Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LEGOLAND {Chicago}

My family & I were recently invited to Legoland Discovery Center ~ Chicago, which was really funny timing because I hadn't realized there *was* a Legoland in Chicago until a few weeks prior, when a co-worker took his kids there. He kept telling me how awesome it was & that I should take a trip there with my boys. I wasn't totally sold, as it IS about an hour & a half drive AND my boys are quite a bit older, having a been-there-done-that attitude toward Legos. But then fate intervened & I was given free tickets. And BONUS -- when I looked on Google Maps to figure out how the heck to get there, I saw that IKEA was very close to Legoland so we could make a day of it. 

We did get a bit turned around as we entered the city. It's located in Schaumberg - & I'd even been there before - but apparently I am very map-challenged, as I just couldn't figure out where we were & where Legoland was. When we finally did find it, I was super excited because it was located in a strip mall. We knew we didn't want to eat at Legoland & I was happy to see other choices. And .... had I NOT been with 3 males .... I could have done some major damage at the surrounding stores! 

I have to say the entrance is UBER cool - with a big ole giraffe hanging out in the front (can you believe my boys didn't want their picture taken with this??? It would have been adorable!)

Oh, but they were FINE with this picture. 

I honestly didn't know what to expect. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but they did have lots of fun exhibits & things to do. Well, the activities were mostly aimed toward smaller kids. But we knew that going there. We still managed to spend about 2 hours in there. 

MINILAND Chicago is right when you walk in, & I thought it was pretty cool! I've always wanted to visit Chicago :)

I couldn't believe the details involved. I really wanted to just take a ton of pictures, but there were people waiting behind me so I had to click fast. I'm told that they actually change this a bit for each season. I think it would be awesome to see what they do for Christmas! 

The Jungle Expedition was next. It was pretty dark so it was hard to get good shots. Again, people were behind me waiting for me to walk so I had to just click click click. I had to resort to using my flash.

I'm sure I didn't even see all the jungle beasts in this area. So much to look at! 

I believe this next area is newer:

I love Star Wars so was excited to see Darth Vader, Obi-Wan, & this little guy:

Next up was a ride that was quite similar to one of my favorite things we did in Disney, the Buzz Lightyear ride.

You ride in a dragon car & you try to zap as many trolls & skeletons as you can. Unfortunately something of mine was malfunctioning, so while my gun did vibrate when I shot something, my points were't tallying. The same darn thing happened in Disney! I know what you're thinking .... operator problem .... but this time, Matthew's gun didn't work either. So ha! Yes, we could have ridden again ... but we thought we'd give the little kids a chance :)  No cameras allowed on the ride so you'll just have to trust me: Ride this. 

Another fun thing for all ages - a couple of short 4D movies.

We watched both movies - "Clutch Powers" & "Legends of Chima". And I didn't even get sick, lol (I don't usually do well with 3D. But hey - this was 4D so I guess I'm ok with that!).

There were a few areas we missed, either because it was too congested or my kids just weren't interested. They have a Master Builder Academy, where you can learn some building tips (my kids don't even own Legos anymore, plus it was insanely crowded in there, so we skipped it) -- a Factory Tour, which I think again is aimed towards younger kids -- & we also only peeked into the Cafe. It looked like a lot of fun & they had an area in the middle where you could race your creations, but again - really packed. We did hit the Lego store on the way out. It was fun to browse through all the different Lego sets that you can't find anywhere else. 

All in all, we had fun. It was a great way to spend 2 hours on a Saturday, although I do suggest NOT going on a weekend if possible. In hindsight, I should have taken off work & gone during the week. But we still had a great time. All the employees were nice, everything was clean & there was a lot of laughter so clearly everyone was having a great time. Even my big boys had fun AND they even admitted it!! Huge!! If you are a fan of Legos, age doesn't matter. My 40-something year old cousin sitll loves Legos, & I heard he was quite jealous of our little day trip :)

If you want to read more details, or find out if I missed anything :) -- you can go to there web site HERE. You can also follow them on Facebook & Twitter.  

***I will post about the rest of our day soon. Was IKEA a thumbs up or thumbs down for me????

**I was given tickets for my family to visit Legoland. All opinions are my own. 


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