We love Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg, IL. There are some who feel it is too crowded and expensive. If you follow these tips, you will have a great experience and want to return again. Here’s what to do at Legoland Chicago to enjoy the best possible experience.
What to do at Legoland Chicago – Best tips
Planning your visit to Legoland Chicago: Before you go, make sure to….
Find a discounted price for Legoland Chicago
If you pay full price and it’s crowded, you may be disappointed. Look online on the Legoland website for the base price so you know the maximum you will need to spend. Then work from there.
- Costco in Schaumburg, IL: If you live locally, you can check the local Costco to see if they have Legoland admission tickets.
- Coupon on the Legoland crown: If your child received a crown from a prior visit to (any) Legoland, there is a coupon on it for “Buy one adult and get a child free.”
- Local library: Many Chicagoland libraries also offer passes that local residents can “check out” with their library card.
- Annual Pass at Legoland Chicago: If you will be able to go at least twice during the next year, it may be worth it to get an annual membership. Legoland’s membership price varies throughout the year. Check online before you go.
- Search online
Other tips for Legoland
Go Chicago Card is not a good deal for Legoland Discovery Center. The single day price for a Go Chicago Card is much more expensive than the most expensive admission fee to Legoland. Also, you will be rushed to do two Go Chicago attractions on the same day if one of them is Legoland Discovery Center. It will take 35 – 45 minutes (on a good day) to travel from Chicago to Schaumburg. Plan to spend the day at Legoland without rushing to additional paid Chicago attractions the same day.
Lego Club magazine: If you are going to Legoland California, Legoland Florida or another Legoland (not one of the Legoland Discovery Centers) you may find a “Pay for an adult and the child is free” coupon.
- You should subscribe to this awesome free magazine for kids. There are two different versions, depending on your child’s age. Now that both my kids are in the older age bracket, we just subscribe to one Lego Club magazine in order to reduce the environmental impact and to minimize clutter.
Have your child bring minifigures to trade with the staff
While the Chicago Legoland staff probably won’t have as many choices as they will at Legoland California, it is still worth bringing some Lego minifigures to trade. In order to trade minifigs at Legoland Chicago, your child needs to bring a minifigure that includes a Lego head, body and legs. If you have an accessory to go with it, that’s great; however, it’s not a requirement. Look for the Lego employees with minifigures on their nametags. It’s a nice experience for your children because the employees will accept the trade.
Check Legoland Chicago hours
During the school year, Legoland Discovery Center in Chicago usually opens at noon. On school days off and during winter break, spring break, and other times, they open at 10am. They are open at 9am on Saturday and Sundays during the summer and 10am other times during the year. Bottom line: Check their website for their hours before you go.
Visit during slow times
When are the least crowded times at Legoland Chicago?
- Go during the school day when schools are in session: If there is any way of going during a school day, those days are often the least crowded. When my kids were preschoolers, we went to Legoland Chicago a lot because it was empty during the school year.
- Go after school: If you can’t go during the school day because your child has school, go after school and stay until 7pm when it closes.
- Go after 2pm: If you are visiting during the summer, a day off from school, or on Saturday or Sunday, the best time to arrive is in the afternoon. Stay until 7pm, and you’ll have plenty of time.
More tips for less crowded times at Legoland
- A great time to come is if your child has a fall break or a different spring break than when the local schools are off; it will be less crowded.
- Summer day camps often have their field trips on Friday so avoid those in the summer if you can. They will usually leave by the early afternoon; however, so plan to come at 2pm and stay until closing at 7pm.
Have a plan for the Lego Store
When you exit the Legoland Chicago attraction, you have to exit through the Lego store. Talk with your child in advance of your visit. After an exciting day at Legoland Chicago, he or she will want a lot of things from the store. Make a plan in advance so you end your Lego experience on a positive note. Will this be your child’s souvenir from their vacation? Will you agree to pay for half if your child pays for half? Can they pick something as a reward for grades, chores, as a gift, or just because?
Bring some quarters
You will not probably not find a major attraction anywhere in Chicagoland that charge only 25 cents (!) for a locker. Bring a few quarters if you want to access the locker multiple times during your visit. They do have a change machine right next to the lockers in case you forget. Bring some pennies too and buy a flat penny souvenir for your child for just 51 cents.
Eat before you arrive
You are not allowed to leave and re-enter, so plan to eat before you arrive. There are some restaurants in the Streets of Woodfield Plaza. Legoland Discovery Center has a snack bar with sandwiches, chips, ice cream novelties, etc.
What to do at Legoland Chicago once you are there
Register early for Lego Master Builder Academy
Legoland Discovery Center Chicago has a Lego build class that you have to reserve your time. As soon as you make your way to the second floor, go and reserve times for everyone in your group who wants to build so that you don’t miss out. It’s usually kids who build but adults are welcome to build or to assist/just sit there. The Lego staff will give you a ticket that you bring back at that time.
You are there for your child. Try your hardest to have patience and to not rush him/her to see everything. It may seem like a waste of your time and money that your child wants to go up and down the slide or sit with a pile of Lego bricks and build because you can do that at home. Do your best to relax and enjoy what your child is enjoying.
You may want to discuss in advance what your child really wants to do but know that Legoland Discovery Center isn’t that large so if you will be there for at least three hours when it’s not crowded, you will be able to thoroughly enjoy everything. My family stays at least five hours, and we’ve been there over 15 times in six years. Especially now that my kids are older, they spend time doing exactly what they want to do.
Ask to see a different Lego movie
There are usually about four Lego movies that rotate throughout the week. On our last visit we were able to see the new Lego Movie 4D – A New Adventure and Lego Nexo Knights – The Book of Creativity.
Each movie is approximately 10 – 12 minutes. There is a sign which will countdown the time until the next Lego movie. This is great so that you know how long you have before waiting outside the theater. On our most recent visit, we sat through three different movies (one we saw on our last visit) as someone asked the friendly Lego staff member to play a certain one that wasn’t in the rotation. The theater was fairly empty which was great because we all enjoyed being able to sit in our seats without having to get back in line.
The theater is fun. It’s 4-D which means there are some surprises like some snow or rain and wind, depending on the movie. When you enter the Legoland theater, the staff member will give you a pair of 3D glasses.
Take the Lego Factory Tour
The Lego tour is especially fun when it’s not crowded so your child will have a chance to push the button to make the machine run. We’ve been on the “tour” when it was crowded and when it wasn’t. You will enjoy it either way, and the Lego staff usually invites the children to the front. Everyone in attendance, even the adults, will receive a free Lego brick that is compatible with Lego bricks as well as Duplo bricks. Sometimes they give out a themed brick, such as when we went for Brick-or-Treat and over the winter holiday.
Take the Legoland survey
Plan to take a few minutes to complete the survey at the kiosk when you leave the Legoland Discovery Center. There really aren’t that many places that ask for their customers’ feedback, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to recognize great service from a Legoland Discovery Center employee or to leave constructive criticism. (On my most recent visit, I left plenty of compliments and was happy with my visit; however, I did complain about the broken bikes on the Merlin’s Apprentice ride, as a full 1/3 of them broken on a busy summer day — 4 out of 12 bicycles!) The kiosk is right outside the Legoland store as you are leaving from inside the attraction. Know that once you leave the attraction, you cannot re-enter Legoland.
Enjoy the new Legoland attractions
It’s always great to see what will be new at Legoland Discovery Center. They work hard to improve their guests’ experience and are often adding to, changing or modifying their exhibits.
What not to do at Legoland Chicago
You know what to do at Legoland Chicago, now here’s what not to do.
Don’t wait in line if you will be staying a long time
The crowds will thin out so don’t wait in a line longer than 10 minutes for Merlin’s Apprentice Ride or Kingdom Quest Laser Ride. There will be a time during your visit when you should be able to not have to wait in line at all for a ride and ride it again and again. This is also important for other crowded attractions, including the Pirate Adventure Island playset and the Legoland Racers Build and Test section.
Don’t come on a weekend and expect it to be empty
Again I repeat, Legoland will be crowded on the weekend as are most Chicagoland area attractions. If you do go on the weekend, your best bet is to come mid-afternoon (1:30pm/2pm) or later and stay until closing (7pm). Or come for the majority of the day, and watch a Lego movie. Reserve your spot for the Lego Master Builder Academy early, when it is crowded. Then, when it’s less crowded, you can enjoy the rides, the Legoland Pirate Adventure Island exhibit (playland and interactive Lego section) and Build and Test section.
Don’t fear the restrooms.
The restrooms are fun, colorful and clean the Legoland restrooms. There is even a family bathroom which is very convenient.
What to do at Legoland Chicago is to have fun
Come with a smile and your camera as your child enjoys a very hands-on experience playing with Lego bricks in new ways. If you plan what to do at Legoland Chicago in advance, you will be sure to have a great visit. If you are planning a midwestern road trip, be sure to see everything Nebraska, Iowa and Milwaukee have to offer.