We had the chance to attend Friday’s session of LEGO KidsFest, and our kids had THE BEST TIME! It was really impressive and a total wonderland for LEGO fans. For those of you attending on Saturday, September 5 or Sunday, September 6, here’s a few of our tips about attending. (Please note, all tickets are now sold out for all sessions.)
Getting There — Somehow we found street parking right by the Austin Convention Center without any trouble at all. We figured that was pure luck, but you can click here for a list of nearby parking garages. If the idea of driving downtown and finding parking makes you nervous, you can take the Captial MetroRail (Saturday only, doesn’t run on Sundays). The metro train drops you off directly in front of the Convention Center. For kids, taking a train ride is a fun experience in itself, and children under age 5 ride for free. Click here for the MetroRail info & schedules.
Eat Before You Go — There are a ton of awesome LEGO activities to do, and kids are not really going to want to break for food. Plus, no outside food is allowed (unless your child has food allergies), and you’re likely not really going to want to spend more money on buying snacks. (Save those pennies for buying new LEGOS that will tempt you in the retail section of the Fest.) If you do find yourself or the kids needing some eats, here is a list of the sample menus that you’ll find there.
Dealing with Crowds — To be honest, we never felt like things were way too crowded or overwhelming. Yes, there are tons of people there, but the space is huge and there are things to do in all corners of the Fest. But one of my little guys gets anxious and over-stimulated pretty easily in big groups, so we got there right when our session started (when it was a bit less crowded), and we headed straight to the back of the Fest and worked our way to the front. Doing the opposite route seemed like a good way for us to manage the space. Click here for a map of the Fest layout.
I would suggest getting in line for the challenges and Master Builder sessions early on in your visit to the Fest, too. And we need notice that LEGO Dimensions, LEGO Fusion and LEGO Mindstorms each had a pretty steady line, so take note that these might be ones to be prepared to wait for.
- Bring a camera — The LEGO Model Museum is amazing!
- Wear comfortable shoes — You may find yourself standing around for a long time waiting for your child to build at many stations.
- Consider the Child I.D. service — You’ll find a free child I.D. station right by the entrance.
- Talk about what to expect before you go — Specifically, I would suggest letting the kids know that they’ll get to build some awesome things. BUT they won’t be able to bring their creations home. We saw some tears over this from kids who were not in-the-know and struggled to leave their bricks behind.
- Bring a bag — You’ll pick up posters, magazines, and possibly prizes. Be sure you have something to carry all your loot around.
- Check out the LEGO KidsFest FAQ for more info.
Also, please take note that Saturday and Sunday sessions are now SOLD OUT. We would hate for any of you to show up at the Convention Center without tickets already. But if you miss it this time, you can keep your eye on this this page when the next tour schedule is announced.
Have fun! If you have tips to share, please do in the comments below!