Calling all LEGO lovers! Brickworld, which calls itself the “premier LEGO fan experience in North America” returns to Schaumburg June 16-17. Here are just some reasons why Chicago families should plan to attend.
1 Brickworld is fun for the whole family.
Kids and parents alike are mesmerized by all there is to see and do at Brickworld, which Executive Director Bryan Bonahoom attributes to the universal appeal of Legos. “They not only appeal to multiple generations, they appeal to everyone, regardless of age, gender, nationality, language,” he says. He notes that the number of girls attending Brickworld has increased but he says he thinks that overall, Legos have experienced a surge in popularity with everyone.
Lego displays are limited only by the imagination, and that means all different kinds of interests are represented at Brickworld. This year’s Battlestar Galactica display is sure to create buzz, but there are also displays from castles to characters that appeal to a variety of interests. Many of the displays are low to the floor so little ones can easily see them.
2 There are more displays than ever before — and they’re incredibly intricate.
In operation for more than a decade, Brickworld keeps growing. Bonahoom says there are more displays than ever this year.
There are giant displays, like Gold Crest Castle, that you can’t miss and there are minute details that you have to squint to see. “You could spend three days in the event hall and not see everything,” Bonahoom says.
“There are always some surprises.”
He adds that many of the displays at the Chicago show are “displayed one time and one time only.”
3 Legos are very educational.
“The educational value of Legos is unmeasurable,” says Bonahoom, who says that most parents recognize the many ways kids can learn by building with Legos. In addition, children are encouraged to ask questions of the builders and specifically get into the principles of engineering and physics behind their technique and the construction of displays.
Attendees can also see demonstrations by and learn more about First Lego League, a competition that gives elementary and middle school students a chance to develop critical thinking and STEM skills with the help of adult coaches.
4 The Great Ball Contraption is bigger (and may even set a world record.)
Rube Goldberg machines are mesmerizing and there’s one at Brickworld called the Great Ball Contraption. It is a highlight of Brickworld each year. This year’s contraption, however, will be bigger than ever before. Last year’s Great Ball Contraption was 225 feet long. This year, it will be 260 feet long.
If it doesn’t set a new world record, it will certainly come close.
5 Brickworld gives kids a chance to find role models.
Whether it’s interacting with a Lego master builder during the Kidsworld session on Friday or talking with one of the hobbyists about a display, Brickworld offers kids a chance to connect with adults who share their passion.
“It’s incredibly valuable for kids to get affirmation that what they’re doing is awesome, and it gives them people they can look up to,” says Bonahoom. The event offers a sense of community for Lego enthusiasts and encourages them to pursue their passion.
6 A chance to expand your Lego collection.
Vendors at Brickworld offer a wide variety of Lego products and accessories. If you feel like you’re at your Lego capacity right now, consider stocking up for birthdays and holidays.
7 Kidsworld is a chance for younger Lego aficionados to get involved.
The public exposition portion of Brickworld takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Hardcore Lego fans may be interested in attending the convention that takes place in the days before the public exposition. The convention is geared toward adults, but Friday morning, it offers Kidsworld, which is aimed at little Lego lovers. Kidsworld includes a Legoland master builder speaking about technique, building challenges and more hands-on opportunities for learning.
8 It’s affordable.
Keeping the event affordable has always been a goal, Bonahoom says. Tickets are intended to be comparable to the price of a movie ticket. But chances are you’ll spend far longer exploring the 100,000 square feet of Lego fun at Brickworld than you would at a movie.