BrickCon and other Lego Outings in Greater Seattle
It’s the best weekend of the year for local Lego lovers. BrickCon, the world’s longest-running, fan-based Lego convention, draws hundreds of adult fans, collectors and builders from all over the world to share their creations, learn from each other, and meet new friends.
The convention runs Thursday–Sunday at the Seattle Center, including a two-day public exhibition on Saturday and Sunday, and is a great event for families with Lego-obsessed kids. The exhibition draws thousands of attendees for whom exhibitors get to show off Lego models and displays, many of which are built by teams. After they're inspired, adults and kids can build their own creations in the Building Zone.
Vendors will also be set up in the Brick Bazaar selling current, past and custom Lego sets, parts and minifigures.
The BrickCon exhibition will be most enjoyable for children who have an active interest in Lego building. BrickCon is stimulating and crowded, and strollers are not allowed. If your little one is still a Duplo, it’s probably best to wait.
If you go ...
Note: The convention portion of BrickCon starts on Thursday, October 4. People under the age of 18 can attend, but they must be accompanied by an adult who also registers, pays and attends.
More Lego destinations
If BrickCon leaves you yearning for more of the bumpy bricks, here are some ongoing Lego building outings and ideas for families:
1. Math ’n’ Stuff: Locally owned toys and games store Math ’n’ Stuff, located in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of Seattle, is a Lego fans’ paradise, with a fully stocked retail store and a nearby annex space that is used for public Lego builds and may be rented for private parties. Its next Lego build — the Public Mathnificent Lego Build — is Sunday, October 21, from 2–3:30 p.m. You can sort through bins of bulk Lego pieces and build your ultimate creation. Take home your creation or a bag of your favorite brick pieces. $10 registration, which can be applied toward the bulk piece cost of $12 per pound.
Math ’n’ Stuff also hosts birthday parties. They provide the location, Lego building stations (minifigures and bulk tubs) with a play area, tables, chairs, balloons, streamers and a Happy Birthday sign. You bring the party food, drinks, and plates, cups and utensils.
Math ’n’ Stuff
8926 Roosevelt Way N.E.; Seattle
Mathnificent Lego Builds and parties at 9212 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle
2. Children’s Museum, Seattle, Near and Far Lego exhibit. Launched in July 2011, Near and Far Lego is a permanent exhibit at the Children’s Museum where older kids can create their own designs drawing inspiration from around the globe in the Architect’s Office. Younger builders can create with DUPLO-bricks.
Children’s Museum, Seattle Center
Open every day (except a few holidays) at 10 a.m.
$7.50 admission, adults and children
3. Alternative Lego Museum. Seattle resident and Lego artist Rob Lowe (no relation to the celebrity) has become locally well known for the complex Lego builds in his ground-floor apartment’s corner window in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
600 E. Denny Way, Seattle
Viewing hours (when his blinds are open) reportedly daily from 2 p.m. to 3 a.m.
4. Official Lego stores at Alderwood Mall and Bellevue Square. Each store includes an interactive play area and Lego model displays. Visit the stores’ websites for information on monthly model builds and other special events.
5. Bricks 4 Kids after-school classes. This is a hands-on class in which students design and build machines, catapults, vehicles and other creations from Lego bricks. While building a new project each month, students explore engineering, architecture and physics concepts. Classes are available in the Mukilteo, Edmonds and Everett School Districts (and they also offer camps and birthday parties).
6. Lego camps. It’s not too early to think about next summer (or your next school break) for your Lego-obsessed kids. Play-Well offers an Engineering FUNdamentals with Lego Camp for grades 2 to 5 each summer at Magnuson Park. You can also check the schedules of your local Parks and Rec, community centers, libraries and community colleges, as many offer Lego-themed camps each season.
7. You can join this local Facebook group, which shares info on kid-friendly Lego outings and activities.
8. Lakewood Pierce County Library offers a monthly Lego Builders Club; next one is Wednesday, October 17.
About the author: Karla Smith-Jones is a Seattle-based artist, master crafter, graphic designer, writer and mom to a five-year-old boy and Lego aficionado.
Photo courtesy of Chris Blakely, flickrGoogle+