Ever wanted to swim in a pool of LEGO blocks, stand under a LEGO shower or scoop up mounds of yellow bricks with a digger? We did all of these things and more at the biggest LEGO event on the planet: LEGOWorld 2016 in Utrecht.
When our son saw an advertisement for LEGOWorld and started begging to go, I was skeptical. We’ve been to a few of these big events in the past and often leave overheated and frustrated by the crowds. Still, how could I disappoint a 4-year-old LEGO fan, especially when the organisers offered us two free press tickets to go and review the show? I couldn’t, of course, so off we went.
Long story short: much to my surprise, we had a fantastic time at LEGOWorld. The displays and activities were creative and varied, offering something for kids of all ages. Just an hour into the show, we’d already built our own LEGO mini figures, had our names printed on a LEGO block, jumped into a sea of bricks, assembled a race car and participated in a LEGO relay race. I texted my husband: “It’s brilliant here – love it!!”
Here are a few tips for your visit, based on our experience.
- Get discounted tickets. Definitely buy your tickets online. They’re cheaper, and you don’t run the risk of getting there, only to find that all tickets are sold out (which regularly happens). To get the cheapest price, first sign up for the LEGO Club and then get your tickets. Your membership number gets you a few extra euros off the entry price.
- Arrive early. We arrived at Utrecht train station just after 9am and headed straight for the entrance. Although we had to stand in line for about half an hour before the doors opened, it paid off. We were one of the first inside and looking behind us, the queue grew quickly the closer it got to 10am. The first 60-90 minutes were relatively quiet at LEGOWorld, and we covered a lot of the activities during this time frame.
- Once inside, check your coat and get a wristband. You don’t need to pay for the main coat check at the Jaarbeurs (the venue where LEGOWorld is held). There’s a coat check just inside the entrance to LEGOWorld, and an info stand where you can give each of your kids a wristband with your phone number on it – just in case they get lost.
- Start with all the interactive things. There are several attractions which everyone wants to do. In particular, the stands where you can build and take home your own mini figure, get your name printed on a brick and stand under a LEGO shower. We did these things first, and hardly waited at all. We just walked right in. By lunch time, the queues for these areas were quite long. You can save yourself at least an hour by doing these things first. Later on, it’s easier to walk around and see the various large-scale models.
- Take your own snacks. The catering areas get busy at lunch time, and there was so much to see we preferred to snack on the go. There are plenty of places where you can easily sit down near a table full of bricks and eat a sandwich while building.
- Need a break? Go to the cinema. There’s a big LEGO cinema, and it shows a rotating series of films. It’s relatively quiet and has plenty of seats — the perfect place to take a break from the crowds.
- Compare prices before you buy. The huge Intertoys shop at LEGOWorld offers a 10% discount on all sets. That’s an OK deal, but online it’s often possible to buy LEGO sets with a bigger discount. There’s also a ‘pick-and-mix’ stand where you can fill a bag with LEGO parts for 8 cents per gram, but that works out to €80 a kilo! We didn’t find the pieces all that special, and you can easily buy a kilo of LEGO online for between €10-15/kilo.
Have fun at LEGOWorld!