Have Fun Storming the (LEGO) Castle!

Earlier this month T and I went over to Discovery Science Center (DSC) to check out the LEGO Castle Adventure exhibit. If you have a kid who’s really into LEGO (like I do) and/or you have a kid who’s really into knights and castles (like I sort-of do), then you should get over to DSC before September 15 and see and play with (and inside of) it yourselves.

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Enjoy LEGO Castle at the Discovery Science Center now through September 15, 2013. Access to this special exhibit is included with general admission.

Enjoy LEGO Castle Adventure at DSC now through September 15, 2013. Access to this special exhibit is included with general admission.

Watch out for this LEGO dragon! He and a whole slew of other medieval-themed LEGO structures and other displays greet visitors at the Discovery Science Center.

Watch out for these LEGO dragons! He and a slew of other medieval-themed LEGO structures greet visitors at DSC.

T decided to play the dragon during his time at Discovery Science Center's LEGO Castle.

T decided to play the dragon during part of his time at DSC’s LEGO Castle Adventure.

The LEGO castle adventure begins right as you walk inside. There is a large play castle for all-ages, which includes a dress-up station inside and another wardrobe area nearby. Children can decide if they want to be the good knights or the bad knights, or maybe one kid wants to be the dragon. There’s even a horse for one of the knights to “ride” around as they play with and against one another.

T made plans at this engineering kiosk inside the LEGO Castle exhibit at the Discovery Science Center.

T made plans at this engineering kiosk inside the LEGO Castle Adventure at DSC.

T's completed castle. This was as far as he got. He really didn't want to build much at the LEGO Castle exhibit but he sure did play a lot!

T’s completed castle. This was as far as he got. He really didn’t want to build much at the LEGO Castle exhibit but he sure did play a lot!

One of several LEGO tables at the Castle Adventure exhibit at DSC.

One of several LEGO tables at the Castle Adventure exhibit at DSC.

One of the construction areas inside the LEGO Castle exhibit at Discovery Science Center.

Another one of the construction areas inside of the LEGO Castle exhibit at DSC.

Behind this wall is the LEGO DUPLO area for the littlest builders. Sorry, T, you're too big to go in there (sniff).

Behind this wall is the LEGO DUPLO area for the littlest builders. Sorry, T, you’re too big to go in there (sniff).

There’s also a slew of LEGO-building stations. One area has a computerized planning kiosk where kids can digitally design a custom castle; after finishing their sketch, the computer program determines how many LEGO pieces the builder needs to find to build their castle. While T did a design, he didn’t carry through to build his castle (so this activity may be geared toward older builders, maybe 8+?). There was also a lovely LEGO DUPLO building corner set off to the side safely away from the other building areas for the littlest of LEGO fans.

His Royal Majesty, T, enjoying the LEGO Castle exhibit at the Discovery Science Center.

His Royal Majesty, T, enjoying the LEGO Castle exhibit at DSC.

Even T wanted to take a look at the cool castle builds inside the LEGO Castle exhibit at the Discovery Science Center.

Even T wanted to take a look at the cool castle builds inside the LEGO Castle Adventure at DSC.

This was one of the more popular areas of the LEGO Castle exhibit. The skeleton key is a secret door knocker and when tapped it lights up the skeleton in the prison cell.

This was one of the more popular areas of the LEGO Castle exhibit. The skeleton key is a secret door knocker and when tapped it lights up the skeleton in the prison cell.

Visitors can bone up on castle facts at the LEGO Castle exhibit at the Discovery Science Center.

Visitors can bone up on castle facts at the LEGO Castle Adventure special exhibit at DSC.

The exhibit also boasts a nice set of LEGO castle models and other medieval facts. As an adult, I enjoyed reading up and looking at the models as T enjoyed the pretend and hands-on play with the other kids. And when I was done looking around, there were plenty of benches and other areas throughout the space for me to sit, relax, and watch T easily and at a distance as he continued to explore and engineer.

I am unsure if these pulleys are part of LEGO Castle or a new addition to the lower level of the Discovery Science Center (located right next to the LEGO Castle area). Either way, T loved taking a ride on these!

I am unsure if these pulleys are part of LEGO Castle Adventure or a new hands-on addition to the lower level of DSC (located right next to the main LEGO Castle exhibit). Either way, T loved taking a ride on these!

We love the EcoChallenge Race to Recycle game at the Discovery Science Center!

We love the EcoChallenge Race to Recycle game at DSC!

I've posted about the "photo trick" before, but now the photo kiosk dispenses a token each time you take your picture!

I’ve posted about the “photo trick” before, but now the photo kiosk dispenses a token each time you take your picture!

Yeah, so I think T left with about 15 tokens from our "photo trick" at the Discovery Science Center.

Yeah, so I think T left with about 15 tokens from our “photo trick” at DSC.

The Boeing Rocket Lab is always a hit with kids at the Discovery Science Center.

The Boeing Rocket Lab is always a blast with the kids at DSC.

We spent about 45 minutes to an hour inside of the LEGO castle area upon entry but revisited a few more times during our time out at the Center (entry to the LEGO castle area is included with general admission). Along with our time there, we made our way through the rest of the Center and enjoyed our regular spots, including but not limited to the grocery store area (by the way, all shoppers get a free token at the end of the grocery run now!), the Race to Recycle EcoChallenge game (which T won, way to go, T!), and the outside DinoQuest and Boeing Rocket Lab areas.

While I didn't get a photo of us playing DinoQuest, here's a photo of the outdoor DinoQuest exhibit at the Discovery Science Center.

While I didn’t get a photo of us playing DinoQuest, here’s a photo of T running through the outdoor DinoQuest exhibit (and through the Brachiosaurus’ belly) at DSC (August 2012).

This visit also marked the first time T stayed engaged enough to play and complete an entire round of DinoQuest (which took about five minutes in figuring out the wand and then an additional 10-15 minutes to find all of our artifacts on the trail). Finally!

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This was an area of the DaVinci exhibit specifically designed for younger visitors. Here kids could build bridges and other structures and simple machines (levers, wedges, etc.).

This was an area of the DaVinci exhibit specifically designed for younger visitors. Here kids could build bridges, other structures, and simple machines (levers, wedges, etc.).

At first I was concerned by the lack of hands-on activities at the DaVinci exhibit, but then we found these machine models.

At first I was concerned by the lack of hands-on activities at the DaVinci exhibit (there are no touch signs pretty much everywhere), but then we found these machine models complete with “please touch” signage (whew!).

T putting his hands on some of the DaVinci models inside of the special exhibit on now at the Discovery Science Center.

T putting his hands on some of the DaVinci models inside of the special exhibit of the same name, on now through September 8 (2013) at DSC.

We also took a peek inside of the DaVinci special exhibit area (like maybe five minutes walking through), but it was toward the end of our almost three-hour visit and we were pretty much done for the outing (read: getting hungry for lunch!). We hope to explore this more on our next time to the Center so I can give it a fair review. The DaVinci exhibits are also included with regular admission (please note that it closes in about three weeks on Sunday September 8, 2013).

Also coming up at DSC is a special member’s weekend on Saturday August 17 and Sunday August 18 (that’s THIS WEEKEND, tomorrow and Sunday!). Find out more by clicking here for event activities and details and clicking here to register beforehand (required). Per the website: “Members only! Register for our Member Appreciation Event on August 17 & 18, 2013. Please note that this event is for current members only, guest tickets are not available. Membership card and ID will be required for entry.”

Visitors to the LEGO Castle exhibit are invited to take a selfie at a photo kiosk and post to their social media accounts free of charge. Thanks DSC!

All visitors to the LEGO Castle exhibit can take a “selfie” at a photo kiosk on-site then post it onto their social media account free of charge. Thanks DSC!

Have fun storming the (LEGO) castle and the rest of the Discovery Science Center, RMT’ers!

Discovery Science Center (DSC) is at 2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92705. For hours and admission prices, including free days and special group rates, please click here; for parking costs and directions to the Center please click here. Another link that I’ve found to be extremely helpful in planning our visit to DSC is one that lists what groups are scheduled for entry and at what times (especially helpful when wanting to get into more popular special event areas and/or other hands-on exhibits). Unfortunately, I was unable to locate this information before the time this post went live, but I will continue to look (if someone knows it off-chance, please share it with us in the comments below). Please also note that members of DSC enjoy reciprocity memberships at several other museums worldwide; you can find out more about DSC’s ASTC affiliation here.

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