Monday, June 18, 2012

An Imaginative, Building, Fun Event to Remember: LEGO KidsFest {Review}

Last month I was excited to hear that LEGO KidsFest was making its way to Milwaukee, as my girls are just as excited about building and creating with LEGO bricks as pretty much every other kid out there.

Considering how much they enjoy playing with our own sets of colorful little bricks, people and accessories to construct, destruct, and rebuild over and over again, I had no doubt that seeing three acres of LEGO activities would result in a whole lot of fun!

It didn't take long to find a place to park near the Frontier Airlines Center and we eagerly walked over to start our evening of entertainment.

Milwaukee Frontier Airlines Center

We were fortunate to attend the VIK (Very Important Kid) pre-show event and we had no problem finding and waiting a few minutes for it to begin. We were all eager to go inside and see the world of LEGO that awaited us!

LEGO KidsFest Milwaukee

Once inside the doors, the kids' eyes bugged out a bit from their heads as they looked this way and that way at all of the LEGO sights. Even though they were dying to dart off in every direction, we first headed over to listen and participate in an instructional session led by Chris, a LEGO Master Builder.

The kids all listened intently as Chris discussed building with LEGO bricks and the importance of using sideways building and interlocking so that structures would be sturdy. After good-naturedly taking questions and sharing stories, Chris then sent the kids over to tables to begin creating their own spaceship using the techniques he had just shared.

LEGO KidsFest VIK

Big Sister E had a great time making her spaceship and she was thrilled with the comments and praise that she received from Chris and his father, Master Builder Dan. Apparently hearing from Mom that her creation was neat wasn't nearly as good as being told by a LEGO professional!

When we were finished with our spaceships, Chris brought us to the next stop, Creation Nation.

LEGO KidsFest Creation Nation

Using a very large outline of the United States, participants were allowed to create their own 5" x 5" section to help fill in the map. Kids were encouraged to recreate an actual landmark or to simply use their creativity with the large selection of LEGO bricks available to make their contribution.

Once completed, kids gave their creation to a staff member and were able to instruct them where to place it - anywhere in the U.S. including Alaska and the Hawaiian islands! Unsurprisingly, Wisconsin was a popular choice. However, by the end of the weekend the entire country would be covered with an extremely colorful and unique skyline!

LEGO KidsFest Creation Nation

After contributing to the Creation Nation, we set off to explore the rest of LEGO KidsFest and were far from disappointed. I had originally thought we would spend an hour or so looking around, but it became immediately apparent that there was a LOT to see and do to keep children (and adults) of all ages occupied.

The LEGO Brick Pile area was prime for open-ended building and creating fun...

huge LEGO pile

...and the various Monochrome Brick Build stations were a great way to foster creativity with only one color of LEGO bricks. While we also formed letters and shapes, Little Sister B loved the way that her bridge of only pink bricks looked!

LEGO KidsFest monochrome brick build

We also explored the LEGO Friends area, where the girls had fun putting together their own friends and playing with them in houses, stables, beauty salons, with pets, and more...

LEGO Friends

...and had a blast putting together our own cars to zoom down the Race Ramps. All of the kids there were having such a great time seeing how fast their cars would go and whether or not they would break into pieces at the bottom of the ramps!

LEGO race ramps

We also had fun in the LEGO DUPLO section, where the larger DUPLO bricks were on display in a variety of colors and versions. I had no idea that LEGO had so many fun sets - the Animal and Disney Princess lines were a big hit with Little Sister B! She sat and played with the castle, horses, carriage and princesses until I finally talked her into moving on!

LEGO DUPLO KidsFest

Of course, both kids got a big kick out of playing with the DUPLO lion at the entrance to the area before we left...

LEGO Lion

...but that lion was just the start of the amazing creations in the LEGO Model Gallery. Although I had seen photographs beforehand, I hadn't been prepared for just how amazing it is to see The Hulk, Batman, Lighning McQueen, SpongeBob Squarepants, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Star Wars characters and many more created out of LEGO bricks.

It was nearly impossible to not just stand and stare at how each small brick comes together to form the masterpieces that take hours upon hours to finish. Master Builder Chris had told us that Batman took 600 hours and, when looking closely, I could see why! The details are really, really stunning.

LEGO gallery

Big Sister E and Little Sister B couldn't stop grinning as they looked at each model and just how impressive they all were.

LEGO KidsFest characters

We couldn't leave LEGO KidsFest before also viewing and adding our own touch to the LEGO Art Gallery...

LEGO Art Gallery
My girl loves penguins!

...and participating in a fun LEGO building competition with other kids. Big Sister E's team got third place for creating, lifting and moving their tall tower as a team!

LEGO KidsFest games

While we stayed in some of the areas that were geared slightly towards the younger crowds, we also took a peek into the Challenge Area (where kids awaited instructions from a staff member and had to race to build their product), the Ninjago Area, the LEGO Club Area, the Marketplace, and more and found that each location was filled with kids having fun.

Whether kids were opting to have their face painted, take a rest in the Reading Area or were taking time to purchase food to refuel, LEGO KidsFest was filled with smiles from end to end. This was an experience that we all thoroughly enjoyed and will surely be talking about for quite some time to come!

While LEGO KidsFest has now left Milwaukee, there are still three stops left in the 2012 tour. If you are near these areas, start planning your visit today!

Austin, TX: August 31- Sept. 2
Detroit, MI: October 12-14
Pittsburgh, PA: Nov. 30 - Dec 2

We saw children at LEGO KidsFest Milwaukee in ages ranging from infant to teens that were all having a great time, so if you have a LEGO fan of pretty much any age in your life, this will be a good time that they will never forget!

LEGO KidsFest fun

I received passes for my family to attend LEGO KidsFest in exchange for writing this review, but all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

8 comments:

Alissa said...

How fun! That LEGO Brick Pile looks just like our playroom! (Kidding.) My kids would be in heaven at LEGOFest. Now let's hope there's a stop on their tour near us! Thanks for the awesome review!

Jenny said...

Oh my goodness, my nephew would be in Heaven at an event like this! How exciting for you all. Bummer that they aren't coming anywhere near MO.

Amie said...

That looks amazing! I love all of your photos :)

slehan said...

What a fun outing! Hands on experiences are always a hit.

LeeAnn said...

What a fun event! It sounds like you all had a great time. I am always amazed at what people build with LEGOs...that Lightning McQueen is super cool! And if Bryce saw the Buzz and Woody...he would want me to buy him a gazillion LEGOs so we could build them ourselves in his room! LOL

Dixy Iglesias said...

Is it weird for adults to go to this?? (no children) haha. It'll be here in Austin in late August and I'm tempted...this looks like so much fun. ALSO LEGO HULK WHAT?! Amazing!!!

MrsPaulson said...

Wow - a boy in my class wrote about his trip to LegoLand... I will have to forward these dates to him! Thanks!

Heavensangel2387 said...

I have never seen that many legos in my life! Lol that is awesome!!