Kidzania is based in Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, London
I’ve wanted to go for a while as I’ve heard a lot about it.
Kidzania is aimed at children aged 4 and over
We took both our children. Little L is just 3 and Big L is fast approaching 8. Little L was happy enough to toddle around, he was particularly happy in the Early Years area but got a big jealous when his big brother went off dressed as a fireman on a fire engine.
It’s fine if your older child is independent but you are torn if one isn’t old enough to join in.
We visited Kidzania in the school holidays
We expected it to be heaving but it wasn’t. I suspect this is because they limit the number of children rather than it not being popular. There were queues for the activities but the “streets” weren’t uncomfortably busy.
It is fairly dimly lit, which wasn’t to my liking however I am sure there is a reason for it.
The entrance to Kidzania London is located next to M&S on Level one of the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush
If you don’t have your tickets printed you MUST go to the Kidzania desk to collect them! Lots of people were queuing only to be sent to get them (however they were allowed back to the front of the queue when they returned).
There are lifts and escalators up to the check-in
The first part of the Kidzania experience is set up like an airport
In fact it’s a British Airways check-in! You queue in a similar way to an airport.
We had fast track entry which took about 5 minutes. You are each given a security RFID bracelet. These are used around Kidzania at each activity. It’s worth noting there are photographers on site who take photos of the children which you can purchase at the end – they are not cheap. One print is £12, two magnets are £20 – you get the erm…picture! Mind you, it’s a nice keepsake instead of the obligatory cuddly toy.
Once inside Kidzania the kids are free to roam for up to four hours
Children over the age of 8 can be left to get on with it while you go shopping too!
Kidzania claims it is “an indoor city, run by kids”
That’s not entirely true. All the activities are supervised by adults (thank goodness!). The aim being that children can play at real life. They pay Kidzania’s currency “Kidzos” for experiences and earn them by working – I saw a lot of children washing windows to earn a few Kidzos! Better than sending them up chimneys I suppose…
There are all sorts of activities for the children
The one that sticks in my mind (mainly because it was pretty much the only one Big L took part in) was the emergency services.
Big L trained to be a fireman. Dressed up, the works. Then there was an emergency. The local hotel was “on fire”. They hopped on the fire engine and sped (at a snails pace) to the fire where there were also the police and ambulance services.
The firemen put the “fire” out with real water, while the police kept back the crowds and the paramedics treated the injured. It was a fab experience. This happens several times an hour!
We also took part in Nintendo Yoshi’s Crafted World Easter Egg Hunt at Kidzania
There are several activities run by Nintendo at Kidzania. At the time of writing this review Yoshi’s Crafted World had just been released so the Easter themed activity is Yoshi’s Easter Egg Hunt. Children have to use the clues to spot the eggs which have a letter that spells out a word. Once completed they are given a certificate and some Kidzos.
Nintendo also have Just Dance, Pokemon and Labo activities on site. These are understandably very popular!
Other brands at Kidzania are:
Nike, where children learn the skills to create the future of Nike Air
Global which allows children to learn the tricks of the trade of a radio DJ
Alderhey Children’s Hospital where you can learn about being a paramedic, surgeon or baby care nurse (supported by Luvabella which is sure to appeal to lots of children)
PDSA where children learn the skills needed to become a vet
WWE Academy – budding WWE superstars design and create their Superstar look using WWE software and show off their look to fans in the ring
GBK – having kids make their own lunch is a fab idea. Especially for fussy eaters. Parents and guardians can order their own food while they wait for the kids to make their and eat together.
For a full list of the partners and activities check out the website here
For adults there are a couple of Costa Coffee and The Garden Shed. I didn’t get to venture in there but have heard good things – it’s an adult only area, say no more.
What did we think of Kidzania?
Well, we would definitely go back! We felt that it took a while to get into the swing of it and Big L was a bit overwhelmed. I think another visit would see him more confident to take part. It’s not cheap. Entrance to Kidzania at the time of writing is:
Adult from £16
Child 4 – 14 £19
Early Years (1 – 3) £10
Under 1 – Free
Annual Pass per child £99
However for a special occasion we would go again. If we were closer we would buy annual tickets.
We travelled up from Sevenoaks to Kidzania by train and tube
We took the train from Sevenoaks to London Bridge, then London Bridge tube on the Jubilee Line to Bond Street, changed at Bond Street and took the Central Line to Shepherd’s Bush.
There was a lift at every station apart from Shepherd’s Bush but there are fewer steps at this station and people kindly helped me up and down the steps with the pushchair.
If you enjoyed this review check out my other reviews and days out round ups here
*We were invited by Nintendo to Kidzania for the Yoshi Easter Egg hunt but chose to review Kidzania separately. All opinions are ours (no one slipped me a fiver to say something nice)