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*Our entrance to LEGOLAND California was complimentary in exchange for promotional consideration, but all opinions are our own.*
After visiting 16 theme parks in the last 2 years I feel like I have some authority on the topic. We’ve been to theme parks in different states, different countries, as adults, with our son, with his grandparents, etc.
We’ve loved almost all of them for very different reasons, and I can definitively say that LEGOLAND California is the best theme park for kids!
1. Pop Badges
As soon as we walked into the park my son was given a LEGOLAND California pop badge. It’s a 2-piece plastic badge that snaps onto your shirt. He loved wearing it around! We later heard that you can ask ride attendants for ride-specific pop badges! We tried out this tip on the Ninjago attraction (which was pretty cool!) and, sure enough, the attendant was happy to give Whit a Ninjago pop badge!
Accumulating pop badges wasn’t just fun for our son, it also meant we could get away with not buying him a souvenir. Because seriously… who doesn’t love freebies?
2. Equal Parts Theme Park/ Water Park/ Playground
What LEGOLAND California understands more than any other theme park we’ve been to is that little kids have short attention spans and need variety. The park is dotted with fun playground sets, interactive fountains, rides, snack booths, lego statues, etc. to fit a small child’s wandering interests.
You really can’t expect a small child to be willing to wait in lines all day, so it’s really incredible to have so many different play options to fit whatever mood they change into!
Not only are there lots of playgrounds, but they are all awesome! There is something for children of every age and plenty of space for them to all play together.
Having water options really helps break up the day and take a break from the hot California sunshine.
These options aren’t just relegated to a specific area, either. If you’re on your way to a ride and your child suddenly has a burst of energy, chances are a playground is within sight. If your child starts complaining of being too hot after running on the playground, turn around and you’ll probably see a water installation.
3. Small Rides
My personal favorite theme parks are ones that feature thrilling rides, but at 48″ tall Whit isn’t allowed to use many of those.
LEGOLAND California is specifically built for smaller children, so there wasn’t a single ride or attraction he couldn’t go on! He felt so special getting to choose any ride, instead of having to ask if he would be allowed on.
4. Kid-Friendly Food
There are the standard theme park food stands of hot dogs and pretzels, and then there’s LEGOLAND California’s fried Apple Sticks with sweet dipping sauce, chocolate-filled churros, and popcorn in each store. Yum.
Not only are the stands full of really delicious sweet treats that kids will go nuts over, the restaurants offer decent kid’s meals! We usually buy a small food item for Whit when we dine at theme parks, but LEGOLAND California has a bag lunch for kids that all kids and parents would love. Choose from a hot dog or nuggets and also get an apple or fries, raisin box, Honest juice box, and a colorful LEGO collector bag for $8.99.
5. Kid-Friendly Bathrooms
This doesn’t sound like a big deal. I know. But once I took Whit to the bathroom I was struck by how important it actually is!
They had stalls in the women’s room with low toilets, and sinks and hand dryers of varying heights. It was so much easier for Whit to go to the bathroom without help or struggling to reach handles.
It made me really happy to see even this small act that gave him more confidence and independence!
6. Colorful LEGO Statues
Is it ignorant of me to say that I didn’t expect to see so many LEGO statues before heading in to the park? We were greeted by an incredible LEGO rainbow dragon and a lake with other LEGO animal statues as soon as we walked in. There are more LEGO statues around the entire park, which never ceased to captivate Whit’s attention.
As I said earlier, small kids have low attention spans. It really helped Whit stay happy during the long walks between attractions to see such cool, colorful statues on our path!
Not only are LEGO people, animals, and buildings really interesting to both children and adults, the bold colors of them, the attractions, and signs are extra engaging to small children. Bright, contrasting colors help small brains develop and hold interest, so waiting in line or walking was a breeze since we had so many colors around us to stay interested!
It’s easily the most visually appealing park we’ve ever been to!
7. Fun Music
In addition to near-constant LEGO statues, bright colors, fun food stands, playgrounds, attractions, and water installations to keep your kids interested there’s also fun music playing throughout the park. Because kids need even more stimulation, right?
My personal favorite was a group of rocks on a grassy hill playing “We Will Rock You” as you walked past on the sidewalk. Sooooo funny!
When it comes to our son we love to sing songs to help him switch gears or distract him into a better mood. He recognized a lot of the songs playing throughout the park, which really helped him stay positive! Music is so powerful, after all!
Special Areas Your Kids are Sure to Love:
This playground is full of play houses made to look constructed from giant Duplo blocks. Kids can interact with these favorite blocks in a new way by playing in them, and can also use them for special building stations inside certain play houses!
There is a driving course for children ages 6-13, which comes with a LEGOLAND driver’s license when completed! Be warned, this activity is popular and may have a line!
This ride allows two people to share a bench. The bench moves up and down a tower when the riders pull a rope. Ride attendants keep track of which bench is going fastest, which makes it even more fun! One reason we loved this particular ride is that it faces the LEGOLAND lake, which provides a great view of the park!
This was one time I walked away from my son because I was so interested in what was around me (don’t worry, his Dad was with him). Mini Las Vegas, Mini New York, Mini California, and more are built out of LEGOs. Some aspects are even motorized! I was awed to see the detail LEGOs were able to produce, especially making words and signs! It’s incredible!
Star Wars Characters
A row of Star Wars characters are built along the sidewalk. There’s a group of people at each one admiring their favorite characters, but there’s enough space between them that the entire sidewalk isn’t too crowded. If your kid loves Star Wars do not miss this opportunity to see them in an entirely new way!
LEGO Factory Tour
This is a self-guided tour. You walk through a hallway that winds around different displays of machines that are used to make LEGO bricks. Our son loves electronics and knowing how things are made, so this was a highlight for us!
There are so many fun things to do in San Diego! If you are traveling with a child please consider visiting this park. LEGOLAND California is the best theme park for kids!
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