I'll be honest. I hadn't heard great things about LegoLand Discovery Center in Schaumburg. But my six-year-old is starting to get fanatical about legos and I figured that it could not possibly go wrong.
I was right! We had a really good time. We went down on a random weekday and it took us about 90 minutes to get there from Glendale. There was very little traffic on the day we went, but be sure you bring about a million dollars for tolls.
It is located nearby IKEA, if that gives you a better sense of where it is. (Anyone else's mind work best when given landmarks?)
I would plan on your visit lasting between 2-3 hours, but not much longer than that.
Here's what you'll find if you visit:
1. Large lego sculptures
They're all over the place! You'll be greeted by this gigantic giraffe at the entrance, and the life-size lego creations don't stop.
I think this is supposed to be Barack Obama?
2. Chicago Miniland
Maybe I'm easy to please, but I was very impressed with this detailed cityscape of Chicago, made up of over 1.5 million legos. It takes up an entire large room, and the lighting goes from daytime to nighttime. Some of the lego units move, hide, and light up. There's a lego sculpture of all of the major buildings, O'Hare, and Soldier Field. It's incredible!
3. Lego Jungle Expedition
After the Chicago cityscape, you walk through a jungle with huge animals, plants, and characters, all made of legos. You'll see a life-size tiger, hippo, swinging monkey, and more.
4. Star Wars characters
If your child loves Star Wars, they won't be disappointed with the Star Wars section, where you'll find a life-size Darth Vader, Yoda, and many other Star-Wars related things of which I have no idea about.
There are two rides at LegoLand. One is called the Merlin's Apprentice Ride, and it basically swings you around in a circle, going up and down, while you pedal bike pedals. It was fun, but probably best for ages 3-5.
The other ride is called Kingdown Quest, and it's great for all ages. You ride a "chariot" through an imaginary kingdom, shooting lasers at the enemies in order to rescue a princess. Was I entertained? Mildly. But my six year old absolutely loved it.
6. Pirate Adventure Island Playland
When you're done with the lego sculptures and rides, your kids can get their energy out at Pirate Adventure Island, which is a large play structure that looks like a pirate ship. There is an area where they can build their own lego boat and test it out in the water.
Next to the Pirate Adventure Island is a play space for babies and toddles called Duplo Village. You'll find a smaller slide and a play table with large legos that are not choking hazards!
Nearby you'll find two large ramps where you and your children can build lego cars and test them out. It's harder than it looks! I definitely failed.
7. 4D Movie Theater
Enter the movie theater on site, slip on your 4d glasses, and enjoy a four dimensional lego-themed movie. The movies were short, about 15 minutes each. But there are a few different movies playing throughout the day. (Warning: The one we watched was just a little scary for my six-year-old, but he didn't have any nightmares to my knowledge!)
8. A Master Lego Builder
Don't miss the Master Builder who you can see through a window building amazing lego creations. I can't believe this is a real live job that someone wakes up and drives to. But then again, it explains who builds all of the amazing lego sculptures that you see, as well as the lego art pictured below:
9. Lots of opportunities to spend money
While most attractions are included with the price of admission, there are plenty of other things you can spend money on while you're there. If you're hungry or thirsty, there is a cafe next to the Pirate Adventure Island. They'll also take a professional picture when you enter that you can purchase at the end of your visit. And before you exit, there's a nice big retail store offering, you guessed it, all things legos.
11. Jamba Juice
We ended our visit at the Jamba Juice next store. There's something gloriously devious and weirdly satisfying about my child eating kale without knowing it.
Is there anything else you'd like to know about Legoland Discovery Center? Drop a comment below!