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If you're looking for theme park magic - and for your youngest kids to be able to enjoy it - Legoland California Resort is your place. Of all our trips with kids, there's one place that stands out as more wondrous than we could possibly have imagined:  Toddlers and young kids are the perfect age to enjoy Legoland's kid-friendly rides and exhibits. And with an aquarium, a water park, and elaborately themed hotels, Legoland California is the best amusement park for a fun day out with preschoolers.

 

 

 

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 Legoland with Preschoolers - Legoland was geared to my 5 & 3-year-olds. Here's why Legoland CA is perfect for toddlers & young kids

 

 

The Legoland Hotel

 

bunk beds - Legoland was geared to my 5 & 3-year-olds. Here's why Legoland CA is perfect for toddlers & young kids

The Legoland Hotel's kid-friendly rooms have bunk beds, step stools, and buckets of Legos to keep their youngest guests happy. (P.S. There's a trundle bed hidden under the lower bunk--perfect for siblings who aren't up for the top bunk!) Photo by Christy Nicholson.

 

 

We arrived at the Legoland Hotel after a long day of adventures through Southern California. Tired from our drive, we dragged ourselves into the hotel -- and immediately our kids were filled with new energy as they saw the giant, interactive Lego sculptures in the lobby.

Our hotel room was the most kid-friendly place in which I have ever stayed, with a special bunk bedroom for our boys and a step stool built right into the bathroom sink. Our room had a pirate theme, which was perfect for the treasure hunt activity included with each stay: find the code to open a safe filled with chocolate gold coins and mini Lego kits. (There are also Adventure, Kingdom, Ninjago, and Friends rooms.)

 

Pro-Tip: While at the Legoland Hotel, be sure to use the elevator. You'll find that the quiet elevator music switches to a disco party with flashing lights once the door closes.

 

The next morning, we enjoyed a quick waffle breakfast at the hotel restaurant and headed out to the park. And here's one of the big advantages of Legoland -- the park is just outside the back door of the hotel.

 

 

The Legoland Theme Park

 

race cars on tracks - Legoland was geared to my 5 & 3-year-olds. Here's why Legoland CA is perfect for toddlers & young kids

Junior Driving School may have been my kids' favorite part of the whole day. They loved driving on their very own track. Photo by Christy Nicholson.

 

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When we entered Legoland, I was shocked. Unlike every other overwhelming theme park, Legoland was geared toward my 5-year-old and 3-year-old. There was a Junior Driving School where kids ages 3 to 5 could drive their own cars (while watched by a traffic guard), a Skipper School that allowed kids to steer their own boats, and a Splash Battle where riders could spray each other with water cannons (this one is perfect for siblings). There was even a Police and Fire Academy where families compete to extinguish "fires."

We wore our swimsuits in anticipation of hitting the water park, but we had so much fun at the main park that we never made it there. We did enjoy a quick tour of the Sea Life Aquarium, where the kids built "sand" castles out of sand-colored Lego bricks.

The Lego sculptures sprinkled throughout the park added a whimsical feel as we went from ride to ride. My boys loved playing with the mega-sized Lego bricks and making music with Lego instruments, while my husband and I enjoyed the massive Lego models of New York and New Orleans.

Pro-Tip: Bring or buy a minifigure to trade with park employees — you may even find a rare one!

 

 

Made Just for Kids

 

driving in a car - Legoland was geared to my 5 & 3-year-olds. Here's why Legoland CA is perfect for toddlers & young kids

My 5-year-old loved the rides like Safari Trek that allowed him to drive the grown-ups around the park (thanks to tracks that kept the vehicles on the right path). Photo by Christy Nicholson.

 

 

My favorite thing about Legoland California is that it seemed built for young children. While there were several rides for older kids and adults, everywhere we went there were activities made just for the under-5 set.

If I could have changed anything about our trip, it would have been to stay at Legoland even longer. The moderate scope of the park means you can hit your favorite highlights in one day without wearing out small kids. However, I wish we had arrived earlier on the night of our hotel stay to enjoy bonus time at the park or the kids' entertainment activities at the hotel.

We finished up our time at Legoland California with a trip to the park's Lego store on our way out. The checkout lines got long as the park was closing, but my kids loved seeing so many Lego sets in one place. It was a great way to finish out a memorable day.

 

 

 

 

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When You Go

 

two boys in front of Legoland sign - Legoland was geared to my 5 & 3-year-olds. Here's why Legoland CA is perfect for toddlers & young kids

Two sophisticated gentlemen after a long day at Legoland California. Photo by Paul Nicholson.

 

 

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Getting There

 

 

Legoland California is located about 84 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles in Carlsbad, California. Parking is $25 per car.

 

 

Tickets

 

Advance reservations are required. Be sure to check current health regulations before planning a trip. Ticket prices start at $79.99 for one day, and hotel packages are available.

 

 

Where to Stay

 

I highly recommend staying at the Legoland Hotel or Legoland Castle Hotel if possible for convenience and plenty of fun. However, there are other hotels nearby, including Hampton Inn, a Holiday Inn Express, and a La Quinta Inn.

 

 

Christy Nicholson is a writer, editor, and recovering perfectionist from Nashville, Tennessee. When not traveling with family, she enjoys cozy days at home reading, gardening, making music, and wrangling two awesome kids. Christy writes at Any-Worth.com about travel and sustainable living.

 

 

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