The LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Westchester NY is a nice day of Lego themed fun for the whole family. Filled with activities, play areas, 4D movie experience, and even LEGO Master Builder Academy that your children can sit and get some instruction on how to build things with LEGOs.
Since it’s not always feasible to make travel plans to Legoland CA or FL, the Westchester LEGOLAND Discovery Center makes a nice local place to visit for people in the NY/NJ/CT metro area that want a Lego experience. The LEGOLAND New York full amusement park is projecting to open for business Summer 2019, can’t wait for that.
The Discovery Center is located in the Ridge Hill Mall in Yonkers, New York which is an outdoor mall so you can enjoy a meal or walk around afterwards if your kids have any steam left. It gives families the chance to interact and have fun with a Lego themed activity center and is large enough to spend the day having fun. Our kids passed out on the way home.
You’ll need to pay for parking for the mall but we were there all afternoon and paid $3, I’m not sure we remember even asking for the discount. LEGOLAND offers discounted parking at $1.75 for the first 3 hours. The closest parking structure is the North Otis garage, just make sure you take the steps up and walk through to the mall. Don’t try and walk your children out through the same entrance you drove your car through.
The staff was very friendly and our visit during a weekday afternoon made the day comfortable, it wasn’t overly packed. As with many day play areas that have lots of little children running around, there’s bound to be some mayhem. More on that in a bit.
On your way out, the customary route through the store leads you out. The prices in the LEGO store aren’t much different then going to any toy store or buying it online but it’s almost unavoidable to purchase something for the children, at least the first time you visit.
Afterwards there are plenty of places to grab a lunch or dinner at one of the many eatery’s just outside and within the Ridge Hill Mall complex in Yonkers, New York.
The admission is relatively on par with most of the kid activity centers. Anytime (anyday) tickets are $29.95, extra value ticket at $19.95 and purchase online for $15.95. Children under 2 are free and yes you need to buy tickets for the adults too. If you live close enough nearby there’s a small array of annual passes that offer lots of different pricing tiers with different features and benefits. Check out their website for more details.
The Anytime/Flexible admission and Extra Value Ticket also include a unique LEGO collectable figure that your children are free to bring with them each time they visit with the opportunity to trade them with other Discovery Center Team Members. You can trade them as many times as you want!
The Discovery Center also features Little Playmates for those of you with Lego Duplo aged children as well… and Kids, LEGOLAND also features an Adult night for when you need a little break from your parents. Head over to Grandma’s and send Mom & Dad to let their inner child escape for a few hours of fun.
Things to do
There’s plenty to do inside that will keep your kids busy and having fun. Currently there are 12 attractions to fill your day. You can purchase an activity book which includes a pretty cool Lego branded lanyard with laminated cards that give you and your kids a mission for the day.
The activity book can be purchased online for $4 or $5 when you walk in. The cards coincide with the activity areas where you’ll need to get your official stamp impression on your card to complete the mission. There’s no mandatory rule that you need to complete the book, just gives the kids a purpose and direction for the afternoon’s fun.
Built out of over 1.5 million Lego pieces, the Lego Miniland offers a traditional museum style look at some beautiful creations. The scaled replica assemblies of the NYC Skyline and Empire State Building, Museum of Natural History & Hayden Planetarium, George Washington Bridge, NY Stock Exchange, all built out of Lego’s. Check out the fan packed Met Life Stadium and the Subway Series Stadiums and even interact with a little pinball baseball.
What Miniland area would be complete without little taste of LEGO Star Wars? None! Take a picture with R2D2 and check out the sights and sounds of Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace. You can even interact in a very limited fashion with many of the assembled displays.
The Star Wars display unfortunately seems to be a bit of an after thought. It all seems kind of chucked in a side room that has the race track scene, R2D2 and the Lego Star Wars movie playing on a TV screen. R2D2 is even sitting by himself in the corner.
The Build & Test activity allows the kids to express their inner creativity and build their own race car or (whatever they want) and a chance to test it on the track. The test track includes 2 ramps to roll their cars down as well as a soap box derby style track that allows the kids to soap box race up to 5 players.
The Duplo Village gives the young ones a place to play too. Toddler friendly this mini area is equipped with lots of big colorful Lego duplo blocks for your 2-5 year old kids can build with and have their own little area to hangout in.
Amongst the activities and fun are some main attractions you don’t want to miss. The 4D Cinema features 5 or so animated movie shorts that run about 20 min each. Movies play throughout the afternoon and is a great first experience with 3D glasses and 4D effects if your little ones have never seen one. The children really enjoyed the movies, be ready to get a little wet!
Merlin’s apprentice ride is an indoor amusement park ride that rotates around and with a little pedal power you can rise up and fly around, the ride isn’t very long but what child doesn’t like to spin and go up in the air. You must be 3′ min and under 4′ needs to be accompanied by an adult.
Kingdom Quest laser ride is a good ol fashion, medieval 4 person shoot em up car ride through the castle that is overrun by baddies. Your objective is to shoot as many bad guys, spiders, bats, zombie’s throwing boulders at you so you can keep the baby dragon safe so he can hatch at the end.
Ninjago City Adventure is a mini themed area that includes a dojo style climby, padded, two-level structure for your children to explore. Great for the parents to take a break in the seated cafe area and the kids and run around and burn off some steam.
Parents are not allowed inside the Dojo and for very young or small children be careful since there isn’t anyone playing referee in there so the larger kids go crazy and trample the younger ones. Additional stations in front of the Dojo include activity stations where you can test your Ninja reaction skills and even a miniature climbing wall.
The Westchester LEGOLAND Discover Center is a fun afternoon for younger kids to enjoy with tons of photo opportunities for parents. There’s a good amount of square footage to run through and includes enough activities to kill a few hours and burn off some steam. Located in the Ridge Hill Mall in Yonkers, New York, just a short drive and easily accessible for the NY/NJ/CT metro area.
Westchester LEGOLAND Discovery Center