This wasn’t our first visit to Kidzania, but it was the first time we had ventured there in the school holidays! I took my 2 daughters, Lila and Ella aged 9 and 6 and their cousin Scarlett, also 9. My mum came as well to give me a hand! The girls were all super excited on the drive! It’s about a 40 minute drive from our house and easy to park at Westfield Shopping Centre, where Kidzania is situated.
We arrived at 11am and the queue was very similar to check in at the airport! It was long but moved fast, with lots of parents and kids waiting with their ‘boarding passes’ to get through security! Whilst in line we were all tagged with top notch security wrist bands. No chance of these coming off!
At the counter, we were signed in and the kids were given their Kidzos bank notes! Looks a bit like Monopoly money, which they can then use to pay for various things inside! They also get paid for any ‘work’ they do whilst they are there. They loved this concept and all wanted to keep their money safe in little bags or pouches around their necks.
On entering, we were greeted by a friendly face asking if we had visited before! We had, so the kids were eager to set off and explore the mini adult world that is Kidzania! It’s quite impressive and there are so many shop fronts and people, it’s hard to know where to begin! For about the first half an hour, us adults, kind of followed the girls around at a slight distance, gently encouraging them to join an attraction queue. But kids being kids, wanted to do their own thing and get their bearings without mummy and nanny lurking behind them! This is one of the best things about Kidzania; It is completely secure and there is no way of the children leaving the premises, without parents. Parents are able to leave older children (over 8s) and go off shopping but with Ella being 6 we stayed inside. I probably wouldn’t leave my children until they were slightly older than 9, as it’s hard letting them out of my sight at the best of times, but it does give them that bit of freedom to roam freely within the premises and they absolutely loved this! My mum and I decided to grab a hot chocolate and find a base where they could easily come and find us if they needed too!
Once I’d sunken my hot chocolate I went for a little wander to see if I could spot the girls. I found them pretty quickly, queuing for their first activity! I think they had opted for working as Air Conditioning vent fixers as the queue for this was fairly short! They were just putting on their high vis jackets and hard hats and then quickly disappeared off into a tunnel.
Next door to the Air Conditioning place was a Mission Deli, where kids were making tortilla dough. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves and the hair nets and aprons were a cute addition. Attention to detail in all the attractions is great! When we have been previously my kids loved making the Innocent smoothies and Natural cereal bars! Lila, the creative one, says she wants to be an animator when she grows up! At Kidzania there is a Pokemon animation studio, where kids can create their own short animated movies. This is definitely Lila’s favourite attraction there and the fact that it’s Pokemon too, is the icing on the cake for her!
When the kids were hungry there were plenty of options within Kidzania to grab them some food. Reasonably priced, they opted for sandwiches, crisps and drinks, but there is also a pizza place and other food available.
Time seemed to be flying and the queues were getting busier by the minute. On some attractions waiting time was 40 minutes, which I do think is a lot for kids of a younger age. Ella and Scarlett decided they wanted to be Cabin Crew for BA and there is an actual aeroplane cabin for them to have their training! Mini pilots can also fly the simulator! Parents aren’t allowed into any of the attractions, so you find them all peering through the glass trying to get a glimpse of their child in action. The girls patiently queued for 40 minutes, but were delighted to wear the realistic uniform and have their training, which lasted about 10 minutes.
Lila visited the Just Dance studio, which was basically a mini disco. This was probably a better attraction for slightly younger kids, but she still seemed to enjoy it! It got to about 3pm and the girls were all ready to go home! They had fun, but decided they didn’t want to queue for anything else, so we headed to the shop, where they could spend their Kidzos bank notes. They all bought a scented pencil each and asked when we could go again, so it was a winner!
My Top Tips:
- Definitely pre-book! The walk up price is over £39 per child!
- Try visiting at quieter times, like week days or inset days if possible. It does get very busy in the school holidays and at weekends.
- Plan what attractions the kids want to visit before you go. This will save them time when they arrive!
- Get there early.
- Get the kids to take a little bag or pouch with lanyard which they can wear around their neck, to keep their Kidzos safe.
- Remember to take their leftover Kidzos back with them if they visit again! More Kidzos means more to spend in the shop.
- I really recommend Kidzania for children over 9.