Build a dream at Holon's Lego park

The site is a breeding ground for creativity.

Avi Morgenstern, a producer at the Lego Park (photo credit: ROY DANIEL)
Avi Morgenstern, a producer at the Lego Park
(photo credit: ROY DANIEL)
The international kids-creativity brand Lego has set up a wonderland in Israel this summer in Holon. Israel’s Lego Park settled in the small central city in order to reach audiences outside of the White City of Tel Aviv.
“We wanted to try something different, to reach more people,” said Avi Morgenstern, one of four Israeli partners who worked in conjunction with the Lego brand for the past six months to produce the park.
“We wanted to create something parents and kids could do together, something simple but social, that would make everyone come together. And don’t forget air conditioning,” he said seriously. “It sounds like I’m joking, but it’s extremely important in the Israeli summer.”
Morgenstern noted that the park is similar to the one that went up in Tel Aviv a few years back; so if you loved it then, it’s time for another round.
When you walk into the darkened gymnasium illuminated by colorful lights and thrumming with dance music, you first see a giant padded play area with oversized stuffed Lego blocks and mini ball-pits perfect for the little ones.
Kids from age two were going to town, with some gravitating toward the numerous coloring stations on low tables, some working together to construct forts, and some improvising mini soccer games with the toy balls. One thing was clear: the play area created a social environment in which children felt comfortable to branch out and play together with new kids.
In the center of the park is a brightly lit up merry-go-round for children ages one to four, with mandatory parental accompaniment. For slightly bigger kids and their parents, there is a classic spinning-airplane ride.
Less impressive was the Lego-themed train “ride,” which follows a small oval circuit of approximately 35 meters that takes less than a minute to complete. The long line moves quickly, but that’s only because the ride is so short, so the turnover is fast.
For more leisurely children and their parents, there is a screening area with plenty of seating where they show Lego-themed movies like Lego Batman, though it was a bit difficult to hear the soundtrack over the crowd and ambient music.
The park also boasts ample opportunity for kids to both learn and play with technology. Ten touchscreen stations are available for younger kids to experiment with Lego design tools and challenges, solve puzzles, or play simple games.
On the other side of the stadium, 10 more screens are set up with the latest PlayStation 4 games, including Lego Avengers, Crash Bandicoot, FIFA and Dragon Ball Z. The crowds of kids seemed to pleasantly take turns with the controllers for the most part.
Other attractions include a Lego ninja-themed laser-tag arena, complete with darkened, black-lit rooms and fog machines. Four additional PS4 screens are set up exclusively for motion-sensor games like Just Dance, a photobooth (at an additional cost), roaming Lego Batman and Ninja characters for family photo opportunities, and the 7D “Marvel Superheroes” theater, which combines film with moving seats, surround- sound, water-spray and more.
The downside: lines. Each attraction – aside from the building and play areas – comes with long lines, though they move relatively quickly.
As one mother lamented to Metro, “It’s not enough about the Legos. There are many other attractions, but the kids don’t have the right focus. They’re not focused on the building.” She admitted, however, that her kids – who were fidgeting in line for a ride – were enjoying themselves.
There is, of course, an impressive Lego building area with deep bins, large tables and buckets full of more than three million Lego blocks in dozens of colors. There were specialized blocks for every little architect’s plan, from the Earth-bound to spaceage accessories.
One little boy made a house entirely out of window panes, while two girls worked together to make a multidecked pirate ship. As with the younger children, there was a lot of natural collaboration among the young builders, who seemed to range from ages four to seven on average (it was advised that children under four do not play in the building area), and were pretty evenly split between boys and girls.
It was heartening to see so many kids forgo the rides and the video games to get lost in constructing their visions, and working together to do so. Some kids were so excited they sat inside the bins of blocks, leaning out only to add to their towers- in-progress.
From multi-resident villages to LEISURE Build a dream at Holon’s Lego space stations, the creativity in the room was striking. While the actual Lego portion is a small part of Lego Park, many children opted to make it a large part of their experience.
The exit, of course, is via the gift shop, where a wide range of Lego sets, toys and games is on display at 20-30% discounts.
Morgenstern advised that, since the park is limited to about 1,200 attendees at a time, there tends to be a bottleneck on Fridays from 2 to 4, so it’s best to come early, around 9, or later, around 3, to beat the crowds. He also noted that the final week of August is usually extremely crowded, so it’s a good idea to come earlier.
Lego Park is located at Toto Stadium in Holon, near the Israel Children’s Museum. For some air conditioned family fun with a little something for every age, the Lego Park is a summer delight.
Open until August 31, Sunday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are NIS 119 and must be purchased for children from age one. Some discounts may be available. Free parking. For more information, or *9066