This past weekend the Lego KidsFest show was in Cleveland, OH. As I mentioned back in September, I was excited to hear this event was coming to Cleveland this year, and then when Groupon had discounted Lego KidsFest tickets available, we jumped at the chance after contemplating about buying tickets, and nearly missing out since the tickets sold out so fast.
Then fast forward last week, and I was in the emergency room Wednesday night, and at the hospital all day Friday for a severe bout of kidney stones (at least the Doctor’s think). So by the time our Lego ticket times rolled around on Friday, I was not looking the most forward to taking our kids around with thousands of other kids. However, by that point I needed a change of scenery from the hospital environment I had been trapped in for the past several days.
We arrived around 5:30 PM, an hour-and-a-half after they opened. My wife was a little nervous on whether we would be able to fit in the whole event considering they were only open until 8:30 PM. I had a more optimistic outlook; how much Lego stuff could there really be to do for three hours?
After arriving, we of course made a bee-line towards the life-size Lightning McQueen vehicle, followed by the Buzz Lightyear and Woody characters from Toy Story. It was the first time I have really ever seen large Lego builds on this scale. Somehow all the times I have been to Toys-R-Us Times Square or Downtown Disney have not compared.
Overall, there was an area with probably around 20 different full size Lego builds including various dinosaurs, Sponge Bob, Batman, various Harry Potter characters including the Hogwarts school, Indiana Jones, and lots of others. It really was quite impressive! The builds are created in a computer before being hand assembled, but even so it must be a monumental task to think about.
After trolling around all of the exhibits, we slowly made our way around to the various other stations throughout the show. There were areas where there were containers of Lego bricks in all the same colors (monochromatic) and everyone could go and build what ever they choose. Another station had piles of bricks to build race cars that you could race down ramps similar to the Derby.
One of the coolest stations was Creation Station. Each person could build what ever they wanted on a 6″ x 6″ square and it was then placed within an outline of the United States. There was staff constantly taking people’s creation and placing it within the display. Unfortunately, we were there on the first day, so there was not a lot to see, but I imagine by the end of the weekend, the entire area would have been filled. Therefore, if you are going to the Lego KidFest, I recommend going on the last day.
We did not take part, but there was a Mystery Wall, where everyone created a unique square of bricks and added it to a wall. At the end of the show, it was supposed to reveal an image. This is another one of those things that would be better to see on the last day.
One of the rather impressive yet chaotic parts of the show was the giant piles of Lego bricks. There were separate areas for Duplo and standard Lego bricks in giant piles. Kids could than go and build what they wanted in those areas, and they were filled with people. I think the kids liked just rolling and walking in a pile of Lego bricks more than anything, but all of the areas were packed full of people.
After our cool time playing in all of the various areas, we were fortunate to stumble upon some great areas to take some Lego’s home. The first was the Garden of Giving where kids built flowers and “planted” them in the garden. For each flower, Lego would donate to charity. At the end, each child received a playset of Lego, and we were fortunate enough to have been given one of each set.
In another section, some build-off station, which was just a chance to allow kids to build something in a timed setting, and at the end they were given a Lego Racer vehicle.
Finally, before leaving, they gave each person a Lego KidsFest block, which I thought was an excellent token to remember our time at the event.
Before leaving the event, we were each ran through Lego brick scanners to make sure we were not in violation of removing the bricks from the premises. I equated the experience to the airport scanners, but an image of a Legoman was on the screen instead of my body. I look good in plastic.
Note: There were no scanners. 🙂 In my next post, I want to share the discount coupons we were given for LegoLand parks as well as the newest coupons available.
Below is a map of the show for reference.
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