A Behind the Scenes Look at Lego’s “After Hours” Party at the Smithsonian

As soon as I saw the tickets go up for reservation I was clicking my way through to ensure my chance at attending what sounded like the coolest party of the year. The folks at Lego were having an exclusive event at the Museum of American History after the place had shut down for the night. Food, drinks, and small plastic bricks, and I was one of the first to reserve a spot! When I arrived at the hotel lobby I headed straight for the lady with the sign, and I was suddenly being bused to what would be a unique and exciting evening.

Lego Dad Sign

This event was to, in some ways, kick off their upcoming Lego Dad campaign, and when we arrived in the museum’s lobby we were greeted by a classy looking set-up, made even classier by the table decorations.

Lego Table Decorations

It wasn’t long before we all started building, and soon the tables were covered in all manner of creations. I don’t care how old we all were, you don’t put a group of people into a room full of Legos and expect those Legos to stay undisturbed. Of course you also don’t put a bunch of guys in a Smithsonian museum and expect them not to look around either. We got a tour of the original Star Spangled Banner from the man who led the restoration team. We wandered up and down ramps and through passageways, enjoying the exhibits without the crowds.

The food was incredible. They described it as “heavy apps,” and they were not kidding. I ate so much I could barely participate in the building challenges. That’s right, after the sliders and chicken and salads and potatoes and more, we were set against one another in Lego competitions led by an official Master Builder. I joined a few of my fellow dads in trying to build the tallest tower that could be transported across the room without tipping over. We lost by one brick. Other people were making bridges out of Legos to see which could hold the most weight. The winner was holding over 100 lbs when it tipped over sideways and knocked the whole arena over. How much could it potentially have held? We’ll never know, but the Master Builder told us that when he runs the same contest with school children they routinely hold weights of over 200 lbs.

On the lower floors of the museum the tables also had Lego bricks on them, but here there were instructions. We were to invent something. My card said to invent a musical instrument. So I did. I created a “Gong Wheel” out of the pieces available, complete with a bow. And the coolest part? Our creations were put on display at the museum in the invention room where they will stay all this week before being taken down. So yeah, one of my inventions is currently on display at the Smithsonian. Whatevs. No biggie.

Gong Wheel

As the evening wound down and the hobnobbing came to a end, I made my way back to the coat check where I was in for one final surprise. Each one of us at the event was handed a small bag as we exited the building, which contained a ton of cool stuff. But nothing was as cool as the exclusive Dad 2.0 Lego minifig that I found at the bottom of that bag.

Exclusive Lego Minifig Dad 2.0

I did a lot of cool things last weekend, met a lot of amazing people, and had some mind-blowing experiences, but for a lifelong Lego geek life myself, this just couldn’t be any more perfect. The only question is, where can my life possibly go from here? And I’m thinking the answer is The Legoland¬†Discovery Center…

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