Built-In Fun at Legoland

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Build family memories with your very own hands using Legos and a sense of humor.

California is a fun destination for a family vacation, and families can look forward to more than mouse ears and Hollywood stars in “The Golden State.”  Conveniently located in the coastal community of Carlsbad only one hour from San Diego is Legoland.

A Different Kind of Thrill Park
Legoland is a theme park designed for families with kids ages 2 – 12.  Kids can drive, pedal, squirt, climb, jump, slide, pull, push and build all day long.  There’s water play for little ones and creative building opportunities for older ones (adults included).  The rides and attractions are tame, but comfy shoes, water and dry clothes are needed for an active day.

Almost everything is made of tiny Lego bricks.  Statues of Dora the Explorer and R2D2 invite shutterbugs and little hugs.  The park is sparkly clean with wide wandering pathways exuding fun and sporting little touches, like the mural of a water-cup bearing dad stumbling toward Junior over a Lego-strewn bedroom floor.  Peer into a steam-spewing well beside a cackling, life-size witch figure. Boulders sing, “We will rock you!”  Even the bathroom signs are playful. Play tables flank ride lines to avoid boredom. Onlookers take aim and squirt friends on water rides.

Other kid-thoughtful amenities include kid-sized sinks, changing tables, water fountains and a Model Mom Baby Care Center with quiet rockers, highchairs, a nursing and soft-play tot area and more. Wheelchair and stroller accessibility is commendable.  There’s even pet day care available.

Left or Right?
Pick up a “What to do when you’re two” flyer and head left from the entrance toward Explore Village for young park-goers. Dig for dinos, ride a joust, drive a Volvo Lego car, writhe through the gigantic “Hideaways” fortress or solve the mysteries of an Egyptian pyramid.

Older kids can choose to turn right upon entering the park and find a kid-powered pulley tower and mild roller coasters, program a robot or build a one-of-a-kind creation to take home. They can also compete in the Fire Academy educational physical challenge and watch real Legos be factory-made and get a free souvenir.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online. Or, with two months advance planning, buy a $40 Brickmaster Club membership at lego.com and get a free child’s ticket, Lego-designing computer software and cool bimonthly magazines, Bionicle comic books and Lego sets.

Note that a “two-day” Legoland ticket can be used any two days within one week, so stay awhile. Carlsbad has nice beaches and the family fun of nearby San Diego – the zoo, Wild Animal Park, SeaWorld and Mexican culture.  Fill up on authentic burritos and fresh tortillas to induce siestas for the long airplane trip home!

Operating hours and days vary
(generally daily 10 a.m. – 5  p.m.)
One-day tickets are $75 adults, $65 ages 12 and younger; two-day admission is $95 adults, $85 children.


Jen Smith is a mother of two and a freelance writer living in Nashville.

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