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) -


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