If you haven’t heard of Kidzania chances are you don’t have a child! It’s a popular attraction for children, so I thought I’d share my Kidzania review, including what worked well and what didn’t. I also include my Kidzania tips and lots of pics to help you get the best out of your own visit.
Disclosure: I paid for my own tickets, but you may find affiliate links within this post.
Kidzania London Review
What is Kidzania?
Kidzania is an indoor play activity for children age 4 – 14 years old. Once inside children typically have four hours to explore different jobs, from being a vet or dentist to cleaning windows and working at H&M.
They get hands-on with each role, wearing costumes, using tools and engaging with others. It’s like next level role play delivered in short bursts.
Little ones can earn Kidzania money for the bulk of the jobs, but some they need to pay with their hard earned cash.
Each job is held in its own room, which is managed by an adult Kidzania staff member. Adults are allowed inside the mini world, but children take part in the activity without their parents, though you can watch through the big glass windows.
There are over 28 Kidzanias all over the world. My Kidzania review and tips focuses on my recent experience at the Westfield London branch.
There are SO many activities in Kidzania London. There are 35 fields/areas to choose from, though a small handful are limited to children over the age of 7. There’s face painting and dancing, radio presenting and petrol pump assistant jobs, and lots, lots more.
Kidzania suggest children will be able to do about 4-6 during a four hour slot. However, my 4 year old managed to enjoy 7 of them, including being a police officer, vet, dentist, space station worker, fire fighter, baby care nurse and drummer. Such an eclectic set! I asked him which was his favourite but he said all of them.
We hadn’t pre-planned which ones really – he just led the way once we were in there. We went straight from one activity to another, with no breaks, which is how I think we managed to do so many. We picked the 1pm-5pm slot so he’d already eaten his lunch and then just had snacks and drinks if and when we waited in line.
We also split up with his cousin. He’s over a year older and their tastes differ. I think this helped us do so much as we didn’t have debates about which we’d do next.
This was the first activity we went to and there was no queue – something I later found out is unheard of for this popular one, so if you see no queue make a beeline!
My boy was ushered in with 7 other children and given a costume. They had a group chat about what police staff do, watched a short video and then went on patrol around the Kidzania city. Parents were encouraged to follow them on patrol and it was so cute hearing them chant ‘we are police!’.
Around the corner they discovered a hotel was on fire, so they had to pull the tape across the street and manage the crowd by saying ‘keep back, keep back!’. Again, so cute!
This timed with the fire fighters arriving in a mini fire engine, ready to put the fire out.
This activity by far had the biggest queue throughout our visit. Towards the end my 4 year old was ready to brave it and I would guess it took us around 30-minutes.
It was worth it though because again, he got to dress up and learn about the role, but also ride the fire truck. They hopped off and ran to the water shooters (that are timed to shoot for when the activity gets to this bit) and put the fire out. He absolutely loved it.
My boy has loved animals since he was born, so he was more than happy to use some of his Kidzania cash for this one. The queue took around 20-minutes to move and by the time we left it was even longer.
Stuffed animals move making it more believable for little ones. They got to give the pets injections, bandage them and take care of them.
This is quite a long activity, but captivating for them. They got to have their own proper drum set and learn how to play through a teacher and a video. It was hilarious watching them go for it like little rock stars!
Space Station Worker
This is the only activity that I couldn’t see inside, so I’m not 100% what they did in there. It was the last activity he did and he was so tired, so I do know he had lots of fun with the revolving chair!
Baby Care Nurse
Watching my boy enjoy this activity melted my heart. He learned how to wrap the baby, change its nappy, give it a dummy, sing a lullaby and more. He loved it.
This activity often didn’t have a queue, so it’s a good filler (pun intended!). Children learn about teeth, get to brush model ones and explore the dentist equipment.
How the Activity Works
Activities tend to last around 15-20-minutes. You’ll find a small sign outside each activity room detailing how long it will take, the appropriate age and how much they’ll earn or need to pay.
There’s also a small sign on the floor to let you know where the queue starts, though I found this was sometimes ignored. Children would either push in or they’d all be so excited to take part they’d gather in a little group at the door. In my opinion this is where parents need to step up to help (a few times I had to remind a child not to queue jump) or little barriers should be used to make it clearer.
- Download the map before your visit.
- Have a look at the activity list. If your child has their heart set on something in particular head their first.
- Pick a slot that isn’t over meal times so you don’t have to forfeit activity times.
- Take snacks and plenty of drinks with you. Not all of the snack/cafe stops were open during my visit. There’s not much to do in the queues, so this will help keep them entertained. You’ll find water stations at the bathrooms.
- Have a chat through before you visit, so your little one knows what to expect, i.e. that they’ll go in on their own, but they can ask the ‘teacher’ if they need help, that you’ll be waiting at the end etc.
- Take a wallet lanyard with you, that way they can shove their Kidzania money in there and wear it. All the kids were wearing them. You’ll find them for sale there, but they’re pricey.
- Encourage kids to use all of their Kidzania money on the activities. You can use leftovers in the giftshop, but the value is practically nothing so you’ll end up having to top up their spends and paying a ridiculous amount of money for overpriced rubbish.
- Book lunch or dinner for before/afterwards. There’s a huge food court in the shopping centre once you leave Kidzania – I recommend Byron Burgers. But don’t expect to enjoy a leisurely meal – our two were absolutely exhausted so it was a case of wolfing it and going.
- Download a book or podcast to keep you entertained while they’re playing.
What Needs Improving
Kidzania London has all the makings for a top class attraction for children. Whilst it really is great (my 4 year old had nothing bad to say and he was one of the youngest I saw during our visit), it could be so much more. I feel I have to include these points in my Kidzania review.
I would say 70% of the staff seemed like they were bored out of their minds – and sure they probably were, but it would have been better if they hid it.
They didn’t get down to the kid’s levels, or help with costumers or equipment. In the drumming one my little boy’s stool was too high, so he kept slipping off but no one helped him. In the end I popped in to sort him out and then left again.
There were also times when the older children got to answer all the questions because the younger ones took a little longer. It would have been nice if the staff purposefully asked some of the younger ones sometimes as a way to create a bit more inclusivity.
The queue system also bugged me. I felt like I was forever asking other kids to join the back of the queue and during crowded times it was easy for the queue to become a big group. When activities are limited to small numbers it can then be tricky to distinguish who is first. I heard one dad saying his daughter spent 20-minutes queuing, once she got to the front she realised she need to pay to join in. She went to get the money from her watching dad, but in the two seconds someone else took her place and she faced another 20-minute wait.
An easy fix in my opinion would be scanning the wristbands at each activity point so that each child is allocated a place in the queue and it’s fair.
Overall Kidzania Review
Despite what I’ve just said I would still recommend it. Bear in mind it was a near two-hour drive (each way) for me and it still gets a thumbs up. My son and nephew absolutely loved it. They learned so much, in a fun, exciting hands-on way. There was just the right balance of independence and structure to harness an enjoyable experience.
It’s a lot of mental stimulation for little ones and a great way to nurture their confidence, develop listening skills and explore the world. My 4 year old couldn’t wait to share his day with his pre-school teachers and friends – his own Kidzania review!
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Map of Kidzania Westfield London
At Kidzania Westfield London there are two floors to explore. I wasn’t given a map and couldn’t find one in there, so I’d recommend downloading a map before you visit. My phone signal and data was a bit patchy in there, so it took a little while to get it to load.
Some activities are signposted, but it’s still tricky to find some of them. You won’t have enough time to do all of them, so if your little one has their heart on something you’ll want to locate it pretty quickly.
Recommended Reading: 11 of the Best Children’s Afternoon Tea Spots in London
Kidzania London Prices
Ticket prices vary depending on when you visit – there are peak and off-peak times. Use the online booking calendar to see the variations. You’ll need to choose both a date and a four hour slot.
Adult prices start from £16 – and yes you have to get one even though you’re just watching them! The only exception is if your child is over the age of 8 and you’re letting them go in on their own.
Child prices start from £19. I brought my sister and nephew’s ticket for his Christmas present and she did the same for my little boy. We paid around £40 each and we visited on a Saturday during the 1-4pm session.
If you’re looking for a Kidzania promotion it’s worth looking for a Kidzania Groupon deal. I often see them on there, though they have restrictions on when you can use them. You’ll also find them on other discount sites.
If you can’t find any or there are too many limitations, book ahead online and you’ll still save a few pounds per ticket against the walk up price.
Kidzania Opening Times
Generally it’s 9.30am – 8pm and is open throughout the week. Remember you’ll need to pick a four slot.
Kidzania Address and Parking
The address is Kidzania, Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA.
Parking is super easy. Park in the huge Westfield shopping centre car park (4,500 spaces), following the signs to Kidzania. We arrived around 11am on a Saturday and there were loads of empty spaces.
You pay on return at the machine – I paid via card and it cost £10, which gave us up to 14 hours.
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