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Legoland Discovery Centre
Just about everyone loves Lego, and just about everyone will enjoy a trip to Legoland Discovery Centre at the Trafford Centre.
We spent a morning exploring this wonderland of an attraction and came out grinning from ear to ear. Highlights include the 'Miniland', which recreates famous landmarks from across the Northwest of England. Look out for Lego versions of Manchester Town Hall, Coronation Street and the Midland Hotel among the intricately constructed models.
If kids want to get a bit more 'hands on', there's lots to do, including building workshops, themed activities and a huge pool of Lego bricks to get creative with. For young children, the Duplo Village offers soft foam bricks to play with. To let off a little steam, kids can enjoy the Fire Academy indoor playground, complete with jungle gym, climbing wall and slide.
You can find out how the little plastic bricks are made with a talk from a Lego 'Professor' and take part in the interactive Kingdom Quest lasergun ride. Don't forget to call in at the cinema too; donning our 3D glasses we enjoyed the 10-minute film's effects. Lighting effects in the auditorium add to the excitement and at one point, when our onscreen Lego heroes crossed a mountain range, snow fell on the audience much to the glee of the children (and adults!) watching.
Legoland Discovery Centre also features the only dedicated Lego shop in the north of England and you'll find all sorts of play sets most toyshops don't stock.
One top tip if you're planning a trip is that weekends are the Centre's busiest times. If you can make it during the week, you'll find it's open until 7pm making it perfect for an afterschool activity.