Monday, 3 February 2020

"There is no better high than discovery."

We should really be getting used to the cold, wet UK weather by now, but Friday we all woke up to a gloomy grey light, forcing its way under the blinds. It was one of those days that really needed a splash of bright colour and we had the perfect day planned for the kids. Its been a while since I have been to Birmingham but with the new Legoland Discovery centre opening there it seemed like the perfect excuse for a day out in the city where I was born, with three of my favourite people. 

We were loving the walk along the canal when we got to Birmingham, watching the boys getting excited the closer we got and when they saw the giant lego giraffe towering over the wall we knew we were going to have a great day. We were fully engulfed in that 'splash of bright colour' that we were desperate for from the moment we walked inside and it was such a huge change from the gloomy, grey Birmingham outside.

When visiting any of the awesome Legoland locations, my favourite part is always the Miniland, as I love to see scaled down versions of iconic buildings. This LEGOLAND Discovery centre for me went one step better than the others, creating buildings that were a big part of my childhood, including the electric cinema, Edgbaston cricket ground and Cadbury's where I first worked. It was a bright and colourful walk down memory lane and it really added to the visit.

The mini land was also great how the lighting changed, giving you the chance to view brick Birmingham during the daytime and the evening. With mini games to play including barge racing on the canal and football at Villa park it kept the boys more than entertained and built up a little bit of healthy family competition. 

After a good walk around the miniland we headed over to the Kingdom Quest ride because Frankie was desperate to shoot some trolls. Opeie decided that he was going to aim for the princess' which didn't work out well for him and it turned out that Becci ended up being the dark horse and walked away racking up more points than any of us (I need to keep an eye on her).

Then it was on to some building as the boys were itching to get their hands on some bricks. When we visited the Lego Discovery centre in Manchester a few years ago, one of Opeie's favourite parts was the LEGO Racers build and test where you can create vehicles and see how they hold up hitting the ramps. This was the perfect way for the 4 of us to have a quick build before the 4D Cinema showing.

After a spot of lunch we had another build off, creating a build that could zip wire down a vertical drop passing through rings which the boys loved so much I've said we'll make one from the bedroom window over to the shed at home, which should be a fun. It's important to know that when booking the LEGOLAND Discovery centre that although it is lots of fun and will keep the kids more than entertained, it's not really an all day kind of attraction, like the main LEGOLAND in Windsor...

...which is why it's handy to know that on the other side of the canal facing the building is the Sealife centre. Again this isn't really somewhere you could fill an entire day but the 2 being so close to each other makes for a pretty lovely extended visit to the area. Combi tickets are also available when booking. If you are lucky you may also get to visit while there is a LEGO event on there too which was something that was on during one of our visits a few years back.

Opeie has just started a project on animals, so the trip to the Sealife centre tied in perfectly to that, giving him the chance to see some interesting sea creatures that he could later write about. It was really lovely after the colour explosion at the Discovery centre to then find ourselves in the more relaxed and calming environment of the Sealife and as the boys walked around taking it all in it gave me and Becci a chance to just be us. 

The visit was packed with interesting facts and information to read along the way. My favourite being ....

These kinds of days out are awesome especially when the weather isn't at its best. Also from a home ed point of view both are Perfect for information, creativity and building a Childs imagination. For us it was the perfect outing for building a stronger relationship between the boys and helping to get us one step closer to the extended family we are slowly merging.

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