Saturday, May 14, 2016

LEGO KidsFest Kansas City Review: Building Family Fun

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to attend this event with my family. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own and honest.

Last night we had the chance to experience family fun at an event like nothing else I've ever seen before. I told the kids we were going to LEGO KidsFest and despite watching the promo video on their website, we had no idea how amazing our night would be!

LEGO KidsFest Information

We arrived at the venue about 10 minutes before the doors opened, got our map and started planning our strategy. We planned that we would visit some of the more popular areas first and wanted to make sure to visit all of the "participation prize" stations first. These are marked on the map with a red star and we made a beeline to the Star Wars competition area first. We were in the first group to participate and the kids were thrilled to see that just for participating they got a small LEGO build to take home. After helping their team build a Star Wars star ship in a relay, we visited the Challenge Zone where we got to create an animal. We all got to build our dream houses in the LEGO Friends area and a stop at the Brick Battle Zone got us all competing to see which team could build the highest tower. The catch? It had to survive being moved to the judging table. Our tall tower, like most others, did not survive the move but the kids (and adults) loved participating!


We're a pretty competitive family so these challenge areas were a blast for us. As a bonus, we got some amazing prizes just for participating and my purse was bulging with all the kids' goodies.

After visiting all of the challenge areas, we found several photo areas that the kids were super excited about. The LEGO friends photo booth strip shown above is now in a special spot on the refrigerator. The LEGO City photos below were taken in front of a green screen and then printed right on site for us. They also emailed us a copy. How cool are these?? The best part, all of this is all included with your ticket price. None of the activities cost any extra!

We were glad we did all of those early as the lines for them got longer later in the evening so try to hit those early if you can. Connor had been not so patiently waiting to visit his favorite stations so we headed over to the LEGO Ninjago area and stayed there for quite a while. The setup was pretty awesome, each station (there were many) featured two spin battle stations that you could attach 6 ninja mini figures to. Then by simply moving the joystick around you could spin the stations around to defeat your opponent. This was one of our favorite activities of the night and the kids loved personalizing their ninjas to battle with. Of course we had to take photos with the large Ninja models as well.

Connor loves the LEGO Ninjago show right now so he would have happily stayed here all night. Here is a short video showing how the battle stations work. Connor was pretty thrilled with his victory.
video

After tearing him away from his beloved Ninja LEGO battles, Connor headed straight for the Star Wars section. Mike was pretty excited about this area too. These characters were a little harder for our little ones to build but they still loved it. LEGO KidsFest encourages parents to build with their kids and there were many adults enjoying this area just as much as the kids.

Connor wanted to play Star Wars for a while longer so Grace and I ventured over to visit the Disney Princess area. Full of princess and castle LEGO bricks, Grace and I happily built a castle to add to the large castle collection. The Cinderella model was Grace's favorite large model of the night and it's not hard to see why! It's so intricate.

The race ramps turned out to be a favorite for our family. We all built cars and enjoyed racing them over and over again. There were plenty of ramps so that everyone could enjoy the fun!

We couldn't visit LEGO KidsFest without trying out the Big Brick Pile that they are famous for. I wish I had a photo of how large this pile was but trust me, it was MASSIVE. The kids hopped right in and started making LEGO angels, tall towers, and running around like wild children. I lasted about 10 seconds laying in it but the kids loved it.

I had read great things about the Master Builder classes that are offered at every LEGO KidsFest but I thought our kids would be too young to enjoy it. But when a staff member offered us tickets for the last class of the night, we thought we might as well try it. For future reference, go get your tickets for this right when you arrive if you want to do this class. Normally they run out of tickets pretty early and you won't get the chance to go if you wait til the last minute. We just happened to get lucky and I'm so glad we did. Our 3 and 5 year old both loved it and I can honestly say I learned a lot! There are only 8 LEGO master builders in the world and we got the chance to ask him all of our questions and have him teach us some of the tricks of the LEGO building trade. Plus, he juggled LEGO balls which was pretty cool. Again, this is a MUST SEE at LEGO KidsFest and it doesn't cost any extra!

Our last stop of the night was the Model Museum. These huge models are right in the front as you enter but we waited until the end to take photos because it wasn't nearly as busy. The kids had fun taking photos with all of their favorite characters. The detail on these models is amazing!

If you have a chance to attend LEGO KidsFest, make sure to stop by the sponsor's booths.  The Santoki booth features the new LEGO stationary! I received a couple of these pens and they are so fun!
I was beyond impressed with LEGO KidsFest. We went expecting to have fun but we loved every second of it. I wasn't sure how much our little ones would be able to participate in but they were fully included in everything and never felt out of place. We got to build a ton of fun things as a family and never felt rushed. The staff was constantly picking bricks up off the floor and taking apart bricks that people were done with so they would be available for new builds. It was well organized and the lines moved fast. I cannot say enough good things about our experience. Both kids have been talking about what we did there non stop and are begging to go back. I hope LEGO KidsFest decides to come back to KC in a couple of years because we will be first in line to buy tickets!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Outdoor Summer Fun: Messy Play Date Activities


Last summer, one of my friends invited us to her house for a messy play date. What kid doesn't like getting messy? Plus she was offering to deal with the mess at her house so we were in! I dressed the kids in their swimsuits and took plenty of towels and we headed off for an adventure.

We arrived to find many different activity stations in her backyard and the kids ran around making messes to their heart's content. I asked my friend if I could blog about all of the activities because she did an amazing job and the kids had such a great time!
The most popular activity with all of the kids was messy painting. She purchased a cheap flat white sheet, condiment dispensers, and washable paint from Walmart. She filled the condiment dispensers with a mix of paint and water and then let the kids spray the sheet. The only issue with this activity was that the kids loved it so much she had to refill the containers with paint frequently.

My kids both loved the bubble blowing station. We do this activity at home a lot inside so getting to make huge piles of bubbles outside without worrying about the mess was a huge hit. For instructions on this one, check out my Indoor Bubbles post.

A water table filled with DIY slime made for hours of fun. You can find lots of slime recipes on Pinterest and I think it would be fun to use slime with plastic dinosaurs or other animals.

Rainbow spaghetti was a perfect sensory activity for all of the kids. The babies loved feeling and squishing the noodles while the older kids loved throwing and squishing it. Simply add a little cooking oil and food coloring to cooked spaghetti for messy fun!

The kids happily ran around and got messy for several hours while the moms enjoyed chatting. It was a perfect idea for a play date and I'm hoping to have one this summer with some new messy ideas. Would your kids love a messy play date? 

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