Sooooo. Kidzania London had been on our “radar” for quite some time. .but for one reason or another, we had never quite managed to get round to going. There is always so much going, isn’t there? Anyway, we were lucky enough to be invited along as press to check it out and when I said to the kids: Guess what kids, we are going to Kidzania…. they squealed with delight! Both had already heard of Kidzania and where desperate to go.
So what IS IT?
Well… it is a big, fun and educationally led “attraction” for kids – you enter the world of Kidzania via British Airways check in terminals at Westfield London and come out in a town for kids. The kids get to roam (practically) free (ok not quite, but 8yrs+ are allowed to explore on their own. Younger kids remain with their adults) and explore different “experiences” in different “rooms/ venues”. Each venue has a different theme and they get to have a taste of “real jobs”. From Dentist, to Firefighter, to a recycling unit, to making chocolate. Depending on the activity of choice the kids are either EARN Kidzos or have to PAY Kidzos. A great early introduction into the concept of money? Work a session at the recycling room? Earn 6 Kidzos. Want to make chocolate PAY 12 (see how pleasure costs more than what you earn?). It is a great way to motivate the kids to try out different things in order to earn more cash and then to spend their rewards in other areas of Kidzania.
Here is a little video we made of the day about Kidzania London
What did we think?
Well the kids LOVED it. Interestingly the boys MADE a LOT more money than the girls (the girls were much better at spending it..). I think they enjoyed the variety of experiences.
As a parent, I did think it was great that they got these mini taster sessions of different jobs (I mean, what child even THINKS of becoming a dentist? Or working in a recycling unit). I think it is great that they learnt a little about cash (and having to earn it before you spend it) and the 4hours we spent there simply flew by.
It is a great place for kids aged 6yrs – 9yrs, though officially it goes to 12yrs (I think) and there are some areas for toddlers to play and relax. It was great that my 8yr old boys where able to go off on their own, which mean there was no squabbling over who gets to choose which activity next.
As the kids were electronic wristbands, I knew they were ALWAYS safe and were not able to leave the premises without me and I think the boys particularly enjoyed that sense of freedom.
For parents there were plenty of places to sit down and stop for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat (whilst the kids complete and activity).
We went during a cold and wet half term… so it was quite busy. My only recommendation is to go EARLY – as our first 2hrs were pretty good activity wise.. but the last two hours, we did have to queue quite a bit. So if you are doing a 10 or 15min activity, you don’t want to wait for an hour first (in fact, the boys never made it to the chocolate factory, as the queue was too long).
It is also worth keeping an eye out for family tickets or special deals.
If you are looking for meal out with the kids in Nottingham, my lovely friend wrote this great review kids food on Thaikhun. I think it is great to get kids trying out new flavours!
Disclaimer: Kidzania’s PR team invited us along for the day.