We were invited recently to review KidZania London, which is located inside Westfield shopping in White City. The best way for me to describe it is by saying that it’s role play with go faster stripes! I knew we’d have a good day, but I was blown away by how much my girls enjoyed it.
What is KidZania?
KidZania is a child sized city, where the children are completely in control. There are sixty interactive experiences for them to choose from, which they either pay for or earn a salary from in the KidZania currency KidZos.
You have four hours inside KidZania, and each child is given fifty KidZos upon entering. The experiences last on average for fifteen minutes, which was perfect for my girls (4½ and 7) to learn and understand what they were doing, without getting bored.
We were also lucky to not have to spend too much time waiting around in queues. There is such a vast variety of experiences to chose from, I believe there would be something for everyone within the 4-14 recommended age range.
Among other things, the children can learn to be pilots, police officers or fire fighters. They can work in the hospital, dentist, beauty salon or recycling centre. They can make and eat an actual burger (very tasty), see how ice cream is made, or learn the ins and outs of chocolate making.
They can be newspaper reporters, or radio DJ’s. They can abseil down a wall, or play sports. They can be whatever they want to be for the day, which is probably every kid’s dream!
Everything my girls did during their four hours
Burger making at GBK (cost 20 KidZos)
Supermarket customers (free activity), they could have worked on the checkout and earnt 8 KidZos
H&M fashion studio – modelling/styling (earnt 10 KidZos)
C – Fire Fighting (cost 8 KidZos)
P – The Vault (earnt 8 KidZos)
Smoothie making with Innocent (cost 12 KidZos)
Worked in the ice cream factory (earnt 8 KidZos)
Cabin crew with BA (earnt 8 KidZos)
Worked on the maternity ward of the hospital (earnt 6 KidZos)
Made an Eat Natural fruit and nut bar (cost 12 KidZos)
Came home with 60 KidZos for next time!
do your research in advance, and pick out your must-go experiences.
don’t stick to rigidly to your plan, in case the kids change their mind. We scoped out a dozen or so experiences, and only went to half that were on the original list.
do check to see if your child needs certain skills, such as reading or writing, as some of the experiences require them.
don’t worry if they start something that they don’t like, you can move them along to a different experience quickly and without fuss.
do be completely child led during your time at KidZania. It would have completely ruined things if I had tried to tell the girls what they should be doing.
don’t waste loads of time standing in a huge queue. Unsurprisingly whenever we went to the chocolate factory there were lots of kids waiting for it, so we visited Eat Natural and Innocent instead.
do bring a packed lunch/snacks. You’re on the go from the second you arrive and the children will get hungry.
don’t obsess over taking nice photos. You aren’t allowed inside the experiences so will be mostly taking them through glass doors and windows. The KidZania photographer will capture many precious moments for you (note, there is an extra charge for the photos).
do ask if you need to come back for anything. I missed out on Polly doing a fashion show because I didn’t realise it was part of the H&M experience, and had been queuing up with Clara for something else.
don’t worry about not fitting everything in, there’s always next time!
do have one adult per child if you have children with vastly different tastes, or big age gaps.
It would be hard for anyone to argue that there isn’t enough to do at KidZania. There were a few moments where I had to remind Polly to take a big breath, and calm down, but both girls did incredibly well. They had an absolute ball, and it was great to see them buddying up and working as a team. It was fantastic for me to take a step back, and witness their joy.
The majority of activities are aimed at 4-14 year olds, which is why I only took the girls, but they have plenty to do for the under fours too, including a science lab. Next time I will definitely take Freddy along. As well as hubby, he was gutted to miss out on all the fun.