Brick builder’s bliss opens in Somerville

Kari Belson of Andover took in the sights of Legoland Discovery Center’s Fenway Park.
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
Kari Belson of Andover took in the sights of Legoland Discovery Center’s Fenway Park.

It was a brick builder’s bliss.

Legoland Discovery Center opened Friday in Somerville with much fanfare as young visitors to the Assembly Row attraction enjoyed the rides and parents calmly accepted they’d be coming back soon.

“I should have stock in Lego,” said Lori Meady of Malden, who brought her 8-year-old son, Corey. “I got my annual passes two months ago.”


The 44,000-square-foot space features two motorized rides, two movie theaters, and Miniland, where Lego staff created tiny replicas of historic and recognizable buildings and sites around Boston. Many are interactive, and — no surprise — there was line for the Fenway Park pinball game. Master model builder Ian Coffey, who left his job as a desk clerk in the New York Senate to build creations at Legoland, said Miniland is not unlike his own home.

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“I have an opera, the Eiffel Tower, a movie theater in my basement,” he said.

What One Direction’s Harry Styles is to teenage girls, Coffey is to young Lego builders, who approached their idol Friday with a mix of excitement and awe.

“His office has a lot of Legos,” said an impressed Connor Fitzpatrick, 6.

The young Malden resident spent most of the afternoon building race cars and speeding them down a track in the Neighborhood section of Legoland.


Organizers seemed adept at crowd control. There were remarkably short lines for the rides and an absence of tantrums, a fact Connor’s mom, Jennifer Politano, found striking.

“[He’s] been up since 6 a.m.” she said.

This weekend, admission to Legoland requires pre-purchased tickets (as of Friday evening, there were some still available through Memorial Day), and playtime in The Neighborhood (climbing structures, Duplo blocks) can last hours.

There’s also a cafe with sandwiches and snacks. Might we suggest adding beer and wine to the menu?

Speaking of additions (the home-building kind), the few girls we saw spent most of their time in Olivia’s House, which was awash in pink Legos, purple sofas, and karaoke.


“I’m building a stable for the horses,” said Nora Chiu, 9 of Somerville.

Nearby her sister, Adeline, 6, experimented with the karaoke machine. As the words to Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” scrolled by on the television screen, Adeline sang her own made-up song into the microphone. Said mom Maren: “It’s hard to karaoke when you can’t read.”

Jill Radsken can be reached at