“I’m a big fan of Lego” says four-year-old Mr S. He and his two-year-old brother Mr R have eaten their morning tea in the food court and are raring to go to the promised Brickman Lego Cities Experience hosted by Sydney Tower Eye.
Brickman Lego Cities Experience
A long queue waits for the doors to open. At 10am, staff appear and the line moves quickly. Most people head straight for the lift to the Observation Deck. We’re directed to the exhibit entrance. In my excitement I walk right past the entrance to a black curtain hanging beneath a large “ENTRANCE” sign. An upturned table blocks my way.
We’d missed the curved passage entrance to the Lego Cities exhibition. Mr S runs straight to the back of the room, attracted by the different Lego Fire Stations displayed in Perspex boxes hanging from the wall. He jumps up and touches each box in turn calling out “Fire Station…. Fire Station …. Fire Station”.
Skyscrapers from Around the World
Returning to the entrance, we begin exploring the sky scraper models from around the world more slowly. Ignoring the tall towers looming over their heads, the boys get down to floor level, lying flat on the ground to examine what’s happening at street level. They aren’t interested in the number of bricks used in each project, how long the models took to build and information about the buildings themselves.
Sydney Tower Eye
The Brickman Cities Exhibition is the first of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations for Sydney Tower Eye. The building stands 305m tall towering over Sydney’s CBD. The Observation Deck of the Sydney Tower Eye opened to the public in 1981. We’ll go there after exploring the Lego exhibit.
Containing the boys proves difficult. They can’t relate to the iconic buildings. They want to touch and feel. They want to handle the blocks and build something for themselves. COVID has put paid to that sort of experience.
Older primary school age boys are more engaged. They spend time at each exhibit. One or two take photos.
The Gherkin and a Lost Boy
Mr S steps back from the London models to carefully consider why the blue and black building with white diamond outlines is called The Gherkin. “It looks like a gherkin” he says adding “but I think it looks like a rocket”.
I look down and panic. Mr S is no longer at my side. He’s not with his Grandad who is carrying Mr R, pointing out the crane building the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Relief floods over me when I see Mr S hidden behind the Tokyo model.
Attracted to the vibrancy of activity and colour, Mr S stands quietly looking at the detail. “Granny look here” he says excitedly “there are bicycles…. and a train”.
Depicting the Shibuya Crossing, the Tokyo exhibit highlights “the density and the technology of modern Japan”. It includes TV screens with moving pictures, and details of people going about their daily lives in their high-rise apartments.
We join the crowd of people milling around the impressive all-white model of New York. It seems they are queuing for something. A couple peer at their printed ticket, not sure if they have paid for what’s next. One says “I have no idea”.
The queue is for the next screening of a 4D Lego movie. This probably means moving seats and 3D glasses. The two-year-old scares easily so rather than ending an enjoyable visit on a negative note we pass on the movie.
The Observation Deck
Instead, we set off for the next part of our morning outing. There’s no waiting for the lift that takes us through the tower up to the Observation Deck. Mr S watches as the dots on the screen indicate our progress.
The city sparkles under a pale blue sky. The view extends to the Blue Mountains on one side and to Bondi and the coast on the other. Mr S and Mr R excitedly point out Darling Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We walk the circumference of the Observation deck pointing out other landmarks and exclaiming at the view.
We’ve had lovely morning with our grandsons exploring the Lego Cities and Sydney from the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck.
Two Tired Boys
Before the boys fall asleep on the train, I ask Mr S what building he liked best of the Lego Cities. “Let me think about it” he said and then replied “The Gherkin, because it looks like a rocket”.
Note: My husband and I were guests of Sydney Tower Eye and Brickman Experience. We paid for Mr S’s ticket.