Family-friendly days out: part fourteen
Welcome to part fourteen of our series on family-friendly days out. Spending quality time together is really important to us, as are spending fun days out with friends and making memories. With children spanning a wide age range, it can be a challenge sometimes to find things that appeal to everyone.
We recently visited Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester, an indoor attraction located at the Intu Trafford Centre, with over 2 million Lego bricks under one roof. You can have a quick look at what is available by watching this video.
What to expect:
After a short lift ride you will come to a holding room in the Lego factory where you can learn about how Lego is made. You are then directed to the Kingdom Quest laser ride, where you travel in small cars and try to save the princess. After this, you are free to walk around at your leisure and you can re-visit any of the rides as often as you like. There is no time limit on your time there, so you can stay all day if you wish.
- 4D cinema
- Kingdom Quest laser ride
- Merlin’s Apprentice ride
- LEGO City: Forest Pursuit Driving School
- Soft play areas
- Lego building workshops
- Duplo farm with a slide for smaller children
- Lego Friends tree-house with Karaoke machine
- Laser Training Camp
- See all of Manchester’s top attractions made from LEGO in MINILAND®
- Learn building tips from the Master Model Builder Workshops
- Adults MUST be accompanied by a child (up to 17 years old) to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
- Free parking
What they have spot on:
- Free parking
- Friendly staff on entry
- Plenty of photo opportunities
- Pushchair friendly
- Buggy parking outside the Kingdom Quest ride
- Reasonably priced photographs of various rides, compared to some attractions
- Opportunity to re-visit the rides as many times as you like
- Within the Intu Trafford Centre, meaning you could combine your visit with other things if you needed to
- Something to keep most ages busy
- Accessible toilets and baby change facilities
- Stunning Lego models
- Fun rides
- Opportunity for burning energy in the soft play structures
- Easy to keep a track of children because everything is fitted into a compact area
- Bright and vibrant
- Lots of free play opportunities
- Gluten free wrap option in the cafe was a nice surprise as many places don’t stock things like this
- Costa Coffee available
What they need to work on:
- The karaoke system didn’t seem to be working properly when we were there which was a bit disappointing
- The cafe is small and very crowded so it isn’t very easy to sit comfortably to eat or drink
- Very few high chairs and not really anywhere to put them around the table anyway
- The gap between the cafe counter and and the tables is too small so you can’t fit a pushchair down there and even without a pushchair you are virtually on top of everyone trying to eat
- No trays at the start of the cafe so you end up with arm fulls of stuff trying to move it towards the till
- Kids lunchboxes are behind the counter so you can’t fill them as you walk along, having said that, boxes need to be at least twice the size as you can’t fit the kids lunch in the boxes anyway, making them a bit of a waste of time
- There were not enough staff on the cafe so there was one poor girl trying to prepare food, serve customers, make hot drinks and replenish stock, which unsurprisingly didn’t work very well and made the service very slow and disorganised
- The tables were dirty and left uncleared which again reduced the seating options for families
You’ll notice that most of the things we feel they need to work on relate to the cafe and that is certainly the case. The thing is that all those things can be fixed really easily. They are very simple things that would make quite a difference. There is a big dead space currently near the seating area that just has a Lego giraffe in it. This could be used for extra seating and storage of high chairs. Extra seating around the attraction would also help as this would prevent those just having a Costa from taking up space in the cafe.
This is a really great family day out which we would give a 3.5 out of 5 – HOWEVER, this could easily be a 4.5 out of 5 by just fixing the cafe issues which we feel are quite straightforward.
Well worth a visit but maybe eat before you go.