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August 02, 2017

Building Brainpower at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Did you know the name 'LEGO' is an abbreviation of two Danish words leg and godt, meaning "play well"? I didn't. While I did realize LEGO was an "old" toy, I didn't know the company started making the ever-popular plastic pieces way back in 1932. Talk about a vintage toy standing the test of time.

And there are many reasons why, I'm sure: the multitude of colourful collections and sets, amazing and outrageous building possibilities, the variety of accessories and add-ons. LEGO transcends generations -- it's not just an ordinary kids' toy.

What's more: studies have shown that playing with blocks and shapes and construction toys can change the way kids think. Experts say playing with these toys can help develop spacial skills, hand-eye coordination, social skills, problem solving abilities and an aptitude for creative, critical thinking. And these are definitely qualities I want to promote and encourage in my daughters.

Unlike their mother, my girls have had a love of building and playing with blocks since they were babies. (Don't get me wrong, I like building a tower just as much as the next mom, but I don't have the desire to create an entire city. Perhaps they get it from their engineer Dad!) Needless to say, all three of them were super duper hyped when I surprised them with tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto, which just happens to be a fixture in Vaughan Mills Mall.

Of course, I was excited to go inside, too. I had never been to the massive, 34,000 square foot indoor attraction, despite how close it is to our house and how many times I visit the mall. And it's been open for 4 years. But now, I thought, the girls were old enough to be introduced to the facility.

And wow. Just wow.

270 THOUSAND visitors go inside the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto every year, and I now I know why. You get the chance to build, play, practice, innovate, try new experiments, touch, explore, ride, all in one visit.

You start your visit in the LEGO museum, where you see how LEGO is made, and take home a souvenir piece for your collection. Then it's off to take a family photo (you can purchase at the end of your trip) and onto the Kingdom Quest ride. This indoor track ride asks riders to shoot at targets to help save the captured Princess. It's only a few minutes, but it reminded my girls of their trip to Disneyworld, so that's pretty cool in itself.

Following along the path, we entered MINILAND, where there must be millions, yes, MILLIONS of pieces of LEGO assembled into popular and famous Toronto landmarks.

The CN Tower, City Hall, Princess Gates, Casa Loma, the ROM, Rogers Centre -- all constructed out of LEGO. And not only constructed, this mini city moved and changed light (depending on the time of 'day'). Truly a spectacular sight.

But don't spend too much time in here because there are about 3 million LEGO bricks to play with as you move into the Centre! Not even kidding. In the Build & Test Zone, kids can create cars and trucks and other vehicles and test them out on the large ramps to see if they hold together or break apart on landing. This is the perfect chance for little minds to play engineer or innovator. And don't ask me about physics, but I'm sure they're indirectly learning that, too. 
And despite how many pieces of LEGO you have at home, it's never as many as you'll find here. Great opportunity to play and try out some new collections before you buy!
Too many small pieces for you or your littles? Not a problem. Just around the corner is the Duplo area, where kids and adults can play with larger, Duplo pieces and jumbo blocks to create "life-size" structures. The best part of making the tower? Knocking it down, of course!

If you need a break from all that building, there is a small cafeteria nearby, along with some tables to chill out, or, opt to check out one of the 4 movies playing every 15 minutes. Yes, there's a movie theatre inside too. A 3D movie theatre. If that wasn't enough, there's also a large playground area and a kids ride (parents can ride, too). 

New to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre this spring is the Ninjago City Adventure, which opened June 2. This area itself is more than 2,300 square feet of interactive play and puts guests' physical skills to the test as they fight to save Ninjago City. 

Adults and children will test their balance, agility, strength and endurance and practice Ninja moves in the Dojo training room. In the temple, ninjas-in-training will engage in obstacle course challenges. I played ninja-in-training for this one, and it was both fun and challenging, and gave the kids a laugh. 
And that was the end of our visit. We got a LOT done in a few hours, but I wouldn't be surprised if kids wanted to spend an entire day here. Can totally happen. In the end, and as a mom, I felt really proud for introducing my kids to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, and I know we'll be back.

It's a chance for kids to learn and explore all while having fun. (Not to mention make a huge LEGO mess in someone else's space! My feet thank you!) As for helping with their spacial skills, problem-solving and math, I'm no expert. But if playing with blocks now will help them down the road, I'm on board. In the end, and for our family, it's all about creating new experiences that will foster and develop their enthusiasm, energy, excitement and powerful little minds.

*** GIVEAWAY ALERT*** I'll be giving away 4 passes to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre on my Instagram! Head over to to enter!

Disclaimer: I received free tickets in order to write this review. As always, the opinions expressed on my blog are my own.

1 comment

  1. Very cool Julia! I'll definitely take my daughter here now! Thanks for such an in depth review.


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