If you have small kids at home, you already know that keeping them occupied during the winter or on a rainy day can be a challenge, so why not visit Legoland New York?
Luckily, here in New York, there are tons of things to do. Unfortunately, many of those activities are not hands-on. See, in order for me to get a good night’s sleep, I need to make sure my 3-year-old son gets a good night’s sleep. And that means he needs to be physically and mentally stimulated.
Unlike the park in Florida, which can easily keep you busy for days on end, the Westchester location is designed to provide several hours of entertainment. Located within an outdoor shopping mall, Westchester’s Ridge Hill, Legoland New York contains several attractions – more than enough to excite and thrill my little guy for several hours.
If you’re considering a visit, here is what to expect, at least based on my personal experience.
Where is the Legoland New York location?
39 Fitzgerald St., Yonkers
I found the attraction easy to find, conveniently nestled between the New York State Thruway and the Sprain Brook Parkway. Once you get off of the exit there are plenty of signs for the shopping center. Parking is $3 and you can pay at kiosks throughout the shopping center.
Upon arrival to Legoland New York, after purchasing or showing your tickets, you will find yourself ushered into a rather small vestibule that contains a countdown clock. While this area can be a bit crowded, it definitely built up the anticipation of what’s waiting on the other side of the doors. It also gives you and your children a chance to meet the other patrons of the day. Once the clock hit 10 seconds we all counted down in unison and the doors opened.
Legoland New York Hours
Sunday-Thursday (10 a.m.-7 p.m.; last entry at 5 p.m.)
Friday-Saturday (10 a.m.-9 p.m.; last entry at 7 p.m.)
Things to do at Legoland New York
Legoland New York is comprised of several main attractions.
Lego Factory Tour: This experience demonstrates how Lego bricks are manufactured. It’s a brief stop and is probably best suited for children ages 4 to 8. The crowd of older children made it hard for my son to get close enough to get engaged. The “tour” fictionally replicates the production of Lego bricks.
4-D Movie Experience: Running every 15 minutes or so, everyone seemed to enjoy this short movie that featured some of the best 3-D effects I have experienced. Add in the “fourth dimension” of physical effects like a fan blowing and snow falling, and your little one will likely get a kick out of the experience. For my son, it was his first movie theater experience – and a great first-step toward a full-length movie. The auditorium is spacious with easily marked exits, meaning you can leave at any time without disrupting anybody watching the film. Watching him wince as the characters and objects “flew” towards him was a trip.
Rides: There are two main rides, the first of which we experienced was Kingdom Quest, where you board a small car and shoot a laser gun at trolls, skeletons and other random “bad guys” as they jump out (all on large screens). There is a “hit” counter on the car that lets you know how effective your zapping skills are. Score one for daddy! 🙂
There is also Merlin’s Apprentice Ride at Legoland New York, where the faster you pedal, the higher up you go. Basically, this ride is similar to the type of ride you would find at Any Carnival, USA. It spins around and around and around for about two minutes. The experience is over quickly, but again, if your kids are relatively young like mine, it will be worth the wait. It’s an unexpected attraction like this one at Legoland New York that make this a great indoor destination.
It took almost two dozen “Lego masters” six months to build replicas of several New York City landmarks, including this Yankees/Mets hybrid stadium.
Miniland: Get out those cameras! This is where you see some of those 2 million Lego bricks under the roof at work. From the Statue of Liberty to Yankee Stadium, New York landmarks come to life in the form of thousands of pieces. Your little ones can also press a series of buttons that will make the scenes come to life with lights and movement.
Duplo Village: This faux construction site, complete with soft building bricks, mini mazes, and a slide, is the perfect place to have your child burn off any energy that remains. This area is a contained maze that is filled with soft large Lego pieces. Parents can watch their children from the outskirts. Just be sure your child is wearing socks, as no shoes are permitted.
Children up to 54 inches tall can play on the giant colorful “Fire Academy” jungle gym.
Eating in and around Legoland New York
There is an on-site cafeteria that offers a few Lego-themed grab-and-go snacks and sandwiches. This is a perfect respite if you are taking a brief break between attractions. However, if a sit-down meal is on the agenda, Westchester’s Ridge Hill features several family-friendly eateries. Among the offerings are The Cheesecake Factory, Bonefish Grill, Havana Central and Yard House. There is also a Whole Foods Market at the far end of Legoland New York that offers up an array of healthy-eating alternatives. Check out all of the dining options here.
Where is Legoland outside of NY?
There are 17 Legoland Discovery Centers across the globe, including the Legoland Yonkers location in Westchester.
There are also seven Legoland Parks that offer the full amusement park experience.
What are your favorite things to do at a Legoland park, in New York or otherwise? Let us know in the comments below.
Did you know AAA offers a discount to Legolands across the country? To save money on tickets to Legoland New York and more, click here.