We love KidZania. Since we got our first KidZania experience with our daughter in KL, the whole family is ‘hooked’!
Recently, we returned to Bangkok after a 10 year hiatus and what did we put firmly on our agenda? Yes! KidZania Bangkok!
While KidZania jobs are for kids between the age 4 to 12, as parents we enjoyed it thoroughly too! In fact, we think it’s better than going to a theme park because the kids learn something meaningful and the parents get to share it too. Besides, it’s also weather-proof. Though we were only there for about 3 hours, we were still able to experience about 6 to 7 jobs on a packed Sunday morning! We share some simple strategies to maximize your experience at KidZania.
First, we share 3 reasons why we love KidZania Bangkok:
1. Convenient: KidZania Bangkok is conveniently located inside the bustling and popular Siam Paragon which is right next to Siam BTS station. It is in the same building as the other extremely popular family attraction, Sealife Bangkok Ocean World. We used HotelsCombined website to compare the best hotel rates in Bangkok before finally deciding on the Siam Kempinski Hotel. The hotel is connected directly to the Siam Paragon Mall and it made a whole world of difference, especially when we’re travelling with a toddler. (Read our review of the Siam Kempinski here.)
2. Large variety of occupations for kids of all ages: KidZania Bangkok, to date, is the largest indoor KidZania in the world. There are well over 40 jobs for kids ranging from 4-12! There is always something for someone, anytime! Being the largest indoor KidZania, the space here is huge! I particularly like the town square where you can literally feel the ‘buzz’ that is in the air. Awesome!
3. Friendly and multi-lingual staff: The staff at KidZania Bangkok are predominantly Thai-speaking, but the moment they know of a foreign visitor among them, they will repeat the instructions in English also. We were impressed.
Why we simply love The KidZania Concept:
1. Highly-engaging role-playing which uses high-quality, industry-sponsored equipment simulating real-life environments (not cheap make-believe sorts).
2. Large variety of activities and ‘jobs’ catering to all ages, abilities and interests (ages 4 to 12).
3. Highly educational, hands-on, experiential activities make learning authentic.
4. Appreciating wide range of occupations – No job is too small, no job is greater than another, every job plays a part in the society and this is a precious lesson all of us should learn.
5. Teaches children the true value of jobs: Certain jobs that ‘pay well’ are those that gives us intrinsic satisfaction (e.g. those that save lives and make the world a better, safer place).
6. Teaches children to make financial decisions: Children can earn KidZos (KidZania currency) after completing a job and save the KidZos to spend on other experiences. This way, it teachers them to save and spend wisely.
7. Teaches independence – Children learn to be independent as they go through the activities on their own, in the company of other kids whom they may not know. Most activities last about 20 to 30 mins and children also learn to work in teams and appreciate each others’ roles. In Bangkok, Dana also interacted with the local kids.
8. Parents get to observe their children go through the activities (from the sideline) and we can then use these to engage our children in meaningful conversations later on.
9. Friendly, approachable and multi-lingual staff: Staff running the individual stations are friendly and approachable. We were happy that, in both KL and Bangkok, though the staff spoke to the locals in their native languages, they were able to switch to English to engage foreign visitors quite effectively.
10. Weather-proof: The entire place is air-conditioned and indoors. This means, KidZania is fully operational for all to enjoy, come rain or shine…or snow!
Ways to Maximise your KidZania Experience (Tried and Tested!):
This is Dana’s 2nd KidZania experience to date and our 3rd role-play experience. On all occasions, we managed to maximize our visit (trying about 15 jobs in a day!). When we were at KidZania Bangkok, Dana was still able to enjoy about 7 jobs within the short 3 hours visit, without any media privileges. Here are some tips:
1. Download, plan and prioritize: Before going, it’s good to download from their website the list of jobs and the map. Most KidZania will have their staple pilot, air stewardess, fireman, paramedic experiences and TV/ Newscaster as a signature experience. Note also that there are age limits on some. If your kids are older, they may just want to experience more of the jobs that appeal to their ages. By planning and prioritizing, you are clearer on your options and it will reduce time deciding where to go and what to do.
2. Plan to spend a day there: To maximize your experience, do plan to stay an entire day there. If you can’t spend the entire day there, plan to stay at least crossing lunchtime.
3. It takes two: For our strategy to work, its best both parents stay the day. It’s great for both parents to experience this unique role-play with your kids.
4. Bring drinking water and light snack: Food and drinks at such establishment comes at a premium. It will help if you bring along drinking water and light snack for your children to nibble in between jobs. It will save you time from standing in queue for food.
5. Dress comfortably and bring a sweater: Though it’s not out in the sun, you are required to walk (and perhaps run) a fair bit. So, do wear comfy clothes and shoes. The entire place would be air-conditioned and can be chilly, so bring the sweaters.
6. Bring along your KidZos (KidZania currency) if you have any from past visits.
During the experience:
1. Start when it starts: Plan to go first thing it opens. Besides it’s cool to see the staff do their morning greeting dance routine.
2. Cash out first: Go to the bank to redeem your KidZos with your KidZania passport. Every child is given a certain amount to kick-start their role-playing experiences.
3. Parents play tag: While one parent follows the child, the other parent quickly go around and scout for other jobs that have a shorter queue. Remember the following rules:
a. KidZania does not allow parents to queue for their child, strictly. But what parents can do is to check out to see which queue is shorter and then as your child is finishing her current job, Parent A with the child can call Parent B (the scout), to ask which job to head to next – depending on the queue situation.
b. Each activity takes in about 8 to 12 kids and they can be filled up very fast especially on days with school visits.
Once Parent A goes over to Parent B and child starts on the new job, both parents can swap duty and the other parent go scout for the next job. This way, both parents get to observe their child involved in the activity and won’t feel left out.
4. Lunch out: Here’s a neat strategy we use – most large groups (e.g. school groups, tours) are obliged to stop for at least an hour for lunch. During this time, one parent buys takeaway and get your children to eat as they queue at your fave occupations which are relatively emptier during lunch time. Works all the time!
5. Eat your own lunch: Better still, go for a job that makes your own lunch e.g. Sushi restaurant. Once you get your sushi made, head to queue for the next popular job.
6. Tag the rest along: After lunch, parents continue to play tag and you’re set to maximize your day.
7. Right to the end: Towards the closing time of KidZania, the crowd dwindles (e.g. school tours and other groups would depart)…that would be another golden moment to experience more jobs!
8. Shoot and save: Do remember to take lots of photos and videos. Bring a good zoom lens and flash to capture your kids hard at work! Remember also to save and keep your Kidzos for the next visit. KidZos are can be used in KidZanias all over the world!
We can’t wait to say ‘Kai’ to KidZania Singapore to open on April 12, 2016 to continue this unique educational experience right here on home ground!
Hop over to read our KidZania KL post – ’12 Tips to Maximise Your Day at KidZania Kuala Lumpur’ here.