On the day we went to KidZania it was an absolute nightmare journey. We left home thinking it was going to be a 45-minute trip and it ended up taking us nearly 2 hours, this was because what seemed like every single bridge in London had been shut due to protestors. When we arrived at Westfields, Shepards Bush we sighed a sigh of relief only to feel stressed again as it has what I can only explain as the most complicated car park I have ever been to in my life. Pushing this aside Kidzania were great at accommodating us even though we were nearly an hour late for our booked time slot, they also still let us have the full 4 hours that were booked.
When arriving inside KidZania you receive boarding passes, which allow you to go through to the boarding area and arrive in KidZania an indoor city designed for children aged 4-14, KidZania blends learning and reality with entertainment. Each 4-hour session is designed to let children independently choose from a number of real-life activities and test their skills at a variety of professions.
When you check into KidZania they ask the ages of all the children who are travelling with you, this is because you can, in fact, leave children over the age of 8 there alone while you spend the day shopping. If you are with children under the age of 8 then you will have to purchase an adult ticket to be allowed to go in with them, I personally think this is such a money maker for them because adults can’t do anything there, apart from drink overpriced drinks and eat overpriced food. When you check into KidZania they give you bracelets that can’t be taken off, this is to ensure security and means that no child can leave the complex. It actually puts your mind at rest whether you are there with your children or not, knowing there is no way they can get out and are fully GPS tracked.
After all of this, your children are handed over Kidzania currency known as KidZos, the starting amount being 50 KidZos which can be used to purchase things like a bus ticket and take part in certain activities like abseiling and working for the PDSA. KidZania also has a lot of activities that are real-life professions and jobs, these actually help your children earn more KidZos by paying them for the work they do.
Some of the activities at KidZania include
- Working in a Bank
- Being Cabin Crew
- Being a Pilot
- Working in a Chocolate Factory
- Working for a Cleaning Company
- Going on a City Tour Bus
- Being a Dentist
- Working in an Estate Agents
- Being part of the Fire & Rescue Unit
- Being a Police Officer
- Working in a Hospital and A&E
- Being staff at a Hotel
- Working at Capital Radio
- Working in a Smoothie Kitchen
Now, these are just a handful of activities they can do as there are actually 37 different activities to choose from – There are actually more if you take into account there are subsections of some of the activities. Like, working in the hospital you can be a surgeon, work in the baby unit, work for the ambulance service and some other things all within the same place.
These activities are all fun and focus on learning and teaching children the responsibility of working. I love that there were so many things catering for many different ages and the children were free to do as they please in a safe and fun environment. We were lucky as when we went to KidZania it wasn’t too busy compared to how it can be, this meant that activities had quite short queues and our kids got through around 10 activities each. Kidzania do say that while your child is there they should enjoy at least 6-8 activities as standard.
After our session was up the kids took their KidZos and traded them in at the KidZania shop for little trinkets – It isn’t the best shop and I think the things are slightly overpriced for how much they earn while they are there. Tapanga had over 125 KidZos and was only able to get a keyring.
To sum KidZania up I would say that the kids thoroughly enjoyed it and had an absolutely cracking time there. They loved taking part in activities, earning their own money and getting little treats along the way. Us as adults found it quite boring as there is absolutely nothing we can do there and as we had a six-year-old we had to go in with them, although if you were leaving the kids there by themselves while you went off and shopped it is a brilliant place for them to attend.
We didn’t buy our tickets through the KidZania site as for 5 of us it would have been nearly £150, instead, I bought them on the picniq site where we got 5 tickets for around £80. I think that was an absolute bargain for the kids to be able to have 4-hours of fun.