Half a million Lego bricks in a giant play room open for all-day building? Yes, please! A Lego lover's heaven takes over Foss Hall in Tacoma's Freighthouse Station April 2–17 as the Brick by Brick Spring Expo + Play Event opens its doors.
The Expo will feature 7,000 square feet filled with hundreds of thousands of Legos, daily workshops and remarkable Lego sculptures, including a 10-foot-tall Statue of Liberty, created by local Lego guru Dan Parker.
Dedicated play zones offer kids and adults alike the chance to build with Legos based around certain themes. Each zone will feature a table filled with themed bricks and pieces, plus a related Lego sculpture for inspiration. Play zone themes include: a castle zone with knights, horses and other medieval aspects; an architecture zone for building skyscrapers and cities; and a race car zone with racing ramps. Also expect zones on the Wild West, interactive soccer, dinosaurs, Hero Factory and more.
Multiple Duplo play areas with playmats will cater to little builders. Bonus: Ages 2 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.
Maegen Blue, author of the Sounds Fun Mom blog, attended the last two Brick by Brick Expos. “Every kid I saw was having a ball, and it was great to see grown-ups building along with them,” she says. “The only warning I have about this event? Your kids will never want to leave. Bring a book, or a friend you’ve really been meaning to catch up with.”
Daily workshops will include "Castle Architecture and Dungeons," "Building Roof Systems" and "Lego Geometry and SNOT (Studs Not on Top) Building." Each costs $10 in addition to regular Expo admission; they're recommended for ages 7 and up. Check the calendar graphic on the event's Facebook page for themes and times; show up early as workshop admission is first-come, first-serve. Some include a take-home kit.
The only warning I have about this event? Your kids will never want to leave. Bring a book, or a friend you’ve really been meaning to catch up with. - Maegen Blue, Sounds Fun Mom
Interactive Death Star: On the first weekend of the event (April 2–3), kids ages 6 and up can help build a collective Death Star sculpture. “The frame is already set up,” says Dan Parker, the Lego artist. “Kids can come up to the table and decorate a panel, which will then be placed on the sculpture immediately.”
Premium play: A special room caters to more advanced builders, ages 10 and up. Here kids can construct bridges plus build and run trains on a track. Pre-built bridges and trains are on display for ideas.
Event photographer: A roving professional photographer will be availble to snap images of kids with their creations. Each 8" x 10” photo will cost $15. Note: Personal photography was permitted at past Brick by Brick Expo events; we are currently verifying if the same is true this year.
Lego shop: A merchant table will offer Lego sets, both new and vintage, for sale along with bins of bricks and mini figures.
Adult play: Evening build sessions for adults are unconfirmed at this time, but organizers may offer this. Check the event's Facebook page for information.
If you go...
Cost and hours: The Brick by Brick Spring Expo + Play Event is open daily, April 2–17, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. All-day admission is $15 per person, with discounts available for families, seniors, students, tribal members and more. Ask at the door. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free with an adult.
A Groupon discount may still be available. (Note: Pierce County Asylum is an organizer of this event, so search for this on the Groupon website. While this company also produces haunted houses, the Brick by Brick Expo is NOT a scary event.)
Location: This event takes place at Freighthouse Station (formerly Freighthouse Square), located at 440 E. 25th St., Tacoma, WA 98421, near the Tacoma Dome.
- If you want to participate in the Death Star build, be sure and go the first weekend.
- Once you pay, you can come and go as you please for the day.
- Free parking is located in the Tacoma Dome parking garage at 424 E. 25th St., across the street from Freighthouse Station.
- A food court within Freighthouse Station offers a variety of restaurants. Restrooms are located just outside the door of Foss Hall, where the Expo takes place.
- Prepare your kids for the fact that they won't be able to take their creations home. Snap lots of photos so they can remember them.
- Bring a friend, a book, your knitting basket or whatever activity you like if you think you may tire of Lego building before your children do.
- For great insider's tips, read more about Maegen Blue’s experiences at the Brick by Brick Expo on her blog.
- Lego fans, take note. This fantastic Lego exhibit opens at Pacific Science Center later this spring.