The Lego Discovery Center in Birmingham opened it doors in July 2018, and since then it has been so popular you still need to book a date and time slot to get in. Standing in the queue waiting for our tickets to be verified to enter the main discovery center Emerson was so excited! He couldn’t wait to go in to see what the center had to offer.
I decided to purchase the activity pack for Emerson on our first visit just so he could experience everything they had to offer. this is an A5 sized robot shaped high quality booklet that can be purchased for £4 either when you book your tickets or when you arrive at the center. It comes on a lanyard with a pop badge attached – great for us pop badge collectors! In this little activity book there are places to collect “stamps”, activities, stickers and some pages have “how to build” ideas on them. Collect all the stamps in your booklet and when you leave make sure you take it to the payment counter in the Lego Shop and you will receive a little prize (Emerson got a Lego fireman figure).
Once our tickets had been scanned and we pick up Emerson’s activity pack from the counter we were welcomed by a member of staff taking photos. This is a sweet way to remember you visit, you can look at them later in your visit to decide if you wish to purchase them or not (for Merlin Digi pass holders, these photos are not included in your pass, but they do offer a discount for Merlin pass holders). When you have had your souvenir photos taken you move on through to a set of lift doors. These are what take you down to the magic.
The moment we entered the lift we were straight into the fun. The walls are fully decorated with Lego figures and if you are lucky one might speak to you over the tannoy. When those doors open you come straight into the corridor with restrooms on the left of you and the first Lego ride of the day. it is called “Kingdom Quest”. Whist you wait in line for the “Kingdom Quest” ride there are a few televisions dotted around explaining the game and how the princess has been captured and we need to save her form the Lego skeletons and trolls. This is such a cute little ride. Up to five people can go on this ride at one time, three in the front and two at the back of each cart. Each of you get a blaster and the aim of the game is to shoot as many bad guys as possible. You do have your photo taken on the way around on here too. Emerson loved this ride, your not on it for long but it is a lovely start to your visit.
Once we had saved the princess and friends (no spoilers) and were off the ride, we came to the photo viewing area. You can check out your photos and place your order here if you wish too. On the opposite side to the photo desk was the first “stamp” for Emerson’s activity book.
After browsing our photos you move on through to MINILAND. This is a room where Lego have created a fantastic “mini land”, using more then 1.5 million Lego bricks, to bring a mini integrative city to life. This is a must see for any Lego fan! We loved looking around the different areas created, many of them had some form of interaction included in them. Emerson’s favorite by far was the little Lego construction worker digging up a road with a jack hammer. He could not stop laughing at this, it was amazing to see how much happiness this place brought to my son. When we walked around this beautifully created room we found a band playing in the park, a football stadium, many of Birmingham’s land marks, narrow boats on the canal and even Warwick Castle, including its dungeons! One part I have to admit I loved was, that whilst looking at all the amazing buildings and scenes they have created, the sun sets and the whole room turns to night. The buildings lights come on, camp fires come to life and some of the walls have a fireworks display shown on them. It really is a magical place! You can tell that so much thought and care has been put into creating this.
When we could finally tare ourselves away form these amazing creations we walked on through to the main part of the discovery center. Walking into the room we were welcomed by a huge space that was cleverly laid out so that the whole area was open planned, but each activity had its own dedicated area. There were a few rooms on the outskirts of this and a coffee shop with “indoor and outdoor” seating and over to the far right as you walk in is the 4D cinema. In the center of this space was a beautiful free standing Lego clock. Check the clock at different points in the hour as the clock comes to life and its secrets are revealed.
The whole area is fully Lego themed. Even down to figures dotted around, trees outside the café entrance and Lego creations on the walls. Everywhere you look there is a special something for Lego lovers. We especially loved the theater pop corn stand figure outside the 4D cinema.
The first thing Emerson stopped at was the soft play area. He absolutely loved this! As did many of the other children in there. Fully themed, this play area is for children only and they have provided benches for us adults to sit on outside, whilst our children have fun. If you fancy it, you can grab yourself a coffee form the Coffee Shop while your enjoying 5 minutes while the kiddies burn of some energy. The center provides shoe storage outside the soft play zone, and just to the right of the zone are some lockers if you wish to lock up your bags, coats and picnic (if you have one) while your having fun.
When Emerson finally emerged form the soft play area he wanted to search for his stamps to complete his challenge in his activity pack. The stamps were dotted around the center. The pages do give you a clue as to where each stamp is and he enjoyed “stamping” his pages. The stamp leaves a different little imprint on the page, depending on the area it is in.
Once his challenge was complete he dived into building! There are Lego pits where you can sit and build what ever you feel like, a “build your own car” station area where you build and test your own Lego car creation. A building station where you can build a house, skyscraper or anything kind of structure you like and test to see how well it would stand against an earthquake. On the other side of the center there is a whole area dedicated to Lego Friends with different building stations themed around the Lego Friends girls. There is also a Duplo part of the center where only under 5’s can go so they can play with Duplo blocks, enjoy the side and have no worries about being knocked over by very excited older children. This Duplo land is nestled behind the Coffee shop and next to the other ride in the center, Merlin’s Apprentice.
When Emerson had finished building his masterpiece we went for a ride on Merlin’s Apprentice. This is another lovely little ride. Once you are buckled in, you pedal to go higher as the ride spins you around. Emerson and I enjoyed trying to keep our magical cart as high as we could get it all the way around, he just laughed as he peddled wanting to go higher. It sounds silly but I loved how animated Emerson was on here. He just loved how he could control how high we went just by peddling.
It was fun flying around. The Lego staff come around to let you out of your seat as you cannot unbuckle the belts yourself (nice touch Lego, I know when Emerson is tall enough to go on his own he wont be able to unbuckle himself during the ride, not like he would but as a mum its nice to know he is safe!). The lovely lady who helped us out the ride was happy to take a photo of us on my phone for me to keep, they have such friendly staff. Once we were off and out the gate we headed over to watch a movie in the 4D cinema to watch a film.
The 4D cinema films last around 20-30 minuets and are shown constantly throughout your visit. They have three films on constant rotation during the day and they do show you what film is playing next and they have a countdown above the cinema doors to let you know when the next film will start. You do need to queue if you want to see a particular film as the cinema does get filled fast. You are given your glasses as you enter and asked to take a seat and enjoy. The whole 4D experience did not let us down. The movie’s are fast paced and you really do think that things are flying at you. A few of the children didn’t like the experience and you can take them out at any point during the film, the staff do show you where to go and explain everything well before the movie starts – Since our first visit to the Lego Discovery Center we have been a few times and we have watched all the films. They are all good, but if you have any police fans in your party I highly recommend the new Police themed movie “Officer In Pursuit”. Emerson absolutely loves this one and it has had the best reaction by far of all the films we have watched, we especially loved the hotdog man!
Lego do hold competitions during the day. With a theme in mind, children can create a masterpiece of their own and enter this in to the competition to win a special prize. There is a board that tells you what the competition is and what time is closes (normally two different times throughout the day). They also have Master Class building workshops throughout the day where children are given a bag of bricks and are given guidance on how to build what is inside. You do have the option of purchasing what your child/children have made at the end of the class. I have to admit i do not know how much this is as Emerson has not taken one of these master classes yet, but it is on our to do list! (We have been 4 times and still have not done everything there) Also during your visit they hold a “Meet and Greet” with some Lego characters. Emerson enjoyed his meet and greet with the Lego character they had on during our visit. He doesn’t normally like doing character meetings and I was so happy he felt comfortable enough to do this one.
After enjoying a drink and snack from the Coffee Shop, Emerson tried his hand a building his own race car to test. With no instructions and loads and loads of parts, he could be as creative as he wanted to be. Starting with a small cart, testing it down the ramp (there are two car ramps to test your vehcles on) he came back excited – even though his car fell apart – knowing what he wanted to do next. This time he tired a larger car, with bigger wheels. This also came apart during testing but he didn’t care! Every time he build a different car and tested it he came up with a different version try to beat that ramp. After a good few attempts he had created one strange enough to withstand the ramp test and he was happy, telling me he was going to build it again to show his dad. I loved this!!
With another go in the soft play zone, it was time to go home. With the center closing in less then half an hour and Emerson shattered we headed for the lift and back up to the real world. You do come out at the Lego shop and after having a look around Emerson decided that he wanted to spend his pocket money on building himself 3 Lego fingers to bring home (I think this cost me around £8 for the three figures). He also received his mini figure at the tills for collecting all the stamps on his activity pack.
We had such a great time here. The rides, cinema, all the Lego stations and block pits and of course MINILAND! We certainly will try out on of the creative workshops next time we go but we defiantly filled our time with so much fun on our visit.
If you want to know more about The Lego Discovery Centre in Birmingham and get your tickets booked please visit https://birmingham.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk/ before heading there.