LEGO KidsFest Milwaukee 2012

LEGO KidsFest Milwaukee – website

Location: Milwaukee’s Frontier Airlines Center, 400 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI

Dates & Sessions: June 15-17

Friday, June 15
4 pm – 8:30 pm

Saturday, June 16
Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm

Sunday, June 17
Session I: 9 am – 1:30 pm
Session II: 3 pm – 7:30 pm

(Note: Each session offers the same exhibits and activities)

Tickets: $20 for adults and $18 for children and can be purchased online at www.LEGOKidsFest.com. Based on sell-out attendance in previous markets, advance ticket purchase is strongly encouraged.

Parking: The Wisconsin Center District parking lot is located at 500 W. Wells St. and is $15 for 24 hours of parking, but fills up fast. There are several parking garages nearby. We parked in a garage across the street from the Frontier Center and paid $20 for parking.

Bathrooms: There are several public bathrooms throughout the Frontier Center and there are changing tables available.

Nursing: There is no designated nursing area, but there are seats throughout the Frontier Center.

Handicapped/stroller accessibility: The Frontier Center is handicapped and stroller accessible.

Amenities:

  • LEGO Model Gallery - Miniature and life-size models of your favorite characters – Lightning McQueen, Harry Potter characters, Spongebob, Star Wars characters, and lots more.
  • LEGO Master Builders - Fprty-five minute workshops for children ages 7 and up where kids can learn from a Master Builder.
  • LEGO Activity Area – Master Builders, games, trivia, and contests.
  • LEGO Challenge Zone – Families compete together to do fun activities.
  • LEGO Construction Zone - Play tables and blocks for building; for ages 5 and up.
  • Brickscapes – Giant dioramas of LEGO displays.
  • Create-A-Story – Make a contribution to a LEGO diorama of a city.
  • LEGO Friends - Play with LEGO Friends building sets.
  • Reading Rest Stop - Relax and read LEGO and DUPLO stories.
  • LEGO Art Gallery - Create a block of art to add to the gallery.
  • LEGO Ninjago - Play with LEGO Ninjago sets.
  • Creation Nation - Add your creation to a giant map of the United States.
  • Race Ramps - Build a race car and race it down ramps.
  • LEGO Games Area - Play with LEGO games.
  • LEGO DUPLO - An area for smaller children with building tables with DUPLO blocks and a giant pile of DUPLO blocks.
  • LEGO Retail and KidsFest Marketplace – Purchase LEGO sets, t-shirts, and other LEGO items.
  • Brick Pile – Giant pile of LEGO bricks to climb in and use to build.
  • Monochromatic Build - Build with blocks of the same color.

Food: There are several food counters around the fest with options like pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and brats. The food was a bit pricey. Children’s meals were $6 and included a choice of things like chicken strips or hot dogs, fries or veggies with dip, and a child size pop or white milk. Sandwiches were about $6, fries were $4, etc.

Other locations: The LEGO KidsFest 2012 tour stops: Austin (August 31 – September 2), Detroit (October 12 – 14) and Pittsburg (November 30 – December 2).

We paid: We received complimentary passes for the LEGO KidsFest. Adult tickets are $20 and Cooper’s ticket would have been $18; Dexter is under 3 so he would have been free. With fees and taxes our tickets would have cost $62.83. We spent about $30 on dinner and $20 on parking.

Our experience:

We arrived early for the Very Important Kids media event and were able to hear from a Model Builder and make a LEGO square to add to Creation Nation.

We also snuck off for a couple minutes to check out the Model Museum and take some pictures with some favorite characters.

The kids were very excited to check out the giant pile of LEGOs and buried themselves in LEGOs.

They spent quite a bit of time sitting in the pile and building, and then we convinced them to move over to the DUPLO area, where they had a large pile of DUPLO blocks.

After playing there for a while, we moved on to the aisle of vendors – a children’s museum, Great Clips, and a few others. The kids got their faces painted, made a mold, and got colored shapes sprayed into their hair. The Brickscapes were in this area and both boys seemed really fascinated by them – there was a ton of detail in each one and lots to examine.

Everyone was getting hungry so we headed to the grill food counter to order dinner. I was a little disappointed by the kids meals – they gave the option of veggies and dip instead of fries, which I thought was great, but the only beverage options were pop or white milk. Since my kids don’t drink milk I asked for water, but they said they didn’t have tap water so we’d have to buy a bottled water, which was not an option for the kids meal. John and I wound up drinking the pop that came with the kids meals and buying a bottle of water for the kids. John and I each got a sandwich and split and order of fries and we spent about $30 all together. I ordered the turkey and havarti on ciabatta (yum!), but when I got it there was cheddar cheese on it instead. I wanted to complain about it, but it didn’t seem worth it; even though they didn’t have very many customers it seemed pretty disorganized and chaotic. There was a family near us that brought their own food, which I thought was a great idea.

After dinner we made artwork for the Art Gallery. Cooper was very excited to make a smiley face just like he imagined – with a grey and green border and red smile, nose, and mouth. Dexter and I used one of the patterns available to make a baseball. Both boys were very proud of their artwork and excited to add it to the gallery wall.

Before leaving the boys built a few race cars and race them down the ramps.

We stayed almost 4 hours and we were all getting pretty tired so we decided to head home. Dexter wasn’t happy about that decision, but we each got a LEGO KidsFest DUPLO block on our way out so that distracted him a bit.

We probably only visited about half of the areas there, but lots of the activities were really meant for older kids so we did most of the stuff for younger kids. Although the boys enjoyed it, I was a little disappointed because I felt like most of it was just different areas to build with blocks. The kids had fun and got to play with all different kinds of blocks that we don’t have a home, but I felt like a lot of it was stuff we could already do at our local Legoland Discovery Center, but the Legoland Discovery Center has more variety – rides, movies, etc. I do think this would be a great event for people that don’t live near a Legoland, and probably even more fun for older kids. For us, I’m not sure I’d pay the $60+ to attend, plus parking and food. Overall, we had a nice evening and the boys really seemed to enjoy it and we very excited about the evening.

3 Responses to LEGO KidsFest Milwaukee 2012
  1. JenF
    June 18, 2012 | 11:14 am

    Great review. My family & I attended Friday’s VIK session as well. I’m really procrastinating on my review because I walked away feeling not nearly as impressed as I thought I would. I live pretty much equal distance from Milwaukee and Legoland in Schaumburg. If I had to choose between visiting (and paying admission) for only one, I’d definitely choose Legoland. One of my biggest beefs with the event was the Lego Marketplace. We hit the Marketplace within a few minutes of the show opening to everyone, so consequently they weren’t that busy. I found the salespeople to be extremely obtrusive. I lost count at the number of salespeople trying to sell me (and even my daughters!) something. I prefer more of a hands off approach. Say “Hello” and let me know that you’re available if I need anything. Don’t try to hover while I’m having a discussion with my husband and daughters. I’m guessing as the Marketplace got busier, employees weren’t able to hover as much, but this did leave a rather sour taste in my mouth.

    • toddlingaroundchicagoland
      June 18, 2012 | 5:58 pm

      Thanks! We avoided the Marketplace (because I knew the kids would want everything) so it’s interesting to hear about your experience. I’m even happier we didn’t check it out now!

  2. Bryan Bonahoom
    June 19, 2012 | 10:45 am

    There was also a LEGO Fan event in Wheeling, IL this weekend called Brickworld. Brickworld not only has some interactive things, but also has many thousands of square feet with displays made by fans that are incredibly detailed and fun to look at. It was unfortunate that KidsFest was held on the same weekend as our event. Our date is always Father’s Day weekend. If you were looking for more displays and LEGO related vending, then Brickworld would be a nice stop next June. Plus, our admission is significantly lower and the parking is free.

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