Disclosure: We were provided tickets to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.
Our special birthday trip to LEGOLAND + SEA LIFE in Auburn Hills Michigan–plus 5 tips!
Time sure does fly–the twins turned EIGHT this month. WHAT!? Instead of a birthday party, I decided to surprise the girls with a trip to LEGOLAND & SEA LIFE. It’s a short 2 hour drive and we had a special weekend as a family in Auburn Hills. I’ll be sharing more about our awesome hotel and Pizza Friday in another post.
When planning, I decided SEA LIFE would be the best place to start at. They open at 10:00, so we planned our morning accordingly. Since Great Lakes Crossings is such a huge mall, it’s always hard to know what to expect–it can be super jam packed, or not bad at all. We were lucky to come on a day where the crowds were pretty tame.
Quick tip: keep an eye on the SEA LIFE Facebook page for discounts and special deals. You can also order tickets online to save time waiting in line when you get there!
Each of the girls had a fun passbook to stamp throughout SEA LIFE. Each station had fun facts you could learn to earn a stamp. In the end you get a prize! I won’t tell you what it is–it’s a fun secret.
I love when you can have fun AND learn so much. SEA LIFE offers so much information! Being honest, I’m not the biggest fan of fish, but even I was loving every moment. You can get SO close to everything and really see how the fish live. How cute are the stingrays? Those smiles melted me! When you visit, be sure to look for Benson and Carr, the new sea turtle.
For hands on experience, there is an area where you can touch starfish in a small pool. The girls found this so fun! Everything is spread out, so the crowds don’t group together too much, which I found very helpful.
- Bring snacks. There are plenty of areas to sit and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat outside of the attractions. The Rainforest Cafe is mighty tempting for the kids (and mighty expensive!). Save money by enjoying a snack from home. There are lockers available, too, so you don’t have to carry them in your purse the whole time.
- Have a game plan. You never know how kids’ moods will be. Make sure you plan out your day. If you do plan on going out to eat, maybe try squeezing it in-between the two locations. There is a huge food court and plenty of restaurant options available in the mall, plus TONS more outside of the mall.
- Wear comfy clothes. Plan on walking, plus your kids jumping and playing around all day. A great way to get those FitBit steps in!
- Prepare for crowds. We went on a Saturday and it was surprisingly not super packed. They’re great at both locations about staggering in the crowd. Be ready to take your time and have some wait periods for rides at Legoland.
- Talk ahead of time about extra goodies. There are PLENTY of enticing gift shop areas, plus a huge mall surrounding the places. Have a chat with your kids so they know what to expect–this will help alleviate any temper tantrums later on. If you’re planning the trip in advance, maybe try adding a few extra chores and letting them earn some spending money. Or if they have holiday money to use, this would be a great spot! Heads up: there’s a candy store close to Sealife which totally drew in the girls. I went to grab a coffee and Ricky dropped $30 on candy! $30!
After a quick Coney Dog break (because, HELLO! It’s a Detroit staple!), we hit up LEGOLAND! If you plan on doing both in one day, I do recommend that you take a quick break in-between. Your tickets allow re-entry all day, so even if you need a break in the middle of one of the locations, you can leave. With smaller kids, I could see it being a two day event.
At LEGOLAND, they offer two rides, a play area, 4D movie and plenty of hands on Lego building. It was a nice way for the girls to get out any extra energy after SEA LIFE. Since the area is contained, you can easily see your kiddos if they’re on different stations.
Out of the two stops, I found SEA LIFE to be more entertaining for the whole family, while also being educational. LEGOLAND is obviously geared towards the kiddos and imaginative play. If you plan on doing just one stop, it just depends on which aspect you’re looking for. Do you want a play stop for your kiddos? Choose LEGOLAND. Want a fun activity for the whole family? Chooce SEA LIFE.
Keep in touch with both on social media–they offer tons of information and discount information. Heads up: I also saw coupons on our Honest Kids juice box containers!
Stay tune for the rest of our fun birthday weekend!
For all of our travel fun, follow the #DashAway hashtag on Instagram.