On Saturday we hopped in the car and drove the 6 hour round trip to Glasgow to attend our very first major Lego event in the form of Bricklive! We had been to see the Brick City exhibition in New Lanark last year and ever since Aiden has been asking if we could go back and see more Lego displays. We decided to tell the kids we were going somewhere special but that it was a surprise and it was certainly worth the many many questions to see his wee face when he walked in to the SEC to see all that Lego!
From parking the car, to finding our way round, everything was handled so professionally (and with huge smiles!) by staff and volunteers which really does make a difference to a day out with kids I think. We were given VIP entrance which along with a fab goody bag and plenty of offers off goods and food at the event, allowed us to have early access from 9:30am as opposed to the general admission at 10:30am. As the kids are just four and two I thought this was a great way to allow them to get up close the the exhibitions before the tall folk filled the space. As it turns out there was so much to see and do that we never seemed to have that issue even later on in the day. It did however mean the kids didn’t freak out at the size of a big busy event as it happened gradually which worked wonderfully.
I could talk about all the different things to see at Bricklive for pages and pages (we spent 6 hours there. 6 hours! And the kids would have happily stayed longer if we weren’t meeting family for dinner) but I’m going to focus on our favourite areas. These are the areas that suited us best with younger children. There were also huge areas dedicated to computer games such as Minecraft and PS4 that were extremely popular but our two haven’t played a computer game so we left those to the serious looking eleven year olds!
The first area Aiden spotted was the Star Wars displays. Instantly recognisable, Aiden was blown away by the huge Death Star and loved comparing all the different variations of the Millennium Falcon. As with most areas at Bricklive, there was also a huge area were you could get stuck in and build your own spacecraft which was then put on display in the centre table. This was one of my favourite running themes with the event as children (and grown ups!) of all ages could be inspired by the professionals and then have fun creating themselves. It is so much easier to tell a kid they can’t touch a seriously tempting Lego build when you can offer them thousands of bricks they can play with!
The safari section was Faye’s second favourite part (her favourite was the dancing but it was close!) I loved how each animal had information on how many bricks, people, and hours it took to build. The kids were of course blown away by the scale of the animals and us grownups loved the attention to detail. The tiger was so life like that when it first roared we all jumped a little!
For young children I always think it is important there are areas at events to run round / climb about on to let off energy as they seem to have so much of it. Bricklive found a great balance of areas for building but also quiet chill out areas and also soft Lego blocks dotted around to climb all over. Faye spent a good 20 mins making and breaking and repeating with the interlinked Lego circle blocks. She also loved riding in the Lego jeep which kept her occupied whilst her big brother did some building.
All around the venue were giant Lego and Duplo pits. That’s right, pits of Lego where you could plop the kids in to merrily build away. Some were colour coordinated with a theme such as the all green Minecraft one and some like the Duplo were all mixed in. My two went in and out of this one all day long and built some great builds taking inspiration from the other kids playing around them. It was wonderfully inclusive and gave the parents a rest from chasing the kids about too!
One of my absolute favourite areas due to nostalgia was the Lego robotwars area. That’s right, you could compete in the games!! As it was audience participation Aiden only waited on round before he got picked to have a turn and Keith actually jumped the crash barriers to ensure it was him standing next to Aiden (I wasn’t jealous at all…) Aiden was the youngest competitor but I would say from around 5/6 up they would be fine on their own. Aiden was taking about the elimination pit for hours afterwards and wants to make his own Lego robot now.
Faye’s favourite part I mentioned earlier was the dancing area. It was a fantastic idea to have a nice big open space that little kids especially could safely run around in. A wide age range of kids were dancing along and even some parents too and Faye learnt some insane break dancing skills! Although it wasn’t Lego related I think it was a very clever addition to the things for kids to do that meant we could stay as long as we did without anyone becoming fed up.
When it came time to leave it is safe to say the kids did not want to! The whole day was a big success. The kids had a great time with plenty to keep them entertained. Because of that we had a relaxing time and were able to enjoy looking at the Lego on display too. I would certainly recommend it to other families and will be back next time round for more Lego fun.