Some of my best childhood memories are of playing with Lego. We had a Lego castle set which originally belonged to my brothers – this one which is from 1984 two years before me and my sister were born!) and we also had a house set, which I think might be this one or very similar. It definitely had the little letterbox and letter! My mum had won the house for us in a caption writing competition. In those days it was a lot more effort to enter competitions having to send off loads of postcodes with answers on, but my mum still used to enter as much as she could!
All our Lego served us so well, we used to keep it all in a big wooden drawer under the bed and spend hours playing with it – either just me and my sister or together with our older brothers and our cousins. One of the best things about Lego is how it can appeal to any gender and age, so it is the perfect toy for playing together and sharing. In those days, the Lego sets were not seen as some for boys or some for girls.
We never thought our castle was too boyish for us at all. We did used to make skirts for our lego men though by putting an extra triangle brick in between the top and the legs, like this:
I couldn’t wait for my boys to be old enough to play with Lego (yes I admit, I want an excuse to play with it again myself of course!). Until recently they have been more at the level of Duplo or the slightly bigger bricks, which are still pretty great too but it was a really proud moment for me to see my eldest follow the instructions and make a Lego Batman vehicle out of the proper Lego Bricks!
My boys all absolutely love Legoland too. We are lucky enough to be only about half an hour away so they have been a few times. We first took the boys when Mr Z was only just turned 2 years, I wasn’t sure if he would be old enough to really experience the place but he got so much more out of it than I expected. He loved all the Lego trains in Miniland and all the play areas, and we went for his 5th birthday this year too (see the post here)
Now, there is a Lego Movie coming out. I have seen the trailer of this and it looks great – funny for both adults and children. I’m definitely planning to take the boys to see this!
On Mr Z’s birthday we decided to go for a family day out to Legoland. We have been quite a few times with the kids now, as we are lucky being only about half an hour away and I find it one of the best theme parks for younger children – There’s loads to do as well as the rides.
As there’s so much to do and see in Legoland I’m just gonna cover a few areas, as I think it will be impossible to cover everything in one post!
I have to cover this first because I was a little worried how this was going to turn out and I have to say I was so impressed with how easy to get and use the access pass was. In the past I think you just needed to show the DLA letter, and that is no longer the case. You do need a further letter explaining your child (or your own?) condition. I had been given the impression from some mums that you will need to get something specially written for this purpose (who has time for that really, there are enough things to chase up with SN kids without doing that!) but it wasn’t the case. I just took a couple of paed reports explaining Mr T’s condition and we were given the access pass which allows for 10 rides without queuing. I have heard other families upset about the ride limit too, but in our case we actually only managed to use 5 as we do other non-ride attractions too so I didn’t find the limit a problem at all on this occasion. Without the pass it would have been a nightmare for Mr T as some of the queues were around 45min to 1 hour and he is not able to understand or stay in a line like that, so I was so happy that this system is in place to allow him to enjoy his day out.
Some of the rides we went on were the Dragon ride, Atlantis and Squid Surfer. Mr Z loved the squid surfer, he loves water rides so he found it great. There are quite a few water rides available in Legoland. Mr T loved the Dragon ride he does not get scared at all he just really enjoys it! I really like the Atlantis. It’s a very family friendly ride suitable even for babies (unfortunately mr R fell asleep so he actually missed it this time! but he has been when he was younger) and is great for anyone interested in Sea life. While on the ride you see loads of fish and some small sharks. It is made in conjunction with sealife centres. We visited their London aquarium recently (see here) and has a little aquarium available when you exit the ride.
The Brick Restaurant in the Lego Hotel
We decided to have lunch in the lego themed restaurant which is part of the hotel. We had not tried this before and found it very cool with all the lego models everywhere, to give a great lego themed environment! It is buffet style and there’s plenty of food available. I do have to say the lego shaped chips were not great but the other food was quite nice. It is actually all halal chicken available so my husband was very pleased as he is a meat lover! The children were really happy with the ice cream machine, its similar to ice cream factory where you can add your sweets toppings.
The play areas
There are plenty of play areas in Legoland which is great for when the children want a break from queuing or rides and just want to use up some energy. My boys always love the Pirate training play area which is really big and all shaped like pirate ships. This is very exciting especially for Mr Z. He has enjoyed this since he first visited at 2 years and still loves it now at 5. Mr R is a bit more cautious with play areas but he enjoyed being taken up there by his dad.
There is a play area near the hotel which we had not tried before, so that was nice for after lunch and there is also a small area inside the hotel lobby with stairs and a tunnel which was a big hit with the younger two.
The Duplo play area is another great one for the slightly smaller areas. Last time we visited they all spent so long there, but now it is next to the new water play so of course that grabbed their attention this time.
The New Duplo Water Play areas
These are the reason Mr Z chose to go to Legoland for his birthday! He had seen them advertised on TV while watching Nick Jr and had thought wow! He loves anything to do with water so was really attracted to this. There are two areas, a more basic one for the little ones, and a more advanced “drench towers” Mr Z was more interested in the Drench Towers and he loved it! You do need to bring a full change of swimming clothes and towel as the children will get properly wet as though they are in a swimming pool, although I think these are sold in the shop if you have not thought to bring them. Parents are able to supervise from the viewing area at the side without getting wet and there are Lego staff supervising too, who were very helpful and nice.
There are some changing rooms available and the water play area operates on timed sessions (maybe not during week days school time if its less busy?) but Mr Z found the time given was enough for him to play. The larger blue slide was closed on the day we went but he still really enjoyed this water area!
Legoland is not complete without a trip through miniland! We didn’t get to spend long this time as we were so busy with the other attractions but we still managed to get a look at some of the trains running through the little models. My boys all love this especially Mr T who is so excited by it. Miniland is great, something so unique to legoland and reminds you that it is all about the Lego not just the rides. Miniland is the one I most remember from when I visited Legoland when it was newly opened and I was 10 😀
We decided to leave our buggy at home and hire one of the Legoland buggies, as we had kept noticing these on previous visits. The first shop we went to they said they didn’t have any! Disaster!! Luckily we managed to get the kids down to the next shop and they went and found one for us in the back somewhere. The little buggies are quite good, with being side by side as our normal buggy is tandem with one underneath which is not great as they can’t see while going around the park, but I would say do be careful if you are going and hoping to rely on the Legoland buggies, if we did not find one in the 2nd shop we would have been screwed – there is no way the younger 2 could walk around the park for any real length of time.
We also got them some new lego from the shops. Despite going to Legoland regularly, they have been still more on the duplo and not quite moved up to regular Lego yet. As Mr Z is now 5 I thought they should try and they have been really enjoying it. He brought his new lego figures in to show in school for show and tell.
Legoland is a great day out! As I said, I’m sure I have missed loads here but I would definitely recommend it for any families with young children. I find its different each time we go because we never have time for everything, so have to chose different things each time. Recently I won an annual preschool pass for Legoland, so I can’t wait to get started taking the younger two more regularly while Mr Z is in school (so sorry Mr Z!!!!)
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