YouTube, more specifically Ryan has been instrumental in planning our lives and most recently, helping to plan Sai's 4th Birthday extravaganza.
Legoland is the perfect touch for boys and girls who are not quite into Disney and are not old enough to enjoy Universal Studios. Upon arrival, the entry was very overwhelming, I literally felt the energy of Disney world. We checked in late after 5 so the main area was bustling with children running and parents looking lost. I have never seen Sai so happy to be somewhere and I would pay for that moment a million times over.
Getting to the Resort
I recommend renting a car to get to Winter Haven as each airport, Orlando and Tampa are at least an hour away. Because I lost my wallet, I was unable to obtain the rental I secured so we ended up taking a Lyft which was about $60 and the ride was well over an hour away.
The check-in process was seamless and the attendant that assisted us was very helpful. We THOUGHT we had tickets that came with complimentary passes to the park and called several times to confirm but it was extremely difficult to get anyone on the phone after we booked the hotel. The attendant gave us a link to buy 2 for 1 tickets at the park. The link changes often so be sure to ask them if the promotion is still going on.
There was no expense spared to provide the full experience as there were multiple things to do in the lobby alone. There was the Bricks restaurant as you can imagine everything was made out of Lego. There's a huge castle in the middle of the lobby that the kids can run through and there are legos literally everywhere for them to play with. For the older kids there are things downstairs, you can do like locate hidden items, trade figurines with the Model Citizens(Legoland Employers) and interact with the characters. Oh, and the characters remembered Sai's name and spoke to him every time we saw them! For parents, there's a bar that adjacent to the castle so you can enjoy a cocktail while your kids run amuck.
Sai was adamant about getting the pirate room so dad made sure he received his wish. The party in the elevator was one of my favorite things and each floor is themed to the tee. The rooms were beautifully decorated and adorned with Lego figurines and of course, we loved the pirate booty that was refreshed daily. There were legos, figurings, snacks, juice and water. My only qualm about the room was that behind the bunk bed was a little dusty and considering the cost of the resort, I just thought there would be a closer attention to cleanliness.
Pro Tips To Navigate Legoland Park
Rooftop season is almost over but that doesn't stop the fun! Sunset drinks and Sunday brunches are a great reason to head to a rooftop bar especially since the weather has cooled down significantly. Below are my favorite places by category.
Most Instagrammable Rooftop
Loopy Doopy is one of those places that you go once and tell a friend but you don't necessarily have to go back. It's located downtown Manhattan and faces New Jersey but you have to get the prosecco pop drink photo amidst a bomb ass sunset. Drinks are not for the cheap at heart as their cheapest prosecco pop concoction is $21. Pro tip: they have a $90 swan that you can buy instead of the prosecco pop drink #yw
Best Bucket List Rooftop
230 Fifth is the PREMIER rooftop restaurant/bar of NYC. It's always the first to be mentioned and they have a killer Halloween bash that's impossible to obtain tickets to unless you know the bosses. 230 Fifth is open all year round and provides blankets for those brave enough to bear the cold.
Best View of the City from Brooklyn
Westlight is hands down my favorite view of the city. Located in Williamsburg on the edge of Brooklyn, Westlight provides incredible panaromic views of the city and the drinks are delicious. Even on a cloudy day, you still have a bomb view. They also serve small plates. Get there early, as there is usually a wait! I chose here for my birthday dinner and it was delectable.
Brunch with the girls
Hotel Chantelle is a cute, dainty restaurant with a retractable ceiling perfect for a girls day out brunch in any weather. They also have 99c drinks and delicious food so there's no going wrong here. I held my birthday brunch here in 2013 and it's still just as bomb now as it was before. Pro tip: There's also a gigantic punch bowl if you get tired of the 99 cent drinks. It's pictured above!
Night of Joy
If you've ever been to Barcade in Brooklyn, just a few blocks down, tucked away underneath the BQE is Night of Joy. A very quiet illustrious bar with a stellar happy hour. I held my group birthday event this year here and it was amazing.
Best Happy Hour
Vu 46 is not a destination spot by any definition of the word, however if you are in the area and looking for cheap drinks, this is the spot. The surrounding buildings are currently under construction so the view is kind of obstructed however, it is a nice outside oasis perfect for an afternoon business meeting.
Best Birthday Dinner
View of the World Terrace Club
This place is not publicized at all but has one of the most breathtaking views I have ever witnessed in New York City. It's located in the Club Quarters hotel downtown, by the new WTC across the street from Bills Bar and Burger. Very inconspicuous and low key.
Berry Park is one of those safe places like Franklin Park. Always good, never disappoints, never flaky and always open.