While some of you may be counting down the days to your big Spring Break vacation, many of you are also trying to plan a bit of a staycation. We are in the latter group. So the timing couldn’t have been better for our Kansas City Moms Blog sneak preview of new exhibits at SEA LIFE Kansas City and LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City.
I had never been to SEA LIFE or LEGOLAND, so I was excited to pack up the family and head to Crown Center to explore. We first decided to check out SEA LIFE to see the new “Race to the Ocean” exhibit. I am not sure who had more fun here, me and my husband or my two daughters, ages 5 and 2. It felt like we were on an undersea adventure with sea turtles. I can’t even begin to count the number of different fish and other crazy sea creatures we were able to see up close.
My daughters were blown away at the huge eels and of course, the fish that looked like Nemo and Dory. SEA LIFE is designed to keep people of all ages interested. My kids loved the little tunnels that had fish swimming right over their heads. That was my favorite part, as well. They have a large area you walk through that had sharks, stingrays and all kinds of fish swimming all around you. To see these creatures up close was beyond cool.
SEA LIFE’S “Race to the Ocean” digital exhibit allows kids to become junior wildlife rangers. The kids learn about how they can help baby sea turtles race to the ocean. My 5-year-old loved the interactive, high-tech displays and had the best time turning out all the lights on a huge touchscreen so the baby sea turtles could get to the water. This exhibit is only open for a limited time, so you’ll definitely want this on your bucket list!
After wrapping up at SEA LIFE, we headed over to LEGOLAND. For whatever reasons, my kids love elevators, so the fact that you ride an elevator up to LEGOLAND was super exciting to them. When the doors opened, I knew we were going to have a hard time ever getting them to leave. My 5-year-old loves The Wizard of Oz, so immediately seeing a life-size Lego Dorothy and Toto made her day. I should mention that my kids like Legos, but they aren’t completely obsessed with them like other kids I know. Because of that, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but both kids absolutely loved it.
There is a family-friendly ride that incorporates laser tag and another ride that encourages kids to pedal fast in order to make their cart go higher. I particularly liked that one because I knew it was going to wear them out and make for an easy bedtime. Selfish, I know. There are tons of little stations where kids can build all kinds of Lego creations. There’s a huge play area with a slow, spinning wheel and slides that I darn near couldn’t get my kids to leave. So just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we were ushered into a movie theater featuring the Ultimate Ninjago Experience. We were all handed 3D glasses and grabbed a seat. The LEGO Ninjago 4D short movie began. My kids had never seen a 3D movie so to watch them try to grab the characters was hilarious. That, coupled with the 4D experience complete with rain (just a mist, don’t worry), wind and snow, still has my whole family talking about it. Ninja Kai was also there for hugs, fist bumps and high fives.
LEGOLAND also features a room with some amazing Lego creations including miniature replicas of Kansas City and a huge Wizard of Oz exhibit. There are buttons you can push that bring the buildings to life, so Dorothy’s house starts flying, Oz starts talking and the stunning Emerald City lights up. This was probably my personal (adult) favorite.
Parents do need to be prepared for the gift shops that you have to walk through when exiting both exhibits. They have super cute souvenirs but, of course, your kids will want all of the things so meltdowns are likely. We were at SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND for two and a half hours and easily could have stayed for much longer. My kids are already asking to go back. I was surprised that my 2-year-old had just as much fun as my 5-year-old but they really do a great job of having exhibits for all ages. My daughters were both happy and exhausted when it was time to leave, which made for an easy bedtime, which made for happy parents.