LEGO City Ideas—Building, Layout & Tables

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The time has come for you to build the ultimate LEGO City for yourself or with your kids. But with so much opportunity comes quite a few decisions, right? Where do you begin? What is the next best step to take?

What is a LEGO City?

If you didn’t know, a LEGO City is the popular “city life” theme under which the many different LEGO sets, models, and products are released and put together. These include the everyday, real-world depictions like police and fire departments, airports, train stations, and much, much more.

When it comes to building your city, the good of it is you can gain inspiration from just about anywhere, whether that’s walking around your neighborhood, in wilderness, and elsewhere, not to mention from watching TV, reading books, and more. If you can think it, there is probably a LEGO option for you!

Not to mention that the LEGO community is a large one, so there have been plenty of people in your same position, but even better, many people who have come out of their LEGO rut or started from absolutely nothing to build something extraordinary.

LEGO City Tips & Ideas

So, below are some tips along with ideas, clips, and resources to help you push forward with your LEGO City build.

First, some ideas

Now, if you came here looking for nothing more than some great ideas, let’s jump in! I’m trying to include ideas outside of the general building types, so hopefully this helps stir some inspiration!

Amusement ParkPlayground/ParkBeach
Arcade MachinesGateDocks
Bumper CarsSwingsBoardwalk Pier
Movie CharactersSandboxCabanas
Pirate Ship RideGrassLifeguard
Food KiosksFlowersFishing
Ferris WheelFlagsVolleyball
Body of WaterBenchesEquipment Rental
CarouselRestroomContainer & Cargo Ships
Whirl RideFountainBonfire
Food TrucksBaseball DiamondOil Tanker
Rock WallSkateboard ParkCoastguard
BridgeCropsHospital with Helicopter Pad
TempleScarecrowPatio Dining
Water RafterPig PenTransparent Building Windows
HikersPicket FenceConstruction Crane
Swinging MonkeyTool ShedNightlife
ZiplineCorn FieldWishing Well
Hidden CavesSilosParking Garage/Lot
VinesWindmillMovie Set

Bigger is not always better

In crunching your brain for ways to expand or even begin your city, you don’t always have to think about how to make it bigger or the biggest in order to make it better or the best. While size can play an important factor depending on your focus and goals, it’s not always the case.

Why? Because think about it—if we are talking “bigger” in terms of how far the city stretches, the more you expand, the more space there is to fill. It’s like moving into a new home, and one that is much bigger than where you’ve been living for years. Yes, it’s nice and could be a great move, but you’ll have to furnish it first…and not to mention that furnishing just a little might leave you worse off than furnishing at all.

And then if we are talking “bigger” as in structure size, there is certainly a time and a place for large builds, but again, it’s not always the case.

Especially when starting new, ideas and opportunities can be overwhelming, and even moreso if you’re thinking about how quickly you can create the largest city imaginable. All of this might hinder progress or extinguish the thought all together.

Take a look at the video below “Why This Small LEGO City is Better than MANY Large LEGO Cities” which puts emphasis on the fact that you don’t have to create something huge for it to be magnificent.

If this clip gave you some ideas, here are some product links for you to explore further:

Take planning to heart

If the goal or one of the goals of your LEGO City is to create something that reflects real life, why not take that to heart when planning your LEGO city as well?

Meaning, think about what goes on with the construction around your hometown. While it might seem like new buildings, apartments, and more go up quickly and at a moment’s notice, reality says there is a ton that must first be considered, including but certainly not limited thinking about accessibility like traffic and roads, or, from the building owner’s point of view, proximity to similar stores or competition, and so much more.

To maximize fun and personal buy-in with your LEGO City projects, try to keep all of this in mind, and plan and then execute.

Not to mention that planning will help you maximize space! Take a look at the video below for “How to Start a LEGO City in 2021” for additional tips on baseplates, tables, general setup, and more.

If the video above gave you some ideas, here are some product links for you to explore further:

Focus on the subtheme

Expansion with your LEGO City doesn’t mean you have to break the mold or traditional idea of what a “city” should look like. Meaning, if your focus is a normal everyday slice of life on earth, try to contain your thinking to stay in that lane. Of course, to each their own, but if you’re having a hard time keeping focus, including an alien invasion plus a Ghostbuster takeover mixed with Star Wars surprises might not be the best route. (That is, of course, if your goal is to make something completely random and fun with all of your favorites, in which case, have at it!)

So while you might have more than a few lightbulbs that go off when thinking about all of these cool and different directions your creations can go, you might be better off categorizing that inspiration and saving the ideas for separate, focused, builds down the road.

Not to mention there is so much to consider with one subtheme alone, and you might be really surprised when you sit and think about how deep you can really go with your current or particular subtheme.

For example, here is a deep dive into “90s Space Subthemes.” Look at all of that cool stuff!

Go into detail

So while the above mentions trying to stay focused and to not get carried away in terms of merging subthemes, going into detail will help any builder think of things that may be missing from their city.

To get started thinking about any missing details, it might help to consider the different levels within the city. Meaning, while you might first be concerned with what’s going on at street level, what about the scenes that are unfolding in the buildings above? That could be on the rooftops, in the sky, or simply a glimpse into an apartment window.

And then what about below street level? Think about a dropoff into a beach, a subway station, or less glamorous, the sewers and work going on in the dark depths.

Here is a video showing the different details that might go into your build.

About Ryan from Ballcard Genius 222 Articles
Ryan is a lifelong member of the hobby and sports card expert. Specializing in baseball cards, and showcasing a love for flashy 90s inserts and all things A's, Ryan enjoys sharing the ins and outs of collecting, while highlighting the best cardboard options to add to your collections. Last Time Ago LLC dba Ballcard Genius.