***Psst! After you read this post, make sure to check back next week when we will be GIVING AWAY a family four-pack of tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester!***
Thank you to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester for allowing my family complimentary admission for the purpose of writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
We love a good adventure here at Out and About Mom, and today’s post takes us just over the border into New York to check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Westchester!
Now, this trip was an “adventure” for my family because it was an almost 2-hour drive from our home up near Hartford, CT. But this would be a much, much easier destination for those of you located in the southwestern portion of our state. Still, it’s one of those places that makes a superb day trip. So even if you are coming from clear across the state, this will be a trip you don’t want to miss!
So, in the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that I DID NOT do the usual extensive research on this destination like I typically do when I’m preparing for an outing. I just did a quick browse of the LEGOLAND Discovery Center website and figured that was all the info I needed. Well, that was a mistake! Lucky for you, you will get to read my post and take advantage of all the “research” I should have done in the first place 🙂
You see, LEGOLAND Discovery Center is located in a beautiful shopping complex called Ridge Hill. It is a lovely outdoor shopping area with tons of great stores and restaurants.
Had I known this before, I totally would have planned to arrive earlier so we could have had a chance to walk around and explore. Maybe grab some lunch at one of the restaurants (my husband is always raving about the Yard House, which I have never been to–jealous!). There was also a Smoothie King, which I remember fondly from my days living down south in Atlanta where they lined the streets like Dunkin Donuts does in New England 🙂 I would have loved to have saved time after our LEGOLAND adventure to get the kiddos (and myself of course) some yummy smoothies! So in short, you can view this outing as a whole day trip if you like (and you should if you are coming from far away!). You can check out the entire Ridge Hill directory here, and of course consult the helpful maps that are posted around the shopping center.
To back up for just a second, let’s talk about parking. I’m going to be totally honest. When we entered the Ridge Hill complex, we had a doozy of a time trying to figure out just where LEGOLAND was actually located. Sure, there were signs. But it felt like we were driving in circles and we never actually saw LEGOLAND! It was a little bit frustrating 🙂
Of course, had I done my regular “research” beforehand, I might have known that we should head to the North Otis Drive parking garage. Fortunately, that is the garage we just happened to park in, so it worked out!
As you can see, this is the closest parking option to our destination.
Follow the signs to the pedestrian exit (which is actually right on the side of the garage that leads out towards LEGOLAND). And be sure to bring your parking ticket with you because you will need to pay at one of the automated pay stations before returning to your car. Parking is $3/day at all the garages/lots in the complex. LEGOLAND does validate tickets down to $1.75 (so long as you are not parked in the garage for more than 3 hours), but they were having a little trouble with the validation system while we were there. Still, $3 is a pretty good deal for such convenient parking!
It may not initially look like you are going the right way… But you are 🙂
You can’t miss this entrance!
As I mentioned, LEGOLAND is located in this lovely plaza with a fountain and all kinds of outdoor eating places. On a beautiful day, this is a place where you will want to hang out for a while!
But today, we are on a mission to check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center and especially the NEW Ninjago City Adventure!
SIDE NOTE: We were there on a day during spring break, so it was BUSY. If you can, I would suggest coming on a non-holiday weekday.
There are several pricing levels of admission ranging from the most budget-friendly ticket purchased for a specific date and time and bought more than 24 hours in advance online, to a full price walk-up ticket (see Momsense section for details). Whether you have purchased your tickets ahead of time online, or you are buying tickets at the door, you still need to wait in the ticket line.
For an extra few dollars ($5 at the door; $4 when you purchase ahead online), you can purchase these adorable Activity Packs, which are kind of like passports that the kids can stamp at all the different exhibits. They also have activities and challenges to complete on your visit. It includes the LEGOLAND lanyard (which you can unclip and reuse for another purpose later if you like), and the kids also get to grab a little prize at the exit if they have one of these packs. My kids love collecting just about anything, so they really enjoyed finding all the stamp stations and marking their pages. Plus it made for a cute keepsake.
The entrance is pretty obvious. Walk through the giant LEGO man 🙂
This first room is kind of a holding pen 🙂 There is an opportunity to take a picture in front of a green screen, and plenty of things to look at.
It’s also a good opportunity to take a look at the map.
Through the door is the “LEGO Factory,” which simulates how LEGO bricks are made and has several hands-on activities.
And of course an opportunity to get your “stamp” (it’s actually more of an embosser- it leaves an imprint on the page; you have to press down pretty hard so little kids may need help).
After this room, you have a decision to make. You can either wait in line for the first ride (if it’s not crowded, you may not even have to wait), or you can head straight into Miniland and the main area. You do not have to wait in the line unless you are waiting for the Kingdom Quest ride. Just stay to the left and head on through.
We decided to hang out and wait. We figured if we didn’t do it now, we probably wouldn’t come back for it later. As I said before, it was really crowded while we were there, so it was a good 20-minute wait. It was worth it to see their faces when these LEGO chariots pulled up though.
This ride is not for everyone. It’s kind of a shooting game where you use the guns attached to the chariot to “shoot” at bad guys on the screens. The lighting is low and there is lots of noise (as the sign says, “this is a dark ride with spooky elements,” so your tiny tots may not enjoy it. My 3 1/2 year old loved it. He’s fearless though 🙂
The ride is only a few minutes long, and after that we headed into the Miniland exhibit.
Now this is my kind of LEGOs! Such neat representations of some famous New York landmarks.
This is a first for us! An Out and About Mom outing in LEGOS 🙂
Do you remember Mandy’s visit to the Central Park Zoo back in 2012???
We had to collect our Miniland stamps 🙂
Then it was into the main area, where you can’t miss the new feature attraction: LEGO Ninjago City Adventure!
But first, I’m going to show you the other fun activities 🙂
Directly to the right is the LEGO Racers Build & Test raceway where you can build LEGO vehicles and, you guessed it, race them down various tracks.
Nearby there was also this “earthquake” table where little builders could test their skills at creating sturdy structures.
Following the path around to the right, we found the fun toddler area called Duplo Village. This activity is reserved for kids under age 6 (recommended for ages 2-5). It has a small playscape with a slide and a LEGO pit with giant oversized LEGO blocks that are made of a soft material. They are great for building!
Just next door to Duplo Village you’ll find the LEGO Friends house.
And in the corner, another magical ride: Merlin’s Apprentice.
You’ll also find the 4D Cinema back here. Unfortunately, we saved this for the end of our visit and by that point my kids were too tuckered out to do even one more activity. Of course, this was my rationale for saving it until the end– how much energy do you need to watch a movie??? Apparently, my kids did not have enough. Although I shouldn’t talk because apparently I didn’t have enough energy to take a single picture of the theater. Oops!
But I think you’ll forgive me that when I show you the gazillion photos I took of LEGOLAND’s newest attraction: LEGO Ninjago City Adventure! This thing is incredible. It looks just like a Ninjago City LEGO play set (trust me, we have about 10 of them). The kids can run around inside and there are platforms to climb and things to run around, over and through. We “lost” the boys in there for about 30 minutes. (Actually, you can’t really lose anyone because there is only one entrance and exit for this area– they just disappear for a while). Age recommendations for each area are clearly posted on signs.
In another area is the Dojo, with a real climbing wall.
And all around kids will find their favorite Ninjago characters constructed entirely out of–what else–LEGOs!
As you can tell, this is the kind of place where you are going to be spending some serious time 🙂 So it may be helpful to know about the amenities & facilities (we’ve never met a bathroom we didn’t photograph! Haha!). Let’s break it down a little:
There are designated areas for your stuff, but none of them are really secure. For example, there are some cubbies near the back.
And some stroller parking areas, like this one near the Kingdom Quest ride.
Consequently, you may want to be prepared to tote most of your things (at least the valuable ones) along with you. The whole place is pretty stroller-friendly though, and strollers are just as good for hauling around stuff as they are for hauling around kids 🙂
It’s good to note here that there is no re-entry once you exit LEGOLAND, so you’ll want to make sure you have all your necessary provisions.
There are two large bathrooms (women’s and men’s). Even on this busy day, we never had a line for those. Changing stations are located in both restrooms (yay!). Even the stall doors are adorned with LEGO artwork. Love that!
As I mentioned at the start, the Ridge Hill complex has some wonderful eating options, so you may want to plan your visit accordingly so you can have an early lunch before you enter LEGOLAND (let me repeat that once you exit, there is no re-entry). But if you find yourself inside at lunch time, or the kids are in need of a pick-me-up snack, there is a café. It serves the basics like yogurts, chips, prepared sandwiches that you can have heated, and other snack bar staples.
We had a couple more stops to make before we were through. Here’s a peek in the Star Wars room.
We also had to take advantage of the variety of photo opportunities.
As we exited, the kids got to choose their little token (that comes along with the Activity Pack).
Of course, the exit leads right into the LEGO Store (of course). But that was okay because we definitely planned on letting the kids pick out some small mementos from their visit.
The boys each picked out a cute LEGO figure key chain, which is perfect for attaching to the zipper on a backpack.
It had been a full afternoon of LEGOs, and we had to get on the road home to avoid rush hour traffic on our long drive back. First though, we had to make a quick stop at the Pay Station on the way to our car (there is one located just outside LEGOLAND; you must exit the garage within 20 minutes of paying the fee).
Although, the drive probably didn’t seem so long for the boys, who were basically asleep by the time we pulled out of the parking garage.
A trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Westchester was the perfect spring break adventure for us, even if it was a busy time to visit. But next trip, we’ll definitely leave time for Smoothie King 🙂
For your GPS, please use: 1 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers, NY 10710
Contact them here. Or call* Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm: (866)243-0770
You can check out some helpful FAQs here.
*Please note that the call center is not able to sell tickets over the phone for visits made on the same day.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is open 365 days a year. Please allow at least two to three hours for your visit. No re-entry is allowed after you leave the attraction. The last admission to the attraction is two hours before closing.
- Open 10:00am
- Last Entry 5:00pm
- Close 7:00pm
- Open 10:00am
- Last Entry 7:00pm
- Close 9:00pm
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Shop Hours:
- Sunday: 10:00am – 7:30pm
- Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 9:30pm
There are several options for regular admission ticketing with different pricing levels. Please visit their website for details. Ticket prices start at $15.95 per person when you buy online at least 24 hours in advance and select your date/time for entry. Children 2 and under visit for FREE! Sorry, adults are not allowed to visit unless accompanied by a kid 🙂
Stroller Friendly: YES
Coffee Mug Friendly: NO
Baby Changing Station: YES
Parking: YES; paid parking is available in nearby garages. Get your parking ticket validated at LEGOLAND for reduced parking price when you stay in the garage no more than 3 hours.
Food for Sale: YES, there is a snack bar and plenty of seating.
Outside Food Allowed: NO, except in special circumstances such as in the case of allergies or baby food, etc. Outside food for these uses must be in sealed containers. Food can only be consumed in the café area.
Cash Required: NO; credit cards are accepted.
Dress Code: Active clothes for moving around. Ninjago City is a SHOES ON experience. Kids should wear closed-toe shoes for safety.
Age Recommendations: LEGOLAND has attractions for kids of all ages, including an area just for toddlers. So feel free to bring younger siblings (age 2 and under is FREE!). But ideally we would recommend waiting until your child is 3 or older so they are old enough to safely play with small LEGO bricks (i.e. no longer put them in their mouths!) can walk steadily on their own through all the attractions and are tall enough for both the rides (at least 3 feet). The main attraction (LEGO Ninjago City) is recommended for kids ages 4-12.
Evening/Weekend Hours: YES
Discounts: Ticket prices decrease depending on how you buy them. See ticketing page for details. I believe there is also a reduced price for admission after 3pm. Annual pass holders receive store, café and other discounts (if you plan to visit more than 3 times a year, you should consider an annual pass). You can also check out reduced admission Little Playtimes for kids under the age of 5.
Birthday Party Venue: YES. Get more info here.
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