Thursday, 18 February 2016

KidZania London

I had never heard of KidZania before and everyone I've spoken to so far hasn't either so when we got the chance to review KidZania London on Valentines day we were in for an amazing surprise. We can honestly tell you we loved it and in our opinion it's one of London's hidden gems for children and parents alike - happy child = happy parent.

How do other people not know about KidZania?
 
Oliver age 6 invited his friend Sienna and her mum to come with us, as his little sister Isabelle is still under 2 it wouldn't of been something she would of been able to join in with yet unfortunately and by going with a friend his experience was even better than it would of been alone. Obviously as it was valentines day he got Sienna a valentines day card, a heart balloon and a sharks tooth (a real one!).

Its located within Westfield Shopping centre London so it's very easy to get to and fits perfectly into your day if you've got a spot of shopping to do.


When we arrived at KidZania it looks identical to an airport check in - minus the massive queues that is!
The children were so excited. To check in we handed over our printed tickets and we all got tagged, the check in lady asked our names & the children's ages. They also asked if there's any allergies as they would of made a note of those and had it so every member of staff could tell when they checked into a new activity - as an allergy mum I'm very impressed with this.
The children were then handed a map of Kidzania city and some Kidzanian money - we had no idea what it was all about and spent the first 5 minutes very confused on what we were supposed to be doing so I feel like the check in could of explained some of this better and not just assume we knew what we were going to be using the money for. Originally we thought we used the money for the children to do everything but actually they can earn money by working! we soon figured it out tho!
Suitable for children 4-14 years this real life role play experience is ideal to allow them to try different careers including being a pilot, firefighter or policeman. Every child looked so excited to be there as they were let loose within the city! It actually looks like a real mini city too which we loved, we noticed zebra crossings, pretend trees and if you look up theres even painted clouds!

Designed to inspire children to challenge themselves and try out different future careers it's an amazing day out. Very educational at the same time as being super fun, it's difficult to mix the two perfectly but Kidzania you have done just that so well done.

The children are in charge and they will tell you not to stand in the line for something - trust me, he's still telling me I shouldn't of been standing in the line for the shop... oops. Parents are also not allowed inside the activities - it's just for children but you can see your child by standing outside most of the attractions and also the fact that they are 'tagged' they're very safe inside the village so if you did want to go and have a coffee you could - if you're at a stage where you can leave your child without them panicking about where you are that is!

Children will learn about team work, the biggest example of this in my opinion has to be where the firefighters, paramedics and police all work together when a hotel sets on fire! when we first arrived we went straight to find the lockers - very easy to find by the way, didn't fancy carrying the coats that day so it was locker time! they cost £3, while we were in there a role play had started outside and the police had taped off the area meaning we were unable to go out of the locker room for a few minutes.. Oliver was so confused about what was happening - he didn't know what kidzania was all about and we sort of chucked them both in at the deep end haha! His face looked as if there was a real fire "mummy we cant even go out there now there's a fire" as pretend police officers called 'stand back' and stand back he did.... haha.
 The first place we went to was the surgery so he could perform a liver transplant - he thought this was super cool. Again we didn't really know what was going on so we read the little sign that was outside and that's where we learnt that they get paid for the 'jobs' that they do, Oliver's face when he was given 8 notes was just pure amazement.
 Everything in KidZania looks so real, it's fantastic! Don't you just love the looks on their faces? pure amazement from the very first second.
Very first time to get paid for a job, he came outside and said to me "mummy he gave me money for that!" Sienna also looked chuffed with her pile of money... lets make some more money was on everyone's mind!

Oliver worked in a department store, while his friend Sienna worked in a beauty salon. They then both went upstairs to Cadburys - who doesn't love cadburys? This is a charge on which Oliver wasn't impressed with to begin with but when he heard you get a chocolate it was fine haha. Then we had some lunch! No one likes a hungry Mary-Kate.
 There will be a photographer taking amazing photos of your children, however I am so so happy that I took my own - obviously being a blogger I will take my own anyway but would of loved to have purchased some special ones too - the problem was that day there was an issue with the system and after scrolling through loads of photos we couldn't find the ones of Oliver!

For younger siblings visiting KidZania has a dedicated early years area which includes

three main activities Science Lab, RightZKeepers Residence and the Kindergarten.

I don't like that we can't go in the 'shop' with them to spend their money, they get stressed out about how much they've got and what they can get and to be honest with you the last thing I want to deal with after a day out is tears!

What I will say is 4 hours is just not enough time especially when you're waiting for some of the activities for so long it's just eating up your time and so irritating.

Some of the activities such as the recycling didn't last for as long as mentioned on the door! That was irritating after waiting to get in you were in there for less time than you waited for it
Oliver had lots of fun making some ice cream, he was so sweet answering questions. They got shown how to make ice cream and then got to taste some out of the freezer, it's so cute how they get dressed up too!
The supermarket was amazing! You can decide if you want to be a worker or a shopper. The shelves are filled with 'real' items and it looks so good. The items have barcodes and the till actually works! I caught Oliver looking at the magazines while he was in there and he was meant to be working... but it did look like a cool octonauts magazine.
In the line ever so excited to be a pilot with British air ways. At this one, the photographer took a photo of every other child but ours.
Oooh dear they've been cheeky and put into prison! I had to tell them to stop looking so happy about it for the photo.
Learning to be a paramedic was one of Oliver's favourite things he got to do.
The ambulance moves around the city and the lights/noise are so realistic.
Oliver is still going on about being an artist and being allowed to paint on the windows! Don't get any ideas at home Oliver.
Learning about recycling paper! They really liked this, it was a shame that instead of 15 minutes it only lasted 5 minutes.
Highlights by Oliver:

Being in the police and walking around the city telling people they weren't allowed to run!
Being a pilot (ok he said being an 'aeroplane driver' but I corrected him)

Spending time with Sienna as a paramedic and getting to ride in the ambulance.

What Oliver would change about his visit:
Get to stay there all night
Get to go on a fire engine
Be a footballer
Repair work
Be a dentist
Work in the hotel
Have more time
Have less time waiting

Oliver can't stop going on and on about KidZania - he LOVED it and really wants to come back. At first I thought the ticket price was a lot but when you're there and you see the attention to detail you realise just why the prices are what they are! The staff are basically actors and they are so so good at what they do! I'd love to work there it looks like so much fun. You need to plan your day properly before you go, know exactly what you want to do and not waste a single second. You can get all the info you need to do this online so definitely have a look!

You can find KidZania on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KidZaniaLondon/

on twitter - @KidZaniaLondon

And you can find prices here - http://london.kidzania.com/en-uk/



*We were given free entry into KidZania in exchange for this review. All opinions are our own*
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