Last December I won a prize on Facebook with LEGOland Discovery Centre Manchester in one of their advent competitions. It was a nice little prize with a small LEGO model, a badge, a personalised brick, and a family pass for 2 adults and 2 children to LEGOland Discovery Centre Manchester. I've had that ticket in my diary and then on my notice board ever since but with it due to expire on the 17th July 2017 we decided we best give it a go! So because of Jacob's needs and how he struggles we decided to go on Thursday 29th June thinking midweek in term time would be nice and quiet - sadly in my naivety as Jacob isn't school age yet I didn't anticipate that all the schools would be having end of year school trips and so it was quite busy, but we managed, just.
We decided to keep it a secret from Jacob as to where we were going and told him it was an adventure! He kept asking if we were going on a bear hunt! We set off on the journey from Leeds to Manchester and it was a relatively easy journey and as we approached the Trafford Centre it was well sign posted for LEGOland, which kind of spoiled the surprise a little as Jacob saw the signs and started squealing. As soon as we got into the entrance Jacob was full of 'oohs' and 'aahs' at the giant models dotted around. He found it a little bit difficult to queue up so my partner wandered around the models. I bought an activity pack when we entered which was £4 although we didn't actually pay any attention to the things in it as it was a little bit too structured for Jacob, but it made a nice memento.
From there you are in the main section which is basically LEGOland Discovery Centre. There is a mini village all built out of LEGO which was rather impressive and must have taken a hell of a lot of effort to build. This section you weren't allowed to touch although Jacob decided to ignore all signs and climb over the railing and try to play with it - including the lake with real water! EEEK! There are several tables all around with large models on and tubs of bricks so you can add to them although even though Jacob loves LEGO he didn't really seem all that bothered by them although he did quite enjoy a section where you built cars and race them down ramps - his daddy quite enjoyed that section too!
After lunch it was back to going on the rides, playing in the soft play section and then we decided to leave as I wanted to have a quick look in the Trafford Centre (which didn't work out as it's too big and too busy for me) and we had planned to do a little shopping then re-enter the Discovery Centre for a final hour as we had our hands stamped on the way in but Jacob was tired and asking to be carried so we decided to leave for home. As you leave the main LEGOland section you go through a LEGO Batman section which Jacob thought was amazing. There wasn't much to this section but as its a big thing at the moment with the film coming out on DVD it was popular, I loved the artwork on the walls and Jacob loved trying to dodge lasers in a bid to escape.
Then it was out into the shop where we could have all spent a hell of a lot of money but we were restrained and stuck to a mask, a fridge magnet, a blind bag and a LEGO Batman set. Alas my baby Groot figure has evaded me again.
Overall I liked the LEGOland Discovery Centre, if we were to go again I would definitely pick midweek term time again in the hope of it being quieter, but I would probably not wait till the end of the school year! There is an offer where you can get joint entry for LEGOland and Sealife Centre which is next door which I would consider as it is better value but I worry it may be just a bit too tiring for us all. I'd rate our experience a 7.5/10 as I thought it was great fun but some things could have been better for us like the factory tour and maybe make it not quite so easy to climb onto the mini village.