Lego Live NYC, a first-of-its-kind event in Manhattan for the famed toy-brick company, took place at Pier 36 last week and it was off the hook! The showcase featured more than 4.6 million bricks making it one of the biggest Lego events my family has ever been to.
Here’s why you should invest your time and money to go next time it comes to town:
Lego Live has something to build for all ages
I take my older kids to Staten Island the Lego store (there are several others in the city and neighboring counties) for its free mini-build every month and I always feel bad for my 1-year-old. There isn’t much he can do at the store due to his age.
That wasn’t the case at Lego Live NYC. With more than a dozen “build and play” zones, five interactive zones and a live stage, all age groups are covered.
My oldest son spent most of his time coding, my 5-year-old loved building and racing his Lego cars at the race ramps, and my youngest stuck to the bigger Lego Duplo bricks.
As for myself, I played with everything, especially in the coding section. I almost forgot I was there for the kids — that’s how much fun I was having.
No rules for creating at Lego Live
OK — there is one rule. They wouldn’t let us take any of the Lego bricks home. But that’s all we needed.
They didn’t have workstations full of instructions and that had its plus and minuses. Sometimes kids and even adults need a little instruction to get going. Luckily for me, I have kids who love to use their crazy imaginations.
My kids love the Lego City sets so, of course, we spent the bulk of our time there. Anything that has to do with police officers, firemen or planes will keep them busy for hours.
There they could flex their creative muscles with thousands of bricks without being told what to do. Lego had employees on hand to assist, but they did a great job of letting the kids do what they wanted in regard to getting creative.
You cannot NOT learn something
When searching for things to do with my kids I always look for activities that will have them learning something.
Lego is huge when it comes to teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills and this was on full display with their coding stations.
It starts with Lego Boost, its sub-brand that adds sensors, motors and a companion app to teach kids how to code and program to create working robots. Kids as young as 7 can learn how to code with Lego Boost by using an iPad. Rather than writing a complex language-based code, kids learn the basics by linking blocks of code together using drag and drop. It’s a great fun and easy introduction for anyone wanting to learn how to code.
Now Lego Mindstorms is where the real coding takes place and it is better suited for older kids. They had my 11-year-old using bricks and code to build a robot that would battle another kid’s creation in an octagon-style arena. That was really dope and it took my son about 15 minutes to build his device and then code it.
We lost the battle against another kid but we learned something and had a blast together. That’s winning in my book.
From coding stations to building airplanes together, there was something for everybody to do. If you needed a break you could go grab food or watch some pretty dope shows happening at the main stage.
Lego Live NYC was more than I expected and I can’t wait to do it again with my kids next year. We learned and played together for hours which is a huge blessing.
A version of this first appeared at Cool4Dads. All photos: Lopez family.