Lego in our house is standard, my boys, (7,18 and, well, let’s be honest 40) are all very keen to have a go and it’s ever growing presence is something that can’t be denied. So imagine the excitement when we were invited to the Discovery Centre at the Trafford Centre, Manchester, to celebrate the release of the new Ninjago movie and see all the Ninjago at Legoland.
Now I love the discovery centre and have been on numerous occasions with my own children and groups. It’s a really great way to spend a few hours and keeps everyone entertained with something for every age group. It’s ever changing and developing areas keep you entertained from the moment you walk through the door with the laser ride to enter (always a little over competitive) followed by a host of challenge areas, mini land and of course the 4D cinema.
You can also read a review of Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham here.
The release of the Ninjago movie on DVD has led to a fabulous new area being developed in the centre. Sadly the 4D cinema was out of action on the night we visited but whenever I’ve visited previously it has been a highlight, however this did not stop us having a great night. The Lego Ninjago City adventure has a host of features and challenges to get your little ninjas motivated and active; a soft play area with the usual swirly slide it is not…
As we entered the temple we were met with sound effects, lights and of course the amazing lego structures. For me one of the best things here is that much of the course is designed so that adults can access and play with their children, no claustrophobic hunts for stuck or lost little ones and more importantly, space and activities to enjoy with them. In addition to the tunnels, assault course type activities, ball areas and (standard requirement) swirly slide, there is a rotating climbing wall and a Ninja Skill training area. It’s not enormous, obviously, but they have really made the most of every space. A word of warning, the slide is dark inside so you might be forced to have a go if your little one is afraid as mine was! The skill areas are great in that they engage all ages. For example, the light-based reaction test (the type where you see and light come on and hit the button) is set up so that smaller ninjas can use the bottom half of the frame, whilst adults use the whole thing. It’s also a ‘shoes on’ play area which seems sensible when you think about potentially stepping on stray bricks which children will inevitably bring in.
Other features I love are the areas now included where children can basically ‘add on’ to the structures, with a huge ready-made piece of impressive building being added to by Lego fans, making us all master builders, and the new café which includes Costa! The employees who were there to help the children build and design were also very good with my little boy, showing him some tips and tricks to build the cars which he spent a significant amount of time racing down the tracks.
Lego land discovery centre does come in for some criticism online, we were there with a limited number of people and honestly it was fantastic, but as I said we have been lots of times on regular trips and had a great day. A few basics to get the most of your trip I would suggest are…
Book in advance if you can, saves 10% and lego land guarantee that you will be able to enter within half an hour of the time slot you choose. Look out for offers and coupons for it too which are sometimes available, the three of us, on advanced tickets would cost around £50.
It gets really busy. Situated in the heart of Barton Square at the Trafford Centre it’s a popular place to go, particularly at peak times, with the sea life centre next door. With lots of people it can feel a little crowded, noisy and involve queuing for the attractions. Get there early, at busy times you are given a wrist band for 4 hours play, which is enough for us.
Think about where and when you want to eat and drink. If you love costa and are ok to queue/ pay costa prices, great! If not, think about planning an alternative, there are loads of food outlets at the Trafford Centre just across the bridge.
All in all another great evening, with lots to see and do, thanks Legoland, see you again soon.