Contributing Editor/Mom on the go Michelle Zakko visited the newest local theme park with her two sons ages 4 and 5 and got the scoop.
1. You don’t need to set aside a whole day to visit: Legoland Discovery Westchester is approximately 10 minutes from the New York side of the George Washington Bridge and takes about 3 hours to tour and see all the attractions, so it’s a good morning or afternoon activity.
2. There is a disney-esque ride inside: One of the first attractions we experienced was the “Kingdom Quest” laser gun ride. If you’ve ever been to Disney, it was similar to the Toy Story ride. It was the boys’ favorite ride and highlight of their visit. (Don’t be scared off by the slightly long line, it was worth the wait.)
3. They will use their hands: The highlight of the Center is a circular area with tons of interactive displays. The boys built Lego cars in the “Lego Racers: Build and Test Zone” and raced them down a platform. They then played in the Duplo station consisting of a treehouse and slide plus large silicone bricks to use for building- great for the under 5 set. They were a little young for the “Earthquake Tables” (where you construct a model and then the table shakes to test your skill) and “Master Builder Lego Master Builder Academy” (a class taught by a master builder where your kids need to sit and focus). So they headed off to ride the Merlin flying ride which they really enjoyed.
4. See a complete city replica made of legos: In the “Miniland” section, there were a number of New York models made of legos on display constructed by a team of 20 master Lego builders ( if you’ve ever been faced with a 200 piece lego set, you know what a feat this is to pull off), we were impressed. Kids touring that exhibit can activate lights, sounds and various moving parts.
5. Watch a 4D Movie: Up to 98 Lego lovers per viewing can watch and experience a movie where animated Lego characters go on a fun, action-packed adventure. The special effects: like objects flying off the screen, water mists, blowing breezes and spinning snowflakes had the kids squealing and giggling with delight.
By the time we were done, the boys collapsed, smiles on faces, in the back of the car for our return trip home. We will definitely return for another visit.
A few tips before you go:
If you are bringing very young children (3 and under) we recommend bringing another set of adult hands with you to keep an eye on them.
There is a cafe on the premises which offers a $15 kids meal, which includes Smuckers Uncrustables sandwich, a juice box and a choice of chips or a fruit cup. But you can also eat off property in one of the many local eateries.
We recommend buying tickets before you go, entries are timed and for holidays it can get sold out.
The Lego Store, which you exit through, carries some exclusive products so you may want to bring some extra cash along for those purchases.
Legoland Discovery Westchester: 39 Fitzgerald St., within the Ridge Hill shopping complex at 1 Ridge Hill Blvd., Yonkers; 866-243-0770; http://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester/
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (last admission at 7:30 p.m.); Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last admission at 5 p.m.)
Cost: $18 for kids 3-12, $22 for ages 13 and up, free for kids 2 and under. , Annual passes start at $58.52 for an individual or $227.59 for a family of four and include admission, discounts for birthday parties, the shop and the cafe, and a subscription to Lego magazine.
Parking: The North Otis or South Otis parking garages offer the closest access to the attraction ($3.25 for up to six hours)