After a two-year hiatus, Lego® KidsFest is returning to Raleigh, and will fill the convention center with joy, laugther and millions of lego bricks. This touring show has visited Raleigh once before, in 2012 when my son was still firmly in the Duplo age (see image below).
He is now approaching Small Lego age, and it is time to return to this cool event. No doubt about it; in the end this is a Lego promotion, but it is a lot of fun to attend, and while there are Lego sets for sale, there is no pressure to actually do so. (Your kids may have a different opinion, though.)
From memory, this is what stood out: First, the large Creation Nation is a giant outline of the US, which will be filled by small Lego creations from attendees. (I had fun with that myself while my little helper took a nap. Won’t happen this time.) The monochromatic builds (entire areas with just white or orange or whatever Legos) were also pretty cool. Then there are full-size models of Spiderman and the likes. A Lego-Pinewood Derby. And also various areas for the different Lego product lines like Lego City or Lego Technic.
Note that when you buy tickets, it is for a specific half-day: Saturday/Sunday, morning or evening. After the morning session, the exhibition closes briefly to be ready for the afternoon crowd again. All sessions are the same, and they usually do sell out.
Details and tickets (not cheap at $20/child and $22/adult) are available on the Raleigh KidsFest website. Note: This is still 10 weeks away, but it will sell out, at least some of the sessions.Creation Nation: Florida seen in a Lego world. (Photo Courtesy of LEGO® KidsFest.)
Saturday is Engineers Day at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Some of the programs are geared towards kids 10+, but the many engineering-related exhibits are suitable for all ages. Plus, if interests for engineering should wane, there is always plenty more to explore at this marvelous museum, like the butterfly house or the cool outdoors playground.
“To make” is probably one of the broadest terms in language, but Maker Faire does it all justice. Make your own combat robot? Crochet your own superhero mask? Build your own bass guitar? Fly to Outer Space, launching from the NC Fairgrounds? All that and more can be seen at the Maker Faire. MakerFaire is a mashup of robotics, hacking, crafts, knitters, steampunks and Stormtroopers. And my kids. you wonder? There are many kids in attendance, and a good number of exhibits are suitable for little ones. They may not yet appreciate the intricacies of a steampunk trebuchet, but they will like the Chaos machine (a marble run that is larger than their room), the combat robots, and much more.
Are you an AFOL building MOCs?* If so, you’ve probably already heard that Brick Magic is taking place this weekend. Brick Magic is probably best described as a Lego trade show; yes, kids are allowed to attend as well. If you haven’t discovered the subculture of adults playing with Legos, it is time to end the Dark Ages (among AFOLs, that is the time after you stopped playing with Legos until you start again) and join the fray.
The event is taking place at the Hilton North Raleigh (on Wake Forest Rd., just past the belt line) and is less geared towards the Duplo crowd; there is no age limit, but it focuses on the regular-sized Legos. There is an “open-play” room with 20,000 bricks, you can help build a 5ft-tall Star Wars Death Star, meet a mini-fig customizer, watch a robotics competition, or learn to make a brick movie.
Saturday 10-5 and Sunday from 10-4; tickets are $12 and $8 (under 16). Hilton North Raleigh, 3415 Wake Forest Road.
*Adult Fan Of Lego building My Own Creations (custom designs instead of sets).