I never met a Lego I didn’t like, so I was thrilled when it was announced that LEGOLAND Discovery Center was coming to Ridge Hill in Yonkers. And many people I know feel the same way! Westchester Family was invited to a tour of the new venue so we could give you an update on what’s in store for Westchester families.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester officially opens their doors on March 27, 2013 just about the same day as this issue hits the stands. This is the 10th Discovery Center to date that LEGOLAND has opened. Westchester joins the ranks of Discovery Centers in Dallas/Fort Worth, Japan, Chicago and Berlin. I know what you’re thinking – if Florida and California have a LEGOLAND Theme Park can Westchester be far behind? Well, there are rumors. But back to what’s here now – a great indoor center.
You are not going to want to miss one inch of this amazing play space. As you enter the admissions area you’ll explore LEGO Factory, where a guided tour is offered by the staff – who are, pun intended, called Model Citizens. They’ll explain just how raw plastic is made into LEGO.
Next, hop aboard one of the two rides in the Center. Kingdom Quest, designed for children ages 3 to 10, invites kids to aim their mounted lasers at the spooky skeletons and trolls as they ride through the kingdom in their “mighty chariot.” Heads up – your photo is taken here and can be purchased later, just as they do in Hershey Park and other venues.
Now you are right near MINILAND, one of the most popular spots at Discovery Centers. Here 1.5 million LEGO bricks create a mini world. See the New York and New Jersey skyline and local landmarks such as Historic Hudson Valley’s Sunnyside in Irvington and Grand Central Station. There’s water under the Brooklyn Bridge, lights on in the buildings and cars on the roads. Stay long enough to watch the lighting change from day to night and see the skyline twinkle.
Plan to spend some quality time at the next attraction. Visitors create a LEGO racecar and then time the car – to the hundredths of a second – as it speeds down the track. The natural thing to do is redesign it and see if you can use your engineering skills to make it go faster.
Then check out the Earthquake Tables. Build a tower as high as you can, activate the moving plates that simulate an earthquake, and see if your building can withstand the vibration. If not – try again. Great hands-on learning.
Next, there’s more interactive fun at the Center’s second ride, Merlin’s Apprentice. Pedal as fast as you can to make the ride move up and down. Children need to be at least 36” tall to ride and those between 36” and 48” must ride with an adult.
The youngest LEGO enthusiasts will enjoy DUPLO® Village.
Larger LEGO bricks help toddlers manipulate and create their ideas with ease. There are even large soft bricks for the very young. We are told staff members are especially vigilant in cleaning this area regularly for sanitary reasons.
Children (and adults) who want to learn and perfect their LEGO skills can learn much from the Master Model Builder Academy. Yes, a real live master Model Builder is on hand to give you the tips and tricks you need to create anything at all from LEGOS.
There are other attractions too, including a section for LEGO® Friends with a karaoke stage, a Fire Academy and Construction Site.
Take a minute to pause, but continue to be entertained in the LEGO® 4D Cinema. Watch a 10-minute, LEGO-themed movie while wearing 3D goggles and experience wind, rain and lightening right in the 98-seat auditorium.
There’s also a Café that serves snacks and meals. If the kids can’t stand to stay still, the café is located right near a soft play structure that resembles a jungle gym where parents can keep an eye on their energetic youngsters while taking a few moments to relax.
There are also party rooms for birthday celebrations and school trips. For $25 per child the Standard Birthday Party Package includes admission for up to 20 guests including all rides and attractions, one-hour in the party room with cake, beverages and pizza and free adult admission for each five children. A Premium Package for $35 per child includes 75-minutes in the party room with a party host and a one-hour workshop with the Master Builder. Children get to take home what they make – so there’s your party favor!
As you would expect there’s a LEGOLAND® Shop here too. Check out the products, purchase gift cards and partake in special offers. Allow at least two to three hours for your visit as there’s plenty to do. And of course you can always stay longer if you – or the kids – want to.
Jean Sheff is editor of Westchester Family.
Legoland® Discovery Center Westchester
Ridge Hill 39 Fitzgerald St., Yonkers 866-243-0770 www.legola
Walk-up (plus tax): $19 adults (ages 13 and up), $15 children ages 3-12, free under 2. Pre-booking Online (plus tax): $13.50 adults (ages 13 and up), $13.50 children ages 3-12, free under 2.
Mondays-Saturdays 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Other special packages plus Group Pricing and Annual Passes are also available. Strollers can be parked at the entrance or taken through the attraction.
©2013 Community News Group