It feels like spring. Which doesn’t bother me because last year mother nature skipped spring altogether and jumped from the cold and dreary winter to scorching summer. Now? Now the cold snap is here. Naturally, this makes me think of recent vacations in warm places.
Over Thanksgiving my family was gifted a week at my parent’s time share. I love gifts of this nature. I’m not a big fan of “things,” but I am a fanatic for experiences. We spent our week in San Diego. Oh, how I love San Diego. The weather is the optimum temperature year round. Downtown San Diego is the only downtown I feel completely at ease as I stroll, and explore. The city is vibrant with diversity, culture and taste.
This was our third visit with our daughters. The first time we did the Sea World and Zoo thing. The second time we took a cruise, and this third time we wanted to explore the museums, and hit up San Diego’s Legoland, located in Carlsbad, just 20-30 minutes north of downtown.
I’d heard from other parents mixed reviews of Legoland. Some absolutely loathe it. Others love it. We fall into the love category.
My daughters are seven and five years old. They aren’t the type that enjoy roller coasters. The last time we were at Disneyland we made the mistake of thinking that because the Matterhorn had a lower height limit than Soarin’ Over California, that it would be no biggie. Boy, were we wrong. My five-year-old was frozen solid in front of me and silent, until she burst into tears at the end. My seven-year-old screamed bloody murder the entire ride, plastered to my husband, and then angrily, desperately declared, “You lied to me! I hate Disneyland. I want Disneyland canceled!”
I might want to mention that I’m not a big thrill ride girl. When my husband and I were first married he took me to my first experience with Six Flags Magic Mountain in LA. He had to drag me onto those death-defying, prayers needed, “I’m gonna pee my pants” rides. I just don’t understand the tempting fate, “scare the bejeezers out of myself” rides people love. I am also just a big chicken. So, perhaps the girls have a bit of that DNA.
Legoland, on the other-hand, is perfect. Absolutely perfect. We went on Thanksgiving Day, and while there were plenty of people there, it didn’t feel crowded.
The rides are just right for my daughters. I love that they can go on the rides themselves. The crowd was light enough that they could go on their favorite ride, the Cargo Ace in the Land of Adventure, over and over and over. I enjoyed hearing, and seeing their glee. I liked the “kid power” rides. The kids had to use their own strength to create the momentum. I thought it was simply brilliant to have pods for the kids to play with lego blocks while waiting in line to get on a ride. Genius, Lego gods, we salute you.
There are a few exciting rides, that I would have happily gone on, but my daughters need a couple more years to warm up to them. Legoland is manageable, it is spacious without feeling exhausted. The lego creations scattered all over the park are mesmerizing. Miniland USA is filled with notable cities, monuments and even Santa during the holiday season. Those reproductions are fascinating to see.
Since we were there during Thanksgiving, they also had a snow park. The kids were able to throw snow balls, slip, play with a snow man and sled down a tiny little hill.
While you’re at Legoland, please go have a batch of those decadent Granny’s Apple Fries. Granny Smith apples, deep fried so that the apples are warm, tart and scrumptious. My mouth is watering.
Before we went to Legoland I downloaded the free app for my iPhone. It has maps, ride descriptions, schedules, and other useful information. Remember to check the hours for the day(s) you want to visit. Legoland isn’t open as early, or late as Disneyland. If you’re like me, you’ll want to maximize every minute.
There is also a Legoland Water Park. Unfortunately, for the time of year we were there, it was closed. Just means we’ll have to go when it’s summer time. There’s also an aquarium at Legoland, which we simply did not have time to visit, perhaps another time.
I do envy my Southern California friends with the access to great places like Legoland. If I lived there I would be all over a season pass. I even like Legoland’s Facebook page, because I am a diehard fan. So, yeah, we’ll be back.
ps. Thoughts on play dates?