WE had picked a good day to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Manchester. Infact it was out of this world!
February 1st marked the start of a five month Star Wars™ themed display and to celebrate, there were members of the Star Wars Garrison to greet you and face painting and balloons to make the launch extra special.
It took 2,000 man hours and 250,000 LEGO bricks to create the landscape of the Star Wars episode The Phantom Menace and it went down a storm! Ruaridh (5) and Flora (3) were soon experts at the special games designed to give them intergalactic experiences and it was hard to persuade them to move on and see what else was on offer!
In fact it was a good job we had set a whole day aside for the visit, because there is so much to do. You are met by a LEGO professor who explains how LEGO is made and little ones are given a special piece to take home.
And from there you are let loose into the main hub of LEGOLAND. We began by climbing aboard our chariot and setting off in The Kingdom Quest, where we had chance to zap evil skeletons and giant trolls with our special hand help guns.
The kingdom proved so popular with Ruaridh that we visited it five times during the day! For Flora, the miniland was her favourite. Here life-sized models of some of the North-West’s best attractions from Blackpool Tower to Old Trafford, have been created with LEGO. The lights go off and everything is illuminated and there are plenty of hands-on buttons to set bits off.
The centre is compact and has a small studio where you can don your 4D glasses and watch the latest LEGO films. It was fun to sit and have bits of LEGO flying at you from the screen!
Ruaridh soon spotted the Forest Pursuit where he had the chance to drive his own off-road LEGO vehicle through the forest and attempt to capture the robbers who had stolen some gold bars.
And then we were whisked off by Flora for a go on the Merlin’s Apprentice ride where we climbed aboard special bikes and pedalled hard to reach for the skies! After a quick pit stop in the café, we were off to the model builders workshop where we created a tiger from scratch. An expert was on hand to show you what to do and it must have all sunk in, for when we got home, Ruaridh was using his new skills to build all sorts of clever creations with his LEGO.
The centre also has a karaoke set up to try your hand at singing and an area full of soft bold bricks for toddlers to have a go at building. There’s a build and test zone too, which Ruaridh loved as he had the chance to build and race his own car. And to let off steam, there is an excellent soft play area and pit to hurl around.
During the year, the centre lines up lots of new and exciting events and for real LEGO enthusiasts you can buy an annual pass. And no doubt that is what Ruaridh will be wanting for his birthday!
Legoland Discovery Centre, Barton Square, The Trafford Centre, Manchester. Open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., with the last admission at 5 p.m. The centre involves just one entry fee, with all attractions included in the cost. Tickets are available online from just £8.10 per person. See www.LEGOLANDDiscoveryCentre.co.uk for details or follow on Twitter – twitter.com/LDCManchester