We're two moms, traveling with three kids under 7,
on a pilgrimage to the mecca for the preschool crowd-Legoland California
Resort. Needless to say, there are a few stumbling blocks along
the way-missed exits on the Los Angeles freeways, tantrums, skinned
knees, potty accidents. Yet overall, our Legoland California
adventure is stacked with good times and great memories.
In this digital age, there's something truly charming
about an amusement park based on the simple, yet imaginative, Lego
brick. Synonymous with creative play, these colorful toys harken
back to a simpler time.
The Lego bricks are everywhere-on the kid-friendly roller
coasters, the life-size lineup of Star Wars characters, and the
Lego cities modeled after Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and New York.
Kids under 6 even get to drive cars made of Lego bricks or hop on a
Lego-themed horse and ride through a Medieval town. A charming
river ride meanders through classic fairy tales, with all the
characters made of Legos.
The new Legoland
California Hotel builds on this beloved toy's legacy. The first
Legoland hotel in the United States, it features more than 3,500
Lego models, made from three million Lego bricks. No, the hotel
isn't made of Legos (darn those building codes!) but the exterior
is colorfully painted to look like it. Everywhere you turn, master
model Lego builders have worked their magic-from the Lego flower
bouquets in the lobby to the whimsical Lego-linked sausages
decorating the cafeteria-style restaurant.
A giant fire-breathing dragon guards the hotel's front
entrance. While you're waiting at the check-in area, you'll be
mesmerized by a wall display made of 6,000 mini Lego figures.
You'll also be relieved to find they've set up a giant Lego pit
directly next to check-in. A giant Lego castle play structure is
located right next to a bar and cafe. Yep, they have us
The rooms are decorated around three themes-kingdom,
pirate and adventure. The premium theme rooms cost about $80 extra,
but the over-the-top decor is worth the money.
While visiting Legoland California, we took the time to explore
the town of Carlsbad. It has a charming oceanfront area and a good
selection of restaurants and family activities. We visited in the
spring, so were able to take a field trip to the unique Flower Fields, where you
can ride a tractor through 50 acres of flowers. Other natural forms
of amusement include the nearby u-pick strawberry fields, open
Surf's up in downtown Carlsbad where there's ample beach parking
along with cute cafes and surf shops. The wildly popular Pizza Port
is budget-friendly, as well as kid-friendly. They brew their own
beer and have a nice bar, as well as an arcade area for kids. Want
to drink in a stunning sunset ocean view? Head for Chandler's Restaurant and
Lounge. They have a heated outdoor patio and the food is
fantastic. Bistro West is
another terrific restaurant, blending high-style decor with
exceptional farm-to-table cuisine.
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