In Denmark the Easter weekend lasts for five days, not four, and so when Steve found a cheap deal for a two-day, one night stay at Legoland in Billund we snapped it up immediately.
Nathan (similar to many six-year-olds I imagine) is fairly comprehensively obsessed with Lego (mainly Nexo Knights, which have now relegated the ninjas of Ninjago to second fiddle). No trip to the city centre is complete without a long diversion to the Lego store on Stroget.
[Top Tip: if you are visiting Copenhagen with small people, go into the Lego store and ask about the current ‘mini-make’. Each month they put out a small set (previous ones have included a narwhal, a duck-billed platypus, and for Easter, a chick) – and they are completely, absolutely FREE! Officially these are released on the first Thursday of every month at 4pm, but they rarely seem to run out of them, and if you go to the main desk at the back of the store and ask very nicely, they will always go and find you one (or two!) if they still have them around.]
The makers of Lego are crafty, and have merchandised the crap out of all their different sub-brands, from duvet covers and lunch boxes to the app games that Nathan is semi-addicted to. Imagine his delight then when we informed him that we would be staying overnight in a Ninjago-themed cabin at Legoland: I think his head almost exploded with joy.
Now, without a car, getting to Billund from Copenhagen on public transport is a bit of a trek (approx 3 hours each way from our apartment), so I wouldn’t fancy attempting a return journey in one day with kids. That said, it’s a pretty straightforward train (two hours, to Vejle – make sure you get onto the right section of the train, as some of them split part-way, if in doubt ask the very helpful station staff) and then hop on the the number 43 bus (departing a few times each hour) which drops you right at the entrance to Legoland. If you have a rejsekort (like an Oyster card but works all over Denmark) then you can use that for the whole journey and it will cost around 375 kroner each way per adult (the kids are free).
Having left home at around 6.30am, after a short detour to the Holiday Village to drop off our bags (too early to check in), we got into the park around 11.30. Having endured horrendous queues back at Legoland (Windsor) in the past, we made a beeline straight for the Ninjago themed rides, thinking that we could be in for a long wait…only to find that there was no queue to speak of and we merely had to power walk through the ‘queueing enclosure’ area to get to the start of the ride. Result. Apparently there are queues, in the summer months (clearly only the hardy, skint, bonkers, locals, or super-keen go in the colder months…) but even then they at least try to make the queueing easier on the kids by providing little oases of free Lego for them to play with at various stages along the way. Top marks Lego!
It is also much more manageable in scale than the UK version. The park is divided up into several ‘themed’ sections including a Ninjago themed area, a Knights area, a sort of ‘cowboy Western’ area (complete with a Danish guy dressed in full American Indian dress, where you can cook ‘Indian bread’ on a stick over an open fire (kids loved this), and the Duplo playpark/rides for younger kids (which Anna loved: she would gladly have spent all day just in this bit).
We did a fair bit of ‘divide and conquer’ since the kids were interested in different stuff/Anna was too little (or too scared) for many of the rides, but it worked fine.
As ever with these places, bringing along some of your own food/drink will save you quite a lot of money, though the on-site food wasn’t too bad. There are medium-sized lockers near the main entrance (you can also hire strollers for 60kr, and there is a luggage room for larger items of luggage, for 20kr).
After a very full day of rides, we headed off to check into the wondrous Ninjago cabin, via the Holiday Village shop, which offered fairly slim pickings on the food front (I imagine better in high season), but was very well-stocked with alcohol (I think they know what stressed, tired parents are after!).
The Ninjago cabins were pretty much brand new, and although after living in a clean, white, Scandi minimalist apartment for 5 months, the decor was an assault on the senses, the kids of course loved it. There was a decent-sized double room for us, bunk beds for the kids, nice shower room and a kitchen/diner/lounge area. Loved this triptych in the loo!
Linen is not included, so you need to hire that from reception (but no need to pre-book). My only grumble is that a microwave would have been really useful (there was no oven, only two electric hot plates), but given most people probably only stay one night this wasn’t a big deal. There was also a ‘welcome pack’ of cans of drinks, crisps and sweets.
One really nice touch is the fantastic new kids playground, see pics below.
The second day was more of the same, as we ticked off a couple of the rides we had missed on day one, and repeated many more. By 3pm it was time to begin the trek back home, with two very tired, but very happy littles in tow.
If you are happy to take a change on the weather (we dodged a few downpours, and hail, but were generally lucky with dry conditions whilst in the park) then an off-season visit to Legoland is a bargain. (Although you might find yourself spending all the savings you make in the ginormous Lego shop on site, you have been warned)…