Last weekend, I wrote about the LEGO KidsFest coming to Raleigh. I’m going to be honest. I did it for the free tickets. It saved me $50 and I thought it would give us something fun to do together as a family.
We went downtown yesterday and waded through the mob scene (even though there was timed entry to help control the crowd size). We entered and marveled at all of the LEGO sculptures. Batman. Lightning McQueen. Star Wars. Indiana Jones. I’m convinced there’s nothing they can’t build out of LEGO.
We walked around some more. It felt like LEGOLAND but without the rides. I figured we wouldn’t stay too long especially since my son isn’t really all that into LEGO.
I mentioned some of the attractions last week that I thought we’d check out. The cityscapes and murals and master builders. Really, the upper echelon of the LEGO world.
And then guess what happened? We went to one of the first building stations. It wasn’t a set of LEGOs. It was buckets and buckets of pink LEGOS. Guess what you were supposed to do with them?
BUILD ANYTHING YOU WANT!
I swear it had been so long since I had seen just regular ol’ LEGOs. I didn’t want the pirate swords and skeletons. I wanted bricks and lot of ’em. So we all stopped and built using our imagination. I loved seeing how my husband, my son, and I all had the same building materials and we all came up with something uniquely ours.
We visited the Ninjago booth. You build these little ninja spinners and then compete against other spinners. Evan was so excited that he didn’t even mind waiting in the long line for it. Sadly, we spun once and were “out.” Both he and I were really disappointed after the long wait and he felt no consolation when they handed him a Ninjago bracelet as a “thanks for playing” prize.
I had to get him out of the slump. So I took him to the challenge zone. I was told “you can pretty much make anything and they’ll give you free LEGOs.” Sounded like our kind of place.
We waited while they soaked the bricks in hand sanitizer and then Evan started building. I thought I’d watch or help so he could get his free LEGOs. Then I noticed my husband was building too. Wait, I want to build something! So again, we all found the fun in creating our own thing. We all had to wait and tell the LEGO lady what we made and why and then we all got our prize package. We all felt so proud!
Since we were nearing the end of our session (we truly never expected to be there that long), we decided to visit one last area. Creation Nation is a gigantic layout of the United States. You create a building or structure (famous or otherwise) and have it added to the map.
Since it was the last hour of the last session of the last day, the pickings were slim and the best bricks were gone of course. I couldn’t think of a famous building anyway. But I decided to build… my dorm. I went to school in Cleveland, OH and lived in a dorm that, from the air, would look like a plus sign. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop.
I had to fudge on the color quite a bit but this is where I found the kid in me again. I was so focused on my creation. I found myself raking through the buckets and bins just like Saturday mornings with my brother and sister. I need to find a red 8 or a white 2! I searched through every bucket. I focused on making it structurally sound. And then I finally turned my masterpiece in.
I proudly handed it to the attendant and told him “It’s my dorm in Cleveland, Ohio!” He could see my pride and gently placed it right on the edge of Lake Erie on the map.
It was a good day. I think Santa might bring us all some LEGOs for Christmas.