I tend to be an offseason girl when it comes to theme parks. I just prefer the lower crowds even if it means some rides are being refurbished and the parks hours are shorter. That being said, sometimes visiting a theme park on a busy day can’t be helped. We traveled to San Diego over winter break last year and as a result, spent time at LEGOLAND on a crowded day.
10 Things to do at LEGOLAND on a Crowded Day
I wouldn’t even consider visiting Disneyland during the same time period because of crowds but for some reason, I thought LEGOLAND would be fine. LOL, the joke was on me. Even though I wasn’t prepared for a busy day, we survived and managed to have plenty of fun. There are plenty of things to do at LEGOLAND on a crowded day that doesn’t include waiting in line for rides!
Things to do at LEGOLAND: Watch a 4D Movie
The LEGO Show Place 4D theater is a great way to cool down in the summer (or warm up in the winter) and rest your feet while enjoying a fun LEGO 4D movie. Currently, the theater features The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure and LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS: The Book of Creativity. Show times can vary each day so heck the entertainment guide or official LEGOLAND California app for show times.
Things to do at LEGOLAND: Build with LEGO bricks
The Build-A-Boat activity in Miniland USA is one of my boys’ favorite things to do at LEGOLAND. Kids are given a boat base and then they can create the fastest, biggest or silliest boat they want. Then they race them against other kid’s boats. I think the boys would stay here all day if I let them. Along the same lines is the Build-A-Car activity in the Imagination Zone. Kids can race their creation again other vehicles down ramps. The great thing about this location is there is a DUPLO building area next door, perfect if you have both toddlers and older kids in your group. There are several other LEGO build opportunities in the park as well.
Things to do at LEGOLAND: XBOX Game Space
This was the first trip we let the boys spend time in the XBOX Game area. Mostly because we don’t visit theme parks to play video games but also because we have most of the LEGO video games already. Given the crowds though, it was the perfect time to let them bounce from game to game, playing or watching someone else while the adults put their feet up for a little while.
Things to do at LEGOLAND: Catch a Live Show
Currently, you can catch a LEGO Friends show in the LEGO Friends Heartlake City part of the park. My boys aren’t super interested in it but that doesn’t mean your kids won’t be.
Things to do at LEGOLAND: Character Meet & Greets
There are regularly scheduled character meet & greets in the park including LEGO Friends, Kai from Ninjago, Emmet, and Wyldstyle from the LEGO Movie and Lance from the Nexo Knights. If you visit during the holidays or on other special event weekends like Star Wars Days, additional characters will likely be available. I’d love to do a LEGO Star Wars meet and greet!
Things to do at LEGOLAND: Take Fun Pictures
Beyond the character meet & greets, there are plenty of other fun photo opportunities. Spend some time taking fun pictures.
Things to do at LEGOLAND: Get Wet
When we visit LEGOLAND during the summer, we always bring a towel and swim trunks for the boys. They love playing in the Soak-n-Sail water area back in Pirate Shores. It’s a large-scale playground with water slides and plenty of opportunities for your kids to get wet. Note the name “Soak”-n-Sail. If you plan on letting your kiddos get wet, be prepared or you will regret not bring a change of clothes. They recently added a set of changing rooms next door, alleviating the need to find the nearest bathroom to change. There is also a small toddler water area nearby for little ones in your group.
Things to do at LEGOLAND: Visit Miniland
Checking out Miniland USA is also a fun way to spend time at LEGOLAND on a crowded day. There are plenty of models to check out, and even if you’ve been a dozen times you will notice new details each time. Plus they do add new features periodically. The boys love checking out cities they have never seen before in real life. And let’s not forget my favorite part of Miniland, the STAR WARS section. 🙂
Things to do at LEGOLAND: LEGO Minifigure Trading
Definitely, plan on bringing an extra Minifigure or two from home to trade with LEGOLAND employees. It’s like a treasure hunt, trading a Minifigure you aren’t thrilled with for a new one that you love. Check out my tips on how to trade Minifigures at LEGOLAND.
Things to do at LEGOLAND: Playgrounds
There are several play areas around the park including one dedicated for little kids, DUPLO Playtown located in Fun Town. The Hideaways is full of tunnels, nets, ropes, slides and ladders and located in Castle Hill. Pharaoh’s Revenge is a fun play area in Land of Adventure that lets you blast soft foam balls at other kids or adults, whoever dares to enter! My boys love the play areas and would spend all day there, happily skipping rides if lines are too long. Don’t miss a few smaller play features in LEGO Ninjago World, it’s a brand new section of the park that opened last summer.
If you can’t skip the rides and want to splurge a bit, check out the Reserve-N-Ride option through LEGOLAND. For an additional fee, you can reserve your spot in line while you are enjoying the rest of the park (see my 10 ideas above on what you can do). 😉 We’ve never tried it but it looks cool. If you have tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!
Save On LEGOLAND California Tickets & Packages
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They also sell Southern California City Pass tickets which are perfect if you planning on visiting several Southern California attractions like the Disneyland Resort, LEGOLAND California, and SeaWorld San Diego.
Where to Stay when Visiting LEGOLAND:
If you are looking to splurge, we’ve enjoyed our stays at both the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel and LEGOLAND Hotel. With free breakfast, extremely fun themed room and early access to LEGOLAND, they are a great place to stay for families who want to be within steps of the LEGOLAND entrance.
There are quite a few hotels nearby that aren’t as expensive though, many with shuttles to LEGOLAND which helps you avoid the daily parking fee. We really liked the West Inn & Suites Carlsbad and Hyatt Place Vista/Carlsbad.
If you go a few minutes down the freeway, you can stay right on the beach at the
Carlsbad Beach Inn Resort. There is no shuttle but it’s a really lovely property with beach access and some condo style rooms are available. You can really save money on meals with a full kitchen!