Fly a plane?
Help people when they’re sick?
Look after animals?
Save a burning building?
Monitor, control and activate clean energy in the city?
Create new ideas for different treats?
Learn different techniques for preserving processed meat?
Examine and care for trees in the garden and around the city?
Or perhaps share the many sights, attractions, and highlights of the city to tourists?
Being a fireman, pilot, doctor or vet might have crossed all our minds at some stage. But how about all the other work that needs to get done? All of the above and more are experiences that kids from 4-14 years old can participate in at Kidzania Manila.
Kidzania is not like any play center I have ever been to. And I have been to a lot. From birthday parties, to mothers group catchups, to rainy day alternative play areas, the kids have explored different play areas from the east to the west and everywhere in between. Nothing compares to the experience we had when my cousins took us to this wonderful world for kids in Bonafacio Global City in Manila.
After sailing on the sparkling blue waters of Coron and climbing the famous Chocolate Hills in Bohol, I really wondered if maybe extending our time in the islands instead of heading back to Manila would be a better idea. Thank goodness we wanted to spend time with our cousins because they really took us to some awesome places up in the big smoke.
Kidzania originally started in Mexico in 1999 and since then has spread its edutainment concept to 24 other locations in the world including London, Moscow, Tokyo, Singapore, and Dubai. Kidzania is a kid-sized city complete with its own currency, bank and jobs needing to be done. Adults are not permitted to participate in the activities and the kids are able to experience explore their own interest with independence and develop their confidence.
Initially upon entering Kidzania I was overwhelmed with all that was going on and impatient with having to line up for so long at some of the activities. I’m glad we pushed through it because after only a short while we totally had or Kidzania game on! So below are some things we observed that will hopefully help you make the most out of your trip!
1) Kidzania has their own currency called Kidzos and as soon as you enter your child is given a cheque for50Kidzos which they can bank for some cash or even open an account with a ATM card if they want to save it and earn interest.
2) Kidzos money can be spent at the Kidzos department store and some other places where they can purchase lollies, clothes, toys etc and Kidzos can also be earned by participating in the various “jobs”/activities in Kidzania City!
3) You can purchase a passport for your child at 220pesos in which the can get a stamp at every job they complete. There are different rewards depending how many stamps you get so if your planning on visiting Kidzania more the once you should totally get one! We purchased a passport towards the end of the day because there was a bit of a line when we first arrived. We thought that we would be able to go back to all the activities that we completed to get our stamp but they said that’s not how it works – you have to have your passport at the time you do your activity to get it stamped. So purchase one before you go around the place if you’re interested in collecting stamps and extra Kidzos. If you visit Kidzania in other countries you’ll also get a special holographic sticker.
4) As you walk around the world of Kidzania, you’ll see familiar establishments like a hospital, mobile phone shop, gym, laundromat all tailor made for kids. Look for the census plate at each of the establishments as guide to know a) how many kids can participate in the activity b) the minimum age required c) how many minutes the activity runs for and, d) whether you can earn Kidzos or spend Kidzos and how much.
5) Below are just some of the many different jobs available for the kids to experience:
Pit Crew Training Centre
Car Design and Dealership
Traditional Jewelry Workshop
Arts & Crafts Workshop
Disaster Preparedness Training Center
Art & Design Academy
City Tour Bus
Marine Research Lab
Baby Care Training Center
Hospital – Operating Room
Hospital – Emergency Room
Magazine Publishing Company
Home Shopping Studio
Mobile Phone Shop
Farm House Store
Police Station & C.S.I
Clean Energy Center
Ice Cream Factory
6) Being a fire fighter and pilot were extremely popular jobs when we visited Kidzania so make sure you get some snacks and bring along your patience – be prepared to wait even up to an hour or so. The wait is totally worth it though, as the kids take some part in fire fighter training before riding on their own little fire engine with sirens blasting out while they make their way to help put out a fire at the burning hotel. It was an incredible experience for the kids and all the parents loved seeing their little ones so involved and active.
7) You can only enter Kidzania with kids and my cousins had organised all our tickets for us prior to us arriving. We went on a Sunday around 11am after attending mass at Greenbelt. The front entrance area is set up like an airport check in terminal. You can purchase tickets through the Kidzania website and you can also find discounts and deals through websites such as Metro Deal if you want to save and have more money to spend inside!
8) All the jobs seem to be branded with popular current brands so as to make the experience seem more like the big world outside. We were really impressed that there were not only the popular medical and rescue service jobs, but the kids are also exposed to tasks such as customer service at the holiday in and mobile phone shop, as well as the responsibility of delivering important parcels through the Kidzania courier and mail service. It was also interesting to see jobs such as the brand ambassador jobs offering a high pay rate at 12Kidzos for kids who assist customers in their needs and orient them on mobile phone apps! A good focus on customer needs and sales! The kids’ creativity is harnessed in so many of the jobs offered at Kidzania including one where they get to create their own new sweet treat, or write an article to be published in the newspaper.
9) Let your kid explore and check out the activities that interest them. Our 4yo said his favourites were the pilot academy training, the Emergency room where he was a paramedic and the cookie making factory. It was so cool watching the kids in the ABS CBN TV studio that was set up so the kids can host the news or even their own infomercial! The radio station and courtroom also looked super cool however the minimum age was 6yo as they are required to be able to read to complete the activity. In the operating theatre and in the dental clinic, there were life sized mannequins that the kids had to work on. They really try to make it as real as possible for the kids!
10) If you want to eat before heading into Kidzania, there is a McDonalds outlet and a few other restaurants right next door. Alternatively you could purchase some food and drinks from the vendors inside.
11) There is a parents lounge with free wifi and you can grab a coffee and cake while sitting on the comfy couches reading a newspaper or magazine while your kids earn their keep.
12) Everyone greeted us with a friendly and enthusiastic “Kai!” when we arrived at the different activities. Kidzania has their own little expressions so be sure to get in on the fun and greet people with with “Kai!” (Hi!) or say “Zanks/Zank-u” (Thank you). We also heard some of the Kidzania people say “Zaz!” It’s their way to say “Wow!” when they are surprised or impressed!
13) There are so many jobs to choose from when you enter and if your kid is particularly interested in something, you can head on over to the Employment Center where they can help you match something to your needs. For example if your kid wants to be an athlete, they have a sports stadium with team sports or a gym for some fitness exercises they can participate in! Otherwise your child can take a quiz to see what might interest them.
14) There is also the Kidzania University activity where the kids can participate in a 30min or 15min cycle where they can complete their Masters or Bachelor degree. They receive a certificate and from then on, when they show their certificate at any of the jobs in Kidzania, they get paid a few extra Kidzos, illustrating to them the benefits of ongoing learning and upskilling.
15) When entering Kidzania, each child and adult is given a wristband which only Kidzania staff are able to remove. That way, your kids are able to be tracked and won’t be able to exit Kidzania without you.
16) Kidzania would be an awesome place to have your kid’s birthday party. We saw a few birthday celebrants excitedly exploring their Kidzania world with all their friends. Kidzania has proven popular with even the adults that on certain days and nights, they run private functions where I believe the adults get to join in on the fun!
17) The Kidzania website and social media channels are always updated with special events and promotions so be sure to check them before you go. On the day that we went, I checked their Instagram account in the morning and found out that one of the famous Filipino actors would be there promoting his new movie in the Kidzania theatre. My cousins were sooooo excited to see Piolo in the flesh and so close, it was an added bonus to our already amazing day!
18) Kidzania have their own mascots each representing the rights that Kidzania patrons share together. There is also a sixth right, the Right to Be.
Urbano – Right to Know
Vita – Right to Care
Bache – Right to Play
Beebop – Right to Create
Chika – Right to Share
There are interesting monuments and plaques you can find all around the city so take the time to explore and read them while your kids wait in line for their activities. It gives you a glimpse into the Kidzania culture!
I could go on and on about our time at Kidzania and how happy Daniel was participating in all the jobs he is normally only an observer of in the big, real world. You’ll find a list of all the roles your kid can participate in here and I hope this has been of some help or has encouraged you to brave the traffic and smokey haze of Manila to visit this awesome role play concept!
Kidzania Manila can be found in the modern and sleek area of Bonafacio Global City where is seems brand new shopping malls and attractions have been popping up recently along with some nice street art! We went by car and there is paid parking available at Park Triangle and nearby places such as Market Market. Otherwise they have more information here if you’re travelling by bus, MRT or other modes of transport! Another easy way to get there is to just use a Grab or cab.
I heard that they might be planning on finally getting one up and running here in Australia so hopefully it’ll be in Melbourne! Have you been to Kidzania? Any tips for first time visitors?
Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!