Chicago LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a hit with LEGO fans of all ages, but let’s clear some confusion before we get started. Chicago LEGOLAND is not in Chicago proper. It’s located in the northeastern Chicago suburb of Schaumburg. This neighborhood is easily accessible, located right off interstates 90 and 290, along with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and both indoor and outdoor shopping malls.
My husband had a work conference in Schaumburg over the kids’ spring break so we tagged along to keep him company. Naturally, I needed something, besides the hotel pool, to keep the kids busy during conference hours and visiting this popular LEGO attraction sounded like the perfect thing to do. And it was. My son has ben participating in his school’s LEGO League this year, so this stop was a no-brainer for him. But surprisingly, the visit to the Discovery Center inspired my daughter to delve into the world of LEGOs, something she has never had an interest in.
The LEGOLAND Discovery Center building isn’t hard to miss. Did you see the giraffe in the first photo? Keep an eye out on the interior for another giraffe passing through two unconnected walls as well as a number of other well-known characters.
Entry fee: Adults/Children $17 (children two and under are free).
Once inside, our day consisted of looking, playing, riding, exploring, and building LEGO style. The first floor is mostly dedicated to a handful of MINILANDs (worlds created of LEGOs). The first one is appropriate considering the location. Created from nearly two million LEGO bricks, MINILAND Chicago is an outstanding display featuring famous Chicago landmarks: Willis Tower, Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, and the Wrigley Building.
Next was the Jungle Expedition (a jungle filled with LEGO animals, creatures and characters) followed by the new Star Wars MINILAND Model Display Episode IV. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, R2-D2, the Millennium Falcon, and the city of Mos Eisley are a few movie highlights that make an appearance.
Star Wars was followed by a ride on the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride (I had to skip this since pregnant ladies aren’t allowed on rides) then we took a hike upstairs where the hands-on action began. My children rode the Technicycle Ride over and over and over and over. This ride was a great energy burner since the faster you peddle the higher you go and being that my kids love thrill rides and heights the challenge was a perfect fit. The children also built and raced LEGO cars on ramps, played on the indoor playground, and partook in the “build a landmark” challenge…
and won a prizes…
And there was a flat penny machine. It’s always fun to add another souvenir to the kids’ penny collection.
The LEGO Factory Tour was cool because it shows visitors the LEGO making process without having to go into an actual factory. Plus, at the end everyone is given a stamped logo LEGO to take home. The kids and I also had our first 4D movie experience in the LEGO 4D Cinema. Be prepared to see other viewers (and maybe yourself) reach out in attempt to touch hovering helicopters and other “popping out” animation. The film is short, only about 11 minutes. There are also a couple of other enhancements that bring the show to life, but I won’t ruin the surprise.
The LEGO Master Builder Academy is the ultimate must-do. Each participant (age 7 and up) receives a little bag with all of the LEGOs needed to create a special sculpture (projects change daily). You can take the creation with you for $5. On our day we built a spinning cheeseburger. The leader used a live video stream with a monitor in front of the room to show us how to put the pieces together. See the video of what we created below:
We spent four hours enjoying the LEGOLAND Discovery Center and the kids left exhausted, but not too tired to hit me up for several boxes of LEGOs in the gift shop.
Need more ideas on what to do in Chicago? Here’s a list of 29!Thank you LEGOLAND Discovery Center for granting my kids and I entry into your creative world.