As a child I used to dream about having kid-sized grown-up things! I really wanted to be a vet, but in reality other than what i’d seen on TV, I had no idea what they really meant. KidZania is this amazing concept built over 2 floors, a world that is totally kid-sized and allows them to play, learn and work as adults do.
Children can choose from a wide range of jobs including vet, firefighter, cabin crew and window cleaner, with each job earning them money (Kidzos). These Kidzos can then be spent on leisure activities such as seeing a show or training to be a pilot. Kids learn not only valuable work skills, but the value of money and how to spend and save too. Kidzania is a kids dream come true and somewhere I wish I’d been able to visit as a child.
Our KidZania vlog is at the end of the post!
From the second you walk into KidZania you enter the world of imagination and fun! You get your ticket for departure and head to the ‘check-in’ desk where each child is provided with 50 ‘Kidzos’ and a tracking band so you always know where they are. Each adult is then given a tracking band too, this way your children can’t leave KidZania without you so you are free to let them explore the world all by themselves.
You’ll also get a hairnet which you will need for any activity that has a helmet/hat or cooking. I’d recommend taking a small lanyard to carry your cash and hairnet in, that way you’ve always got it on you.
Heading through security, you walk out into the world of a child. As all the buildings came into view, Kairi let out a huge, ‘WOW’ she was amazed by what she saw and so was I!
There were buildings and kids everywhere and to be honest we didn’t know where to start. We couldn’t find a map anywhere but headed into the job information centre to see what was what.
This board gave us a great idea of what there was to do and it helped the girls decide what to spend and save their money on. We took a picture of it so we didn’t have to keep going back.
Next up we started to walk around to see what we could find. The girls gave us a small list of activities they wanted to do so that we could help point out where they are.
The first job the girls decided to do was Air Conditioning, I’m not sure exactly what they did up there, but they loved climbing around in the vents and getting paid at the end!
Next up they headed to the Dorset Hotel and trained to be house keepers! They had to look at a made up room and then go replicate it with their team. It was amazing watching them all work as a team, the bigger girls making sure the smaller ones got to do things. Poor Naminé must have placed the teddies on the bed about 5 times because she kept forgetting the quilt and the pillows first. The lady in the hotel was amazing, as she sent our children in, she got a ‘delivery’ from the courier and then proceeded to be interviewed by the news paper! She had an amazing attitude and was totally the person you want running an activity.
The girls got paid for this activity and they were ready to spend! So they headed to the British Airways training department and started queuing to become pilots. This was an activity they had to pay for.
The wait for this activity was long, there was already a group in and another group to go before them. Waiting is something we had to do quite a bit of during the day, with a 20 minute activity only taking 4 kids at a time, if you’re 10th in queue thats a 40 min wait before your 20 min session, so get comfy and be prepared to sit outside for an hour.
While the girls were safe in the queue, the flight attendants needed some volunteer passengers, so me and mum hopped aboard the plane and were shown the in-flight demonstration. We were then served a meal and told to enjoy our flight. It was great to see inside the plane, I was really surprised how ‘real’ it was with the rows of life size seats and a real cabin at the front!
The mini flight attendants did an amazing job and when we came out, it was time for the girls to go into their training. As the put their pilot outfits on, I saw the photographer take a picture in the cockpit. I just knew then that I had to buy it. The image was £12 and included this digital copy too.
The girls came out telling us just how much fun they had. They had flown the plane and landed it too! They were talking to me all about their left and right hands and the controls in the airplane. This sure was an awesome experience and worth the money they had to pay.
Time to become a firefighter and this one made me cry a little! #MumEmotions!
For this activity the girls watched a small training presentation on fire. They talked about the common courses of fire and the ways fire can be put out.
Next up it was drill time! The kids all grabbed their uniforms and headed onto the fire truck. They drove around the city to an old hotel that was in flames. The kids rushed off the fire truck and headed over to grab a hose. Up down, up down, they put that fire out.
Part way through the presentation they screamed down down down, everyone in the area got down on the floor to say safe from the explosion before heading back to put out the fire again.
It was at this point I looked around and noticed just how amazing and well timed this all was! Not only were the firefighters here putting out the fire, but the ambulance had turned up to deal with the casualties too. Then as the area was cornered off, the little mini police officers were all around keeping the crowds back and safe from the fire.
It was an amazing experience and quite possibly out favourite of the whole day, The way the whole things worked together was fantastic!
Heading back upstairs the girls decided to be vets, however the queue was really long and the queue for the Fruit and Nut Bar maker was empty so they headed in there. They had fun weighting and measuring but were a little disappointed that they couldn’t take their bars home with them at the end. We’d seen kids eating the wraps etc that they had made in other activities.
By the time the girls came out there was only 1 person in line for the vets and the activity was nearly over so the girls headed in to be a vet! They were really close to the window in this activity so it was great to watch them give the dog his injections and talk all about healthy weights, poos and other things!
The girls got a PDSA lanyard for taking part which we all thought was amazing. It felt like they really came out as little vets!
The penultimate job we tried was window cleaning. Taking a trolly around the town and cleaning windows. This job was the highest paid in the city and by far the quickest too!
Right at the end of the day, we had time for one more activity. The girls put on their outfits and became couriers at the bottom of the city. They delivered these boxes and grabbed signatures taking it in turns as they went around.
As we left KidZania the girls were SO tired! The experience is 4 hours long and there was so many other activities they hadn’t done, but I honestly don’t know how they would have had the energy to do more. Even just sitting around had worn the adults out!
The girls managed to do a total of 8 activities during the 4 hours; Air Conditioning, Courier, House Keeper at the Dorset Hotel, Window Cleaner, PDSA Vet, Fruit and Nut Bar Maker, Fire Fighter and Pilot. Some they paid for and some they got paid but at the end of the session they had 108 KidZos to spend in the shop!
Excited, we checked out of KidZania and looked around the shop to see what they could buy, I have to say, this is totally where the experience ended and we became very disappointed. After 4 hours of working where they were completely worn out, there were only 2 things in the whole shop that they could buy; 1 single letter fridge magnet or a tiny plastic cockroach!
This sadly left the girls in tears and really left us with a sand end to what had been a fantastic experience.
TIP: Use your KidZos on activities and save your £’s for the gift shop!
If you’re interested in KidZania tickets, you can grab them here: 365 TICKETS
Tips from other bloggers
Enjoy it! You’re not going to get on all the activities and so pick your favourites and enjoy those. I see people rushing around and looking stressed, which takes the fun away! https://www.dearbearandbeany.com
Take a packed lunch there are lots of benches to sit on in there. Maybe pick 5 activities, ones that you know they’ll enjoy some have bigger queues than others. https://www.kippersandcurtains.com
Take a book with you – you’ve got lots of waiting time while the kids do their activities. Or of course you can just stare lovingly at them through the glass if you prefer. For food you can bring a packed lunch, eat there (the food is OK priced), or wait until you get out as there are loads of restaurants at Westfield. There are also a couple of workshops where kids make food and can eat it – I saw burgers, wraps and nut bars! Small additional surcharge may apply though. Http://www.wavetomummy.com
They charge for you to leave your belongings in lockers or your buggy so either be prepared to pay £3 or go light! Https://emmareed.net
Do not go on a weekend if you value your sanity lol it’s awful. Go on a weekday. use a school inset day – https://kiddoadventures.com
We bought my daughter a Kidzania season pass before we had ever visited, Luckily it turned out great, here’s my top tip: Set your kids Expectations about Kidzos. ie: They cannot be used on ANYTHING besides activities within Kidzania (no shops, no food stalls, nowhere accepts them). So, use them to do the climbing wall, pilot activity, burger academy, etc! Don’t even try to save them up to buy the worthless trinkets available at the ‘Kidzo Shop’ (once you leave).
If you have this in mind, then you’ll enjoy the collecting/spending experience of Kidzos. There are enough activities to fill at least one day, and if you’re lucky enough to have a child that is over 8, you can leave them to enjoy on their own whilst you get a bit of shopping in!
If you have a pre-teen, don’t bother! My daughter was 11 when she went and she found everything to be so ‘babyish’. My boys raced around trying out lots of different ‘jobs’ to accumulate Kidzania money, looking forward to be rewarded once they got to the store at the end. They had worked really hard mind … yet ended up giving their hard-earned money to a scout group trying to raise enough for a board game: the only item they could ‘afford’ was a highlighter pen with a random construction company name on it (not even a Kidzania branded one!) So please tell your children this as they were SO disappointed. www.packthepjs.com
It gets busy so get there for when it opens. We did 3 activities in our first hour before it got packed out. Https://themoneywhisperer.co.uk
Go on the website with your child and plan what they want to do beforehand. The queues can be quite long so don’t be too ambitious about what you can fit in to the time Www.theincidentalparent.com
Try and make it there within the first hour of opening such the kids can enjoy with less crowd and queues www.upliftingandinspiringcontent.com
Go early or go late at peak times as it will be quieter and is frustrating when it is so busy. Take food and drink with you. Be prepared there is a lot of waiting around. Encourage the kids to spend their kidzos on activities rather than saving them for the shop as they won’t be able to get much. Https://www.astrongcoffeetogo.com
Just one more thing about the day that I feel I need to mention, if you can avoid the school trips then do! I was really disappointed to see school kids fighting in line, pushing in, stealing money off each other and racing the trolleys around. The KidZania staff did speak to them a few times, but as soon as the staff were busy or out of site the kids would start up again. It seamed like every teacher at KidZania had headed into the ‘adult only room’ (it was packed with teachers in there!). I feel that KidZania need to be more strict on their policy of schools supervising their children, but until them, avoid trip days if at all possible!
*This is a sponsored post