Last Spring we decided to surprise the kids with a trip to LEGOLAND. I had never been to the park and neither had my husband, so this was everyone’s first time. The Castle Hotel was almost about to open, so we stayed at the LEGOLAND hotel. We also decided to road trip it, since we live in driving distance. It was a long drive, but it was worth it! I’m not getting paid or anything for this review, I just wanted to share a fun place to go with your family.

If you are going to LEGOLAND, I would highly suggest staying at one of their hotels! First off, the park and hotels are kind of set away from everything. Any other place you would stay is probably 10-15 minutes away. Second, the hotels are amazing! We decided to stay in an Adventure room (there’s also now Pirates, as well as Ninjago, Friends, and kindgdom). All the rooms are amazing and perfect for families, with spaces separated for kids and adults and kid sized toilet-seats! The kids area has a bunk bed and trundle, and a TV and the adult sleeping area is on the other side of the bathroom.

Each night you stay at the hotel, you get a day of a scavenger hunt and free Lego goodies. Not to mention, lots of fun little surprises throughout the hotel, like a disco elevator and other secret funny things. There’s also a play area and of course, lots of Lego (who else want to call it “Legos?”)! We also went to a dance party at night and there was someone creating balloon animals in the lobby. They even have other kids activities, too. Oh, and the walk from the hotel to the park is very short. Probably not even as far as the walk to Disneyland from the Disney ticket Kiosks, the hotels and park and right next to each other.

Our room had Lego hieroglyphs all over. There is a key in the park, I wonder if they say something?!

The only downside we experienced was the line for breakfast. The hall is a bit cramped, so you line up outside. We went in March, during off-season. The park was near empty, but the breakfast line was still quite long. One day we skipped it, the next day we stayed in line. The line moved pretty fast and we enjoyed their breakfast, but it was a little cramped. There’s also only one other restaurant in that hotel with a handful of tables, so meal-wise, there aren’t a TON of options, but we enjoyed the food we had.

The park in March is perfect. It’s not busy at all, we even stayed on a couple of rides and road again without standing in line. The weather was mild -a light sweater and a short sleeve shirt was perfect.

My son was 6 and my daughter was 3 and they both had a great time. My son could ride all but one or two rides, my daughter was too short for a few. BUT, the rides aren’t the majority of the fun! Scattered throughout the park are numerous areas to play and build, from a rockwall to a lego boat station, to a dinosaur dig area. My kids had a blast building and playing. In March, the waterpark isn’t open, but they still happily kept themselves occupied. It’s nice to be able to go into a cool place and sit down and build with legos before going back out and riding more rides.

My son even had a fun time identifying the various historical monuments that he learned about in kindergarten, and both my kids enjoyed the Starwars displays and Lego Characters.

Another area is the aquarium. Technically this is separate, but often entrance is included in your tickets. This kids had a good time exploring the aquarium and finding the Lego characters and watching the ocean creatures. There was also a part where you could touch sea stars and other tide pool critters.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring your extra Lego men to trade! Different shops, kiosks, and employees have Lego people to trade with you! Truth be told, I think I enjoyed it more than the kids!

Overall, we had a great time. My 6 year old actually said he preferred LEGOLAND to Disneyland! Ages 3-6 were perfect, even a little older would be fun, too. My kids are wondering when we will be back!


Friday freebie – Comic book super-hero party printables

For my son’s first birthday, we did a comic book super-hero theme in primary colors. I spent hours looking online for printables and party ideas, but I didn’t find much that was free and I didn’t feel like paying. The solution? I made my own printables; cupcake toppers, food table labels, conversation bubble labels for the picture board, and a few fun graphics for decoration. It was easy enough, so I thought I would share. There is also star cupcake toppers, so they are really quite flexible to use for different parties – super hero, comic book, action movies, 4th of July, stars, primary colors, boys, girls, etc. When you can alter the colors, it can fit all sorts of needs.

free comic book printables

How to use these customizable printables:

  • Printables are in PowerPoint (you must have PowerPoint on your computer to customize)
  • Download the free fonts Zud Juice and International Super Hero (or you can use your own, but they won’t look like the picture)
  • Follow the directions to install fonts (easy, I promise!)
  • Download the printables and customize – Here is the link: free super hero printables
  • I like to save in PDF and print the PDF instead of the PowerPoint file, but that is up to you

If you do not want to customize, here is the PDF file, ready to print: Free comic book super hero printable

If you have any troubles, feel free to leave a comment or send an email, and I will try to help!

Global Sugar Art

MelissaAndDoug.com- Over 2,000 Unique and Exciting Toys for Children of All Ages! Click here!

My New Favorite Gift: Flash Bounce

My home is dark, as with many homes. I don’t have an expensive lens that lets in a ton of light, so unless my subject is completely still and I am completely still, pictures don’t always turn out great (and I hate using flash). But my problem is solved! My wonderful husband bought me a Pop-up Flash Bounce from PhotoJoJo (awesome site).

Here it is in action (excuse the grainy photo, it was taken with my cell phone in my dark kitchen):

But even better, here is the before and after pics!

With flash, and with the flash bounce. The effect is minimized by my cropping out the unfortunate candid photos of my brother, but you can still see the improvement!

I have seen a DIY version of the Flash-Bounce via Pinterest, but I haven’t tried it. It looks pretty easy to rig though!

Rig a piece of white card stock in front of your flash (my camera doesn't have those convienant hooks)