Thursday, September 23, 2010

The LEGO KidsFest, Part 1: The Excitement

Watching my 4 1/2 year become completely absorbed in his LEGOs is one of those moments in parenthood when I think that maybe his dad and I have actually done something right. I am a teacher. So to see him independently designs rocket ships and cars and trains and houses out of a series of multi-colored blocks makes me feel incredibly proud of him. Even better is the complete joy that he gets out of his creations. He literally woke me up at 6:25 a.m., LEGO contraption in hand, saying, "Mommy, mommy, look what I made." At night he, his brother and I sit quietly in his room, working together to make a LEGO village, a city, a farm.

One of my key memories as a child was playing LEGOs with my younger brother. Like my own son, my brother was incredibly talented and passionate about his LEGOs. And in fact, my children still use my brother's set, now over 30 years old.

The original LEGOs embody the best of a toy. They are incredibly durable. They can be used by any child old enough to know not to eat them. They can be used in 100s of ways. And they cross between fantasy play and art and architecture and back again.

LEGOs have evolved dramatically since I was a child. Michael Chabon wrote a fabulous piece about this in his book, Manhood for Amateurs. So far I have been able to steer my own son away from the LEGO-marketing packets such as those for Toy Story, Harry Potter and Thomas and Friends. But I secretly can't wait for the days when he wants to attempt their new architecture series and recreate Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater or the Guggenheim Museum. The prices have rise just as dramatically, creating an incredibly high demand on Craigslist. I appreciate each friend who has been kind enough to give us a few pieces, helping us to start to create our own set.

When I saw that the LEGO KidsFest was coming to Boston this weekend, my first thought was that I had to take my boys. It is essentially a huge LEGO party, featuring areas to create LEGO creations, to check out other people's LEGO masterworks and to meet LEGO "Master Builders". And although the thought of steering them through the crowds at the Hynes Convention Center is overwhelming, it sounds far easier (and cheaper!) than taking an airplane to the closest Legoland in San Diego, California or trying to save for the new Lego park at Atlantis in the Bahamas. (Not that I would pass on either trip!)
Needless to say, we will be able to attend the LEGO KidsFest here in Boston, thanks to the fact that the LEGO KidsFest is kindly giving me and my sons tickets to see the event for ourselves. Except for a trial show in Hartford, Connecticut last year, this is the first show of a national tour. Based on feedback from the Hartford experience the tickets are timed and limited so that people have as much of an opportunity as possible to enjoy the activities.
And we are so excited: To build LEGO creations; to see LEGO sculptures; to meet Master Builders, to just play.

I will share more after we attend the event on Saturday. (The event continues on Sunday, too.) Until then my kids and I are getting our cameras ready, packing our lunch, and thinking about all we can create.

LEGO KidsFest is at the Hynes Convention Center this Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September, 26th. For more information, such as hours and how to purchase tickets click here.


  1. We are going to the LegoFest on Sunday morning -- my 5 year old son has developed a love for LEGOs this year as well!! And my feet love stepping on them!! :)

    Thanks for your post!

  2. Do you know if we can bring our own food into this event?

  3. Great question. I am also wondering about food. I will try to Tweet a response once I find out.

  4. We Just got back from session 2 (saturday) of the so called Legofest. We too like lego for our kids but this format in the Hynes left us
    very disappointed. It was too crowded, badly organized and was greatly overpriced for the opportunity for our children to(fight for space)to play with some very basic lego...we could have done this in our basement for free.

  5. What did everyone think? I was SO DISAPPOINTED!!!!!! Chaos and more people and companies trying to sell stuff. Expected more from a company like Lego.

  6. Our son who has loved Legos since I can remember was so excited to go as were my husband and I. We went on Sunday - 1st session and left after 25 minutes. It was extremely disappointing!! I could not believe this was an event put on by a company like LEGO. We were bombarded with numerous companies and people trying to push and sell things -- all having absolutely NOTHING to do with LEGO. Don't waste your time or money!!!!

  7. This event was terrible. It was like a big scam. The lego "master builders"didn't know anything about legos and gave no hints,tips,advice or even say anything worthwhile. My kid got a Blue man group sticker for completing the passport. This thing should be investigated by the state attorney is a huge fraud...

  8. This event was terrible. It was like a big scam. The lego "master builders"didn't know anything about legos and gave no hints,tips,advice or even say anything worthwhile. My kid got a Blue man group sticker for completing the passport. This thing should be investigated by the state attorney is a huge fraud...

  9. I was extremely saddened and very dissapointed! This was a big ripoff! Long lines for everything, parents were all stressed out, kids crying, lost kids, no giveaways, nothing but a huge ripoff!!! I will never take my kids to this again!

  10. We also went and were disappointed. I encourge everyone who was disappointed to contact the Lego Group and voice their opinions. I will be contacting both the organizers of the event and Lego in CT directly. Let them know about our disappointment so they can stop disappointing kids!

    I found these on the Legofest website:

    Michael J. Guinan
    President & National Sales Manager
    860.953.0444, ext. 145

    Betty Waypa
    Event Manager
    860.953.0444, ext. 101

    Elizabeth Levander
    Event & Sales Coordinator
    860.953.0444, ext. 146

    Michelle DiLuzio
    Event Coordinator
    860.953.0444, ext. 144

  11. By the way, the four people above probably work for the 3rd party that organized the event, copy your letter to Lego in CT (from the Lego website):

    LEGO Systems, Inc.
    555 Taylor Road
    P.O. Box 1138
    Enfield, CT 06083-1138