The latest LEGO attraction to open in the UK is the Legoland Discovery Centre in Birmingham, and with two Lego obsessed kids it was one of our must-visit attractions during our trip to Birmingham.
The Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham is an indoor attraction similar to the one at Manchester, so the British weather doesn’t affect your visit.
If you have visited the main Lego theme park in Windsor, the Lego discovery centres are on a much smaller scale and offer a totally different Lego experience. However they share the same fun Lego ethos making it perfect for families with primary school aged kids.
Tip – The perfect age for kids to visit is between 3 and 12 years old – our girls are 8 and 10 which we thought were the ideal ages to make the most of the experience.
After navigating the busy streets of Birmingham we arrived at the attraction in Brindley place, a pedestrianised canal side area of the city with lots of family friendly restaurants nearby.
The giant Lego giraffe captured our attention at the entrance to this new attraction and after a brief photo stop we collected our tickets and made our way to the Lego lift to start our journey.
As you leave the lift you are transported from city centre Birmingham into a world of Lego and the girls excitedly ran to their first ride of the day the Kingdom Quest Ride – our personal family favourite.
Here the competitive side of all the family came out as we tried to outscore each other zapping Lego trolls and skeletons with a laser gun. It was so much fun that we managed to ride this twice, helped by the fact that it was really quiet when we visited.
Tip – Weekends and during school holidays can get really busy here, so arrive early. If you can go off-peak you can really make the most of your time away from the crowds.
One of our favourite areas of the Legoland Discovery Centres is the Miniland areas. The one at Birmingham is impressive with 50 local landmarks from around Birmingham expertly recreated in Lego where it took 1.5 million Lego bricks, 2,500 mini figures and over 6,800 hours to build this amazing set.
With my husband engrossed in the interactive Lego recreation of Aston Villa vs Birmingham, the girls had fun climbing through the tunnels to appear in the middle of the Lego set. Miniland even has its own day and night mode every seven minutes where the buildings light up.
It was great fun spotting the famous landmarks ranging from the Cadbury factory to the Bullring. The highlight for the girls was spotting the Genting Arena where they sang the night before with their school.
From Miniland you enter the large central hub of the attraction where there is a 4D cinema, another ride – Merlins Apprentice, a Duplo area for younger children and another soft play area which got the seal of approval from the girls.
In the Discovery Centre there are lots of Lego build zones – two of the girl’s favourites were the Lego friend’s area complete with life-size characters, Heartlake city models and play pits full of Lego to make your own creations.
At the build and test area it was great to see the girls creativity come out as they built their Lego masterpieces and tried to get their own expertly designed cars to go faster than the others down the ramps.
For lunch there is a fun Lego themed café with Costa Coffee hot and cold drinks, cakes and child-friendly snacks which were fine for a quick refuel but there are better options in the local area.
Inspired by Miniland we took a private Lego master builder lesson at the Creative Workshop where we learnt how to build a Lego masterpiece which changes each month.
We each had to create a plane under the expert instruction of a Lego professional. If you wanted to take your masterpiece there was an additional charge of £4.50, I personally think this should be included in the entrance fee and the Lego Discovery Centre experience.
The big appeal of the Legoland Discovery Centres is that they appeal to a wide age range, from softplay in the Duplo area, getting soaked watching the 4D movie or learning how to become a Lego masterbuilder.
Tip – You can spend as long as you want in the attraction, but an average visit will be around 2-3 hours.
As you would expect the exit is via the Lego gift shop, full of the latest Lego products which was too much temptation for the girls to resist.
Surprisingly the prices in the shop were comparable with online retailers and they left happy with more Lego gifts to add to their collection, confident in the fact that they could put their new Lego master builder skills into action when back at home.