Michael Goodchild, executive director of the Sidney Museum and Archives, stands next to the permanent Lego display. The museum’s popular Lego exhibit, featuring more than 800 kits, opens Dec. 1 and runs until March 31, 2023. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Michael Goodchild, executive director of the Sidney Museum and Archives, stands next to the permanent Lego display. The museum’s popular Lego exhibit, featuring more than 800 kits, opens Dec. 1 and runs until March 31, 2023. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney’s museum builds into Christmas with Lego exhibit

The familiar display returns for its 17th season a month earlier than usual

A familiar exhibition of Lego kits is returning to the Sidney Museum a month earlier and bigger than ever.

“This year, we have a lot more creative freedom, so we have kind of all gone in,” said Michael Goodchild, executive director of the Sidney Museum and Archives. “We tried to create as many thematic displays as we can. People who are walking through are just going to be bombarded by an incredible diversity of stuff, which is what our intention was from the beginning.”

This year’s Lego show starts on Dec. 1 — one month earlier than in years past — under the title ‘Brilliance — Built Brick by Brick.’ Goodchild said the title reflects the museum’s desire to showcase as many of the 800-plus individual Lego kits within the collection following the museum’s renovation.

Timing also matters. “We are running it through December, through the Christmas season, and we are optimistic that that will help make for a more active year,” said Goodchild. “Normally, November/December are quiet for the museum, at least in comparison with the first few months of the new year. So we are hopeful that this will drum up a bit more community attention.”

RELATED: Sidney Museum to host popular Lego exhibition starting Jan. 2

The exhibition, returning for its 17th year, first started when the museum’s former executive director Peter Garnham displayed sets he and his two sons, Jason and David, had built over the years. Others have since contributed to the collection of the museum as the Lego show has evolved into a regional draw.

“This all started 17 years ago as a fun side project and it has gradually blossomed into something more,” he said.

A 25,000-piece diorama of a seaside town, inclusive airport, greets visitors as they enter the museum. Museum volunteer Ray Konrath needed 150 hours to build the permanent display, which serves as an attention drawer and tribute to the history of the exhibition. Visitors then descend into the basement of the museum to see the heart of the exhibition organized around various themes — Harry Potter, movies and science-fiction with a heavy focus on Star Wars, among others.

The show — which runs until March 31, 2023 — will also feature plenty of interactive elements including a Guess the Number of Bricks challenge and a scavenger hunt. Visitors can also compete for prizes with a chance to win Lego sets. The museum’s Sidney-wide Family Day weekend Lego scavenger hunt will return in February.

The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.


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