Sunday, February 10, 2019

A day at Kidzania - Kid's favourite place in Mumbai!

I first saw the world of Kidzania from inside when it had just launched in Mumbai, I guess around 6-7 years ago. This was because my sister-in-law was working in their marketing team. I was just newly married and had no kids, in-fact I was like why am I not a kid to go enjoy this, or why did we not have this when we were kids! :P

My baby, now is a 4+ year old pre-schooler finally old enough to understand role-play and the activities at KidZania. Hence we finally made our long-awaited trip to Kidzania at R-City Mall, Ghatkopar last weekend on a Saturday afternoon. I don't know how they managed to fit that huge world of Kidzania in a mall, I wonder how huge the mall must be! Your first time at Kidzania can be a little overwhelming - there is so much to see, so much going on and so many kids.
Starting by taking off, a flight-like experience where you get your boarding passes and RFID tag watches (this is a great concept, you can track where your kid is, so they won't ever be lost). Next Panav was given a cheque worth Rs.50 which you have to go encash at Yes Bank (You will notice a lot of similar brand collaborations there).

Since it was my first visit, I only got to know that you can also ask for a debit card instead of cash - if you think carrying the currency notes may be a hassle. I would recommend that for the 2-5 age group. Older kids will surely enjoy the cash and notes and calculate how much they have got and how much is left. Once that is done, you are free to go do the activity you like, and mind you there are 100+ activities to pick from. For toddlers there are not as many, but there are a good 30 odd activities for toddlers. And we could only finish around 8 while there from 2pm to 7pm (we were really tired at the end of that).

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Try to come on a weekday if possible, and avoid public holidays. More rush means more waiting time. Though there can always be school groups - but there they have a protocol to take half from the school queue and other from the family queue which is a great thing. All the activities run on a time-table schedule and they put up the next timing on the glass door. On an average you need to wait for 10-15 minutes before every activity. Panav absolutely wanted to be a policeman, doctor, fireman - so that's the three we started with.

As a doctor they were given medical instructions, then they all climbed into an ambulance along with a patient and came back. Parents are not allowed inside the activity rooms though. Policemen are given a case, to go look for clues and come back with a verdict of the case and find the culprit. What he really enjoyed was being a fireman - and it sure is a popular activity at Kidzania. After getting fire safety training, all the firefighters wear their uniform, get into the fire-truck and go to a hotel that's on fire (mock fire of course), where they each put down the water. It was really fun.

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Panav then noticed lot of kids running around delivering or collecting packages, being someone who loves packages himself, he wanted to do this next. He enjoyed going to various establishments and collecting the packages. All four of these activities - the kids earn money. I love how they have absolutely thought of the tiniest detail possible. Everything is so thought through. The details of each activity, what kids learn, the staff is so understanding and polite and know how to tackle kids, even the doors are kid friendly, no finger coming in the middle of the door incident. There are snack counters everywhere - to stop and grab a bite.

Kids who visit here regularly were such pro's. They know how to go about things and utilise their time well. We then went to the 1st floor where there were many more activities - Panav went to parle-G factory, parle candy factory, Frooti factory and Kinder-joy factory - where kids are taught how these are made. The process - it's really cool - even for an adult to see. For all these activities money is to be paid, and you get a biscuit/frooti/candy/chocolate at the end of the activity.

All in all, great place for kids to enjoy - alone or with friends or as a birthday party venue or from school! You cannot miss taking your kid to Kidzania. I recommend for age 4+, and they keep running ticket offers on their website too. They also have a souvenir store at the end of your visit if you want to buy a keepsake. And, for readers who are not from Mumbai, there are multiple Kidzania centres all over the globe - find your nearest one here (I hope they plan more in India apart from Mumbai and Delhi) -

Friday, February 1, 2019

boAt Rockerz 255 Sports Bluetooth Wireless Earphone : Review

Writing a technology review after a really long time. I have been meaning to write one for my Mi 55" Android TV as well, but just haven't gotten to it. Anyways, I was searching for a good wireless (read: bluetooth) earphones since a couple of months and after a lot of searching around finally bought the
boAt Rockerz 255 Sports Bluetooth Wireless Earphone during one of Amazon's sales.

Why I needed Bluetooth headphones?
I use the Apple iPhone X which has the same jack for earphone and charging, so that was a big inconvenience, plus if you are going to walk or jog with music, wired is a no-no and lastly - AirPods kharidne ki aukaat nahi hai. I would surely lose them within a week. 

So I knew specifically what I was looking for -
  • In-Ear Bluetooth Earphones (Over the ear headphones are too bulky and not very portable).
  • Under 2.5-3K rupees (I am not very good at maintaining earphones and end up damaging them pretty easily).
  • A bluetooth earphone with good battery life and good bass.
After reading a lot of buyer reviews across Amazon, Flipkart etc I shortlisted a few from JBL, Skullcandy and boAt. The boAt Rockerz 255 is priced at MRP of Rs.2990/- so I was not too sure to invest that in a brand I hadn't ever used before. But on one of Amazon's sale days, it was available for Rs.1090/- and I did not hesitate and purchased it.

It arrived quick, was charged already and it is a good purchase! Here's what I liked -

1. Average use of the earphones makes battery last for 1-2 days. Which is good. (If you're listening to songs for say 30 mins each day and just taking calls otherwise).
2.  You can charge it via power socket or PC using the USB cable provided.
3. It stays fit in the ears and does not come off, though I have not yet tried running or jogging with it, but walking is comfortable.
4. Nice colour options - neon green, red or black. I bought the neon green one.
5.  Sound quality is good - I won't say you'll get Bose-like quality. But for the amount, the music quality is very decent. Bass too.
6. There is a nice voice that greets you when you switch on or switch off the earphones, unlike the standard voice you'll here in every other chinese bluetooth earphones or speakers.
7. Magnetic clipping of earphones when not in use.

What could be better -
  • Sometimes the earphones give beep sounds, and I don't know what they're for, but it can be irritating.
  • Battery percentage is not known, if phone could show the earphone battery percentage somehow, it would be useful.
  • When battery gets low it starts beeping frequently, that is annoying as well.

Overall, at the price I paid it's a very good purchase, I would buy it again at the same price. But maybe not at the MRP.