Tilly has taken a group of her friends to Kidzania before and they all had an awesome time. You pay to get in and then it is like a little city full of place for the kids to get to work. I had seen a lot of advertisement about Kidzania, so I knew what to expect when we got there. The girls all had a fab time and had lots of memories made. They were able to become special care baby nurses and dental nurses. They made ice creams and learned how to work on a sports car. There is a wide range of jobs to do and there is a limit to the amount of children doing the activities which means they get the full attention of the person running the activity.There are usually 4 or 6 children doing some activities but ones like the fire engine/ ambulance and hospital have more children participating at the same time.
When the children have completed their job, they get paid in Kidzania cash. The cash is worthless outside of Kidzania, but inside it is worth a lot to the kids. At the end of the day, there is a shop that the kids go into on their own and they spend their money. Through out the day, they can deposit the money in the bank for safe keeping and they get give an ATM card. This helps them understand how to look after money and gives them an insight how to save and take the money as they need it.
The staff at Kidzania, get the kids hyped up for the jobs that they are about to do, they are enthusiastic and make the experience enjoyable for the kids. They teach the kids what it is like to do the job and also gives them skills that they might need for life. The paramedics watch video's about what to do when people hurt themselves and the fire station teaches them about the dangers of fire. There is also then a huge fire in the middle of Kidzania and all of the emergency services get involved. The kids climb in the back of their emergency vehicle, and go to the fire, once there they get to work putting the fire out, keeping the crowds back or fixing the injured people.
A day at Kidzania is thrilling and gives them ideas of what they would like to do when they are older. You get 4 hours inside and the most popular jobs are always the busiest, so be prepared to queue and wait a little while. Mums and dads are not allowed in the jobs,so make sure you take a book to read because there is a lot of waiting around. If your kids are old enough to go about on their own, then you can take a seat and relax with a coffee, or there is even an adults only area.
When we returned for the second time last week, Tilly was on her own. She wanted to do different things, so she became a firefighter, an electrician, a DJ and went to the theatre to watch a catwalk show and magic show. Both of these shows were put on by children.
Kidzania does get busy and when we went in half term we had to queue for half an hour to get in, But when we got to the front of the queue we were greeted by one of the Kidzania directors, this was a lovely touch and it goes to show that all the staff pitch in at busy times. It was nice to meet people from behind the scenes. When you get to the front of the queue (which happens to be an airport check in desk), you are given a wrist band to wear. Your child gets one too and it means that your child can go around on their own or if your child gets lost, you know they can't leave the premises because it will set the barrier alarms off. It also means parents cannot leave their kids there either.
Kidzania is situated in Westfield White City and the nearest tube station is Shepherds Bush.
It is open
Monday - Friday 10 - 6.30
Saturday 10 - 8
Sunday 10 - 7
There are extended opening hours in the school holiday and more details can be found here. You can buy tickets online and it saves you a fair bit of money.
Tilly enjoys going to Kidzania, there always seems to be something different to do. I am sure we will go again, mainly because we forgot to spend her Kidzania money. So she has a bonus to add to her earnings next time and that will lead to a bigger gift from the shop at the end of your session.
Have you been to Kidzania? What did you think?