It’s at least 32C on a late afternoon at Legoland in Billund, Denmark, home of the legendary plastic brick empire.
My wife and three boys are queuing for the mini-boats ride for the third time today.
We’ve already spent almost seven solid hours dashing from ride to ride, only really stopping for a late lunch.
And, of course, our kids have absolutely loved every minute of it.
Between them, they’ve driven a fire engine, sailed inside a secret cave, taken a ride on a Duplo train, fired water cannons at pirate ships, watched a 4D mini-movie, climbed a lighthouse, ridden on a dragon roller-coaster and… well, loads more I’ve forgotten in a blur.
By any measure, this has been a grand day out. With the final boat ride done, we retreat to Hotel Legoland where we have a
Waking up next to the image of beaming, yellow-faced knight is a stark reminder that you’re on a kids’ holiday.
I imagine relatively few guests here are on their honeymoon.
Guests at the hotel are entitled to two days’ access to Legoland, so after making the most of the expansive buffet breakfast, we take the short walk to the park.
Feeling a little like we are on a mad trolley dash, we sprint to the 4D ride in the new Ninjago World, and then on to Lloyd’s Laser Maze, in which you have to step through red laser beams, Mission Impossible-style.
By midday, we’ve been on 10 rides and attractions, but it’s time to drag ourselves away to go to Lalandia, a popular, Center Parcs-style resort which is literally just across the road.
We have day-tickets for the Aquadome, Scandinavia’s largest waterpark – and, after a frantic day-and-a-half at Legoland, it proves to be a welcome change of pace and scene.
Tired and hungry after a marathon six hours in the water, we then head to nearby restaurant, Ristorante il Bambino. It’s part of the same complex at Lalandia, which also features bowling lanes and a softplay area.
Not for the first time on the trip, conversation with my wife turns to the cost of food and drink. There’s no denying it can be expensive in Denmark, but our buffet dinner here is a semi-reasonable £24 for adults and £10 for kids. Drinks are pricey though – a ‘medium’ Coke is a whopping £4.70.
There aren’t dozens of bar and restaurant options in Billund. This is a small residential town with just 6000 or so inhabitants. The Lego HQ and factory dominates the area, but apparently, even most of its employees commute in from somewhere else.
Just 15 miles away (and served by a local bus route) is Givskud Zoo and an adjacent hostel, which is a great option if you’re looking to keep down the cost of your stay.
Givskud is actually part-zoo, part-safari and part-dinosaur park. Our kids enjoy driving among lions, elephants and giraffes, watching gorillas being fed, petting goats, getting up close to lemurs and then walking among 40 life-sized dinosaur models.
We spend our final night at the popular Ribe Byferie holiday village, about an hour’s drive from Billund. Ribe is Denmark’s oldest town and extremely picturesque, with a beautiful cobbled centre, and gorgeous shops and restaurants.
Our kids are a little young to appreciate local Viking history, but enjoy staying up to follow the town’s night watchman, as he gives a tour of the area and tells stories of yore.
If we’d had the time, we would have loved to explore Ribe on bicycle and maybe even try canoeing but, sitting at the swish Billund Airport, we reflect on what has been a fun-filled, action-packed few days.
The kids, meanwhile, are eyeing up the airport’s solitary toy shop. It only sells one brand of toy – no prizes for guessing what it is.
Legoland is open for its new season from April 2017 and booking is now available.
Hotel Legoland offers family rooms from £103 B&B (four people).
British Airways (www.britishairways.com) flies to Billund from London Heathrow from £42 one-way.