We’ve been holding our breath and waiting for months…. and finally, Kidzania has opened in Singapore! So what’s in store at this huge indoor kids’ city?
The first thing you’ll notice as you approach Kidzania Singapore is the life-size Boeing 737 fuselage peeping out of the building, which will get even the most jaded kid intrigued about what’s inside. This is the fuselage of an actual Qatar Airways plane measuring over 25 metres long and is the only one of its kind in any of the 23 KidZania cities around the world. The cockpit inside, where kids can be a pilot on a state-of-the-art simulator, is one of the hot tickets (we didn’t get to try this out on our visit as there were perpetual queues).
Kidzania offers a multitude of kids’ role-playing activities that mimic adult jobs (pilot, firefighter, doctor, shopkeeper, courier delivery), spread out over two huge floors of indoor air con space. This is a miniature kids’ city where everything is on their level – staff run each activity but the kids are meant to take charge (parents cannot enter the activity stations and cannot really participate, apart from taking photos). As most activities take place behind glass doors we were disconcerted yet intrigued about what they were learning at each station – there is a lot of explaining from staff involved prior to some activities, for example in the CIS and Police departments.
Kidzania promises an interactive learning and entertaining experience – but controversially, it is also a fast track into the world of well known corporate brands with Pizza Hut, KFC, Qatar Airways and others who have all sponsored their activities to have their brand names on show.
The kids’ city is complete with streets, a 7-11, A&E, dentist, hospital, bank, radio station and department store (where kids can spend their hard earned kidzos — the city’s currency). Although due to the pricing structure, be aware that at the end of your day your kid may not actually be able to afford what they want inside (and we witnessed quite a few kids who didn’t have enough money to buy anything at all). Dollars are not accepted in the shop, so mama can’t help out if they are a few kidzos short. Not being able to afford something you want is a life lesson in itself, but it’s a hard one for a 4-year-old who has been ‘working’ for their kidzos all day!
On entry your kid is given their own credit card preloaded with cash, and activities earn them a kidzos salary, although they need to pay to participate in some activities. A few ‘jobs’ that you had to pay for in order to participate in included the chef stints at Soup Spoon and KFC (granted you were able to eat your soup or burger after you made it) – however you can see how your kidzos get used up quickly throughout the day.
There are even beauty parlours and tattoo parlours for kids to spend their kidzos in (much to the delight of kids and the dismay of their parents)!
We like how one of the lessons taught in many activities is confidence – as police officers protecting a burning hotel, kids are encouraged to speak up to tell the public (mamas and dads watching) to stand back and keep safe.
- Make sure your kid has a pocket to keep their credit card or money (or you can purchase the Kidzania lanyard).
- Phones don’t get great reception inside Kidzania, which could make coordinating hard if you come with friends.
- Go as soon as it opens (10am) to get the most out of your ticket – there is so much fun here it will keep kids busy all day (plus you’ll need to factor in waiting times before each activity)!
- Most kids’ activities, like having a go as a Radio presenter or being a doctor at A&E, take 20-25 minutes. Bring a good book and your camera. There is an adults’ waiting room with wifi upstairs too.
- Factor in lots of queuing time for kids (hopefully less waiting the earlier you go) – at least 25 minutes but up to an hour or more for popular activities.
- There is nothing for your kids to do while they queue – come with a playdate for them so they have a partner in whine – sorry – crime.
- Some of the most attractive activities have a minimum height requirement of 1 metre 30, like driving the cars at the petrol station and the mountaineering station – great for older kids!
- Safety is taken seriously here – kids and adults are given electronic linked safety tags.
So would we go again? Our kid tester nods vigorously as an answer. Mama paying for the pricey tickets (which includes an adult ticket even though you can’t actually do anything) may have to think twice. But if you go for a full day or if your kids are 8 years old+ and can go by themselves, Kidzania offers an exhilarating and different day of entertainment.
- Toddlers (2-3) pay $25 ($23.75 online); Kids (4-17) pay $58 (or $55.10 online); Adults $35 (or $33.25 online)
- Under 2’s are free but under 4’s won’t be allowed to participate in any of the kids role-playing activities – there are toddler playrooms upstairs (where 4yrs+ aren’t allowed).
- Sundays to Thursdays are 10-5pm, and Fridays and Saturdays open later until 8pm
- Most activities take their last customers an hour before closing so that all activities are finished half an hour before closing (leaving your kids 30 minutes to spend their salary in the shop).
Want to plan out your trip, mama? Download this free park map to make the most out of your day!
Kidzania, Palawan Kidz City. 31 Beach View #01-01/02 Singapore 098008. Tel: (+65) 1800 653 6888, www.kidzania.com.sg