Move over, LEGOLAND. You’ve had your 15 minutes of fame, and now there’s a 21st century LEGO creation ready to battle you for LEGO dominance. If you have LEGO fans in your family, a pilgrimage to LEGO House in Denmark must be on your bucket list. It’s a family vacation destination like no other.
When we planned our trip to Norway and Denmark, we decided to throw in some LEGO at the end (in case the kids didn’t appreciate fjords and museums), so I was thrilled when LEGO House invited us to visit. What I didn’t expect was that I would walk away a major fan of LEGO, too. Here are 14 reasons you should probably just start planning that trip to Billund, Denmark, right now.
Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets from LEGO House, but as usual all opinions are my own. I really was this impressed by LEGO House. This post may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you make a purchase from one of the hotel links. View our full disclosure statement here.
There’s Never Been Anything Like LEGO House Before…in Denmark, or Anywhere
LEGO House opened in 2017 in Billund, Denmark, (home of LEGO headquarters), a building that looks like a giant pile of LEGO bricks. It’s billed as an “experience” house, designed to make you feel as though you are inside an actual LEGO house, surrounded by LEGO. Which it is…but also SO MUCH MORE.
They use technology in a way that complements real life, but doesn’t overwhelm it. For example, robots serve you food, and you can build LEGO fish and then release them into a virtual aquarium. You’ll find children happy to build things for hours rather than stand in line for rides. LEGO House will leave you feel as though you are part of a community of people who are all builders, too. On top of it all, you are given a magic wristband that records photos of your creations in a virtual memory book you can access after your visit online or in the LEGO House app.
Oh, and the whole thing is refreshingly uncommercial. Hard to believe? You have to see it.
It’s Probably the Happiest Place on Earth
I still love you, Disneyland. But LEGO House employees are giving you a run for your money. In a country where many processes are automated and labor costs are high, I wasn’t accustomed to seeing so many workers in one place. LEGO House is filled with young, clean cut, smiley, perky employees who all speak several languages perfectly, including English.
When I needed a taxi, someone offered to call one. At opening time, an employee cheerfully took photos of families in front of a LEGO House sign for free. All through the LEGO House were these magically happy people — like life-size minifigures — asking questions and encouraging my kids to problem solve their creations.
On top of all this, there are free lockers, immaculately clean restrooms where half of the toilets and sinks are child-sized, a nursing room that has a microwave for warming bottles and comfortable chairs, and plenty of changing tables for babies. Everything feels calm, clean, and reassuring. As though everything is taken care of, so all you have to do is build things.
Half of It Is Free!
The LEGO House is free to visit. Tickets are required only for the “Experience Zones.” For free, you can visit the house, climb the outside terraces, and play on the themed playgrounds scattered across the roofs. You can go into the lobby, or “LEGO Square,” and eat and play.
In LEGO Square, there are screens that will identify your minifigure avatar by your handprint. My kids spent at least 30 minutes doing that over and over again. Also expect a big pile of mega LEGO bricks, the kind that work well for babies and toddlers, on the floor for anyone to play with. LEGO models are scattered about for your enjoyment, too.
The restaurants and coffee shop are accessible through LEGO Square, so you don’t have to have a ticket for the experience zones to eat there, either. There’s also a LEGO Store at LEGO House, which sells all the usual suspects, as well as some fun LEGO House specific sets — such as a model of LEGO House, of course.
You Will Be Wowed
Leading into the Experience Zones is a ramp that winds around the giant LEGO Tree of Creativity, the world’s largest LEGO model. This leads you into the white-walled Masterpiece Gallery, which features three giant LEGO dinosaurs, each made from one type of LEGO set (LEGO System, LEGO Technic, and DUPLO) as well as display cases full of awe-inspiring builds submitted by LEGO fans all over the world. Adults will wish they could spend much longer than their kids will allow in this gallery.
There’s a giant LEGO waterfall, and a DUPLO waterfall, too. There’s another exhibition area full of various LEGO worlds, from LEGO cities to LEGO amusement parks to LEGO volcanoes (akin to LEGOLAND’s Miniland), where tiny stories are being played out every day, if you look closely. There’s just a lot to admire, all over LEGO House.
Don’t Tell the Kids, but It’s Educational
Children learn best through play. They don’t learn anything on a roller coaster, but they learned something every second we spent at LEGO House. In the experience zones, they were guided through many creative opportunities. They didn’t just build cars — they raced them, giving them the opportunity to go back and improve their designs. They had the opportunity to actually make a short stop-action LEGO movie. They learned coding, programming vehicles that had to move through the Arctic to save people and woolly mammoths.
Everywhere in LEGO House, you get the sensation that LEGO is building something here — a brand, cynics might say, but also a community, and a world where kids and adults alike work together to create new and amazing things.
LEGO House Denmark Is Fun for All Ages
The LEGO House website says it’s best for kids ages 7 to 11, and I can attest that my 7- and 9-year-old boys adored it. But I think it’s fantastic for anyone ages 18 months to 99 years, if you like LEGO. They had several DUPLO areas, including a giant DUPLO train area that captivated my kids for 45 minutes.
The only children who will not love LEGO house are babies and toddlers. Hopefully your baby will happily sleep the whole time. As for kids in the crawling stage…well, I’d say they are tough to travel with anywhere. If the weather is good, the play terraces on the roof have a spongy floor and would be a fun place to hang out with toddlers.
You Can Geek Out on LEGO History
If you’re having too much fun in the Experience Zones, you might be tempted to pass on the plain signs that say “History” and point to the basement. But if you follow those signs — which creatively lead you down a stairwell where the colorful tiles change solemnly to shades of gray and black — you’ll be treated to a place where true lovers of LEGO unite. You’ll feel as though you are being let in on all the family secrets.
Look down when you get to the bottom of the stairs: you’ll see a LEGO mold buried in the floor, and a plaque explaining how the founder hid his trade secrets by having LEGO molds buried in the foundation of the company’s buildings. You’ll get to see all the old LEGO sets. And you’ll walk through an impressively thorough recounting of the company’s past, including its financial problems.
Did you know LEGO sold off LEGOLAND in 2005? Me either. And did you know they just bought it back?! Yes, this is the kind of LEGO nerd I have now proudly become.
Don’t miss the the movie theater in the basement, either. They were showing a film about how LEGO designers designed Star Wars sets the day we were there, and my kids watched it three times. There are big pillows to lounge on in the front (or nap on…just saying) and it’s dark, cool, and quiet, perfect for resting little master builders.
It Strikes the Perfect Balance With Technology
LEGO House might be the Home of the Brick, which sounds pretty basic, but they don’t shy away from incorporating technology. For parents like myself who are a little wary of this new world, it’s refreshing to see a toy company that uses technology without being overwhelmed by it.
Your “magic” wristband for LEGO House has a chip in it. At many points in the Experience Zones, you can take a photo of your creation and then scan your wristband in order to save your photos for download later. There are also screens scattered around the Experience Zones that serve as maps, and have minifigure videos and other explanations. However, kids were rarely at these screens. Even my kids, who seem magnetically drawn to any touch screen. They were too busy building and playing! Success, LEGO House.
They use technology to enhance, rather than replace, real life building with bricks. And isn’t that the goal?
It Feels Like It’s of the People and By the People
After all the fun we had at LEGO House, I asked my nine-year-old what his favorite part of the whole thing was, and he told me it was seeing all the LEGO creations by normal people. I’m over here thinking, “It wasn’t making a stop-action animation film?!”
LEGO House features many display cases full of jaw-dropping LEGO creations, with little plaques telling you the name and nationality of the person who built them. They are truly astounding. And they represent to all of us, kids and adults alike, what average people (not LEGO employees) can do with LEGO.
If you want to be part of such a phenomenon, you can! See the LEGO submission guidelines here.
They’re Not Trying to Sell You Anything
I mean, sure they are, in the long run. You can bet your booty we didn’t leave the LEGO Store on the way out without a few sets and several minifigures. And yet…It’s probably because I’m American and accustomed to being sold something every five minutes, but I was shocked by how uncommercial the entire LEGO House felt.
I assumed you would be able to buy all sorts of unique items at LEGO House. What better place to try and wrench more money out of LEGO-crazy fans? But nowhere in the LEGO House does LEGO actually try to sell you anything, or funnel you through any gift shops. In fact, you cannot buy anything you build at LEGO House, which I found astounding. I had sort of assumed they would let you buy your LEGO creations at the end — charge by the kilo, or something. But no. You get to take photos of your creations home…and hopefully recreate them later. You have to be in it for the true love of LEGO.
The MINI CHEF Restaurant Must Not Be Missed
I knew I had to eat at MINI CHEF the instant I read about it. MINI CHEF is more than food, it’s an experience not to be missed, where minifigure chefs are (supposedly) making your food behind the scenes. You can watch them do so on the screen at your table, after you order…in LEGO, of course.
The brilliant system is designed to give kids choices while making them order from three food groups (which my kids grumbled about, of course). Each person has a packet of LEGO, and each food is represented by a LEGO piece. You put your pieces (your “order”) in to the machine on the table and it reads your order.
Be careful…it’s easy to make mistakes with the pieces, but it does give you a chance to review your order before it’s submitted. Also, if you try to order without including all the food groups, your order is rejected (ha!).
You can play with LEGO while you wait, of course, and watch the minifigures make your food on the screen. The best part, though, is when your food is ready. You watch your order (in LEGO boxes, of course) move through the assembly line until appears on the real-life conveyer belt in the middle of the restaurant. It is then handed to you by two giant LEGO robots that have been dancing away this whole time. It is SUPER FUN.
Pro tip: MINI CHEF is 15% off after 5 pm, so it was much more affordable for us to have dinner there than lunch; we didn’t have to wait for a table at that time, either.
It’s Full of Surprises
Probably I shouldn’t ruin these for you. But at MINI CHEF, your kids will get a surprise in their meal. And at the end of your visit to the Experience Zones, you’ll see a bin of packets of red bricks. At first I thought “Oh, how nice, they’re giving us six red bricks.” Because once you’ve spent as much money as our family has on LEGO, we will take any free LEGO bricks we can get.
But no, this is way better! At the end of your visit you scan your wristband one last time, and the machine spits out a special card to commemorate your visit to LEGO House. As it turns out, there are over 900,000,000 ways to combine six red LEGO bricks, and on the card you are given a completely unique way of putting your bricks together — no other visitor will get the same combination. The most awesome memento ever, especially if you happen to be math geeks like us.
It’s Right Next to LEGOLAND
I know I said we liked LEGO House better than LEGOLAND…but we loved LEGOLAND, too. The thing about LEGO House’s location in the tiny town of Billund, Denmark is that all the LEGO awesomeness is essentially within walking distance of each other.
We went to LEGO House before LEGOLAND and I would recommend that order, as the overstimulation of LEGOLAND could potentially put a damper on the beauty and simplicity of LEGO House for some kids.
You don’t have to stay at one of the hotels within the Legoland Resort, but if you do you will have easy access to LEGO House, by foot or by shuttle.
You Can Spend All Day There
Tickets to the Experience Zones at LEGO House must be reserved by date and time; however, once inside you can go in and out as many times as you like all day.
Four hours is probably enough time inside the actual Experience Zones, but my family easily spent all day at the LEGO House. We entered at 10 a.m. when it opened (we were waiting at 9:45 because my 9-year-old was that excited). We exited to eat lunch, then two of us had to go back in and see everything we had missed, while the younger crowd played on the playgrounds on the terraces. Then we had to spend hours perusing the LEGO store, of course.
We closed the place down, people. As true LEGO fans do.
Bonus: Tips for Visiting LEGO House
- LEGO House is located in the very small town of Billund, Denmark, reachable by plane (it has an airport), bus from the nearby town of Vejle, or car. If you want to reach it by train, you will have to go to Vejle and take the bus, which is quite easy.
- You’ll need to buy tickets to the Experience Zones at LEGO House, preferably ahead of time as it does sell out on busy days.
- There is a free shuttle that travels around town to the various tourist attractions and LEGO Hotels; check out the Billund Tourism site for more information.
- You have several accommodation options. In addition to LEGOLAND Resort Hotels, there’s an indoor waterpark resort, Lalandia, that has cottages. We found a great Airbnb in Billund. Also, it’s worth looking at staying in the nearby town of Vejle, such as in this lovely Scandic hotel.
- The bus runs to Billund from Vejle as frequently as every twenty minutes (Bus 43 or 143) and stops at Billund Center, which is a block away from LEGO House. Vejle is a larger town with more restaurant options; we would consider that in the future as a more affordable place to stay.
- There are a couple restaurants across the street from LEGO House as well as the restaurants inside LEGO House, but the options are still pretty limited. They are welcoming of picnickers, so consider packing a lunch and storing it in the provided lockers. There are plenty of tables in LEGO Square and up on the terraces. My kids were cranky after a busy morning and while waiting for lunch I was wishing I had packed sandwiches.
- Make sure to scan your “magic” wristband at the screens scattered around LEGO House. Don’t miss out on the chance to record photos of your creations. In the History Collection, the screens allow you save your favorite vintage LEGO sets to a virtual bookshelf. When you get home, downloading these memories is lots of fun.
- I highly recommend downloading the LEGO House app. This is a fun exploration of the LEGO House in preparation for your trip, or even if you are just dreaming of a trip there. It has cute little animated LEGO videos, too. My kids love it.