On Sunday, we decided to attend Brick Con. It's a Seattle tradition, and I've always wanted to go. My kiddos like Duplos and Legos. They are supposedly kid friendly, boasting about all ages attendance, and a build room where kiddos could build their own creations. What's not to like? Sounds like a shoe-in for a weekend family outing.
Well... I should have been tipped off to the reality by the "No strollers" policy of the exhibition hall it was housed in. I should have, but by that point my four year old wanted in, so there was no turning back, in spite of the asinine "No stroller" policy (Pro-tip: an event that doesn't allow strollers isn't under 3 friendly).
The build room turned out to be four picnic tables hapzardly thrown in in the middle of the exhibition, without any clear signage, surrounded by tables of actual build creations that weren't cordoned off properly, boasting the world's smallest homemade "Do not touch" sign. Throngs of kids competed for table space, elbows to elbows, the roughly half hour we were there.
The Duplo area was two gym mats thrown down witha bunch of duplos and Megablocs (!!!!), right next to the four tables. My 1 year old was interested in the duplos, but also wanted to crawl around the show floor. My four year old spent five minutes playing at the build tables, after which she grew bored with the legos there and wanted (you guessed it by now, didn't you?) to play with the cool Lego cars on one of the "official tables", and did, until a teenaged volunteer told her she needed to stop (I had done that too, but I also had to keep chasing the toddler back to the Duplo mats).
After that, my daughter startedfrowning, whining, and told me she wanted to go to the "mooseeeum", aka, the Children's Museum down the street. They actually have more Legos than the supposed "build room" we were in had. She also wouldn't have to fight kids for elbow room.
When my husband said later "Awww, that's too bad, maybe next year.", I replied there wouldn't be a next year. There might not be a "in five years". That's how truly kid friendly Brick Con turned out to be. My guess is that kids there are an afterthought meant to get people who would otherwise decide not to go to go... and have a rather unhappy time.
On our way to Key Arena, I ran into a family whose kids attend my kiddo's preschool. I quickly said hi to the mom, and told her "Man, that place is a mob house!" conversationally. "Yeah, we went there earlier, and just decided to explore the rest of Seattle Center instead. Oh well!".
Thing is, we lived in the neighborhood for three years. I didn't really need to be lured back to explore it. I know it like the back of our hand. We'd just been Brick conned.