In the yesteryears, as children we used to go to the neighbourhood playground and play with swings and see-saws and once in a while we get to visit an amusement park with rides and arcade games. When we tried to play make believe, I remember we grabbed whatever props we have at home and just pretended to role play with our play mates. Fast forward to current days, the kids now have a great deal of choices when it comes to parks and amusements centers for them to spend their holidays. One of these parks is something I wished had an adult version.
Kidszania is an indoor theme park with a replica town where kids can role-play at real-world jobs & earn play money. Targeted at children from ages 4 to 14, the first Kidszania opened in 1999 in Mexico City and till date there are a total of 24 Kidszania parks located worldwide. My first experience with Kidszania was the one located at Bangkok. The entrance of the park is decorated like airport check in counters where you get to be ‘transported’ to another country which is the country of children
The first thing to do after passing security after checking in is to register for a banking account with the local Kidszania bank. Depending on the country, all the companies in the Kidszania is funded by local companies. In this case, it was the CIMB Thai Bank. Once registered, each kid is issued a banking account with a bank where they can used throughout the city to deposit their salary or withdraw money with the machines. The currency used in the city is called kidzo.
First of the first places explored was the convenience store where the children are giving a few roles; to be the shopper to pick up items from a shopping list; the cashier to tabulate the cost of items from the shopping list as well as stock out the shelves when the items have run out. Clear briefing are given out by the friendly staff on what to do and help is always given along the way. Parents are only allowed to watch from outside each store. Every job takes about 45 mins to an hour to complete before they are given salary for the job completed
At the Meiji factory, the kids got to learn about milk cultures and probiotics and also get to try bottling a small bottle of fresh milk by themselves
At the Veterinary Clinic, the kids got to learn about animals although they were all stuffed animals.
From the Meiji factory, there is the drinks factory where the kids learn about green tea leaf and the process of brewing tea and making sugared drinks to putting the drinks in packets.
One of the rather unique job is the postal office where you get to learn about job at the courier and postal office and you also get a group of parcel where the kids have to go around the city and deliver the items by searching the address and navigating through the city themselves.
There are various other job stations including the in house radio station to be a DJ, an inspector for the police department to solve a crime mystery, staff at MacDonald’s making burgers, fireman at the Fire department putting out a fire, taking a driving license at the traffic department, gas station pump assistant, worker at a building company.
For popular jobs, like airline pilot and flight staff, doctor at the hospital, actor at the auditorium, newscaster and more do expect long queues. There are also certain jobs targeting at girls more like hair salon and make up salon, modelling agency, childcare center etc. If your child goes through every single stop, you can spend an entire day here.
For parents, they do have a small cafeteria and resting area where you can sit and wait for your kids and you can simply sit around the city with the various benches provided. For the kidzos earned on the job, you can exchange them for gifts and toys at the gift shop before exiting the park.
Personally, there are so many stations which I wish I could play for myself as many of these props or facilities are great and realistic and it gives you a chance to try different careers. I really think it is worth to bring your kids here or any Kidszania outlet for the holidays.
Address: 991 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
Operating hours: 10 am to 5 pm ( 10.30 am to 8.30 pm on Sat and Sun)