Wednesday, August 19, 2015

LEGOLAND: Canada’s Destination for Family Fun

This summer, while visiting family in the Greater Toronto Area, I got to experience Canada’s LEGOLAND for the first time, with my two sons. Knowing my brother (a huge fan of Lego as a child) would be leading the tour, I anticipated a truly memorable day for my 18-month old toddler and 10-year old.

The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is located in the Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre where much to my delight, we found convenient free parking. As every parent knows, this is a huge plus when you have a toddler in a stroller.

The sunshine-bright yellow exterior and recognizable LEGO characters immediately drew my boys into the centre. As soon as we entered the complex, we were greeted by a friendly LEGOLAND staff member who took us on a five-minute LEGO Factory Tour. At the end of the tour, we received a LEGO block as a souvenir, which was a nice surprise. 

At MINILAND, we saw LEGO replicas of Canada’s historic attractions including the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, the Air Canada Centre, Parliament Buildings, and Rogers Centre

We then entered an area providing numerous activity stations. My toddler had a fun time in the LEGO Construction Site - the perfect spot for active toddlers on the go! Picture squishy-soft, large LEGO blocks that can be thrown; sat on, and jumped on. What’s not to love? 

My older son gravitated towards the LEGO Racers: Build & Test. In this area, older children got to build a vehicle and test it out. Competing with other children his age, my son was all smiles as he raced down the ramp. What’s not to love?

The LEGO Master Builder Academy was the next attraction to immediately catch the attention of my older son, who is quite the expert when it comes to LEGO construction. He eagerly participated in a 30-minute class lead by an instructor, who provided detailed instruction on building a LEGO project from start to finish. Though the children ranged in age, the instructor made sure everyone was having fun, while creating their new project.

My toddler and I explored the LEGO Friends & DUPLO Village, which included a sitting area as well as sections for microphone-building (with Karaoke), and LEGO cupcake creations. While we toured the LEGO Friends area (which seemed to be a hit with little girls), my brother took my older son to LEGOLAND’S main attraction, Merlin’s Apprentice - which turned out to be an “epic” pedal ride!

We concluded our visit to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre with a stop at the on-site cafe where we grabbed a few much-needed snacks and drinks. I was happy to know we had food so accessible. With two growing boys, you just never know when someone is going to be hungry.

The exit from the centre led us to the LEGO store where we were all fascinated (especially my 30-something brother) to see the smorgasbord of new LEGO building kits. My older son was quick to add several kits to his birthday wish list. Knowing his birthday was coming up in a few weeks added to the excitement.  

Parents vacationing in the Greater Toronto Area would be wise to include a day or two at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Vaughn. After our incredible day, both of my sons fell asleep in the car on the way back to Uncle’s house. As a parent, that is always a sure sign how much fun they had! 

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