Tinker Tank at Pacific Science Center. Credit: April Chan
Lego Play Around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound
Nurse an Americano while helping your little ones figure out the intricacies of Duplo train sets. Or head upstairs and keep an eye on your older builders as you catch the latest game on multiple overhead TVs. Wunderkind provides an inviting and enclosed environment for parents to let their children loose and take a load off themselves. The small snack bar downstairs features an assortment of food and drink options including various craft beers and wines. Wunderkind also hosts birthday parties.
Where: 3318 N.E. 55th St., Seattle
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cost: $6 per child for unlimited playtime; assorted passes also available.
Located at the entrance to Pacific Science Center's IMAX Theatre, this hands-on area allows visitors to try various do-it-yourself activities including building ball ramps, stacking blocks and crafting the best aerodynamic paper airplane. In the middle of Tinker Tank are two large tables of colorful Lego 4x2 blocks, along with some impressive creations safely ensconced behind a display case. This area perfectly illustrates how creative children can get even while their building materials seem monotonous. Don't be surprised to see a massive color-coordinated wall, an inverted pyramid, and towers that stretch toward the ceiling.
Where: Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Ave N., Seattle
Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cost: Included with Pacific Science Center admission ($13.95–$23.95; ages 2 and under free) or membership, or with IMAX movie ticket purchase.
This Seattle toy and game store has been a Lego Gold Standard store since 2013, carrying an assortment of Lego products and supplementing its enticing inventory with free build events, make-and-take events and more. The small retail space leaves little room for free play, but the store has an annex location nearby for hosting Lego birthday parties. Check the store's calendar for occasional public Lego events.
Where: 8926 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 9:53 a.m. to 6:07 p.m.
Cost: Legos for purchase; prices for workshops and birthday parties vary
This Olympia favorite sits on the site of the former Noel's House of Bricks. An unofficial Lego store, it is family-owned and carries an assortment of Lego sets and paraphernalia, both new and old. Longtime fans can find plenty to buy, sell and trade, while younger builders may want to head over to the store's large bulk block tables to play and experiment before possibly picking up the scooper and purchasing some to take home. The store also hosts birthday parties.
Where: 2747 Pacific Ave S.E., Ste. A7, Olympia
Hours: Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30–5 p.m.
With locations in Factoria and in Kent, this well-stocked Lego resource offers sets, mini-figures and even full models to buy, sell, trade or simply admire. Don't miss the bulk fill-a-bag table and the build-your-own mini-figures table to play around with before finding that perfect piece or set to take home.
Factoria store: 12678 S.E. 38th St., Ste. B, Bellevue
Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Kent store: 12135 S.E. Kent-Kangley Rd., Kent
Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
6. Official Lego stores
The Puget Sound area hosts three stores at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Bellevue Square in Bellevue and Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila. Shoppers are welcome to play at interactive tables, including ones with Duplo blocks for smaller builders, make custom mini-figures or simply admire the many models adorning the stores. Check the stores' respective websites for information on upcoming build events and promotions.
Editor's note: The Alderwood Mall Lego store will be closed for renovations Oct. 22–27, 2018.
Located in Kirkland, Play-Well offers camps, workshops and after-school programs centered around Lego and engineering, with instruction tailored to children ages 3 to 14. This is not a walk-in facility, so register ahead for workshops (great for homeschoolers) or check the website for after-school enrichment programs at your local school. Play-Well also hosts birthday parties.
Where: 11743 124th Ave. N.E., Kirkland
Based out of Seattle, this traveling local business brings the Legos to you, either in the form of themed birthday parties or classes at a predetermined venue. Party themes include Star Wars, Minecraft, Ninjago and castles.
This international program brings STEM concepts via toys and blocks to children worldwide through after-school classes, camps and workshops. Many children's museums as well as city parks and recreation departments offer Bricks 4 Kidz classes and workshops, so check respective listings for upcoming events, or click through to find your regional site for more event information.
10. Lego play at the library
The comprehensive library systems that serve the Puget Sound area also host regular STEM-related events that often include or feature Lego building. Check their respective calendar pages and search common terms like “blocks,” “Lego” or “Mindstorm” to see upcoming events.
- Seattle Public Library
- King County Library System
- Pierce County Library System — Tip: This calendar does not have a keyword search box. Filter for events by age group, choosing "School-Aged Kids (Ages 6–18)."
- Everett Public Library System
- Tacoma Public Library — This calendar also does not have a keyword search box. Filter for events by age group, choosing “Grades K–5.”
- Timberland Regional Library — Serving Olympia and surrounding areas.
Bonus: Ready for Legoland?
Read our 10 tips to make everything awesome on your Legoland family vacation.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2017 and updated for 2018.