Callum in a shark.

“Two storeys of underground fun!” was how Callum described the Lego Discovery Centre. But there are definitely two sides to this tale.

We only read the reviews of the Discovery Centre after we’d bought the tickets. The reviews are almost uniformly bad – pointing to the high cost and the minimal activities available.  Having already paid for the tickets online, we told the boys not to expect too much and went ahead with the visit.

The Centre is almost entirely underground, which on a cold day in Berlin is not a bad thing. It has a number of small, Lego-themed activities on the first level. You can drive a remote-control pirate boat in a tiny pool. You can go on a train ride through a castle – the train going on an elevator is s surprise highlight. These are aimed at young kids:

Lego Berlin Wall tumbling.

I’d guess up to five years old. There’s also a lovely miniature of Berlin all done in Lego. It’s really clever, especially the section with the Wall coming down.

Downstairs there’s a small Indiana Jones-themed section to walk through and then a building and testing section which allows you to put Lego vehicles down tracks. If you have Lego at home this wouldn’t be a very compelling section – as the boys are currently in a Lego drought they found the construction more interesting than they otherwise would have.

All together I was pretty much of the view that the reviews were right. Then the kids started playing in the tiny three-dimensional climbing area near the cafe. They made friends with some Swedish kids and they played, and played and played. Hours rolled by and the boys had a ball.

But there lies the second side to our story. Because we expected the experience to be poor we had thought we’d only be there for an hour or so. And so Jennifer and I didn’t bring anything to read or do. So with no view, no book, only German language magazines and only so much coffee you can drink – the adult rating for the day is, um… not quite the same as the kids.