Practically Ethical’s Guide to Legoland

Today was the last day of the Big One’s summer half term. We made the most of an extra inset day by taking the girls to Legoland, Windsor.

We all had a brilliant time. As most children returned to school yesterday we didn’t really have to queue for any of the attractions. This was a huge bonus for us. Queuing is no fun with small children.

It cost £104 for entry and Priority Parking, using the Kellogg’s special Take A Grown Up Free offer and the online car park pre-booking option.

We’ve never had Kellogg’s cereal in the house before (the girls were completely delighted when I bought a box of Coco Pops) but I was tipped off by another mum at the school gate before half term and the offer was too decent to pass on. Yesterday we made cornflake cakes using up some leftover Easter chocolates and packed them in the girls lunch bags today; the girls have been devouring bowls of Coco Pops at breakfast. Breakfast has never been so quiet before!

Good old fashioned cornflake cake, using up the last of the Easter chocolate.

Anyway, here are my top tips for having a slightly more sustainable day out at the theme park. Remember, it’s a theme park, not a national park. It’s never going to be the top eco attraction for children. But there are ways to minimise your impact whilst there.

1. Buy tickets online and use your phone to scan into the car park and theme park. No need to bother printing out any tickets at home. No wasted pieces of paper to be recycled. After all, they only need to scan the barcode.

2. Download the Legoland App or use the maps and signposts in each area to plan your visit and get around the park. We didn’t pick up a map because we didn’t find one. We took our time wandering around, using the sign posts and map boards in each area if we needed some guidance. It made for a really fun and stress-free day. I’m not sure you’d be able to do the same on a busy day. I only realised that there was a Legoland app when we got home, I’ll download this next time.

3. Take your refillable water bottles. There are lots of water fountains around the park for free refills. Saving money, the environment and your teeth all in one simple step.

4. Take a packed lunch. Cheaper, healthier and you can make it as zero waste as you like. There are loads of picnic areas too. I packed up a huge picnic, which lasted the day. And helped us tide the girls over in the crap traffic on the way home.

Practically zero waste and pretty healthy lunches for all the family. These cute little Tum Tum boxes are about 2 years old now and have served us really well. In addition to our salads, we had slices of organic sour dough from Infinity Bakery wrapped in foil (did you know aluminium foil is recyclable in some Council’s recycling bins?) to dip in our tapenade and olives and cherries (packaged in single use plastic tubs – we’re still working on reducing plastics. It’s a constant and arduous struggle).

5. Don’t bother taking your refillable coffee cup into the park. The cafe I went into refused to fill it, telling me my cup was a contamination risk. The only option was a single-use coffee cup. Not cool. I’ve written to Legoland’s customer services about this because apparently they sell refillable cups for 2 weeks in November for their Fireworks displays. Go figure. The reasoning for the refusal (of my perfectly clean) coffee cup didn’t make much sense. I asked if it was company policy as it seemed so bizarre. The response to that really wasn’t clear. So, if you’d like a zero waste coffee, you’ll have to take a flask. I didn’t see any cafes with proper cups and mugs, but maybe I missed them. And really, with 2 small children determined to experience all of the attractions, who’s going to have time to sit down for a coffee.

My poor, empty Joco.

6. Choose ice cream in a cone rather than a cup. And enjoy!

Zero waste except for the napkin, which I missed when they handed the cones to the girls.

7. Recycle your rubbish. There are loads of recycling points around the park. No excuse to put your recyclables in the landfill bins.

8. We managed to distract the girls for long enough with all the fab rides and attractions that we managed to duck the gift shops on the way around and on the way out. We had a few tears in the car, but as the Big One said, “my heart has made lots of memories. And seeing a shark on the submarine ride was totally awesome.” I don’t think any toy could replace the experiences and memories made today. What a lovely day to treasure.

An all-round great day with 2 under 5s. Highly recommended! I’m pretty sure we’ll be going again, although I do hope they change their position on reusable coffee cups, if that really is their company policy.

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