Legoland Discovery Center – 598 Assembly Row, Somerville MA
What it is: This felt like a cross between a theme park and a children’s museum. There is a good mix of interactive exhibits, creative exploration spaces, and visual entertainment – all centered around Lego products, mainly mini-figures.
Cost: The cost varies between $17.50 – $29.99 depending on the day of the week, time of day, whether you book online or in-person (it’s about $6 cheaper online) and the package you choose (some come with time flexibility, others come with a collectible figure.) Ages 2 and under are Free. You CAN NOT enter without a child unless it is a designated Adult Night.
To guarantee entry they suggest you buy your tickets in advance since they only let so many visitors in at once. (We did this but there was not even a line when we visited.) When you do it online, you book a time within a 15 minute range and you need to be there at that time.
What to Know: From when you enter, there is a directed flow to your visit. You stop at a mandatory video, and interactive but mandatory video in a “control room”, a ride, and the Lego model of Boston before you reach the open area where you can “run wild.” There is one ride in the open area that you need to be four feet tall to go on. The movie theater is 4-D which essentially means you get misted and sprayed with water (see photo below). The first ride you get on allows everyone in the cart to shoot at spiders and other targets with a “laser gun.” We don’t have shooting games or gun-like toys as a rule, so this was an unusual experience for our daughter. She wasn’t really interested and mostly just watched Mom and Dad play. They take your picture during this ride and you can buy it after, but since you have no clue when you’re being photographed the images are horrible. If you want a photo try as hard as you can to look cool the whole ride.
Parking: Free garage parking! The garages are large and airy with spaces suitable for modern vehicles, unlike most of the parking in Boston, which is scaled for Little Tikes vehicles. There are big, clean restrooms IN the garage itself.
Verdict: This was a lot of fun, but I’m glad we waited until age 3 because I don’t see most of it holding her interest if she was younger. Even the mandatory videos, while entertaining and relatively brief, left her and her same-age cousin pretty antsy. Because my daughter LOVES Lego, I would budget more time for our visit next time so she could sit an build as long as she wanted in the open area – we stayed 2 hours and probably could have used 3.
What’s Nearby: Assembly Row is like a mini-city filled with shopping and dining options. There’s a Gymboree outlet worth checking out, and restaurants ranging from pizza and pub food to sushi and Mexican. There is an AMC movie theater right next door. We ate at Papagayo, a local Mexican chain restaurant.