Reviewed by Mara Guyer My sister and I talk every day – but when we’re…
Reviewed by Margaret Thompson
With three LEGO® enthusiasts in the household (ages, 5, 7, and yes, 47!), I was excited to hear that Block By Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture was making a tour stop in Richmond. We made the journey to CMoR’s Chesterfield location, only our second visit since we live in Hanover, and the kids immediately were thrilled to remember the fun, interactive space. They loved the stage, water play, grocery store, bank, vet, Silver Diner, and the real firetruck and GRTC bus all within CMoR Chesterfield, so it was a bit of a challenge to get them past all of that to the back to take in the new exhibit.
Block by Block, brainchild of Dan Parker, certified LEGO professional and his Seattle-based TrainBuilder Productions, LLC., is more of a traditional museum exhibit that we’re all used to seeing at the three area CMoR locations. By that I mean instead of touch, feel, and experience, this one is more of a read, look, but don’t touch sort of thing. That being said, little ones will still get a big kick out of seeing these amazing structures, ten of them in all, and they are displayed in a way that shouldn’t instill fear in parents of little ones – not much fear of your wild guy knocking one over, as long as you’re nearby (and it’s gated and monitored by CMoR staff, so they can’t just wander in). The older kids and adults will enjoy reading about ten of the tallest buildings in the world and examining the scale of each of the LEGO structures. My seven-year-old son took note of the differences in the scales and how each of the buildings compared. He happens to be studying place values in school, so the signage made for great practice in reading big numbers, like 3,826,000 bricks (the number used in the actual Chrysler Building) and 1,670 feet (the height of Taipei 101).
Once back outside of the exhibit area, the kids can practice building their own skyscrapers with an assortment of LEGO Duplo blocks.
Because LEGO is timeless and appeals to all ages, the museum will also open for adults-only on select Thursday evenings. From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on November 14, November 21, and December 12, adults can enjoy the exhibition along with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and light fare. Ticket cost is $15 per person. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the CMoR website.
Block By Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture continues through December 31 at the Chesterfield Children’s Museum of Richmond and is free with museum admission.