Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Fun: Sea Life and LEGOLAND Kansas City Review

Disclosure: I received tickets to Sea Life and LEGOLAND Kansas City for my family to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Last week, I was invited to check out two of Kansas City's best attractions, the Sea Life aquarium and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Grace was so excited when I woke her up that morning and told her we were going to see the fish. We had an annual pass last year, so she is fairly familiar with the aquarium (we took her there on her second birthday!) We have never been to LEGOLAND before and I was excited to experience it for the first time!

When we started our trip into Sea Life, it became apparent that Connor was not going to be needing the stroller I brought for him. He was too excited to see everything and Grace was eager to show him all of the "FISHIES!" as she likes to say.

Sea Life's tanks are gorgeous. They are bright, fun, and full of amazing creatures. I love that many of the tanks have glass all the way to the ground allowing my little ones to view the fish without needing to be carried. There are tunnel and crawl in tanks that will delight any child.

I'm pretty sure my kids would have stayed in this tunnel tank filled with the popular Nemo and Dory fish all day if I'd let them. (Yes I know the species have actual names, but my mind has been corrupted by Finding Nemo and they will forever be Nemo's and Dory's now!) Another favorite part of Sea Life for us is the touch tank. I didn't get any great pictures this time, but the touch tank allows children to touch star fish or hold a crab. We always spend a lot of time here watching and touching the creatures. We love visiting Sea Life and I'm sure we will be making many visits in the future. It's the perfect attraction for kids of all ages.

Sea Life is offering many great family events this summer. Visit Sea Life's website for more details.

SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City is kicking off its first annual SEA LIFE Adventurers Summer Camp. SEA LIFE Adventurers Summer Camp will take kids on an enthralling 5-day journey, learning about the various sea creatures inside the aquarium and live a day in the life of a SEA LIFE Aquarist. Each day will have a different educational focus that involves games, crafts and educational sessions following the schedule below:

Monday - Eels and Other Strange Fish
Tuesday - Octopus and Relatives
Wednesday - Sharks and Relatives
Thursday - Crabs and Arthropods
Friday - Day in the Life of an Aquarist

Each participant will receive a free Annual Pass to SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City. Spaces are filling up fast, so book now.

Did you know more than 10 million sharks are killed annually for their fins? To help stop this practice SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City has partnered with Henley Aquatic Center in Independence, Missouri, to create the first annual Fin-A-Thon that will be held on Friday, August 8th, 2014.People of all ages are invited to participate in this fin-tastic event to help raise money for WildAid to assist in their initiative against shark finning. 

Those interested in participating are asked to form a group of five friends and raise $250 collectively. To register your team, please visit SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City's websiteand bring your money to the event. During the Fin-A-Thon, we will collectively swim 50 miles, the same amount of miles a Blacktip Reef Shark swims in one day!

Join SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City for the ultimate date night and friends' night out on the third Monday of every month. Every month will be centered around a theme and have something new and exciting to see and learn. June's theme is "Dives of the Deep" where we will have a certified scuba diver and shark conservationist available to speak about the different species and protection of sharks.

To join us for our Sharks After Dark evening, please stay updated on our Facebook page and website for different themes and information for every month.

After our trip through Sea Life, we headed into the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. I honestly wasn't sure if my kids would be old enough for this attraction. Their website says that it's aimed at children ages 3-10 and so I was hopeful that at least Grace would enjoy it. I shouldn't have been concerned. Both of my kids loved it!

While Connor was a little young for any of the actual LEGO play, Grace dove right in and had an amazing time building cars, houses, cupcakes, you name it. There were so many different areas to play in and she gravitated towards a little play house with a table and a kitchen to build on.

My favorite part of our entire visit to both attractions was our visit to LEGOLAND's MINILAND. I gasped when we entered the room it was so impressive. The entire room is filled with large LEGO models of Kansas City's famous landmarks. As an adult, I enjoyed looking at all of the small details that the LEGO Model Builders included. My kids loved pushing the buttons attached to each display that allowed them to interact with the models. They got to race cars at the Kansas Speedway, turn on the stage lights at Starlight, and melt the witch from Wizard of Oz. We came back to this room several times and each time we discovered a new little detail. I think I could spend hours just in this room!

Currently LEGOLAND has a special Star Wars exhibit and the kids loved looking at full size models of R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Connor was getting a bit antsy with the exhibits and I started getting somewhat nervous with him around all of the small LEGOs, so we were both excited when we arrived at the DUPLO village. It features large soft blocks for little hands and a fun slide and climber to explore. He enjoyed that for a while before spotting the big kids soft play zone. Both of my kids happily climbed in the LEGO City Play Zone and had an amazing time on the slides and soft ladders. To my surprise, I didn't have to climb in after either one of them. They both came out smiling and tired.

There was an entire section for building and racing your own LEGO cards that I really wanted to do, but Connor was getting grumpy (we were pushing nap time) by the time we got there. He thought it would be more fun to throw the LEGO car than to race it, so I decided not to push my luck. There was also a ride and a movie that I know we will be checking out during our next visit!

I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun my kids had at LEGOLAND at such a young age. I might have to add a LEGOLAND annual pass to our Sea Life pass this year.

If you have a LEGO lover in your house, make sure to check out these great summer events at LEGOLAND!

LEGO® Movie Weekend 

On July 12-13, we are excited to be hosting our first LEGO Movie Weekend. Emmet and Lucy, the two main characters from The LEGO Movie, will be making an appearance at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City for meet-and-greet sessions, along with life-size Emmet and Lucy models built entirely from LEGO! We'll be announcing many more exciting LEGO Movie themed activities for this weekend shortly.

Legends of Chima Weekend 
Our Legends of Chima Weekend will be held July 19-20th, complete with private meet-and-greet sessions with Laval, prince and warrior of the Lion tribe in Chima, Chima Training Schools where kids can learn how to become a Chima warrior, plus more fun for the entire family - watch our website for further details.

If you are visiting Kansas City, be sure to check out Sea Life and LEGOLAND Discovery Center! 

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