I appreciate that the folks that run the LEGO KidsFest in Boston gave tickets to my family so that we could attend the event. I have also heard that LEGOLand in California is a fantastic theme park for children. And, as I wrote about in advance of the KidsFest, I think LEGO itself is a fantastic toy for children.
The LEGO KidsFest did have great big LEGO sculptures.
It did have models of local landmarks.
And, yes, there were some LEGOs to play with.
That being said, as multiple commenters to my original blog post have already noted, the LEGO KidsFest in Boston was, quite simply, a disappointment. I remain perplexed, in fact, at how poorly it was run, considering the reputation of LEGO itself. There were thousands of people, barely any LEGO, many advertisers, long lines for everything from a stroller drop off to buying water. It was loud, chaotic, and, even for my own children, boring as they couldn't get close enough to the LEGO tables.
It took over 45 minutes for us to find a person who worked for LEGO KidsFest and could actually answer our questions. She admitted to me that as bad as it was at the afternoon session on Saturday, it was far worse Saturday morning. She also noted that most of the people working at the event were temps that had just been hired!
I had hoped to report on all aspects of the show, but even with my mother's help, it was almost impossible to keep track of my two little boys amongst the throngs of people. The limited LEGO also meant it was a free-for-all at each corner, as kids (and some parents) tried to grab for the blocks. We couldn't even get near the LEGO store as the line wrapped down and back.
The only salvation was the DUPLO corner, where my sons were able to play in relative peace.
That is until a contest began and the loudspeaker was so loud that both my kids started crying and visitors grabbed their heads. Again, I hoped to walk the floor, but I literally couldn't as it was so packed.
And we were lucky: we had brought snacks, while others spent over 30 minutes in line to get something to eat. We also had the ability to leave after an hour, as we hadn't spent the $15 per child to get in!
Needless to say, it is hard for me to even provide constructive criticism here. To make this better would require a space that is 4 to 6 times larger, for the event to have far more trained workers, and hundreds more LEGOs.
Feel free to dissent here. Share other voices of your experience at the show, what they could do to make it better, if you think other parents should go. I will share as many comments as come this way.