Kidzania is located all over the world in nearly 30 cities, this one I would be reviewing is located in London. Kidzania is a Mini city, for kids and run by kids. It’s designed for ages between 4 – 14 years, though you can take kids less than this age( more later ) Due to the security of the design of the area you can also leave them there while you shop etc… they would need to be at least 8.
This is located in Westfield Shopping Center at Shepherds bush, which means its extremely to get to from Car, Bus or Tube/Train, with a tube station just a small walk around the corner, its also surrounded with shops and activities.
The City itself is made of several key roles like Police, Ambulance, Fire, Doctors etc.. but also several shops and activities with sponsored outlets, like H&M, GBK, Mission deli, and brands like WWE, Pokemon, Activision and Nintendo.
The activities available are different, however, most of them are paid by Kidzos, which is the currency used to do these tasks, activities (jobs). These can be also spent on some of the special activities inside or in the shop at the end of your day, there is a shop designed just for these.
We have been there a few times now so we have a good grasp of what’s on offer to do, depending on how long you are planning on staying, it can be a challenge to do all the activities, especially when its busy, but also some can 5 minutes or 20 minutes, which mounts up.
But between the visits we’ve been able to do almost all of them, as they do rotate positions of shops etc, as well s some come an go, I would assume this based on renting, some companies come and go or want different locations etc..just imagine what a street would like in a city, its the same principle.
In the entrance area a ticket office, the idea is you have travelled on a plane to this city, and you are boarding planes etc.. the tickets are even in the style of a plane ticket, these are provided and no doubt sponsored by British Airways. Being located in one of the corners, Near M&S its tucked out of the way, and as you go up escalators you are greeted by a replica plane in the ceiling.
Once you have your tickets and get “checked in”, the kids and attending adults are given a tag bracelet, this tracks who you are and more importantly the kids, it will also no if you be entering or leaving etc.. which can be useful if the kids were to try and leave? or get lost, there are scanners than gives the information.
Also, the activities have photos and these again can be scanned which can be logged as them, once you leave there is a picture section, just like a theme park and they use the scanners.
Through the entrance there is the ground floor, mostly cobbled, which goes in a big square, with a cross through, there is also a separate section through an archway that leads round to BGK, and the sporting arena etc. there is a second floor but this only half the size, still relatively big however not high, so when you are upstairs you can see things below quite clearly.
Within these areas there are some toilets, these are designed for children first unlike normal toilets lol but I don’t feel there are enough toilets in the venue, the same for adults space. Upstairs there’s an adult area, which is about 7 tables against the side, and a small almost potable costa coffee unit downstairs there’s another small costa coffee unit, with 3 tables out the front, flip to the other side of the venue is some seats at GBK, but these are busy.
Personally, I think this is a little wasted, I realise this is a kids venue but adults have very little time to relax and take a time out for 10 minutes, there is space, especially as there were a few units empty.
Piglet being 3 nearly 4 frustratingly, was limited as she couldn’t do the activities, however, there were a couple of play areas, including a kitchen that had a replica kitchen with SOME food and utensils. A replica Bedroom with playmat bed and pillow, a replica toilet area? and a room for tablets and tv.
These are all little rooms and weren’t in the best of condition, the tablets either weren’t charged, not pluggin, or unable to use? the tv had a menu of films, tv etc..but I wasn’t sure what it was, and of course we couldn’t access it? the toilet room was odd, and Bedroom had two soft play bed, which could have been better as it was a soft play area with mats and wall etc…but nothing was in there?
Across from here was another room that had a few more items in and seem to have the most two play with, but this was a small room thus the minute you have 3 or 4 kids in it was suddenly busy, let alone parents, and potentially other kids.
For the actual activities there is so much and to go into detail would be several thousands of words, so I will be brief in the description, and the cover of the basics and try to group them together, check here for rewards and length of time, with what’s currently on.
There are some delivery style ones, these are taking and picking up packages delivered around the venue, they have a laminated sheet of the three shops and activities staff member has to sign off when they receive or pick up the item, the kids go-round with there trolley, as I said some are delivering and some are collecting, this seems very popular as im always seeing kids do this,
the other major one is the Kidzoos delivery, almost all of the activities pays you these once you have done the said activities, so focused they need a top-up, from the vault in the bank, an activity allows you to deliver them, these are given to you by a staff member, signed out and delivered the same way as the parcel delivery.
There are several activities that involve looking after and learning skills, almost life skills, such a the Babies hospital, Vets, and surgery, Dentist, these are all following what the instructor says but doing simple tasks and learning why etc.
There is also a Police Ambulance and Fire activity, these are based on learning the basics, do’s and dont’s, but then an emergency happens (every 20 minutes-ish) where an area which was a hotel is on fire! (not actually) and all three need to attend, Police need to close the area and keep people back, the ambulance and fire arrive on mini engines and ambulance,
The fire crew use sprays to aim at the hotel (much like a theme park water shooter) and ambulance crew attend to those near the fire etc. To be honest this is one of the best parts of the venue, both watching and being involved.
There are some food-related ones, Mission deli you have a wrap at the end of it also GBK does a similar thing, but you have to pay for this! They make their burger but they are also buying it, so when you order your phone you will also need to request this, please be aware that this process takes ages, the staff aren’t in a hurry, as well as the person running the Burger workshop,
near food times like lunch or dinner expect this to be really busy, and unfortunately, it limited on seating in that corner as well, we’ve had it a couple of times and it hasn’t always been a great experience, especially as its not cheap to buy a meal there and it has a very limited menu compared to an actual GBK.
alongside the micro Costa booths that has a small selection of food, this is one of the only choices, there isn’t really any healthy options or alternatives, again with the number of empty plots I’m surprised there isn’t more as you are very limited on food places, with just a Pizza style places as really the only food outlet that isn’t an activity there. But if you were doing this at a certain time then you could bring food or have your meals either side of the time.
There are some more shop based area, H&M, Supermarket, dry cleaning, Wrap Factory, Service station these are what you imagine they would be, all task relating to their job. A Medical delivery Service is delivering from one to the other and learning about blood.
The air conditions looks after the cities air while the cleaning service sees kids venture around the cleaning set places. The aeroplane activities allow you to be a pilot, if you pay or flight attendant and receive Kidoos, this carries on the theme from the initial greet.
There are more entertaining activities such as Starlink based on the Activision game and Just dance the same. There’s a TV presenter, Radio, Musical instruments, and an acting area. Alot of this is my fun activities than actual jobs along with WWE and Pokemon where it’s about having fun than doing a task. Nintendo Labo which is also a big part of the GBK corner, allows them to get involved in learning to use Labo and the reason for the recycled products etc.
The cricket sports arena is the only sports area in the venue, this essentially allows to have some catching off balls, quick warm-up and a quick game of Cricket(rounders type with no points). There’s a library and theatre that offers something else gain, many special events throughout the year are held there.
Overall this is a fantastic venue for kids, especially if they’re between 4 and 11, Roo is now 13 I think she has hit her limit, she enjoys getting involved, but that’s because shes a good girl and helps out Tigger. A less than 4-year-old, which was piglet really hit her limit after an hour, we stretched it out for as long as we could the options for a less than 4-year-old is poor, it could be good but the small little area that’s given to them needs a little love.
However! for those ages above 4 its a great place, you could easily spend all day here, especially when it’s busy as there is often a small queue for each activity, which mounts up across the time.
The range of activities is great, some of them very detailed and practical, and some good life lessons. The decor is spot on, and lots of detail around the place, its a shame that there are a few units empty, as it takes the gloss away. The adult area is poor, and with the space available this could have easily been put in, parents would even spend money if they had an option of a proper cafe and chill out area, with Wifi (this was also bad).
GBK is annoying, but the costa micro-units are ok, Pizza place isn’t great for what it is, but the food options are limited which it lets it down, especially for modern days of variety and allergies. With all of this being said its a great place, I would recommend anyone with kids to do this once, the staff are good, the activities are fun, and the kids really get into it.