The new Legoland that opened in Somerville, outside of Boston, requires all anzrfseyyt
visitors to come fully equipped with a child
, reports Doug Saffir at He quotes the tickets page which reads:

Please be reminded LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston is a children’s attraction. Adults must be accompanied by a child in order to enter the attraction. Please book into one of our exclusive Adult Nights, starting this Summer, if you wish to experience the attraction.

Have we  really come to the point where we see ANY interaction between young and old as the perfect petri dish for perversion? It certainly seems this way. As if

1 – Anyone arriving WITH a child is automatically exemplary. But —

2 – Anyone WITHOUT is quite possibly a perv on the prowl.

As one Free-Ranger wrote:

As an adult who buys a Lego set each year for her Lego Christmas village, I think this is total rubbish.  I am also infertile, so if I hadn’t adopted, they’re saying I wouldn’t be welcome?  Surely this is discrimination worthy of a lawsuit, if it was done in the employment realm?…

I really find this New World depressing sometimes.  I know how hostile it already is to adult men, but it looks like all childless adults will soon be highly suspect.

Agreed, although it’s really a fear of ALL adults around kids not their own.

You may recall the story last year of a 63-year-old man who made the 3-hour trip to Toronto’s Legoland Discovery Centre only to be turned away because he came there without a child. (Which, readers pointed out, was only MORE REASON for him to go out and kidnap a kid.)

Maybe in the next Lego movie, Will Ferrell can play a man who tries to go to Legoland solo. It’ll be rated NA-17. (No one admitted without an under-17-year-old.) – L.

Yikes -- is this adult DNA? Get it away from the kids!!!!

Yikes — is this adult DNA? Get it away from the kids!!!!



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51 Responses to It’s LEGOLAND not PEDO-LAND

  1. Momof2 May 27, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    The Legoland Atlanta has adult only events too, and I think it has more to do with fanaticism than pedophilia. People get weird about Lego.

  2. Jenny Islander May 27, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    @Momof2: I think it makes perfect sense to have some kid-only events and some adult-only events at Legoland. The kids can have fun doing kid things with Lego and the adults can get as nerdy as they want without kids around drooping and wailing from boredom. Outright barring unaccompanied adults isn’t just pervert-neurosis run mad, it’s economically dumb. I think the people who made the rules for some of these Legolands don’t know the sheer size and spread of their own market share!

  3. compassion May 27, 2014 at 1:36 am #

    Hmmm… okay. So all public playgrounds will soon be “adults must be accompanied by a child”? And God forbid you plunk down on a bench judged to be in too close of a proximity and sip your latte, because YOU MUST HAVE A KID WITH YOU TO PROVE YOU ARE NOT A PERVERT?

    My husband was quite dismayed to find out that he could not use the hot tub area at our rec centre during the kids’ swimming lessons. “Are they teaching the kids to swim in the hot tub?” He asked. No, they just don’t want any PERVERTS HANGING AROUND A BUNCH OF KIDS WHO ARE SURROUNDED BY LIFEGUARDS AND SWIMMING INSTRUCTORS WATCHING THEIR EVERY MOVE. (They didn’t actually admit this was the reason my husband couldn’t use the hot tub or steam room during swimming lessons, they just said it was the rule.)

    You know all of this is not about kids getting attacked or harmed, right? It’s about kids getting LOOKED AT, and the THOUGHTS someone MIGHT be having about them.

    Gadzooks, I guess I’m missing those special paranoid parent neurons that fire out of control whenever there might be someone looking at my kid in a sexual way because I COULD NOT CARE LESS WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR MIND WHEN YOU LOOK AT MY KIDS. If you masturbate publicly while watching my kids, yeah, that would bother me. But if you look at them? Just look? And then go home and masturbate with no one looking at you? THEN I DON’T CARE.

    So I hate these rules. They make it seem like someone who gets hot looking at little kids is somehow going to melt those sumptuous little snowflakes with just the heat of their surreptitious gazing. For starters, there are precious few people roaming around who get off looking at little kids. It’s a specialty market. And besides, there are lots of places kids can be viewed. Church, the grocery store, the beach, the line leading up to Santa Claus at Christmas.

    We can’t stop anyone from looking at little kids in public. And for my money, looking and molesting are two very, very, VERY different things, and I’ll thank you not to try to prevent the former, since it makes community-building and ease of movement much harder than necessary, while planting the idea in parents’ heads that EVERYONE AROUND THEM IS A PERVERT.

  4. Russell May 27, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    I travelled from Australia to Germany with my son, but they wouldn’t let me into Legoland Discovery at Berlin because my teenage son was too old (over 15).
    They let me and my credit card into Legoland Deutschland at Stuttgart, but not at Berlin.
    I’m still trying to comprehend what sin I could commit with my teenage son in Berlin that I couldn’t have committed at Stuttgart…

  5. That Anonymous Coward May 27, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    So it is safe to assume the entire park is staffed only with children or they have them on staff to attach to any adult workers.
    Oh they don’t?
    What magic wand do they use to make sure their staff is above board then… and let me pull out all of the horror stories about how it won’t actually work to call BS on that.

    In todays modern surveillance era, is the actual take away that we don’t care enough to provide proper supervision of our facility?
    We feel that parents aren’t capable of having to actually supervise their own children so we foster a policy to let them be blissfully ignorant of their job as a parent.

    While they might want to make sure that adults who are into Lego don’t take over all the ‘fun’ exhibits, I think they are missing the mark. Lego is a unifying thing, adults and children can work together to build things and expand on visions either have. Heaven forbid that parents allow their children to interact with strangers in a positive way, letting them have the fun of Lego and the lesson not every stranger is out to get them and carry them off. And if some adult is keeping all the yellow bricks out of the pile, a staffer can always remind them that sharing is the best way to enjoy Lego.

  6. That Anonymous Coward May 27, 2014 at 1:56 am #


    You mean like in New York? IIRC some adult stopped to enjoy lunch on a park bench and were run off because they didn’t have children in the park.

    hxxp:// subsection s
    (dunno policy on links so made it manual)

  7. compassion May 27, 2014 at 2:44 am #

    I *was* actually thinking of New York. I visited there a few years ago and it was very hot outside. VERY hot. CRAZY hot. We went all around looking for a way to cool off. We found a park that had sprinklers in it. There was a sign clearly stating that we were forbidden in the park unless we were accompanying children. Because we have four children between us, we felt we were entitled to be around other people’s kids, and if the authorities wanted to chase us off, we hoped they would do it with water guns.

  8. compassion May 27, 2014 at 2:45 am #

    The four children were not WITH us, but we still felt entitled to be there!

  9. Paula May 27, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    I get more and more worried about this anywhere children go adults without children should be banned. i like many people like going to WDW in Orlando and Universal in the same town. How long before the worried brigade start calling for single adults to be banned from places like these?

  10. MichaelF May 27, 2014 at 5:38 am #

    So basically it’s entered the Orwellian sphere where even thoughtcrime is suspect and we can easily be ratted upon to Big Brother?

  11. InTheBurbs May 27, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Interesting. I plan to take my daughter to the new Legoland after the “grand opening” craziness dies down, and I spent some time poring over the website to get some details. I read the must-have-kids restriction but it never occurred to me it was for perv protection – I immediately thought it was an attempt to prevent throngs of Lego-obsessed college students from basically moving in to the place and camping out everyday competing with each other to build bigger and crazier contraptions…a la the MIT student pranks. Maybe you find what you look for in terms of the motivation behind these types of rules…then again, my child is not in elementary school yet so perhaps I just have no idea yet how far some of these rules will go in order to “protect” them!

  12. E May 27, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    I wasn’t aware that places did this. I do know some adults who are Lego freaks and I suppose it might be challenging to manage adults who compete with kids for time at displays (or whatever Legoland offers — I really haven’t the slightest idea).

    It would be interesting to hear the corporate explanation — is it really fear of keeping kids safe? Ugh.

  13. Michelle May 27, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    Maybe I notice this more than other people, because I have such a wide age range and I homeschool, but it feels to me like our society gets more and more age-segregated all the time. Library activities aren’t just “for kids,” but for kids in particular two-year age groups. Adults think it’s weird to see kids at activities, and parents think there’s something wrong with adults who enjoy “kid things.” Even at home, many parents seem to create a little “kid world” in their lives, with The Kids’ Routines, The Kids’ Activities, etc., and try to fit their own lives around the edges. (No wonder they think I’m crazy for having eight kids!)

    At the same time, there’s a backlash. Adults don’t want to be excluded from Legos and parks, and kids benefit from living in the real world and having friends of all ages.

  14. Michelle May 27, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    BTW, my family attended Comicpalooza this past weekend, a huge comics and nerd convention in Houston. As you can imagine, it’s full of people, of all ages, who are really passionate about their hobbies. Yet I don’t recall any problems with adults making it impossible for kids to enjoy the attractions (or vice versa). All I saw were kids and adults, from the smallest Spider-Man to Stan The Man himself, thrilled to share the things they love with each other.

  15. Donna May 27, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    When I was in San Francisco a couple months ago, I noticed that all the playgrounds had “no unaccompanied adults” signs. This appears to be by city ordinance as there was a legal citation on all the signs.

    That bothers me a whole lot more than a private company choosing its own business plan. But maybe that is just because I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to be in enclosed spaces with scads of toddlers and preschoolers (the target age for Legoland) unless I have to be so I can’t for the life of me imagine why any chuldless adult even wants to be there on a regular business day.

    I do wonder if this isn’t, as Intheburbs says, a case of people finding what they look for as far as motivation. The Legoland amusement park – a wide open space, as opposed to a small enclosed space – has no such requirement despite being totally geared to the same age group (my daughter found most of the rides boring at 7). The only explanation I can see for the diverging rules fron the same exact company is space, not pedophiles.

  16. Powers May 27, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Let’s be clear here.

    The Legoland Discovery Centers (Toronto/Boston/Berlin, etc.) are not the same as the Legoland theme parks. The latter are aimed primarily at children and young teens, but have a wide range of attractions that appeal to all ages.

    The former, on the other hand, don’t really have much for adults and older kids. They’re really designed for young kids, much more so than the theme parks.

    I’m a fan of LEGO and I didn’t see much of anything on the attraction list that interests me. It’s more like Chuck-E-Cheese’s than Disneyland.

    That doesn’t mean the rule isn’t silly. But it’s not super-outrageous, either. And I don’t think it’s a slippery slope toward prohibiting unaccompanied adults at theme parks.

  17. anonymous mom May 27, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Again, this just reminds me of how bizarre it is that we’ve suddenly decided that any adult who might want to be around or watch children without being forced is a sick pervert.

    That’s just not true. What is so weird, for example, about an adult wanting to watch children play in a park? Maybe that adult always wanted children but couldn’t have them. Maybe they have really fond memories of their own childhood that watching children play for a bit brings back. Maybe their own children died, or are grown, or they have grandchildren who live very far away and watching children play brings that back.

    I was once in a doctor’s office waiting room for a very long time, and this nice older couple came up to me as they left and told me how much they enjoyed watching my children play (and get into trouble) because it reminded them of when their own kids were that age.

    Which is to say, if people are looking at your kids, it’s probably for non-nefarious reasons. And, even if they are looking at your kids and feeling sexually aroused, if they don’t act on it, who cares? I really don’t care what strangers may or may not be thinking about me or my kids.

  18. E May 27, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    @Anon Mom — you bring up such great points. My kids are college aged and my husband and I often notice small kids holding a parents hand and one of us will say to the other: “enjoy it now…they’ll turn into teenagers one day” — it’s our little joke, but it’s exactly what you are describing…sitting back and reflecting for whatever reason someone might choose or need to do that.

    I actually try to do that in life in general (with mixed results), cutting people a break even if it inconveniences me.

  19. J- May 27, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    I’ve run into similar situation, even when they are not policies. Do you have any idea what kind of nasty looks and questions from theater staff you get when you are a man without a child going into to see a Disney/Pixar film (Wall-E is one of my all time favorite movies)?

    It had gotten to the point where my wife and I would borrow friend’s children as cover so we could see Brave, Wreck It Ralph, and Frozen in theaters. Now we have a son, but he’s not old enough to take to the movies yet. Hopefully he will be able to keep quite log enough to sit though Incredibles 2 next year.

  20. Susan2 May 27, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    I agree anonymous mom. When I was a kid, my father would go on very long business trips – 4-8 weeks. He would often spend the weekend in parks and taking photos of kids. Partly this was so he could come back into our schools to show us slides of how kids lived in other countries (ah, the days before Common Core and scripted lessons). Partly, he told us, it was because he missed us, and seeing kids play helped his loneliness. Although those days are long gone, when I read these stories my heart still beats faster for a minute, worried that my father will get arrested in some foreign country for merely enjoying watching kids play.

  21. Joe+G May 27, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    It’s “Somerville.”

  22. curiositykt May 27, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    What’s even weirder is that given its location, there are going to be so many college students/young adults, particularly from MIT who want to go! I was planning on going with a bunch of my friends, but apparently we aren’t welcome. I wonder how many children we need to kidnap to get in? I am an “aunt” to a couple of kids, I may need to rent them for the afternoon!

  23. Michelle May 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    I am a HUGE Wizard of Oz fan and a few years ago the Ruby Slippers were at the Children’s Museum in Boston. I had my class reunion in town and we decided to go in early so we could see them. I was so excited, until we got to the museum, without any children, it was an act of God to get in. I had to leave tons of information about who we were, etc. It was completely ridiculous.

  24. EricS May 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Perverted thoughts, can only come from perverted minds. And I guess these people who made this policy, have no clue about who the majority of people are that actually take advantage of children.

    Maybe we should start a campaign to go viral, about the real statistics of child abuse, kidnappings, and deaths. Even out the playing field in people’s minds. That the people they should be more concerned about isn’t the single male, or childless adult, but the people the children already know, comfortable with, and close to.

  25. EricS May 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    Will all staff at Lego Land have their kids with them too? You can’t have, and enforce a policy that people working there don’t follow themselves. How does working there without their child, or a child, make them any better than adults wanting to see the place, and not the kids. Hypocrites, all of them. And I bet there is at least one or two in their staff that have perverted minds.

  26. CLamb May 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Perhaps some enterprising 12 year olds will gather outside offering to accompany adults in return for payment of admission. I know it’s something I would’ve thought of at that age.

  27. Cynthia812 May 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    I don’t understand what people here are trying to accomplish by constantly reminding us that kids are more likely to be hurt by people they know and trust. If it’s to point out that both instances are relatively rare (with stranger abduction be substantially more so), fine. If it’s to point out that we are giving our kids the wrong set of skills to protect themselves, fine. But it seems to me we’re usually just given them something else to be paranoid about when we don’t point out that most people aren’t kidnapped or molested by relatives and friends either.

  28. Sara May 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    This is stupid. I love Lego but my 2 year old only likes to throw her duplo blocks around. That said I have kidnapped cousins so I can go to a kids movie (not because I was afraid of others but because I was ashamed I wanted to see Cars more than Twilight).

    I would glady let someone take my kid to a theme park, for free. that way I get an afternoon of quiet relaxation 🙂

  29. Dee May 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Oh, that is sad.

    (By the way, it’s Somerville with one ‘m’.)

  30. Bostonian May 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    There’s a business opportunity there for an enterprising youngster. Just sayin’

  31. J.T. Wenting May 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    ” i like many people like going to WDW in Orlando and Universal in the same town. How long before the worried brigade start calling for single adults to be banned from places like these?”

    how much longer until there comes a time when it’s illegal for people without children to be within a mile of a school or playground?
    Which of course would mean they have next to nowhere to live…

  32. marie May 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    how much longer until there comes a time when it’s illegal for people without children to be within a mile of a school or playground?
    Which of course would mean they have next to nowhere to live…

    We already do this with registered sex offenders, as I’m sure J.T. meant. When we are ready to label people as ‘sex offenders’ because of what goes on inside their heads, it can’t be far behind that we try to label everyone for what goes on in their heads. Now that sex offenders are so feared, the likely outcome is to fear those who look like a sex offender, act like a sex offender, make us think of a sex offender.

    Before we had the registry, we didn’t spend this much time and energy on sorting out people who think perverted thoughts. And you know what? Now that we ARE trying to sort them out, the incidence of hands-on sex offenses has not increased.

  33. Maggie in VA May 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    My husband is a geek of many colors, and Lego is one of them. The thought that he might be banned from Legoland before we had our kids makes me really angry. In fairness, I remember making a remark about some similar perv hysteria, and the nanny’s mom, who worked in day care for decades, gave me a sobering brief on her dealings with pedophiles over the years.

    But the general anxiety about unknown adults is one reason I ended up having kids in mid-life. Despite the bromides that advice columnists give the childless about the ways they can have relationships with kids without actually parenting, there’s too much suspicion of adults who want to be around kids for most of them to be realistic unless you have family members or close friends who appreciate that attention for their kids.

  34. marie May 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    Now that we ARE trying to sort them out, the incidence of hands-on sex offenses has not increased.

    This is what comes of writing in a hurry. The incidence remains about the same as it was before we started labeling sex offenders.

  35. Down the road from Somerville May 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    @Michelle: I had the same experience at the Boston Children’s Museum, too! My friends and I are in our twenties, childless, and creators of materials for kids, so by nature in love with kid culture. Instead of any number of vices we could’ve gotten into, the way we wanted to spend an afternoon was at a fun museum, soaking up the hilarious things kids say and do and get inspired by seeing them inspired. All it cost was our dignity and possibly identity, as we had to surrender our government-issued photo IDs and fill out some forms, and maybe even had a time limit (like 2 hours). So I was disappointed to see that Lego doesn’t even have that consideration. If it’s a matter of adults crowding out kids playing, well, then, have some time limits or staff monitoring. But I really am exasperated that the likely reason is that people will assume first that the only reason I’m spending $22.50 is so I can try to grab a kid or do something horrible–when their parents are right there with them.

  36. SOA May 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    I despise these policies. Because for one, there are plenty of adults who will meet up there with other people that are bringing their kids. I used to go places like that with my friend who had a daughter but we would usually arrive before her. So apparently I could not go ahead and enter and wait for her. That is ridiculous. Secondly I think it would be really hard to molest or kidnap in a crowded place like that.

    I have a feeling most abductions with strangers are more likely to happen in non crowded places with no witnesses.

    With Legos especially this is crazy because Legos often make and brand and advertise their products to adults. They know adult collectors buy a lot of their expensive merchandise. So why make some policy like this? I can see maybe not wanting a huge adult on a ride built for a kid but they cannot even come into the store to buy stuff? That is nuts.

  37. SOA May 27, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    CLamb: I remind people that kids are more likely to be molested by family members than strangers to make people change their perception. It is not to scare the kids and I usually don’t say it to kids. But I do say it to adults all the time. Because it annoys me when I hear some idiot Grandmother going on about how no stranger would ever watch her grandbabies and I was like “Excuse me, so are you saying because I worked as a babysitter and daycare worker I am somehow dangerous and you are somehow more capable of taking care of the kids than me?” Then I bring up and add in the part about “Actually you are statistically more of a danger to them than I am.” That always throws them for a loop and leaves them sputtering speechless.

  38. SOA May 27, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    J- my husband and I always went to kids movies back in our early 20s before we had kids. We are both Disney fans. We never got weird looks that I noticed. But we often went at night to them like at 9 or later. I think that might make a difference. That way no kids are hardly up that late at the movies. I think that is when childless adults should probably try to go to cartoon movies.

  39. Michelle May 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Cynthia812: “I don’t understand what people here are trying to accomplish by constantly reminding us that kids are more likely to be hurt by people they know and trust. If it’s to point out that both instances are relatively rare (with stranger abduction be substantially more so), fine. If it’s to point out that we are giving our kids the wrong set of skills to protect themselves, fine. But it seems to me we’re usually just given them something else to be paranoid about when we don’t point out that most people aren’t kidnapped or molested by relatives and friends either.”

    I think the idea is to point out that our perspective is flawed. We don’t worry about leaving our kids with people we know (and shouldn’t, and I don’t plan to start), but we’re convinced that predatory strangers are lurking around every corner. I like to point out that kids are more likely to die in a school bus accident than be shot at school. I don’t think people should be afraid to put their kid on the bus (it’s very safe!), just realize that it’s ridiculous to worry about their kid getting shot in kindergarten.

  40. J- May 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm #


    I get what you are saying but

    1) Most kid’s movies don’t have late showings (final showing is usually starts around 7:00-7:30 pm) and are still usually packed with kids.

    2) I like the matinee discount I get that the theater. Tickets and snacks are cheaper before 4:00 pm.

    3) I don’t deserve to be thought of as a perv because I’d rather watch Frozen then Fast and Furious 19: The Suckening.

  41. Donna May 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    “i like many people like going to WDW in Orlando and Universal in the same town.”

    The Discovery Centers are not theme parks. There are no rides; just various centers to play with legos. They are more like the indoor gyms from a few posts ago – and geared toward the same preschool age kids – than anything remotely resembling a theme park. I imagine that those indoor gyms have similar requirements.

    Legoland does have two theme parks – in California and Florida. Those do not have any prohibition on unaccompanied adults. In fact, the last time I was there, a bunch of unaccompanied adults were there to see the exhibit of the huge Millennium Falcon model.

  42. Amanda Matthews May 27, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    I like to go to “kids` movies” during school hours simply because they are emptier and therefore I get my choice of where to sit. Obviously that doesn’t work during the summer though.

    I did the same before I had kids and I kept doing it after I had kids. If I wanted to go while it was packed with kids, it shouldn’t matter of I had kids with me or not. Heck for all others know, someone watching without kids may have kids at home and are checking the content before bringing the kids. It really doesn’t matter because no one is going to molest a kid in a theater with their parents right next to them.

    But, when I went without kids, I got the stink eye from a few parents there with kids too young to be in school. Usually after the kid struck up a conversation about whatever we were about to watch, because they were interested that an adult liked it too. Their mom is just forced to be there to protect them from pedophiles, they can’t relate through enjoying something that is deemed “for kids”.

  43. SOA May 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    I agree J but just going through what we experienced and we never got weird looks or anything at the later showings. So just something to consider. We also preferred later showings of kids movies because less crying yelling kids. 😉

  44. SOA May 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    I have not been to the Legoland center in Atlanta but plan on going sometime soon. From what I understand from seeing pics of my friends that went and their website there are a few “rides”. There are also models and building areas and what not. There is also a store. So yes, it could appeal to adults. As long as adults don’t push little kids out of the way what does it hurt?

    My husband and I used to go on dates to Chuck E Cheese in high school and college. We would eat and then play games. We were always good about watching out for kids. So I don’t see what that hurt. But now I think that would probably be not allowed since they started doing the little stamp things. But I have seen adults going in alone so maybe not. I mean you would think a business would not turn away paying customers.

  45. Donna May 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    SOA – There are a couple little kid rides – about the equivalent of the train at our local mall to my kid. It is certainly not something that should be compared to Disney or Universal as several were doing, nor is it a “theme park” by any stretch of the imagination. Lego has actual theme parks, but they are not what this post is talking about. Those allow everyone.

    I think the rule is stupid, but I can’t get too much energy to be worked up about it since it is one of the last places in the world that I would want to go without my child.

  46. oncefallendotcom May 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    There needs to be more places with adults-only days. Not all of us think that the term “adults only” should be limited to bars and strip joints.

  47. Curt May 27, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    I just read the highlights of this article to my wife and her response was,”The next thing you adults won’t be allowed in a Disney movie without a child!”

  48. compassion May 28, 2014 at 2:51 am #

    They want to create a “welcoming and safe environment” for kids, so they make a policy that no one without a young child can enter the place?

    A better policy:

    Stop assuming every adult who goes alone to a place where kids hang out is dangerous to children. Understand that even adults who bring children into a place can cause disruption and disturbance. Make sure all people of all ages are treated with respect, and asked to leave if they are not treating others / the property with respect.

  49. lollipoplover May 28, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    I like the suggestion of a rent-a-kid for the childless lego lovers. Or sell inflatable children dressed in overalls.

  50. Emily May 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    >>They want to create a “welcoming and safe environment” for kids, so they make a policy that no one without a young child can enter the place?

    A better policy:

    Stop assuming every adult who goes alone to a place where kids hang out is dangerous to children. Understand that even adults who bring children into a place can cause disruption and disturbance. Make sure all people of all ages are treated with respect, and asked to leave if they are not treating others / the property with respect.<<

    Compassion hit the nail squarely on the head. I think my steel band has it right too–it's officially age ten and up, but we've had some kids join younger than that, who've fit in just fine, so in reality, the youngest-ever regular band member was about seven years old, and our oldest would have to be our teacher, who's in his late 60's. I'm right in the middle at 29, and everyone just plays together and has fun. There are no background checks for adults, but there are rules of conduct for everyone, and if someone of any age violates the rules of basic civility, they'll be kicked out. It's not a typical set-up at all, but it actually works really well. I actually found it a bit jarring when I started teaching yoga at a gym that's just for adults, and one girl in the steel band (who's about twelve or thirteen) expressed an interest in coming to my class, but I had to tell her that she couldn't come. I'm not sure if it's 18+, because I've seen some high school students there, but there's a definite age cut-off, and it's fairly obvious that people under that cut-off aren't welcome.

  51. Melissa May 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    This reminds me of a conversation my good friend and I had while at the Toronto Zoo – we were with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend (childless), and our three kids. Her boy is 9 months older than mine – they are 4 and 5. She was SHOCKED that I let him use the public mensroom by himself, while I watched the door. Her older boy had to go into the ladies room with her. I said “What do you think can happen, really? We are right here watching the only exit.” Her response was “Well, you just hear of all the bad things…” But, if you are imagining all these horrid pervs running around molesting little boys in bathrooms at the zoo – who are you calling the perv? My Dad? My childless 28-year-old brother? My husband? Why are males in public suddenly perverts out to get our little boys? It’s the freaking zoo – my bet is that 99.999999% of the men here have or enjoy children in their lives, and if the 0.0000001% of them who are pervs tried something in a busy public bathroom, one of the others would stop him.

    I don’t know if she lets her boy use the mens room yet, but hopefully it made her think.