Legoland New York: A Guide to Visiting the Hudson Valley Theme Park with Kids

4/19/24 - By Rose Gordon Sala

Legoland New York delivers Orlando-sized theme park fun right outside of New York City—and its on-site Legoland Hotel makes it easy to extend your visit into a multi-day Hudson Valley vacation.

From its supersized (and aptly named) BIG Shop to its wet-and-wild Lego City Water Playground, and its only-in-New York Lego Factory Adventure Ride, here are all the things to do and see during a visit to Legoland New York. Find more thrilling theme park adventures in the tri-state area in our Guide to Amusement Parks and Water Parks for Families.

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Why Is Legoland New York an Awesome Family Destination?

Situated on more than 150 acres in the foothills of the Catskills Mountains, Legoland New York is a sprawling theme park filled with family fun. Located in Goshen, New York, it's just north of Harriman State Park, just over the border from northern New Jersey, and a bit over an hour’s drive northwest of New York City, making it accessible to families all over the Northeast.

The campus is sprawling (and hilly) but also very pretty. It’s surrounded by rolling green hills, though the park itself lacks shade—so plan on big hats and sunscreen during summer's heat!

Seven distinct lands make up Legoland New York: Brick Street, Bricktopia, Ninjago World, Lego Castle, Lego City, Lego Pirates, and Miniland. Download the park's app before you arrive and pick out your favorite rides, then cruise over to that area first, ensuring you don’t miss out on the kids’ top choices. The app also alerts you to any ride closures. You might have a Ninjago fan on your hands, or someone who wants to check out the amazing, interactive global city models in Miniland, or another kid who just wants to cool off with the various water rides in Pirate’s Land.

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Kids sit in a car at Legoland New York
Lego fans will love all the brick constructions and photo-ops.

Highlights of Legoland New York

Of course, all the rides here are Lego-themed, making it the perfect park for Lego fanatics and any kids who like at least one of the Lego characters. There aren’t many thrill rides here, but it’s a great park for elementary-age kids, and there’s plenty for younger siblings to do, especially toddlers. You can search rides by height, age, and whether or not a parent can ride, too. Legoland is designed for ages 2-12, but the sweet spot feels like 4-10.

We took the wheel at the Coast Guard Academy and navigated our ship to safety, earned our licenses at the Legoland Driving School, and even won some souvenir stuffies after playing the carnival games. My kids beelined for the Dragon Roller Coaster, well, the older two (ages 6 and 8), and my 3-year-old couldn’t get enough of the awesome playgrounds scattered throughout the park, including the Pirate Ship (don’t miss it!).

Since its opening in 2021, Legoland has added several attractions, including last year's debut of the wet-and-wild Lego City Water Playground, which is a kid-pleaser on a scorching day. The park is getting ready to welcome a brand-new gondola ride, the Mini-Figure Flyer, during the 2024 season, and it's even been named a Certified Autism Center

RELATED: Goshen with Kids: 30 Things To Do in the Hudson Valley Town

Play pirate at Legoland New York
The Splash Battle is designed for the whole family to ride together. Photo courtesy of Legoland

Some more of our favorites were the rides all three kids could do together, such as the fantastic Brick Party carousel, or rides the whole family could do, such as the Splash Battle where all five of us hopped in a ship and blasted other families with water cannons! The Fire Academy lets you work together to douse the faux flames from a burning building in a race against other groups, too. I also loved that the park has a little kid version of several of its more popular big kid rides, such as a driving school for tots and a mini roller coaster.

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Ninjago The Ride at Legoland New York
Ninjago The Ride lets visitors blast fireballs, lightning, and more at villains. Photo courtesy of Legoland

Honestly, we spent the whole day racing from one ride to the next, as well as stopping to check out all the impressive models throughout the park, from animals to buildings and favorite characters. Our feet hurt by the time the day was done (I mentioned that it’s hilly, right? And sprawling?), but of course, the kids just wanted to return as soon as it was done so we could make time for the rides we had missed.

The Lines at Legoland New York

On a busy day, yes, some of the lines are brutal. We waited so long in one line that my kids took a lunch break while I held their place. But then we had a blast once we boarded the little boats of the Coast Guard Academy. Other lines looked long but we flew through them, such as at the roller coaster. Wait times depend on how fast the ride goes and how many people each car fits. The lines did seem to let up later in the day. As closing time neared, we boarded ride after ride, barely waiting in line. 

Eating at Legoland New York

The food is typical for a theme park with pizza, pasta, hot dogs, ice cream, and popcorn––but disappointing given its proximity to the foodie haven of the Hudson Valley. The lines can be quite long for food, and it was sometimes a long walk back to the land with a certain kid’s preferred food item, so I highly recommend planning out your lunch break well ahead of time, or packing a picnic. We were pleased to find our favorite allergy-friendly, NYC-founded ice cream shop, A La Mode at Legoland New York. It’s so rare that my food-allergic kid can join the fun at the ice cream stand.

Awesome Annual Events at Legoland New York

Now that the theme park has gotten a couple of seasons under its belt, seasonal festivals keep beckoning families back for more fun. Annual highlights include the Red, White, and Boom festival, complete with late-night hours and fireworks on the Fourth of July. Return in the fall for the Halloween-themed Brick-or-Treat event, and celebrate the winter season with a Holiday Bricktacular, complete with Lego Christmas trees, live caroling, and meet-and-greets with Lego Santa.

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Legoland New York: Minifigures in front of the Legoland Hotel
Make your day trip into a weekend getaway by booking a night at the Legoland Hotel. Photo courtesy of the resort

Legoland Hotel

The on-site Legoland Hotel offers easy walking access to the front gate of Legoland New York. It has 250 rooms, all with amazing themes, such as Pirates, Lego Friends, Kingdom, or Ninjago, and many have bunk beds in a separate sleeping area to accommodate larger families. A seasonal pool, on-site dining, an indoor play space, daily scavenger hunts, disco elevators, and nightly entertainment make a stay here a special treat for kids. Read our full review and book your visit online.

Know Before You Go to Legoland New York

  • Wear your sneakers. It’s a big park with long and winding paths.
  • Bring the stroller for anyone ages 4 and under. At the very least, you can park your bags and stuff in it. The park also offers stroller and wheelchair rentals.
  • Legoland New York tickets can be purchased online for small savings. Consider booking a hotel stay for a package deal.
  • Date-specific reservations are required for visits; book online or risk missing out on popular days.
  • If you're traveling from NYC, a partnership with Coach USA means you can book round-trip bus transportation from Port Authority with your park ticket.
  • Season passes are also available and worth it if you plan on visiting multiple times.
  • Plot out where you prefer to eat ahead of time as it can take a while to move from one section of the park to the next.
  • Download the app to check for special events, ride closures, and the park map.
  • You will get hit with a parking fee upon exiting the park. Save a few bucks by buying this online, too.
  • Legoland New York is a seasonal park. It's open on weekends and holidays in the spring, fall, and holiday seasons. It's open daily during the summer months. The hotel is open year-round.

Photos by author except where noted

Originally published in 2021.

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Legoland New York