Earlier this month, I took newly 5 year old Nate to Kidzania, “an indoor city run by kids…designed for children aged 4-14”.
It had been on my list of places to take The Boy for a while, but I wanted him to be old enough to enjoy it. Now we’ve been, I thought I’d share my views of how we found it.
The 5 year olds
From the children’s perspective, I’d give the overall experience an 8.5/10.
As we had a previous engagement, our booking was for 2pm. This meant the children had until 6pm to explore the city. Looking back, this was probably better as by 4pm, the queues were not that long for the activities.
There are a wide range of role play activities that the children can try out, each ranging in duration. When they enter the city, they are given 50 Kidzos, which is the currency of the city. Some activities earn them more Kidzos, while others cost them.
The Kidzania city itself is impressive, and you don’t really know what to do first. However, the boys were immediately drawn to the Fire Station. There was a bit of a wait and the coordinator indicated how long the wait would be. We decided to see what else was on offer before returning to an even longer queue. As the afternoon progressed, the boys got to take part in an emergency situation from the perspective of the Police, a Paramedic and a Firefighter. They used a hose to put out a fire, tended to injured people and carried out an investigation. They also piloted a plane, worked on a racing car and delivered parcels.
They enjoyed their time there and at this age, I’m sure they would enjoy further trips.
Kidzania City has an Early Years section for children aged between 1 – 4. Maia was perfectly content to explore the area on her own and at the time we were there, it was not busy at all. I think I expected more though as I thought; “oh ok”.
The Kidzania city itself is buggy friendly and there are staff operated lifts which are only for the use of buggies and wheelchairs. (You have have to find someone first.)
There is a baby care room which can be used for nursing and changing, and the baby changing facilities in the accessible toilet were adequate.
Overall, if I had to rate this section and the facilities, I’ll give a 6.5/10.
Children under 8 years old need to be supervised by a parent as they go around the city.
Our group consisted of four adults and three children. In truth, this was probably two adults too many. An adult ticket is over half the price of a child ticket and in my view, it didn’t need to be. This is especially because the adults cannot take part in any of the activities and for some, you can’t even accompany them past the entry point. Adults can however take pictures to their hearts’ content.
There are many places to buy food and drinks and the prices are rightly inflated as I expected. As parents will undoubtedly need to buy refreshments, in my view, this should have been sufficient (together with a nominal ticket price).
Our visit to Kidzania coincided with England’s World Cup quarter final match against Sweden. As the Dads decided that this was too crucial a match to miss, they discovered to their great pleasure, that the match was being shown in the Theatre within the Kidzania city. This went down a treat with them, especially in light of England’s win, and improved the overall experience from their perspective.
Overall, while I enjoyed seeing the excitement of the boys at the different activities, I think the adult ticket should have been cheaper. For this reason, my rating from the adults perspective is 5/10.
Going home – checking out of Kidzania city
At various points, Kidzania photographers were taking pictures of the boys with their various costumes. We had the chance to view these pictures and buy them. One framed print is £12 and it comes with a digital copy too.
At the exit, there is a shop which is split into two sections where you can buy souvenirs and miniature uniforms etc. A word of caution, the first side of the shop is where all the enticing things are, and where you spend pounds. You then walk through to the section where you can spend the Kidzania currency, Kidzos. Nate had 70 Kidzos at the end and in truth, it couldn’t buy a lot! He ended up buying a small bouncy ball for 50 Kidzos.
It’s obviously a clever marketing strategy (trick) so for that, I respect the hustle.
Despite the mixed ratings, I would recommend Kidzania, specially for the children. Book online for reduced prices. Note that the price varies, based on days and times. To give an indication, we paid the following for a four hour slot:
• Adult – £17
• Child (4 – 14) – £29
• Toddler (1 – 3) – £10
This post is longer than I initially thought it would be, if you’re reading this, thanks a lot.
Have a fantastic summer.