A couple weeks ago we took Monkey to buy his new school shoes. Since we were visiting Westfields Shopping Centre we also took the opportunity to go to KidsZania . Before we visited I had heard great things but I really wasn’t sure what to expect so I was interested to complete a KidZania UK Review. As we approached the entrance we could see half a plane sticking out of the wall. Instantly Monkey’s excitement rose and I started jumping up and down.
We were greeted at the front desk by a very friendly member of staff who directed upstairs to the customer services to pick up our tickets. What I didn’t realise was that the tickets were actually shaped like boarding passes. The theory behind it is you are visiting another world, a mini kids world. Where children can partake in up to sixty activities over a four hour period. For each activity they choose they can either earn a salary or need to pay some money to have an experience. I did wonder at the entrance why Monkey was given fifty KidZania pounds to spend.
It didn’t take monkey long to realise that some activities paid more than others. He decided that he was going to try and get as much money as possible. Which actually works out really well because once he reached 75 KidZania pounds he opened a bank account and received his first bank card. Of course if your child didn’t want to do this then they could spend their money before leaving in the gift shop. Looking through the doors of the shop (no adults allowed) it looked as though you could get a good board game for around 500 KidZania pounds.
Theres a little video below of our experience:
Things I loved:
- I really like this educational take on the day and it wasn’t one that I was expecting, especially around making decisions on what to spend your money one
- There are so many activities that its impossible to do them all in one session, but this does mean that theres loads of choice and we didn’t have to wait long to get into any of them
- It also means that no matter what your child’s interest there will be something to keep them entertained
- Most of the activities have a minimum age of four, which means at five Monkey could try out pretty much anything he wanted.
- There are some things such as being an Estate Agent, News Presenter or Graphic Designer that have a higher maximum age of eight. I think this is a positive as they are trying to cater for all age groups. Monkey wasn’t interested in trying any of the older activities so I think they have called the age ranges about right.
- There are some things for the really young visitors on the second floor with no minimum age.
- KidZania refresh activities on an ongoing basis and have recently added a Pet Wellbeing Centre to the top floor. This teaches children all about caring for animals.
- The attention to detail is amazing!
- The electronic bracelets gave me piece of mind, as it meant he couldn’t leave without me and vice versa. Oh and they are impossible to take off! No only that they act as a locator, so if you do loose your child you can check to see where they were last at.
- All the staff were super friendly and really seemed to enjoy their job. They were very practiced at keeping the kids engaged in the tasks they were performing.
- Being an aside activity makes it perfect for when the weather is bad
Things you need to know:
- Opening times: vary depending on the day of the weak and peak times to find out more check out their opening times on their website.
- Prices: vary depending on the age of the child, under 1s are free, 1-3 years are £10 each, child 4-14 years £18-£28 depending on dates and time, adults are £16 each
- Location: Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA. KidZania London is located on the First Floor between Marks & Spencers and Gap.
- There is options for food and drink within KidZania although its on the pricey side. Plus if you plan to eat there then you will miss out on doing the activities. For this reason I would look to book a slot which meant we have food either before or after.
On our first visit Monkey worked in a supermarket, cleaned windows, worked on the air conditioning vents, cleaned up a hotel room, delivered organs to the hospital, became a DJ, flew a plane, visited the vaults and collected cash, opened his own bank account, became pit crew for formula one, tested out the science lab, learnt about recycling, made some tortillas and learnt how to make smoothies! I must admit I am totally sold on KidZania! we loved it so much that I brought an annual pass for £129 which includes five free adult sessions as well. Its the perfect inside activity and I am sure we will make full use of the pass going forward.