We just came back from Bangkok, and the highlight of which is bringing Jerry to KidZania. I unfortunately fell prey to food poisoning after I got back and spent the whole the last 2 days in bed, totally weak and in extreme agony. Funny how I was okay with all the street food, but on the last day, I ate in restaurants and fast food and I fell sick from that!  I am suspecting that particular sushi joint that I ate in.

Jerry making a monkey face at my camera when i tried to snap a picture of him.

Jerry making a monkey face at my camera when i tried to snap a picture of him.

Anyhow, back to KidZania Bangkok. Do you know that it is one of the 2 KidZanias nearest to Singapore? The other one is in Kuala Lumpur. If you haven’t already heard, KidZania Singapore is opening on our very own shores next year, at Sentosa!

I was quite excited to bring Jerry to KidZania for a couple of reasons – he loves role-playing and KidZania definitely have some of the roles that I know he would love a lot, like being a fire fighter, a doctor just to name a few. If you aren’t familiar with KidZania, it is a family edutainment centre where kids are empowered to pursue their dreams by exploring what it’s like to live and work in a real city with over 90 role-playing activities to choose from.

What’s the big deal, the husband asked. Well, roles created in KidZania are as real-life as it gets. Each station is usually sponsored by a real brand that the kids are familiar with, allowing them to relate better. For example, the airport comes with a real plane, and the flight station in KidZania is manned by staff wearing the AirAsia uniform!

Here's a better one. He says that's the plane that we took that morning!

Here’s a better picture. He says that’s the plane that we took that morning! Yup, he’s right. We fly AirAsia to BKK!

The entrance looks pretty impressive with that real decommissioned plane, isn’t it? Even I got pretty impressed.

The crowd at the ticketing counter.

The crowd at the ticketing counter.

I was told that the crowd seen here is the minimum, since holidays  have ended in Thailand so we have come at the right time. Just enough kids to make the experience fun, without having to wait very long in queues at each station.

Map & cheque presented at the ticketing counter.

Map & cheque presented at the ticketing counter.

Once we got our tickets, a map of the KidZania city is presented, along with a cheque of 50 Kidzos for Jerry to spend in the city. We also got ourselves tagged with a security tag.

Jerry checking out his new 'watch', a security feature of KidZania

Jerry checking out his new ‘watch’, a security feature of KidZania

Jerry checking out his tag, pressing all the buttons that he can see. Mummy and daddy got tagged too. Jerry’s tag gets scanned at every station that he visits, and in the event that we did lose him within the city, we are able to track his whereabouts. And because his tag is paired with ours, there is no way he can exit KidZania by himself. I quite like how safety issues like that are well thought of. The place isn’t small to speak and I was rest assured to have my kid running around knowing that there is not a chance that I’ll lose him. (Find out about the rest of the security features they have)

A family photo before checking through the immigration to a world of fun!

A family photo before checking through the immigration into a world of fun!

Excited Jerry running through the walkways into KidZania

Excited Jerry running through the airport walkways into KidZania

Everything in KidZania is built for the kids and catered specifically for them. Look at how the advertisement panels are at their eye level instead of ours. I feel like a giant within the city.

Jerry goes to the bank to cash out his cheque.

Jerry goes to the bank to cash out his cheque.

The first stop is to the bank! Jerry needs to cash out his cheque into KidZos (KidZania currency) so that he has money to spend. KidZania isn’t just about role-playing a single role or occupation, it allows the kids to learn independence, and assert control over use of money in a ‘real-life’ situation, and working to earn money to spend on the things that they would like. It does inadvertently teach the kids some precious life skills, empowering them to make their own decisions.

Jerry looking back for some assurance from us.

Jerry looking back for some assurance from us.

Adults are not allowed in each of the stations. We can only stand outside to watch/observe. It allows the kids to do it their way instead of us (helicopter) parents getting in the way. We sometimes do it for the good of the kid, but these days, the parents really do way too much for the kids as compared to our days. Have it dawn on you that we might be stunting their growth in some ways?

Because Jerry is still a toddler at his age, in a foreign setting that he is not familiar with, it look quite a bit of prompting before he was willing to enter the bank to cash out his cheque. He did it nonetheless with some help (from the staff) and I was extremely proud of him when he came out with a wad of ‘cash’!

Jerry examining his wad of KidZos

Jerry examining his wad of KidZos

The first place he wanted to go was to “Fly a plane!”, so off we went.

Cannot wait to get into the flight facility.

Cannot wait to get into the flight facility.

I would like to think that the activities also help train patience in the kids. There are scheduled timings before everything and they have to wait for their turn instead of doing it now, now, now. It took quite a while for Jerry to get it, but at the end of our session, I did notice a change in Jerry as he stood in line and waited for his turn. You see, in this ‘huge’ city, not everything is about him. There is a time and place for everything.

Jerry intently flying the airplane.

Jerry intently flying the airplane.

Like I said, parents weren’t allowed into the stations to interfere with the kids’ experience, but I was allowed in on an exclusive tour inside the pilot training activity to sneak peak at Jerry secretly halfway through his flight simulation. I had to hide behind a wall when he suddenly turned around at the sound of my camera click. Luckily he didn’t see us! As you can see, everything is as real as it gets right? I am quite amused to see the clouds spotted windows at the side.

A picture of the Flight Simulator Census at KidZania

A picture of the Flight Simulator Census at KidZania

Here’s a picture of the Census sign at KidZania, this one specifically for the Flight Simulator station, one for the pilot and first officer and another for the flight attendant. It provides information on the capacity, time required, age requirement as well as the amount of KidZos required/to be earned. The bonus green +2 sign is additional KidZos to be awarded should you have prior experience in other stations, which in this case is a university degree in geography/astronomy/physics.

It got me thinking how to maximise the experience and earn the most amount of KidZos within the allocated time and I was half-wishing I could play too! Isn’t it like fun? Being to try things out in the city and experiment if your theories of time management and money make sense? Too bad for me, I’m seriously over age to be able to participate. The age limit is 14 years old.

Here’s a clearer picture of the census if you would like to read in detail, taken from KidZania Bangkok FB’s page.

KidZania Disco Lounge Census Sign

KidZania Disco Lounge Census Sign (Pic credit: KidZania Bangkok FB page)

One of my key concerns about visiting KidZania Bangkok is actually the language. Jerry knows no thai and I am not sure if he would be able to understand what is going on. My fears were unfounded because majority of the staff in KidZania speaks english. They train their staff in the language to handle english speaking clients, and most of the stations that we went didn’t have an issue since there was someone who conducts the explanation in english to Jerry.

He went on to a lot more stations, enjoying each station more and more, and exhibiting more confidence and telling me exactly what he wanted to do. No more prompting required from me!

Here’s some of the stations that he tried…

Playing the paramedic at the hospital 

Training as a paramedic in the hospital.

Training as a paramedic in the hospital.

Getting into the ambulance to answer to an emergency call.

Getting into the ambulance to answer to an emergency call.

In the ambulance, bustling down the streets in the city.

In the ambulance, bustling down the streets in the city.

Find the casualty and saving him!

Find the casualty and saving him!

Thought it was very interesting for a parent to watch and observe what your kid is truly capable of, and being able to execute all the actions correctly as required. Sure, there is some prompting from the staff sometimes when required, but the amazing part is their level of comprehension, and the ability to learn.

Jerry with his fellow paramedic and displaying the sign of

Jerry with his fellow paramedic and displaying the sign of “Kai”, an expression to mean “Hello” in KidZania

And the kid is off with more KidZos earned!

And the kid is off with more KidZos earned!

At the CP-Meji Milk Factory

He learns about pastuerization and how to tell the milk is good or bad to making his own bottle of milk! Not all stations are KidZo earning stations. This milk one is a paying one, meaning you have to pay some KidZos to try it, but you get a bottle of fresh milk in return!

Jerry makes his own Meji milk! He chose to make chocolate milk!

Jerry makes his own Meji milk! He chose to make chocolate milk!

Happy with his own bottle of chocolate milk!

Happy with his own bottle of chocolate milk!

 At the fire department

At Fire Department in KidZania, Bangkok

At Fire Department in KidZania, Bangkok

Getting trained in fire safety.

Getting trained in fire safety.

Hops onto a fire engine, heading out to put out some fire!

Hops onto a fire engine, heading out to put out some fire!

Getting off the fire engine.

Getting off the fire engine.

Putting out the fire, along with his fellow fire fighters

Putting out the fire, along with his fellow fire fighters

That’s real water by the way, and there is an actual building mimicked to look like its on fire, with orangey flames at its windows. Pretty cool to watch. The flames die down after the firemen put it out and am sure all the kids feel a sense of accomplishment.

At the Gas Station

Jerry working as a pump attendant.

Jerry working as a pump attendant.

So serious at work!

So serious at work!

At McDonalds Burger Joint

Jerry learns how to make a burger!

Jerry learns how to make a burger!

Totally engrossed in watching the introductory video!

Totally engrossed in watching the introductory video!

Very proud of his burger and he excitedly open up the burger to show me!

Very proud of his burger and he excitedly open up the burger to show me!

At the Veterinary

He learns how to clear the cat's litter

He learns how to clear the cat’s litter

He learns more about goldfishes and how to care for the dogs as well.

He learns more about goldfishes and how to care for the dogs as well. Here he is staring at the dog food and bones.

I heard that in Mexico, this vet station has real dogs! That’s really interesting!

At the construction site

Waiting for his turn at the construction site.

Waiting for his turn at the construction site.

Learning to operate his favourite crane! This kid somehow loves big machinery.

Learning to operate his favourite crane! This kid somehow loves big machinery.

Fascinating to watch him in action.

Fascinating to watch him in action.

At the convenience store

Jerry goes to work in the convenience store.

Jerry goes to work in the convenience store.

Putting items back in the correct shelves.

Putting items back in the correct shelves.

(I think) he learnt to identify items in the store and putting them back in the correct shelves. There is also a cashier counter to check out item, and I like how real everything looks!

There are many many other stations, like Dental Care, Eye Care Centre, Beauty Salon, Courier Service, Secret Agent, Police Station, Court House, Radio Station, Theatre, Japanese Restaurant (kids get to make sushi here!), Safety Driving School, Drinking Water Research Centre (this is underground!) and Sports related stations. It’s really a lot and some stations require a lot more work than other, like the Life Insurance Office where the kids had to sell policy to other kids and CSI agents where they had to hunt around the city to track down clues.  It’s really a mini city that’s quite big even by my standards and I was quite impressed with it all.

Jerry also went to care for some babies in the nursery and went on the pilot role at least 3 more times! He had wanted to do police but somehow keep missing the starting time for that.

Look at the amount of KidZos Jerry earned!

Look at the amount of KidZos Jerry earned!

Shopping at the department store. Adults not allowed to influence his purchase decision!

Shopping at the department store. Adults not allowed to influence his purchase decision!

Before we left KidZania, the kid got to exchange his hard earned KidZos for a gift in the department store. He only had 114 KidZos in the end and there were only a few items he could change with. We went home with a beach pink beach ball in the end.

We kept the remaining KidZos because I was told they were accepted worldwide, so when Singapore KidZos open their doors next year, the kid will get to use his existing KidZos on top of the newly earned ones!

Crying Jerry, upset that we are leaving KidZania.

Crying Jerry, upset that we are leaving KidZania.

When we eventually passed through the KidZania Immigration (the exit), that was the face that greeted us. Jerry had a meltdown and refused to leave. He wanted more of KidZania, but I had to carry him out because he haven’t had a proper meal, didn’t have an afternoon nap and was overly tired from the long day even though he refused to admit it.

I guess that’s testimony of how fun KidZania is! I reckon we will be back when we have the chance. In my next post, I’ll share how you can get a pair of KidZania Bangkok tickets for free, so stay tuned.

Here’s more useful informations for you parents:

The ticket prices are categorised by age:

  • Baby (FOC)
  • Toddlers (between 2-4) – ฿350 (Approx. SGD$14, rounded up)
  • Kids (4-14yrs) –  ฿850 (Approx. SGD$33 rounded up)
  • Adults (no play included) – ฿480 (Approx. SGD$19, rounded up)

(Prices are all shown in Thai Baht and you can read more on ticketing information on their website)

Toddler tickets are restricted to certain stations only because of their ability to understand and follow instructions. Just take a look at the station census at each station to know if your kid is able to participate. Jerry had the kid ticket and was able to participate in most station except a few where he did not meet the height requirements.

Kids of 8 years old and above can also enter without being accompanied by an adult, so its great for parents to drop their kids here for a couple of hours while they get clock in some shopping or massage!

In my honest opinion, I think kids between 4-10 gets the most out of the session at KidZania because there is just so much for them to learn. The older kids probably learn better at the time and money management part, and regardless, their age, the experience is bound to be fun because they get to try things that they don’t normally do in their daily lives.

KidZania Bangkok is located at Siam Paragon, 5/F (BTS Station: Siam)

Opening Hours:
Sun – Fri : 10.00AM – 5.00PM
Sat & Public hol.: 10.00AM – 3.00PM, 4.00PM – 9.00PM (2 sessions)

Tel: 0 2683 1888

Website (English): http://bangkok.kidzania.com/en-us

KidZania is definitely a place to go to when travelling with kids to Bangkok! Bangkok to me has always been a shopping haven and I am glad to find something kids relevant in this city that both parents and kids would enjoy. Remember to keep a lookout for my next post!

Jerry crashed out before we had a chance to eat our dinner.

Jerry crashed out before we had a chance to eat our dinner.

Disclaimer: The Choo family clocked in a fun trip to Bangkok, courtesy of AirAsia and its partners. All mentions are based on our own experience, and any similarities is purely coincidental.