Kidzania, Where the kids are in charge!


Have your children ever dreamt of becoming a Pilot, a Firefighter or an actor/actress?

Kidzania is child size city, situated on the roof of Westfield, London where the children are in charge! Not only with the job that they choose to do but also with what with they would do with the money that they would earn. There are more than 60 role play activities to try, each lasting anything from 10-20 minutes long. Each activity experience is designed to teach children the essential life skills including team work, independence and economy. Children are paid in Kidzos for every activity that they undertake. Upon entrance into Kidzania, children are given 50 kidzos. They then have the big decision as to what to spend their kidzos on, some activities you have to pay for or you can purchase goods at certain locations throughout the City. As soon as children have 70 kidzos they have the choice to use Kidzanias banking system, where they can debit their money into a bank account, receive a bank card and use the ATMs throughout the city. The debit cards are customised to each child with their name and signature.

Kidzania is all based on role play. Role play is an important part of children’s learning. Children get to pretend play, get into character and act out real life context to develop their knowledge of the role. Role play allows children to take risks, develop social skills, become creative and sparks their imagination.

kidzania signs

A couple of weeks ago, during October Half term, We were invited along to Kidzania to the special Halloween event. The children were excited about going and had spent time the previous day looking through all of the activities and deciding on what activity they wanted to try out. I would advice doing this before your visit as there are 60 role play activities to choose from and with only 4 hours in the city you don’t want to be disappointed when your time is up and you haven’t done what you wanted to do. Kidzania was easy to find within the shopping centre Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush. We was greeted by members of Kidzania on the ground floor and pointed into the right direction to the entrance. After travelling up a couple of escalators, we got the sense that we was a the airport and about to board a plane when we was greeted by a huge 18 mtr, 16 tonne A319 British Airways aircraft hanging above us. The boys couldn’t wait to get inside and see what it was all about. At check-in we was all given electronic wristbands, these are for safety reasons and a way of us parents finding out where our children are. With a map in hand, we was ready for our role-playing adventure.

Entering the city we was a little overwhelmed by it all, although the boys had done their research on the activities seeing it all in front of us confused us a little. There were children running around with kidzos in hand, tour buses passing by and a Fire Engine siren going off. We took a little walk around and finally settled on a bench outside of the university. Whilst we was waiting for the activity to start, we saw a few Zombies walking by and a group of Police Officers searching the premises for them. As it was Halloween, we were already pre warned that there were some Zombies on the loose.

halloween kidzThe boys thought that the going to Kidzania University was the most important of all activities to do first, not only do they get a Bachelor Degree but it helps them to earn more money on certain activities ie; Pilot and Doctor.


As our little one is only 4 he was too young to be involved with the University as he couldn’t read and write on the computer by himself, I took him off to find somewhere else that would suit his age. As Dad is an Engineer and works with Air Conditioning units, Oliver was interested in finding out a little more about it. We made our way upstairs and found the air conditioning area. With his hi-vis and hard hat on he was ready to take to the pipes.


As parents can not partake in the activities, bar a couple, they can not enter with the children. Oliver is a very shy little boy who lacks confidence when taking part in new things with out the support of someone he knows alongside him. I thought that this activity would be a good start for him as it was little like an indoor climbing play area. With a little encouragement and telling him that I was waiting right outside the exit for him, he went on in. With in minutes he was out and wanting to go back in. After 3 turns, he was handed over some kidzos for his hard work. With a big smile on his face, he was eager to try out some more activities.


The next activity we turned up for, we had just missed! So we had to wait around for 15 minutes until the next one started. It’s tough for young children to wait, they get impatient and restless. We managed though. The boys chose to try out the Aviation Academy.

kidzania pilotThe Pilot gets taken away first to do a little training in the cockpit, where they get to learn about the crucial elements of navigating a real plane. Next the cabin crew are fitted up in the clothing and off they are taken to learn the safety instructions. For the last 5 minutes of the activity, parents are invited through to the plane (the actual BA plane) where you take your seat and follow the safety instructions given by the children. Our little one handed out some food and drink to us as he was in charge of the trolley. Children who choose to become a Pilot have to pay kidzos for the experience but those that choose cabin crew, earn kidzos. I think that’s why the youngest chose to try cabin crew because he was so excited on receiving kidzos on the first activity he wanted to get some more.

Outside of each activity, on the wall, is a plaque; stating what the activity is, how many children are allowed in, how long it will take, the suggested age and the salary they will earn or what they need to pay for it.


There are many activities to choose from and not so easy to keep all of the children together, as one wants to try something a different from the other. We allowed the two eldest to go off on their own . It was easy to keep track of where they were with the security watch that they were given before we entered Kidzania. There are machines that you scan your watch onto and on the screen it will show you a map of the city and the activity that your children last scanned into. At the beginning and end of each activity, the child gets there security watch scanned by the staff.

DSC_2487_optI used this system a few times and found it to be really helpful.

As the boys wouldn’t be able to try out every activity I told them to only try what they really wanted to experience first, so that they wouldn’t be disappointed if they didn’t manage to fit it in before our time was up. They tried quite a lot, and you would be surprised on how the time goes by so quickly.

Between them these are the activities that they tried

  • Acting Academy
  • Air Conditioning
  • Animation Studio
  • Aviation Academy
  • Bank
  • Climbing Building
  • Courier Service
  • Dentist
  • Engineering Centre and Pit Lane Experience
  • Police Department
  • Science Lab
  • The Kidzania Newspaper
  • The Vault
  • University

There are many more that they missed out on doing like the Fire & rescue unit and Hospital A&E but the queues for these were a long wait and my boys don’t do well in waiting. Even though they didn’t get to try them out they still came away at the end of the day with a huge smile on their face asking to go back again.

Whilst the children are off exploring Kidzania, there is an adults only area where you can relax, have a hot drink or a light lunch.

kidzania cafe

There is a lot of waiting around for the children, as you as an adult, can not enter into the activities with them. The OH found the perfect place to sit a wait for them.

My son loves to climb so he was delighted to see that there was a climbing wall that he could try. He handed over his kidzos and got kitted out in the safety harness. There was no keeping him on the ground as soon as he was ready he was off climbing up the city walls. He’s like a little spiderman.

DSC_2524_opt DSC_2520_optHe loved it!

After 4 hours of running around the city we was ready to make our way to immigration, where the airport team checked us out. The whole experience was fun and tiring.

Kidzania gives them a sense of how it would feel to work in an adult job and earn money. The design of kidzania is not just a simulation of the real world but it’s preparation for it.

We would definitely recommend a visit. The prices are the same as a theme park, but there are no thrill rides just fun adventures. Prices are a little more on weekends and adults pay a little less than a child. If your children are over 8 and have already been to Kidzania it is possible to leave them there without adult supervision but it is strongly advised that they are not alone and in a group of friends. Prices for a weekend visit are Child (4-14) £32  Adult (15+) £16.50 Early Years (1-3)  £10.00 Infants (under 1) Free

Please check the website for more prices

We received no payment for this post, pictures and words are my own. We was given a family entry for 4 into Kidzania for the purpose of this post. Thank you to The Communcations store for this experience



Save the Children’s Christmas Wooly Wonderland Launches at Westfield


Friday 13th December 2013 sees the return of Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day with a raft of celebrity support and lots of ways to get involved; from knitting workshops to live gigs and record breaking attempts – Save the Children has it sewn up

Christmas Jumper Day | 13 December 2013

“On Friday 13th December 2013 Save the Children is calling on people across the UK to help make the world better with a sweater and take part in the tradition of wearing a kitsch Christmas jumper in exchange for a £1 donation to raise money for its life saving work with children the world over. Support for Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day has already started in earnest, with celebrities posing in their festive woollies.  Myleene KlassJulie Walters, Lorraine Kelly, Gok Wan, Rochelle Humes, Erin O’ConnorLauren Laverne, Alex Jones, Bruno Tonioli, Ashleigh & Pudsey, Arlene Philips, Nate James, Simon Rimmer, Jay Rayner, Daniel Roche, Kate Thornton, Jack Topping, Natasha Kaplinsky and Dom Joly have all dug out their finest Christmas knitwear, ready to wear in support of Save the Children’s Christmas campaign”

We attended an event at Westfield Shopping centre on Wednesday night, where we got to try out a bit of sewing ourselves in the Wooly Wonderland Jumper workshop. We was greeted with some light refreshments and a friendly face, after a little introduction we sat down at the table all ready to create our Christmas Jumper masterpiece. After picking a jumper, we then chose our preferred design to applique on to the sweater and the colour and design of the felt that we wanted to applique onto the sweater, we then we had to draw around the template onto the felt and cut it out. I took along the two eldest boys to join in with the jumper making but Joseph was just a bit too young to start sewing so i took over on his behalf. After being shown by the professional ladies of the Wooly Gang on how to thread a needle properly and what type of stitch to use, we got started.

We could choose from a penguin design, a star or a reindeer.

I was really impressed with Jak’s attempt at sewing, he did make a few mistakes where he sewed the jumper together a couple of times but this was probably his second time he had ever used a needle!



He done so well but didn’t manage to finish it in the hour that we was there so he brought it home to finish, I am sure he will be wearing it with pride on the 13th and every other day on the run up to Christmas Day. I believe he wants to finish it off with sequins on each point.

Joseph chose the penguin design



I had to first sew on the white heart bellies using a blanket stitch and then stitch on the sequin eye, I have yet to finish stitching it onto the jumper; but when i do i promise i will share it with you all.

We shown all the right techniques to use when stitching and tying up our thread when finished and enjoyed our evening thoroughly.

You can even have your photo taken wearing your finest festive finery in the photobooth there, Jospeh had fun with this



If you would like to take part in the workshop you can book a slot here

Activity Schedule at Westfield is:

  • John Lewis Jumper Customaisation – Fri 6 December 6-7pm, Wed 11 December 6-7pm, Fri 13 December 12-1 pm
  • Gruffalo Reading and activities – Running from Saturday 7 December to Wednesday 11 December
  • Elmer in the snow reading and activities – Friday 6 December 12-1 pm, Friday 12 December 12-1pm
  • Debbli Bliss Knitting –  Tuesday 9 December 7-7pm, Tuesday 10 December 12-1
  • Sue Stratford Knitting –  Tuesday 10 December 3-4pm

Dom Jolly and Mary Portas will be hosting the storytelling sessions alongside The Gruffalo and Elmer in the Snow to help the whole family get into the festive spirit there will be giveaways and fun activities.

Winter Wooly Land can be found on the first floor of Westfield Shopping Centre outside of the John Lewis store

Wear your jumper on Christmas Jumper Day on 13 December and donate £1 to Save the Children at .You can buy your Christmas jumper from John Lewis, official retail partner of Christmas Jumper Day. £25 from the sale of every jumper in the Save the Children range goes to the charity.


We was invited along to the event to share the news of the workshop 





A Visit to Westfields Santa Grotto

Last week the boys and I boarded the train to go and visit someone special.
They were really excited, we didn’t know what to expect when we got there but even so it didn’t dampen their spirits.
We arrived at Stratford Westfield Shopping Centre 15 minutes late and made our way through the hoards of Christmas shoppers to outside where we was going to see the big man himself, Santa Claus!

As we walked up to the grotto which is situated next to the outdoor ice rink we noticed some very special animals outside, lying down and resting. There were three reindeers in a pen, such magnificent creatures.


I had already pre-booked our tickets on line on their website, costing me £3 per person, which I thought was a good price.

The boys were greeted by some elves at the front door to Santas workshop, we was all taken through the shop to a holding bay which was filled up with soft play items like a big foam Santa and reindeer and lots of square presents. There was a big sleigh to sit on and explore and a small theatre.
We sat in here for 15 minutes whilst the children played an made friends. Santas elves were walking around taking everyone’s photograph, so the boys showed off their cheesiest biggest grins.
We were then all taken through a tunnel of sweets to the theatre ready to watch a 5D Christmas movie.


We collected out glasses and found some seats, the boys sat down the front on some big soft cushions that I must say looked more appealing then the seats 🙂

The movie started, it was about a bad elf stealing presents and throughout the movie it showed everyone who had their photo done faces on the presents. The children loved seeing their faces smiling back at them and shouted out when they recognised themselves. Everyone was laughing and having fun.
The movie ended with the bad elf becoming good and giving all the presents back an glitter falling on the children at the front.

The lights came on and We made our way through to the next room where we met Santa himself sitting in his living room in a big comfy chair with the fire alight next to him and presents in sacks all around.


All the children sat on the floor whilst Santa spoke to them about being good and asked them if they had done my thing nice to anyone this year, to which my Joseph put his hand up and said that he helped a child in school because they hurt themself (aaw bless).
Santa then saw each child or family separately and asked them what they are looking forward to on Christmas Day .


They had their photo taken by an elf and was given a present each.
The boys thanked Santa and waved goodbye to him.

We left the room and walked into a shop where you could buy the photograph that was just taken with Santa. We bought a snow globe as we thought that it make a good Christmas ornament to get out every year. It cost us £10, not bad really just a photograph cost £6.


We had fabulous time at Westfield’s Santa’s grotto, the boys had a wonderful experience and received some lovely gifts from Santa.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone that is local also you have the added bonus of shopping in some brilliant shops.

The overall experience was about 40 minutes long and we had no queueing!
Everyone was in character and friendly and the atmosphere was lovely. I thought £3 each (even parents) was very cheap for what your getting.

Have you visited Santa with the children yet?

Thank you for reading