“Mom,” says my son, leaning over the breakfast table in Billund’s Hotel Legoland and looking at me intently, “I don’t want to leave here. And if we have to go, we have to come back… soon.”
For as long as we can remember – and despite living in a house full of plastic bricks – Arthur, who is now 11, has wanted to stay in a Lego hotel. So you can imagine his face when we told him we were staying at Lego’s home in Denmark, where Covid-related testing or mask-wearing requirements have been dropped, where not only did he finally finally get into a real Legoland bedroom and stroll through the original Legoland park, but also visit the Lego house – a separate “experience center” with playgrounds in each area of its roof area.
In addition, we planned to create the ultimate kids’ outing by expanding into the simple beauty of southern Jutland, where treetop adventure parks, cooking food over a campfire and whizzing along the beaches in wind-powered go-karts promised to heal the pain left by the Lego mothership.
British Airways has re-opened its direct flights to Billund, which has a vision of becoming ‘the best city in the world for children’ and I believe it has already achieved that goal.
The small town offers tons of fun within walking distance, and our first stop is Lego House, where a central 16-metre-tall ‘Tree of Creativity’, built from more than 6.3 million bricks, takes a journey through four colored zones full of waterfalls, mountains and jungles, made of colored plastic but full of life and movement, and play areas designed to stimulate imagination and creativity.
Among a variety of activities, kids and adults alike can program robots and send them on a mission to find flowers for the bees, build fish and release them into a digital aquarium, and record their own stop-motion movies.
And the immersive experience extends into lunchtime, where the on-site Mini Chef restaurant lets visitors compose their own orders using Lego bricks, before the food – delicious and healthy, as is standard in Denmark – is delivered by dancing robots.
Outside, the building’s tiered block architecture — designed like Lego bricks — lures us down colorful steps to 13 rooftop terraces, each outfitted with play areas.
And so, under a blue sky bouncing around the playground, we hear the first, inevitable “I don’t want to leave here.”
Luckily, after finally falling asleep surrounded by a Lego Kingdom room, the next morning’s first stop is Legoland itself, where the relatively small park offers a day of unique and exciting rides.
We all vote the Polar X-plorer our favorite for its totally unexpected screaming moment and the amazing view of the resident penguins and ride it four times.
The park is immaculately maintained, the staff cheerful and friendly, and Duplo Land offers its youngest visitors a truly wondrous scene of planes, trains and monorail in exuberant colours.
Last year, the park opened four new attractions in its new Lego Movie World, including Emmet’s Flying Adventure Masters of Flight, where you soar through the Lego Movie universe, and Apocalypseburg Sky Battle, where you fight a Duplo invasion.
A two-minute walk home through an airlift for Lego hotel guests would have ended our great day perfectly were it not for the desperate sobs we left Billund with the next morning.
Twelve hours later, the mood has only worsened. But we have a plan.
Our route from Billund ends after a 10-minute drive to WOW Park, a treetop adventure playground the size of more than 40 football fields, divided into six zones full of zip lines, giant nets, climbing paths and swings in the highest branches of a forest.
Kids are off in a hurry, jumping off giant nets and floating around on zip lines and swings. Helpfully, there are chill-out zones where you can take a moment to gaze up at the sky and listen to the birdsong.
You could easily spend a whole day here and not see all the features, but we continue moving through southern Jutland towards the Wadden Sea National Park, which has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site for its unique biodiversity and intact ecosystem.
The peaceful space as far as the eye can see is the perfect antidote to the crowds of Legoland, but there’s also fun and adventure. We meet Bente from Naturcenter Tonnisgaard, who takes us on a foraging trip to the beach, where we collect herbs and flowers for our campfire. ‘Wadden Sea hot dogs’ are on the menu – sausages made from lamb grazed on the local salt marshes, in locally made fresh bread and topped with mayo, flavored with the morning’s harvest.
After lunch, head down to Romo Beach, where a stiff breeze creates perfect conditions for “blokarting” on the endless flat beach in three-wheeled carts with a sail.
A short tutorial from instructors from operator KiteSyd shows us how to steer the karts and race safely, and then we make our way to a yellow flag in the distance. It’s great fun in a spectacular setting at the edge of the sea.
On our last afternoon we go in style to the luxurious campsite Marsk Camp, a five-minute drive from Romo Beach, where the 24 square meter glamping tents – with terrace and barbecue – have a real bed and a cozy living room with two sofas that convertible into extra beds, and access to a private shower and toilet.
We spend an afternoon playing the camp’s 18-hole tournament-legal miniature golf course before climbing the stunning on-site Marsk Tower with its 360-degree views of the beautiful swamp and national park.
The site’s restaurant is a final exceptional experience with a seasonal three-course menu using locally sourced ingredients and wines to match before the best night’s sleep we can remember, awakened only by the morning choir and a breakfast delivery of fresh bread, fruit , yoghurt and meat , cheese and a pot of hot coffee.
At the end of our Denmark adventure, it’s fair to say that none of us want to leave. And yes, we’ll be back soon.
A Kingdom Family Room at Castle Hotel, LEGOLAND, for two adults and four children, starts from £295 per night, including breakfast and access to LEGOLAND (legoland.dk).
British Airways (ba.com) offers direct flights between London Heathrow Airport and Billund Airport. One-way tickets from £40.
Rent a car from Europcar (Europcar.com) and drive around independently. Four days car hire from £211.
Visit visitdenmark.co.uk for more information about the destination.
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