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Any tips for Legoland theme parks? My kid is only 5 and a LEGO fanatic, so I’m expecting the hotel pool and builder workshops to be a bigger hit than the rides, but I’m open to any suggestions. We’re staying at one of the on-site hotels.
Following! We’re planning to go to the NY one in June (my boys will be 7, 5, 2)
For Legoland NY my suggestion is first to ensure you have plenty of sun protection. There is absolutely no shade unless you go into a restaurant or indoor ride. We went opening week summer of 2021 so it wasn’t yet packed but we went right for opening of the park in the morning. Plan to arrive 15-30 minutes before. We didn’t really need to worry about crowds but I had been given the suggestion if it was crowded to walk to the back of the park and start rides there. Don’t start rides at the front and get caught with everyone in lines. My kids LOVED some of the indoor rides which made it so nice for air conditioning. Of course, pay for all parking and anything you can prior to the theme park for the best price and making your visit easier.
Agree with this – no shade at all since it was built recently and the trees haven’t grown in. A lot of the rides are kind of basic carnival rides, like what you find at Coney Island; the indoor rides are more special. My son was afraid to try most of the rides (he was 9 but he’s extremely cautious) but loved seeing all of the Lego builds. We went when the park was in its preview phase; the water area wasn’t open yet. I imagine that section will be fun.
I was underwhelmed when we went there, but we were coming from Universal Studios. A friend went to ALL of the Legolands around the world.
Oh I know it’s not on the scale of Universal in terms of rides. My kid is very cautious and isn’t going to do many, if any, real rides. Going to ALL the legolands is very ambitious, lol. I think one will be enough for me. We’re going to Florida so if nothing else it will be a warm weather break.
I’m curious why you think at 5 they might not be as into the rides? I went with a group of 4-5 year olds and they were pretty into the rides. Legos are incorporated into most if not all of them, so still appropriate for a fanatic. Legoland (including the rides) is in general geared towards a younger set than other ride-heavy theme parks.
When are you going, and are you going to the San Diego one? We went in February and just fyi when we were there it was too cold for the pool. (As a Californian, I find a common misperception on this board and the regular board that San Diego is warmer in general and more of the year than it really is. Luckily there is still plenty to do/fun to be had in the area even if it’s not, but the pool specifically may or not be one of those things).
Fwiw I’m usually a major planner for vacations but for the Legoland specifically I didn’t find we needed to plan much in advance or get too many tips, it’s a pretty easy set up especially if you are at the hotel.
Ah, I see I posted at the same time as your follow up post OP! Got it, 90% of what I wrote above is irrelevant to your situation :)
You can trade mini-figurines (even ones in poor condition) with employees, so clean our your Lego collection before you go!
It seems that we’re well and truly over afternoon napping (kid is 3.5). Should we try enforcing quiet time in his room? We did try that last weekend and he just flopped around a ton and did not want to stay in his room so we gave up.
A lot of people do quiet time after their kids quit naps. We sort of did for a while, but gave up on it pretty quickly, mainly for logistical reasons. Mid-afternoon is prime time for play dates and birthday parties once kids are 4 or 5, and we realized we wanted to save screens for other situations (like family movie night and getting ready in the morning) and wanted to save “play by yourself time” for evenings when we’re more tired. Honestly, I’ve been surprised by how little I miss it, mainly because we have a play date most weekends and that fills the void of kiddo being entertained without us.
I am in favor of quiet time, but at that age you should start small and then work up (you want it to be a pleasant experience to build on). Maybe try 10-15 min depending on his attention span. You can even keep a couple special toys or activities just for that time. We aim for an hour or so for my 5 & 7 year olds, but we aren’t super consistent about it if we have other plans (and I wish we’d started it as soon as they gave up naps/with more consistency).
We don’t enforce quiet time, mostly because it was utterly unenforceable in our 1-bedroom apartment by the time my oldest was 3. If the kids need a break and a reset, they get one or two episodes of Wild Kratts or something. (When kid 2 came along and she needed naps we just put her down directly in our bed with the bed rails up.)
We love an hour of screen free quiet time on the days it works. It happens 90% of the time, they are in half day preschool but we skip it if there is a special event. My kid listens to their yoto and builds legos, puzzles or does blocks and occasionally even falls asleep. It’s the recharge time we all need.
we do quiet time and started when kiddo dropped his nap (first week of the pandemic). The key for us is making screentime contingent on a good quiet time. We put an audiobook on a sleep timer and he’s free to play as much or as little as he wants, but he has to stay in his room. Sometimes he’ll do a big building project, sometimes he’ll just lie on his bed and look out the window.
My oldest stopped napping just before 2.5 (about a month before we had #2) so we absolutely did quiet time. We gave her books and stuffed animals but she had to stay in bed for 45 mins. This was for her sanity (despite not napping, she still needed some downtime) and ours (given the new baby).
She’s never been high sleep needs (she’s a teenager now and wakes up on her own before 8am on weekends/days off).
I do think her being bored during quiet time led to her learning how to read early – she was reading before kindergarten. This was absolutely not our intention with quiet time, but I guess it paid off?
I would not be at all surprised if it motivated her to read. I vividly remember reading Little Golden Books on my bed during “quiet time” when I was in preschool. There was nothing else to do while my baby sister napped, so I learned to read.
I am a huge fan of quiet time once kids drop naps. For my high-intensity kids, they really benefit from some enforced downtime in the afternoons. We’re flexible about it, though, so will definitely skip for a birthday party or if we want to do something in the afternoon, but if we’re home the expectation is that kids are alone in their rooms entertaining themselves from 1-3pm.
Why is there no new post today? Is there some holiday I don’t know about?
Not sure why a new post isn’t up yet. I’ve been hitting refresh so that I can recommend some heart-shaped sugar cookie dough from GFS for the poster who was planning a Valentines Day party.
Kat G says
Sorry about that, guys – technical difficulties! New post is up now. Thank you for reading!