Rainy day or sunny: What kid, ages 2–200, doesn't like a Lego outing? Here are some places for brick fun (and birthday parties!) in greater Seattle. (Know of a place we should add? Email email@example.com.)
1. Play-Well Activity Center, Kirkland
Play Well's center is run by Lego professionals (it's not a LEGO store, though, so doesn't sell products). It runs camps, themed classes and one-time workshops that focus on a specific building and engineering project. Most offerings are for ages 5 and up, though there are a few Duplo workshops for ages 3–5.
Birthday party options: Play Well offers two-hour parties led by an instructor, with 90 minutes of instructor time where kids build and play with a chosen project, followed by a celebration in the party room (food and decorations provided by parents). Parties are offers on Saturdays and Sundays for ages 5 and up. Costs start at $325 for a two-hour event.
Details: 11743 124th Avenue N.E., Kirkland, 425-244-9361
This toys-and-games store in Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood is Lego paradise, with a retail store and a nearby annex space for Lego builds and private parties. Check the calendar for upcoming monthly Lego builds, where you can take home your creation or a bag of your favorite brick pieces.
Birthday party options: Held at its annex building three blocks north, Math 'n' Stuff provides parties with Lego building stations (and a minifigure station) that kids love — the ultimate in unstructured Lego play. They also provide tables, chairs, balloons, streamers and a Happy Birthday sign. You bring the party food, drinks, treats and more. Prices start at $100 for seven kids and 90 minutes (which includes a gift of a minifigure and a certain number of Legos per guest), and go up from there. If you need to plan a birthday, the space can hold lots of kids (it regularly hosts Lego builds for 60-plus).
Details: 8926 Roosevelt Way N.E.; Seattle; LEGO builds and parties at 9212 Roosevelt Way N.E.
3. Wunderkind, Northeast Seattle
This nicely designed 1,800 square foot playspace and cafe/bar opened in August near University Village to immediate buzz. It features two separate Lego play areas, good snacks (Beecher's mac and cheese), solid espresso, beer and wine and happy-hour deals, and classes (Lego, Minecraft). It does charge a fee to play: Choose between daily, monthly and annual. The first-floor play area features Duplos, the upper area "regular" Legos (as my son says), with two flat-screen TVs for watching games. Look for regular weekend Lego classes starting at $12 a child.
Birthday party options: Wunderkind offers its two spaces for parties, which can accommodate either smaller or larger groups. Call to ask about options.
Details: 3318 N.E. 55th St., Seattle, 206-854-7186; check its Facebook page for information on upcoming Lego classes.
Owned by educator and LEGO enthusiast Lucas Monema, Fun Assembly Required offers both LEGO parties and ongoing classes. For a party, you pick a theme and a time option (60 or 90 minutes); he comes to your house, with 25-30 lbs. of Legos and a custom display, and then runs a creative building session, including teaching techniques and tricks and offering hands-on help.
Birthday party options: Sixty or 90 minutes; costs start at $200 for 60 minutes and 8 guests. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Bricks 4 Kidz offers a wide range of hands-on classes and summer camps for Lego enthusiasts all over Puget Sound: Students design and build machines, catapults, pyramids, derby cars, buildings and other constructions, exploring engineering, architecture and physics. Sign up through the web site for more information about upcoming camp themes and prices.
Birthday party options: Bricks 4 Kidz also hosts birthday parties in your home, with a range of party packages available, from 10 kids and 90 minutes ($200) to a two-hour themed party that includes pizza.
6. LEGO Stores at Alderwood Mall and Bellevue Square and Westfield outhcenter
None of these three Lego stores offer birthday parties, but brick fun can always be had. There are interactive building areas with regular bricks and Duplo bricks and mini-figure stations where kids can create three mini-figs for $10. Visit the stores’ websites for information on monthly model builds and other special events.