A dream come true for our birthday boy! ~Our Trip to LEGOLAND & SEALife Aquarium~
*Note admission for the attractions was provided through US family guide in order to bring you this review- however all opinions are my own and based on our experience.
When we planned our Kansas City trip for to celebrate Hayden’s 4th birthday we knew that he would be overjoyed to see the Legoland Discovery Center. He had asked about it for weeks, however, we had no idea how much fun was in store for the rest of us! We decided rather than stay at the Crown Center Plaza hotel facilities; we would stay in nearby Liberty, Mo. We selected the Sleep Inn & Suites because they offered similar rates, free parking, breakfast and an indoor water park. For us, the 20 minute each day drive to Crown Center, offered better overall savings. Crown Center Plaza, features two hotels, amazing shopping and restaurants. It would have be an ideal option if our children were older (and enjoyed shopping) or the weather in April was warm enough to swim in an outdoor pool. (Note: Parking at the Crown Center Plaza on weekends is free, but is not included a part of the hotel packages). The Crown Center Plaza is beautifully scenic with fountains and plenty of additional outside shopping opportunities!
Day 1- Visit to Legoland
We traveled out with an additional family and here we encountered our one of two of the only issues. We had attraction tickets provided and arrived as the facility opened. The lines at opening are lengthy and divided by who has passes and those who need to buy. Our line moved quickly, but our friends’ entrance was delayed significantly. Lesson, buy your tickets online and if time allows wait about an hour after opening- at this time the lines have decreased dramatically. Once inside, we enjoyed an interactive factory tour, rides, play area, toddler area, movie, StarWars display, testing track and my favorite the mini-city area! This area is INCREDIBLE! The sets include movement, sound and lighting. As an adult, I was impressed. I only wish Hayden, had the opportunity to visit with the “Master Builder” there is a window into his workspace, but no interaction L and Hayden was so impressed, he made us return to view his space again. I recommend purchasing the activity pass- Hayden loved collecting the stamps along the way, and received his first badge! The pass is available upon entry and contains lots of trivia and fun Lego facts! During lunch, Hayden found himself surrounded by a sea of children attending a birthday party dressed in similar yellow shirts (what a creative mom- she used the yellow shirt as a party invitation and hand painted them!) The snack bar is where we encountered our only other issue. Food. I appreciate the fact that they obviously tried to select healthier food options- a wide variety of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and gluten-free snack packs- but unfortunately since Henry allergic to eggs and peanuts, he was left with only the apples, oranges and bag of chips to choose from. I could not even buy him an al-a-carte juice box because it was sold as part of a “lunch kit.” The available lunch kits contained items like hummus or high-end cheese spread contained a package of trail mix with nuts- and ALL breads contained eggs. Once you gain entrance to Legoland, you cannot leave the facility and re-enter, so with lunchtime approaching our day ended. Overall 3 ½ hours was sufficient and we greatly enjoyed our time!
Day 2- The SeaLife Aquarium
This time our entrance was quick (our friends has bought tickets in advance) and lines on Sunday opening were not as long. The aquarium does allow you to leave and re-enter, but does not have food facilities on site. The displays are great and variety of sea life is abundant! The kids loved walking through the underwater tunnel! The octopus, giant spider crab and sea horses were huge hits! However you will want to be aware, especially when traveling with younger children- there is ONLY one bathroom in the facility. You do not want to try to back-track with a stroller, against the flow of people traffic, as we had to. The kids were ecstatic to even find a huge Lego castle display and play center. 2-3 hours was a sufficient time frame to navigate the aquarium, it is not as large as some aquariums I have visited and with younger children we didn’t have time to read many of the facts. I do wish the aquarium had been a bit more interactive with demonstrations or educational sessions. We encountered one employee who offered to answer questions, but it was for the majority a self-guided and “display only” center. We would definitely visit the area again and were very happy with our weekend. TIP! I must recommend Fritz’s, at the Crown Center Plaza for mealtime. This was an absolute highlight! The food was affordable, tasty and best of all arrives via train! Yes! After being seated, you “call” in your order and when ready, it is served on a motorized train track! This was such an enjoyable part of the experience! See all of our photos on facebook!