Freshly opened in 2018, Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham is keen to make it’s mark within the Merlin Group of UK attractions.
Located on the doorstep of Arena Birmingham (we used the Arena South carpark to access) Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham is essentially an indoor Lego playground created to inspire and delight the under 10’s.
Some describe Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham as a more compact version of a Legoland theme park but I believe if you go with this expectation you will be disappointed. Let me put it this way, if you want a Legoland theme park, go to a Legoland theme park. They are two very different experiences.
If anything, this place focuses even more on the Lego without the potential need for a theme park poncho or oversized-reusable slushy cup!
With a young Lego master builder in the family (and dare I say it) feeling like we needed a break from visiting Legoland Windsor – we ventured to Birmingham on a cold winter’s day for our alternative Lego experience.
What to expect at Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham…
Well obviously Lego and lots of it. There are at least 3 zones in which Lego is laid out encouraging lots of playtime, interaction and creativity with it. Despite having a near mountain of Lego at home, there is always something about ‘other people’s Lego’ that makes the kids that bit more interested in it.
For interaction and playability with actual bricks, I was most impressed with the Build & Test Zone. Kids are encouraged to create their own Lego vehicles and then test or race their creations on the speed test tracks (basically high ramps). There’s even opportunity for them to design their creation before bringing it to life.
No Lego attraction would be complete without a Miniland and Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham did not fail to delight with theirs. 50 local landmarks are showcased over a large area for you to wander around. My children loved getting involved in an interactive football match of Birmingham Vs. Aston Villa and operating the boats on the canal. Although my personal favourite was their homage to Cadbury! (And if you’re wondering why this was my favourite, you might like to read: Happy Days Out: Cadbury World review).
Every 7 minutes the lights dim into darkness and all the miniland buildings light up – so you view everything in a day and night setting, making it just that bit more special.
Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham operates two very family friendly rides.
For Kingdom Quest you take your seats in a chariot which reasonably gently transports you around whilst you try to zap trolls & skeletons with a laser gun. You can compete against each other as your scores are displayed in front of your seats. My son loved this so much he went on it 4 times (and according to him won every time – the jury is out!).
Good to know: As long as your child can sit up unaided they are permitted to ride Kingdom Quest.
The Harry Potter-esque Merlin’s Apprentice ride takes you round and round in a 2-person carriage. Pedal as fast as you can to take your carriage high up into the sky. My 8-year old wasn’t particularly interested in this one (he was too busy on Kingdom Quest) but my 6-year old loved it – and I got a decent workout with all the peddling!
Good to know: Minimum height to ride Merlin’s Apprentice is 90cm. Once over 120 cms your child can ride unaccompanied by an adult.
The really young ones can explore Lego Duplo Farm. With lots of Duplo to play with – or attempt to chew on as toddlers often love to do. Plus there’s opportunity for a mini crawl or toddle around on the soft area featuring a fun little slide for them to burn off some energy.
And if you want some energy release for any children over 3, the Lego City soft play will fulfil that need.
When all that building, riding, running and sliding leaves you needing a sit down – head to the 4D cinema. Rain, wind, snow (the only place you’ll get to experience any weather whilst here really) plus lots of 3D elements jumping out of the screen at you. Performances take place throughout the day and last around 20-30 minutes.
A Costa Coffee within the centre’s main thoroughfare is your opportunity for food and drink. As you’d probably expect from any big name attraction, it’s not cheap to feed the family here, considering what you’re actually getting for your money. Although they were offering cake for £1 if purchasing a hot drink, so a silver-lining.
However, if Costa isn’t for you, you can bring your own food (or at least I saw people pulling out packed lunches!) There are tables and chairs outside the cafe for you to sit and eat.
Ways to maximise your time & value for money whilst at Legoland Discovery Centre…
It’s suggested your time within the centre will last between 2-3 hours, but we were easily there for over 4. Here’s how:
Ride as many times as you like. There is no limit on the amount of times you’re permitted on each of the rides. With this attraction being capacity controlled, the queues (during our visit) were not longer than 20 minutes. So, take advantage and get a few turns for your entry-price.
Take in all the movies. The 4D cinema plays different shows (Ninjago, Nexo Knights & Lego Movie) on rotation. Check the movie timetable and time your stops at the cinema to see each of the different movies on offer.
Buy the Legoland Activity pack (£4) on arrival. This is my most recommended way to maximise your time and value for money whilst here. Ours came attached to a good quality Lego-branded memento lanyard, which the kids wore making them feel like ‘official’ Legoland visitors and minimised the chance of them losing them!
The activity pack is brilliant for optimising your experience. Including lots of interactive elements such as look & find, stickers and build instructions for when you’re in the free play areas. Plus for each zone you have opportunity to collect a stamp. Collecting the stamps is fun for the kids and (as I came to realise) very beneficial! Why? Read on!
As you leave the centre, non-surprisingly you exit via the gift shop. The Lego sets are roughly inline with high street prices but some of the pricing on other products could be considered questionable. If you want to still come home with something from the shop but don’t want to pay over the odds, this is where the stamp collecting will pay off…
Take your completed stamped activity pack to the till where they will present your child with a free Lego Mini-figure. Happy child, non-bankrupt parent.
So for £4 we got a Legoland discovery Centre branded lanyard, an activity pack with stickers (that has playability even after you get home) a way to easily extend our time at the centre and a free mini-figure on departure. Result!
Top Tip: Wait to purchase your pack at the centre rather than ordering online in advance. The price stays the same whether it is bought in advance or on the day. The difference is that due to stock, seasonality etc, what’s on offer may vary, this way you’re able to make sure you’re happy in person before you commit.
Let’s talk tickets (and savings)…
In order to guarantee entry you need to book in advance – even if you’re a Merlin annual pass holder.
Online prices start at £15 per person. Under 3’s go for free.
There are ways to get your tickets for bargain prices – here’s how:
- Use your Tesco Clubcard vouchers. Currently 50p in Clubcard vouchers gives you £1.50 to spend.
- Check school bags for discount vouchers that are sometimes handed out for this attraction especially near to school holidays. These often offer up to 50% off.
- Get your hands on a ‘Free adult entry’ voucher from Kellogg’s promotional packs.
- Check Groupon and other discount/voucher sites for offers – Legoland Discovery Centre is often included.
Want a full day out? For around £10 extra per person you can upgrade your ticket to include entry into Sea Life Centre Birmingham which is located opposite the Discovery Centre.
Would we return to Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham?
I was hesitant before our first visit, but I have to concede, we really enjoyed ourselves. Even if Lego isn’t high-up on your child’s list of things to play with, I believe they still stand to gain enough out of the experience to leave with a satisfied smile on their little faces.
I have one child who loves Lego and another who’s not particularly bothered but they both had a lot of fun.
And that for me is more than enough reason to return.
If you’re looking for a more focused Lego experience that offers plenty of fun in an indoor environment – then I highly recommend a visit to Lego Discovery Centre Birmingham to you too!
Good to know:
There is also a Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester – visit the one closest to you.
Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham is fully accessible and pushchair friendly.
All adults must be accompanied by a child!
For ticket prices, booking and further information visit the Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham website.
Want to discover other family fun-filled days out? Read:
Are you a fan of Lego? Have you been to a discovery centre before? Anything you recommend my budding Master Builder visit to feed his love of Lego? If you’ve any questions about our visit to Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham or anything you’d like to share – get in touch by leaving a comment in the box below. I’m happy to help & I always love to hear from you!.