If you build it, they will come — and build some more. That’s the idea behind the new Legoland Discovery Center, opening in Yonkers on March 27. With spring (and its unpredictable weather) just around the corner, Westchester’s newest indoor play space provides young architects (and their parents) with hours of entertainment regardless of the conditions outdoors. Legoland features more than 13 different attractions and play areas, a café, and — naturally — a shop. Guests can tour the Lego factory to learn how the ever-popular plastic toys are made; watch a movie in the 4D cinema (the fourth dimension includes rain and wind in the auditorium); take a spin on the Kingdom Quest interactive laser ride; and build their own structures on the construction site playground using soft, child-friendly bricks. Most impressive is the Miniland attraction, a detailed replica of the New York City skyline, which also includes the historic Lyndhurst estate in Tarrytown. Made with nearly 1.5 million Legos, the miniature metropolis even incorporates moving trains and planes into the design.
The Yonkers Discovery Center is the 10th to open worldwide, joining sites in Berlin, Manchester, and Tokyo. There are also six larger Legoland theme parks scattered around the globe (the biggest one is in Florida). This newest location boasts the largest box of Lego bricks in the world; guests are free to jump right into it. In total, there are over three million blocks housed in the center. The center offers two birthday party packages and special pricing for school groups. Walk-up ticket prices are $19 for adults and $15 for children 3-12 (cheaper tickets are available online).
Even before plans for the discovery center were announced, the love of all things Lego had reached a fever pitch. The colorful bricks have never been more popular; although the company was founded in Denmark in 1932, the Lego Group sold more than $1 billion worth of merchandise in 2011. Local clubs and Lego leagues have also been popping up around our region. We’ll tell you all about them in the April issue.