Are your kids into Lego? While LEGOLAND Orlando is too far, a closer LEGOLAND Discovery Center makes for a nice day trip. It’s an indoor play space located in the Plymouth Meeting Mall, 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
We had a great time going on a Friday morning. I expected us to see everything and be done in an hour. 3 hours blew by. We were all entertained and worn out by noon.
From their site: “Book your tickets online at least 24 hours in advance to guarantee your entry time and to receive the best price! Rates vary based on time and day of entry. Every guest over 2 years old is required to have a ticket.”
Booking online is cheaper than walk-ins. Securing a time slot also means no waiting.
Check the back of Lego packaging for coupons. They always have free kids entry to LEGOLAND on the back. Discovery Centers are included. Buying a $4 set can save you $20.
There are 3 tiers of tickets. To keep it simple, I recommend paying $5 for the ‘Extra Value Ticket’. It adds a collectible. I’m not sure if it changes, but ours was a lanyard that put us on a scavenger hunt for stamps throughout the center. They still use the cards from the lanyard for building instructions and Lego activities.
Interactive Ride: Imagination Express
You don’t just walk in, you ride in! As soon as you enter they pull up a Lego train car with 6 seats. Everyone gets a star wand equipped with a laser light and a button. The family blasts targets throughout the ride to earn points. I didn’t think our kids would score any points but they picked up on it fast and did well. This was one of their favorite parts.
10 themed play areas
It was cool to have a little zone for each of the scenes/brands you & your kids liked. Each theme had life size mini-figures built from Lego bricks that made for good photo ops.
A few highlights:
- Ninjago Training Camp: cool activities for older kids and adults. It includes a laser maze & a game that challenged your speed and reflexes.It got so intense we had to drop our bags and let the kids watch us parents have some fun.
- Earthquake Tables: our 5 year old enjoyed building up a Duplo tower & seeing how it held up to a moving base plate.
- Duplo Park: this area had over sized foam Duplo bricks and a little slide. With a soft floor, it was the place to get down and play. It’s best for toddlers. Pro tip: seek out the big red button for a shower of bubbles.
Everywhere you went, there were building stations and bins of pieces to use. However, they didn’t have useful parts at the stations. I didn’t feel equipped to build a train at the train table. The Lego Friends tables had build challenges, yet I wasn’t able to complete any of them with the given parts.
Pirate Play Gym
It is McDonald’s playhouse meets a Lego Pirate Ship.The size of the pirate ship is really impressive amazing. There were a variety of obstacles and objects to navigate or climb. Decorated with Lego themed mini-figures and an audio track of waves & seagulls, the ship presented an adventurous vibe. I wish we had something like this as a kid!
They really enjoyed running around and role playing around the ship. It got a little too rowdy for them once a rush of kids came in & we moved on. It filled about 20 minutes of our stay and gave us parents a break to sit down.
Be sure to do a workshop. This was my favorite part. A resident Lego Master Builder is there to teach a 20 minute lesson for kids (and parents too). We build mini sheep. Both 3 & 5 year olds were able to do it without a problem. It was a calm and focused time to play/build one thing after all the over stimulated rounds of: play, distraction, discover, run, play, distraction – rinse & repeat.
4D Movie Theater
There was a loop of four 20 minute Lego short films. I was happy to sit down and rest for a bit. I was in for a surprise when sprayed with water mist blasts and immersed in the 3D visuals.
This seemed good for about 10 minutes, then the cold water was annoying me. Our preschoolers (and their parents) got fed up after 30 minutes.
Be sure to do a workshop. It’s much better for older kids that enjoy action movies.
There was a small coffee shop/snack bar to get a quick bite and keep playing. Remember, you’re in a mall. So we avoided eating there & headed to the food court on our way out.
It’s awesome for a day trip. The kids, the parents, we all enjoyed ourselves. There was enough that kept us there and entertained much longer than expected. It was definitely worth our drive and the price of entry. I would go again. Maybe once a year, twice if we’re planning to be in the area.
They really should do better job of providing more useful pieces at the build tables. We would also spend more time in workshops than in movies.