Updated: Oct 5
This was our 4.5 year old's first time at Legoland. Not mine, nor my husbands. More than ten years ago, I found myself at Legoland with my (then boyfriend) husband and his siblings and nephews. It was 'nice' but I remember thinking, 'thank God we don't have any kids yet...or ever'. Fast-forward six years and there I was, back at Legoland, pregnant, on a day out with one of my best friends and her three kids. I remember thinking that time, 'what on Earth have we done getting pregnant?!I also remember being SO tired that day I managed to have nap on the floor of Splash Safari with a million wild kids running around me, giggling, shouting, splashing. Nothing could wake me up. Oh, pregnancy naps are the best!(when you have one child that is, I suspect if I was pregnant now I wouldn't be able to nap so freely).
Anyway, our time finally came for us to go back to Legoland, this time as parents. I won't write too much about rides, hotels and what to do there as I suspect there are a million blogs and reviews on that already, and although I find reading some tips really useful, at the end of the day, each child and each family is different so whatever works for one may not work for another.
We live about an hour away from Legoland, so not too far really; however, we wanted to make a little trip of it so we decided to stay overnight. We stayed at the Legoland Resort Hotel and our room was pirate themed which our boy loved; a little Lego gift was waiting for him as well which was a rather sweet surprise for him.
It helped that our first day there was a Friday as the park was relatively empty; the most we had to wait at a queue was 15 minutes. To be honest we would have been able to see most of the park in one day, but going for two days meant that we weren't rushing and that we could go on the same ride over and over and over again. Also, after 4-5 hours of walking about it was quite nice being able to crash at the hotel and go for a swim (the pirate themed splash pool was a massive hit), before going for dinner. By the end of all that, our kid fell asleep faster than ever.
On our second day, we went for breakfast and had early access to the park which was handy as the park was definitely busier on Saturday. We walked about, went on our favorite rides again and had a wander until we'd all had enough. Our boy was generally interested in the gentle rides and those where he could steer, drive, throw water or maneuver something. The playgrounds were also a huge success. He definitely was not into any fast rides, which there aren't many of anyway. If you have a sensitive child, going for two days could really suit you, as in our case, rushing about and trying to fit everything in one day would have made the whole experience more tiring/overwhelming.
The reason we went to Legoland was primarily for the smiles, you know. To have fun, spend time together as a family and make memories. But a thought kept crossing my mind throughout our stay there: we don't need Legoland. True, there were some rides (and a couple of treats) that REALLY brought a priceless smile on our son's face, but I've seen that smile before when we wrestle, when we watch a funny film, or when we make silly noises. When we spend time together, basically. So that's what I learnt: quality time together is what matters. If Legoland does it, great. But really, climbing a tree would probably be (if less stimulating), equally as satisfying.