Kidzania is one of those things that I wished was around 10 years ago so that when the invite to come along and try it out landed in my inbox my three would have been the right age. Sadly though it only opened last year and as it is aimed at 4 – 14 year olds we are all well and truly out of the target market. Step forward though the Bastin family who were happy to go along and try it out for us.
I have heard such amazing things about the experience, based within Westfield shopping centre in London and billed as “ The UK’s first educational entertainment experience” that I knew it would be a trip they wouldn’t want to miss, or that I would want to talk about here.
First though a bit of background. The concept is very simple: empower kids and give them confidence to push themselves to try things they might not have done before. All in role play situations so they learn important life skills and a bit more about themselves, all whilst having fun in a secure environment.
You arrive at the reception desk and get checked in, along with being issued with security bracelets. These bracelets have radio antenna built into them so at any one time parents can see where their children are because after this point it is for the children to go and explore and the adults to sit and have a coffee, and read a book, or use the free wifi. The children are then invited to try as many of the 60 odd activities that are on offer, choosing the ones they fancy the most.
To celebrate Kidzania’s first Christmas they are offering mince pies and mulled wine in the lounge for adults, and if your children are over the age of 8 you can drop them off and go and do your shopping knowing they are having the time of their lives.
When they got back from their day out I asked the Bastin family for their thoughts on their day. First of all Sarah (who owns a coffee shop so coffee is high on the agenda 🙂 ) says the following:
The coffee was lovely which is always a bonus
We were quite lucky as it was quiet, they did 10 different activities and reading the reviews on TripAdvisor most people only manage to do 3 or 4.Everyone was lovely, so good with the girls and made it a fab day out. And yes at almost £100 for a family of four it is not a cheap day out but the amount that the girls learned and the experience they had it is worth every penny. It is also very very safe, magnetic bands on all 4 of us. I could scan my band and find out exactly where my children were. Only I could scan them out of Kidzania. I was very very impressed and wished they did annual passes!The adults can’t even queue for the activities, the children do everything themselves. get their passports, open their bank accounts, use the cash points. just noticed they have 20 locations world wide so the passports are valid worldwide, they get stamped just like a real passport and the bank accounts are valid worldwide too!
OMG! there is a whole city and I can earn my own money!
I loved it, I learned so much. My favourite thing was being independent and being able to experience lots of new things while earning my own wages. I loved my cabin crew training, working in A&E and the wall climbing (we did the wall climbing twice it was so much fun). I did so many things I was able to bank almost 100 Kidzo’s in my own Kidzania bank account which I am looking forward to spending when we go back. My aim is to visit all the other Kidzania’s before I am 15. I think Mummy liked it too because she was happy drinking coffee and reading her book while my little sister and I did all the work for a change
And her sister Nancy aged 5 said:
It was amazing. I got to drive in a fire engine and put out a fire. I climbed wall (it was really high). There was so much to do my head went mad with excitement. Everything my sister and I did was great and people kept giving us money which Mummy and Daddy said were my wages and I had to bank for next time we come. I really liked climbing the wall, I went REALLY REALLY high. Next time I go I want to do the acting bit and the singing bit. Daddy said it was good because I was learning about the value of money, I think its good because it is so much fun!
I think you will agree that the praise can’t really get higher than that. There is so much to offer families that really is a great day out for the whole family. There is more information on pricing and timings etc here: Kidzania London