With kids in TOw, I can’t imagine my life without Lego. While their interest with these bricks has evolved from simple DUPLO towers to Star Wars TIE Fighters, a constant fascination has been the little ninjas Kai, Cole, Jay, Lloyd and Zane – characters I still can’t keep straight.
And thanks to an older bro in TOw, my littlest has been talking about shurikens of ice since he was barely three. Perhaps too young for some, but these little ninjas-made-of-bricks have fuelled a love of Lego and filled endless hours of imaginative play.
So we were thrilled to have a first peek at the all-new LEGO® Ninjago City Adventure that opened at LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Toronto in June.
Here is what you can expect:
The Ninjago elements are incorporated into the LEGOplayground and found in two main areas. Just after MINILAND is the Ninjago Training Camp with some interactive games and a very very cool lazer tunnel where kids tiptoe and crawl under and jump over red beams of light as quickly as their ninja legs can go. It’s complete with spy-like music and dry ice smoke.
In the far back corner next to Merlin’s Adventure is the new two-story play structure, modeled after the Temple of Airjitzu. Yes, if you know Ninjago, this is pretty rad. It had my guys trying out their ninja skills in the obstacle-course-like maze – and sweating up a storm chasing each other up and down, crawling through hover rings and lightning buzzer bars and trying to keep their balance on vortex spinning barrel. This area is best for kids 4-12. There is also a toddler area where the little ones can explore and practice their spinjitzu spinning. (Photos below.)
Next door, what’s called a Dojo training room has another interactive ‘colour crush reflex reaction game’ and large building area (pictured above).
You’ll also get some photo opp action with three models of Sensei Wu, Jay and Nya. More than 110,000 bricks were used to create them.)
If you have enough energy left, you can still play in the rest of the LEGOplayground. All the details here.
Getting there: It’s in the southeast end of Vaughan Mills shopping centre. Tons of free mall parking. It’s part of the York Region Transit Terminal. For transit options from Toronto, check out these instructions via the Vaughan Mills Mall. Stroller-friendly. There is a small ‘coat check’ near the back by the Merlin’s Apprentice ride. This is not a supervised area. There is paid ($3) lockers in the mall. Since parking is super accessible, you’ll often see an adult running outside to drop off gear.
Low-down: Admission (walk-up) is $24 for adults and children; $15.60 when purchased online. (Kids two-and-under are free.) To guarantee entrance pre-book and choose your entry time. (There are individual and family Annual Passes and birthday party options.) Note: Anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
When to visit: Staff explained that Saturdays are by far the busiest and that in summer, every day is a Saturday. March Break tops as the busiest during the school year. The quietest time is usually between 2 pm (when school groups have left) and closing. We were there on a weekday morning and even with a couple of school groups, we never had to wait in line.
Food: No outside food allowed. (Exceptions made for guests with food allergies.) There is an onsite café with ample seating. No in-and-out priviledges (unless you have an Annual Pass) so if you plan to eat your own food, time your visit accordingly.
Potty time: Yes, washrooms with baby change table and kid-sized sinks and family washrooms.
DYK: If you have a double at home or one to swap, you can bring your mini figures and trade them with staff. (They all have them on their name tags and love to swap.) They have adult-only events! Next one is February 25th.