Share This Page

LEGO KidsFest lets creativity click at Convention Center

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 9:48 p.m.
Part of the Creation Nation that those attending LEGO KidsFest create at every venue. Credit: David E. Frith
The LEGO sculpture 'Friends' from another LEGO KidsFest Credit: David E. Frith
The LEGO Model Museum in Pittsburgh in 2011. Credit: David E. Frith
An aerial view of 2011's LEGO KidsFest at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Credit: David E. Frith

Those plastic, snap-together bricks have withstood many toy trends during the past six decades, yet Legos remain a popular favorite among kids and the adults who grew up with them.

This weekend, visitors to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, can indulge in all things small and plastic at LEGO KidsFest, a national tour with only six cities including Pittsburgh. Legos will fill the convention center, where thousands of adults and kids are expected to attend the event that has been selling out in other cities.

Lego enthusiasts of all ages and building abilities can explore the Lego Model Gallery, featuring dozens of life-size models made from Legos, and Creation Nation, where kids can build creations to add to a map of the United States. On the Race Ramps, visitors can build custom cars and race them down the ramp.

In the Lego Master Builders area, visitors can watch live demonstrations from Lego experts whose job it is to build with and teach about the bricks.

“I think what's amazing about Legos is its endless creativity,” Chris Steininger says. He and his father, Dan, are Lego master builders who will be coming to the Pittsburgh event, which is here for the second year in a row.

“It doesn't matter what you build one day, because the next day, you can build something different with totally different pieces. It just gives a lot of satisfaction.”

The Steininger men, two of seven Lego master builders in North America, will be teaching KidsFest attendees about the art of building with the interlocking bricks. The possibilities are limitless, says the younger Steininger, a Western Massachusetts resident whose full-time career is with Legos. Many master builders have an artistic background. They can work up to 1,800 hours on massive Lego displays that can weigh a ton, he says.

“We're all very creative,” Steininger says about master builders. “We can build anything and take everything apart and put it back together again. We're all very creative and artists.”

Other KidsFest features include Construction Zones, with free building, playing and displaying areas. At Brickscapes, displays combine Legos and Duplos, which are plastic bricks designed for preschoolers. Kids can play in the Brick Pile, a gigantic pile of Legos.

Aaron Wartner, vice president of sales and marketing for LEGO KidsFest, says that the event gives people the opportunity to experience “Lego bricks in a way you can't necessarily do at home.”

“It is, very frankly, an incredibly wholesome wonderful family experience that families can do together,” Wartner says.

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com or 412-320-7824.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.