Monday, March 30, 2009

Great Places to Take Your Kids

Inspired by the inauguration of the “Big Brother Explains” series last Fatherhood Friday, I’ve decided to start my own series: Great Places to Take Your Kids.

While I could easily include places like the neighborhood park and the ice cream store, this series is meant more for neat family-friendly vacation ideas.

This series is also not meant to be “exhaustive.” From time to time, I plan to share places that I’ve particularly enjoyed visiting with my family. This isn’t paid advertisements—it just represents my $0.02.

And so, without further ado, today’s destination: LEGOLAND!

If you have the occasion to travel to San Diego, I’d highly recommend taking your kids to Legoland. You can check it out at

My visit to Legoland reminded me of one of my favorite things about being a dad: I get to play, have fun, and act silly while interacting with my boys—and it’s considered completely appropriate, normal, and healthy parenting.

Simply put, I have not had as much fun at an amusement park, nor found one to one that as kid-friendly, as I did Legoland. There were a nice variety of rides, playground equipment, water activities, and things to see (a Lego factory tour, every character imaginable, and cityscapes (including the Vegas strip and Daytona) made entirely of Legos, as examples).

We went on a Saturday in the spring, and the wait times for all rides were less than 45 minutes, with some as little as 5 minutes. Some of the attractions with longer waits have it set up where the kids can play (in the shade) at lego tables while mom or dad holds the place in line. This was quite nice.

Many of the rides require the kids to be active (physically or mentally), such as pedaling a car along a “light-rail”-like system, digging for fossils in a giant sand pit, or driving a fire truck to put out a fire (with a real water hose).

A few potential negatives worth mentioning:
1. Tickets are rather expensive ($60-70 per person (kids over 3)) for daily admission.
2. There’s more to do and see than can possibly be completed in one day (the park is open 7 hours). I’d give consideration to upgrading to a 2nd day ticket for $15 more per person.
3. Most of the rides require the child to be 34 or 36 inches tall to ride with a parent. Although there are a few things for kids smaller than this to ride, they will definitely have fewer options than older children. That said, Little Brother played for hours at the playground and water activities.

Both Big Brother and Little Brother had a wonderful time. The day was filled with smiles and giggles. By the time we got back to the car, they had played so hard that both boys were asleep within minutes. I’m sure Mom-E and I will look back on our day at Legoland as one of our happiest memories of having a young family. If we have the occasion to return to San Diego, we’ll definitely take the boys again.

I’d love to hear from you about some of your favorite places that you’ve taken your kids, and I’m sure other followers of the blog (have you officially signed up yet?) would, too.

Have a good week,


  1. This is good to know! Maybe when little cousin is a little older we'll have to make it there during one of my trips to CA for work! -Aunt-E

  2. That sounds like a lot of fun! I would highly recommend a Disney cruise. We took Kaitlyn and Cara this past December and Kaitlyn still talks about returning to "Mickey's boat" on a daily basis. We had such a great time.

  3. Good idea Aunt-E. Dad-E, I'm so glad to hear you and Mom-E, Big Brother and Little Brother had so much fun. Looking forward to seeing pictures later.

  4. Legoland is just down the street from us. We've been there a couple of times and it's a great place for the Lego age kids.

    San Diego is an awesome place to visit for families. We have Legoland, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, The Wild Animal Park, our great beaches, and just up the road you have all the L.A. attractions...Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, etc!