As you know LEGOLAND is one of my favorite places on the planet, so I wanted to share with you an excellent way to visit LEGOLAND at a discount and to support the Carlsbad City Schools. This Saturday April 28th LEGOLAND and the Carlsbad Educational Foundation are sponsoring a special fundraiser from 1-9 pm. For only $20 you can enjoy an afternoon and evening at LEGOLAND California with your family. There will be special performances by Carlsbad area students for you to enjoy. We are unable to go this year due to Destiny’s first communion, but we have gone in previous years and it has been really fun. Be ready to use all your great LEGOLAND strategies to avoid the crowds.
This situation in Carlsbad schools is pretty dire, they are raising class size to levels that seem too big to let the kids move around the classroom. There is talk about cutting special education. We are losing some great teachers, which is a tragedy. I have found Pacific Rim teachers to be the best I have ever worked with. Carlsbad schools need your support and you can have a blast helping out.
I also want to give an extra shout out to the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. I am proud to say that Ken’s Uncle Jay assisted in founding this organization many years ago. They do an amazing job of fundraising that provides community service while raising money to benefit students. My son spent a year in their kindergarten daycare program. The teachers were so professional and kind. The proceeds from tuition went to the foundation. If you need quality child care in Carlsbad for school age children, I would highly recommend CEF’s Kids Care program.
This summer the kids will be participating in some CEF Day Camps as well. Once again my kids will have quality care and opportunities to learn and grow (everything from Spanish, to Art, to Junior Astronaut camp).
Destiny Boogies Down at the Brick or Treat Dance Party, LEGOLAND, CA
Most theme parks are pretty good places to get your family moving. After all, by the time your family makes it to all the attractions you have hiked several miles. LEGOLAND, California however goes above and beyond with great play ground areas, self propelled rides, and special events that integrate movement and fun. Here are some of the ways that a trip to LEGOLAND California will get your family moving:
Rides That Encourage Movement
Families work together to make the fire engine go at LEGOLAND, California
Two of my favorite rides at the park are the Fun Town Fire Academy and Kid Power Towers. Both require families to work together to propel themselves on the ride. Hopefully LEGOLAND will consider the importance of ”kid power” when designing future rides.
Fun Play Grounds for all Ages
Whether its the semi enclosed Duplo themed playground for toddlers or the daring Hideaways area complete with rope ladders and slides, these playgrounds are great for kids and relaxing for parents.
Water Slides Galore
LEGOLAND has a really fun water slide in the Pirate Shores area and has also opened a separate water park. With lots of stairs to climb, these wet and wild attractions keep kids moving.
LEGOLAND incorporates movement into many of their special events. At Halloween, the Brick or Treat Dance party was a big hit with my kids. The first Thursday of the Month LEGOLAND has free stroller strides classes for visiting moms as part of their Model Moms Club Program. Coming up in a few weeks is the Kids Marathon Mile. Kids get to run a mile at LEGOLAND (a diaper dash is also offered) then are given a ticket and enjoy the park that weekend. Kids entrance fees are only $20 making this a true LEGOLAND bargain. (The park hopper ticket offered is usually $69!). Register soon. Spaces are limited.
After much deliberation our family let our Legoland passes expire this year. Due to a family trip last year, we have Disneyland passes through December. Two themeparks seems like too much during the school year. Still, Legoland is making it awfully tempting to re-up. Here are two offers I have received in the past week.
Legoland’s Tenth Birthday Offer
My ten year old is finally getting his long awaited birthday party this Saturday. After partying in the pool with five of his closest friends, we may be heading over to Legoland. It turns out that like Justin, Legoland is celebrating its tenth birthday. To acknowledge this milestone its ten year old members (and apparently former members) a FREE Legoland Standard Membership. (Yes, you read that correctly…absolutely free). The only catch of course is that you have to pay alot for parking, and find a Legoland member willing to bring your kid along or buy Membership yourself.
If you have a ten year old in your family and are planning to by a whole bunch of memberships, it might be worth asking if they would honor this promotion. It expires Sept 1, 2009 and requires a postcard so act fast. I am hoping that like most memberships this one will come with some bring a friend coupons in December and April.
Legoland Resort Pass Offer
Our three kids had a three month Resort Pass this year that we purchased from Costco. Since we had been 3-Month mebers we also received a postcard offering Resort Memberships for the price of a Standard Membership. This is a pretty good deal, since it includes free mini golf and unlimited Sea Life Aquarium admission. The aquarium admission would come in handy on the occasional rainy days we have here in Carlsbad. It also includes free parking which is always awesome and is offered for any Resort Passholder, even kids. That’s a savings of $40 off of the regular adult Resort Membership price.
Will these great Legoland bargains succeed in luring back our entire family? Frankly I’m still thinking about this one. I do miss the special member Lego building events, the free entrance into Brick or Treat, and being to head over to Legoland for a Rocking New Year’s Eve Celebration. We will take advantage of Justin’s free membership and see how it goes. At the very least, another three month pass for me and the little ones may be in our future.
Anyone else out there seen some great theme park discounts and promotions? Feel free to share below.
If you are thinking about purchasing a theme park pass, be sure to investigate the extra benefits and privileges that the theme park may offer passholders. Although these vary from park to park, many times these extras will almost pay for your entire membership.
Since my two youngest were born less than a year apart, our family has become experts at the “staycation”. Traveling far from home with two preschoolers seems a bit too crazy for us at this point. Our location here in Carlsbad gives us many options for family fun. Visiting theme parks and zoos is one of the things that we enjoy doing together as a family. In the past three years we have held passes for the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Legoland, and Disneyland.
If you live in Southern California or visit frequently throughout the year, a Legoland membership offers many opportunities for family adventure. In addition to the great special events and members only activities that Legoland holds throughout the year, Legoland offers excellent deals and discounts to its members. Twice a year, members receive coupons for free entrance with a passholder. This gives your family opportunities to bring friends and grandparents along to enjoy a Legoland adventure. Also, if there is a Dad or teenager in your family who won’t be making it to Legoland very often this can be a great way to bring them along to enjoy the fun.
Legoland pass holders also receive free entrance to The Wave in Vista and Wild Rivers in Irvine. In addition to the regular member dining and shopping discounts, Legoland’s quarterly newsletters contain coupons for additional savings. This month I have a $10 voucher for the Ocean Journey Cafe, a free bucket of water balloons at the Raptor Splash, and other discount coupons.
Members benefit from Legoland’s efforts to promote the new Sea Life Aquarium. Legoland is continuing to offer special visitor rates to Legoland members and friends and family. Come enjoy the aquarium for as little as $5 per person! Note that a coupon is required. The curent coupon says that it expires 5/31/09, but keep checking the site. So far they have extended this offer several times.
When we were planning a three day trip to Disneyland, I decided to investigate the price of membership. I knew that we wouldn’t be visiting too often, but since we live only an hour away a few return visits would be fun. After doing my research I decided that the Southern California Select passes offered the best value four our budget. Unlike Legoland, non premium Disney Passholders do not receive many benefits. However, they do receive some limited dining discounts in the parks and shopping discounts at Downtown Disney. Still, with prices that can be less than a multi-day visit, an annual Disneyland pass is worth considering.
San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park
Membership at these attractions is extremely affordable. (Kids passes are only $2 more than the one day Best Value Ticket). Adult members receive two free guest passes which come in handy for out of town guests. Pass holders also receive free admission to the Journey into Africa Tour at the Wild Animal Park…this is a must see! In addition, they receive unlimited Skyfari aerial tram rides at the zoo. These are important since, kids have to do alot of walking at the San Diego Zoo. Membership covers both attractions so your family has plenty to explore.
Members also receive a monthly zoo magazine that contains interesting articles about the animals and great coupons including more free admission tickets for passholder guests. All pass members also receive discounts on Wild Animal Park parking.
Sea World San Diego
We have had the opportunities to obtain discounted entrance to Sea World with our preschool, so I haven’t gone the pass route yet. I am dreaming of an Unauthorized Sea World Guidebook some day, so we may be getting passes next summer.
In the mean time, be aware that Sea World offers the Fun Card which is a great deal. You get a pass good for admission throughout the entire calendar year for the price of a single admission.
Make sure you factor the price of parking into your membership decisions. Sometimes it pays to buy a more premium membership for at least one member of your family in order to get free parking. Be sure to investigate whether the person needs to be the driver or just in the car. Premium child memberships are often cheaper and also offer free parking.
If you don’t live in Southern California, I encourage you to research theme park memberships in your area. You may just discover the ticket to a whole year of family fun.
The Carlsbad Educational Foundation is hosting its annual Celebrate Carlsbad Day Fundraiser at Legoland California on May 2, 2009 from 1pm-9pm and includes evening fireworks. Tickets are only $15 dollars and must be purchased in advance at several locations throughout North County. The Sheraton Carlsbad is even offering special Celebrate Carlsbad Day discounts for guests visiting on May 1st and 2nd.
These are by far the cheapest Legoland tickets you can purchase, and they are for a great cause. All proceeds benefit enrichment programs at the Carlsbad Schools. Like all districts here in California, Carlsbad has been hit hard by budget cuts. The grants distributed by the Carlsbad Educational foundation are key to maintaining a high quality engaging education for Carlsbad students. You can catch a glimpse of some of the great performing arts and music programs funded by the foundation as several student acts including the award winning Carlsbad High dancers perform throughout the day.
This is a great bargain, and in general you get the same level of Legoland experience available to visitors on any give day. There are, however, two big differences. The Big Test Show in Fun Town is cancelled to make room for student performances. Also it is CROWDED! We attended last year because it was the day that our Legoland passes were expiring. We followed some of the strategies in my book that allowed us to have fun without waiting in too many lines. It definately took longer to get around and we skipped some of the rides that were too busy. I am guessing that early evening may be somewhat less crowded, so consider staying late if you go.
Still, if you think this will be one of your only Legoland experiences ever, and you did not have a chance to buy a $15 dollar ticket, I would plan to visit another day. The crowds might not be worth the visit, although the fireworks will be fun.
I am exhausted. It has been a very busy week playing tourist with our friends from Watsonville. Adventures with 5-6 kids are a little harder than with just three. Still, we’ve had lots of fun, and I have plenty to blog about when I catch my breath.
In the mean time, I hope that if you live here in Southern California, these pictures will inspire you to visit the Carlsbad Flower fields. I get to drive by these beauties several days a week.
The admission is affordable. Keep your eye out for coupons or bring your AAA card. While you’re there pick up some discount coupons for Legoland (Free Child admission with paid adult)
There is a fun playground for the kids and a sweet pea maze. The Poinsettia collection is fascinating with numerous varieties of this symbol of Carlsbad. The fields themselves are breathtaking. You can enjoy them by tractor or on foot. If you go, you are in for a treat. Stop by soon. The season is very short.
Legoland offers lots of sweet promotions and discounts to members throughout the year. In addition to the special March pricing for the Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland is offering a 20% Discount at the Ocean Journey Cafe that is located just outside the aquarium. It would be a convenient place to stop and have a bite before visiting either the Sea Life Aquarium or Legoland. You can find the 20% off coupon here http://www.legoland.com/NR/rdonlyres/11555C93-0989-4349-8F9F-DB9D4D90C808/0/OJC_coupon.pdf
Legoland Members also receive a free kids meal at the Soup Plantation, a Hornblower Family Four Pack where kids cruise free with a paying adult, and a discount to see the cool new Wild Ocean Imax film at the Fleet Science Center.
I was having trouble accessing the coupons that relate to these offers. I have an e-mail into Legoland and will be sure to post an update as soon as I get one.
The Legoland Junior Model Master Builder Competition is fun year round, but this month you have a special incentive for participating. The winners of this month’s competition will be invited to that exclusive after hours premier of the new Bob the Builder 3-D movie as well as enjoying a Legoland 10th birthday complete with cake, cream, and a preview of that giant Lego birthday cake that’s being constructed! The competition takes place this weekend. Everyone who participates will also be entered in a raffle for a Legoland prize pack, so this is a contest worth entering!
On an unrelated topic, I am organizing a “Will Play for Food” canned food drive next Thursday at 9am at Aviara Park in Carlsbad. Bring your kids, some canned food, and a snack to share. After our meetup I will deliver the food to Brother Bennos food pantry. If you come, be sure to find me and say hi. It would be great to meet some of my readers. If you live outside of Carlsbad, visit playforfood.blogspot.com for information and inspiration on organizing your own Will Play for Food drive.
If you are planning to visit the Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, California, this book contains all the information you need to make the most of your family adventure. The book also includes information about other area attractions, local restaurants and hotels.
Bridget Smith, mom of three, loves to blog about everyday adventures. Her mission is to change the world; one kid, one destination, one effortless trip, one overworked mom, one frazzled dad... one day at a time! Come and join her.