Have you been to Woodfield Mall lately? If you have, you may have noticed the newest museum (yes, museum!) to hit the mall. Blocks to Bricks Museum, an art-gallery inspired museum, celebrates the history of 3-D building toys. Adam Reed Tucker, the man behind the ever-so-popular Brick by Brick exhibit at Museum of Science and Industry, also happens to be the man in charge of the newest museum. In fact, he personally designed the entire space. Blocks to Bricks Museum is his vision and design come to life.
Our Experience at Blocks to Bricks:
My family and I were very lucky to have Adam and his son give us a tour of the museum. While waiting for our tour to start, the kids flocked to the Make and Take area where they could build their own creations. They also had a fun time touching the lighted wall.
Before we knew it, it was time to start the tour. We first started by watching a two-minute video highlighting Adam’s story. It was a great way to gain an understanding of how he ended up where he is today. (Psst….Wait for the little surprise at the end of the film — a peek through a window revealing 5 original skyscrapers that Adam built which led to museum exhibits and eventually Blocks to Bricks.)
Adam led us through 13 different zones reflecting the different mediums used in 3D building such as stone, wood, paper, and of course the fan favorite, plastic. As we winded through 12,500 sq. ft we saw over 3,000 artifacts — many of which were from Adam’s personal collection and even from his childhood.
The hit with the kids was obviously the plastics section which included their ultimate favorite, LEGOs. Even though items are still in the process of being set up, expect cool things like a wall full of every single LEGO piece built, a peek into the artist’s studio, or a display of every mini-figure made. Plus, who can resist a photo op with a huge mini-figure? My favorite section though was the glow dome with glow-in-the-dark brick creations.
While many of the artifacts are presented behind glass, each section has an interactive element. For instance, people can wave their hand in front of the sensor to activate a machine, or press a button to spin the display. The kids and I loved seeing a few creations come to life by spinning and moving like this Ferris wheel made out of K’nex.
If you’ve ever wanted to see how a plastic brick is made, then you’re in luck. You can see how bricks are made with their very own mold machine. Afterward, follow the bricks on a conveyor built as it makes it way through the retail store. You can even purchase one as a souvenir.
For a truly special inside peek, visitors can take a special VIP tour inside the Vault. For an extra charge, visitors are given a unique combination to open a vault where you can see Adam’s office and studio within the museum’s exhibit hall, along with other surprises.
Other items displayed at Blocks to Bricks will include one of a kind pieces created by artists. As you can imagine, the sky’s the limit when it comes to building, construction, and imagination, and Blocks to Bricks will continually showcase new items.
Tips to enjoy Blocks to Bricks Museum:
- Stop by the retail shop. They showcase current and vintage design, “building” and construction related items. You won’t find many LEGOs, which is totally fine since The LEGO Store is right across from the museum.
Although we visited during the soft opening and things were still being set up, Adam’s passion and creativity for the museum is evident as we went through the museum. It’s a worthwhile stop for every brick- and building- obsessed kid (and adult). Plus, a great way to take a break from shopping. I look forward to revisiting once it’s totally complete and checking out the secrets behind the Vault.
While You’re Here:
- Check out the new Dining Pavilion with Chipotle, Nic’s Organic Fast Food (read about their other location), Maoz for Mediterranean,
- Let the kids play at the kids area in front of Macy’s.
- Want to get your LEGO fix on? Get your LEGO fix at the LEGO store or better yet head outside the mall to Legoland Discovery Center.
- Want to eat outside the mall? We loved our visits to Chuy’s Tex-Mex and Naf Naf Grill.
Where: 5 Woodfield Mall, Suite D215, Schaumburg, IL 60173. Located next to Cinnabon and McDonalds.
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: $15, Vault experience: $30.00 (includes museum admission)
Read more about Adam with an exclusive Q&A.
Disclosure: Our family was provided complimentary admission to Blocks to Bricks Museum. I was not required to express a particular point of view and all opinions are my own.