGO lovers and concentrated creative time together in library meeting rooms across the city. The event focus varies with location, but will often include a LEGO Challenge build time and share time, so kids can showcase and explain their creations. Some playtimes are more of a free build format. But no matter which program you happen upon, one thing parents and their minis can count on is lots of LEGOs desperate to be connected (to each other). Just visit the Seattle Public Library’s online calendar of events, and type Lego Mania in the search box for the upcoming events in your area. Unleash the LEGO Mania!
Seattle Public Library
Various branch locations throughout the city
Dates: Through June 4, 2014
Leave it to the LEGO Store to give the kiddos what they want: LEGO play time and awesome exclusives. The Bellevue and Lynnwood stores run two monthly programs that will appeal to any LEGO lover in your fam. The Mini Model Build is held on the first Tuesday of every month from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. It’s a quick and easy, free program with no pre-registration required, although line up usually starts around 3:30 p.m. the day of the event. Each month features a different mini build that takes between 5 and 15 minutes to create, depending on complexity. And each project is pre-packaged and comes with instructions, so the kidlets can recreate what they made in the store at home. Drop in any time, build for a bit and get inspired!
Keep the good times rolling with the monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) LEGO Club meetings. Each meeting has lots of theme-directed build time before the kiddos share their brick-tastic creations as a group. Expect DC Super Heroes for the March meeting and Marvel for April, followed by Star Wars in May. And each attendee gets a prize pack and a T-shirt for attending. The LEGO Club meetings do require pre-registration and it starts early—the first of the month prior to the meeting month. (That means registration for the April meeting has already begun!) Call the store to get a spot or stop by to register in person. Build on!
LEGO Store – Bellevue Square
119 Bellevue Square
Bellevue, Wa 98004
LEGO Store – Alderwood Mall
3000 184th St. S.W., #428
Lynnwood, Wa 98037
Dates: Mini Model Build on March 4; LEGO Club meetings on March 22 & 29
Times: Mini Model Builds from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; LEGO Club meetings from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Cost: Mini Model Build, Free; LEGO Club meetings, $25/person ($5 discount for LEGO VIP members)
On top of their awesome weekend workshops and after school programs, Play-Well TEKnologies has added two super-cool LEGO programs to their roster that are sure to be a hit. Preschool multi-week classes top our list, because LEGO play for the youngest munchkins is so hard to find. This class features Duplo bricks and a slew of tech pieces like gears and such (who knew, right?) that really get things moving. Recently, the littles have built drawbridges, merry-go-rounds and tow trucks during classes, always focused on the engineering concepts being used in construction. It’s amazing what 3-5-year-olds can understand when they see it in action! It’s not a drop off class, but parents aren’t required to participate unless they want to. So, you can sit and sip your coffee while the Play-Well team leads your kidlet’s creative exploits or you can join in. Sign up for a six-week series or just register for a one-time workshop. The next series starts April 14.
The monthly Family Fun Night runs a close second in the race for LEGO fun at Play-Well. These events are hosted once a month at the Kirkland facility and really are a great way for families to be active together. Everybody enjoys two hours of guided build time focused around a theme. This month’s will be merry-go-rounds, with cars and bridges, mini golf, and battle track to follow in the coming months. Families can build cooperatively or they can liven it up with a little inner-family competition, wager optional (we’re thinking winner does the dishes for a week!). Mark your calendars for this one and get ready to play on!
11743 124th Ave. N.E.
Kirkland, Wa 98034
Dates & Times: Pre-school Groups, Mondays from 10 a.m.-11a.m.; Family Fun Night, March 7, April 18, May 16 & June 20 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Pre-school Group, $12/class or $70 for 6 weeks; Family Fun Night, $25/kid and adults play free
Ages: Pre-school Groups are designed for ages 3-5; Family Fun Nights are for everyone
Mathnificent LEGO Build
The monthly, 90-minute LEGO build time at Math ‘n’ Stuff is a favorite of north end locals. With a drop in/drop out format, and LEGO bricks that are older than your oldest (these are second-hand bricks that are usually 5-10 years old), it’s easy to find time in your day for this activity. Staff will bring out bin upon bin of bricks, and then kids get to rummage and build in this free play LEGO bonanza. The idea here is to take home what you’ve made or what you’ve found (they charge $.75/oz. or $12/lb.). Kiddos can come looking for specific pieces or they can sift through to find those bricks they didn’t know they needed. What they do from there is up to them. Take them home, build in the store, find some more. The best part is that the $10 registration fee is put towards your purchase for the class. Get ready to seek and find, LEGO style!
Math ‘n’ Stuff – Event Space
9212 Roosevelt Way N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115
Date: March 24
Time: 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Ages: 2 and up
There are two LEGO-rific classes currently open through Bricks4Kidz. Their Duplo Model building class (at Belltown Community Center) for minis ages 2-5 work fine motor skills as the kiddos build and chit chat about everyday objects like fish, gardens and keys. All with those not-big-enough-to-swallow chunky Duplos the tot lot loves.
Partnering with BEAM Experience, Bricks4Kidz also offers an original Stop Motion Animation class for the bigger kiddos, ages 6-9, held at the Seattle Jewish Community School. This cooperative, team-based class walks kiddos through the process of brainstorming, outlining, building, animating and publishing their own stories. How cool is that! They’ll work with all kinds of materials (not just beloved LEGOS) as they explore different themes and venues like houses in trees or in space.
Starting on June 2, the KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue will have LEGO blocks of all shapes and sizes out in their block building area. Small LEGO blocks will be out on tables for the bigger kids to use, translucent Duplos will fascinate the tot lot on light tables, and giant, custom-made 6×6 LEGO blocks will be out for any and all to try out. At various times during the day, staff will lead some LEGO story telling, which incorporates mini figs and those “weird pieces” (you know, trees, fences and other random finds) into the playtime. Come one and all for a brick ton of fun!
KidsQuest Children’s Museum
4091 Factoria Mall S.E.
Bellevue, Wa 98006
Days & Times: Tues.-Wed., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs.–Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $9/person; under 1 free
Watch and Learn
BrickCon Spring Exhibition 2014
The first ever BrickCon Spring Exhibition will be held in Tacoma this April, and it’s a great precursor to BrickCon’s main event held downtown in October. What will you find at this smaller Con? Just some amazing exhibits by local builders, free LEGO swag for the minis, and a building zone where aspiring builders (that means you, kiddos) can test their building prowess. Trust us, they’ll want to after walking the event. It’s hard not to be inspired! Plan to spend at least 30 minutes to take in the displays and check out the LEGO related merch for purchase. Strollers aren’t allowed, so strap on the babes and then get going to this awesome event!
430 E. 25th St.
Tacoma, Wa 98421
Dates: April 26 & 27
Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $7/person; Children under 5 and active service members are free
City Blocks – Tacoma’s Brick Art Center
LEGOs aren’t just for the littles any more. Adults are getting in on the fun too. In fact, there are some who’ve turned their lifelong love of LEGOs into careers, and Dan Parker of City Blocks is one of them. Visiting Dan’s studio is an awesome chance to see a master builder and his team at work. Just drop by during open hours and marvel in the process (not just the final product) of mind-boggling LEGO construction. The team is currently working on a Minecraft exhibit for the Emerald City ComicCon. Come and watch them play…er, work!
And don’t pass up the opportunity to attend a Kid’s Workshop at the studio. These awesome classes give kids ages 5-12 the chance to work with different LEGO building forms including: mosaic, mini, sculpture, and mechanical. And each class has a different theme like town and transport or space so you can find a fit for your kiddo. Be sure to call the studio to find out about their upcoming April workshops.
2501 E. D St., Suite 80
Tacoma, Wa 98421
Times: Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 12 p.m.-4 p.m.; or by appointment.
Psst! If you’re up for a drive, check out the Bricks Cascade Convention at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. At just $8 per person or $28 for a family of 4 (children under 3 get in for free), it’s an awesome way to spend the weekend, browsing other’s creations and finding inspiration for your own! The expo runs March 8-9 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.
And don’t’ forget the Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture exhibit at the EMP, which runs daily through April 20, 2014.
Has the LEGO lover in your family tried any of these building experiences? Tell us about it in a comment below.
Photos thanks to: Julian Evenfeather, William Rooke, Dan Paker, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Math ‘n’ Stuff, Play-Well TEKnologies & Seattle Public Library