Have you heard of KidZania yet? Designed for kids and run by kids, KidZania is a fun and interactive mini city, complete with a fully functioning economy and workforce. KidZania even has its own Constitution, which reads, in part, “We, the kids of the world’s cities, countries, and continents proclaim our independence from adults.”
While at KidZania, your kids will have the opportunity to independently “work” in over 100 professions, from veterinarians, fire fighters, and podcasters to window washers, NICU nurses, and everything in between. The workers get paid in “KidZos” for a job well done, which they can then use to “buy” fun experiences, such as an elevated ropes course experience, or they can purchase items from the KidZania general store.
The first KidZania to open in the United States is now located inside Stonebriar Centre in Frisco. This KidZania clocks in at 80,000+ square feet, so that first visit can be a little overwhelming for kids and parents. But have no fear! I’ve compiled my best tips for a trip to KidZania with kids.
6 KidZania Pro Tips
Bring a bag for each kid.
Or at least have them wear pants with pockets. At KidZania, kids earn KidZos after each job, meaning they end up with a lot of fake cash. (They will have the opportunity to trade their KidZos in for a debit card at the KidZania bank, but that still leaves them with a card to keep up with.) It was definitely a challenge for my kids not to sprinkle their cash throughout the city. But the solution is simple! If you have a girl, a small crossbody purse or fanny pack is the perfect solve: It will keep her hands free during her tasks and keep her KidZos secure. A fanny pack is a great solution for your young man, too, as are some deep pockets.
Plan on spending at least four hours there.
Before our first visit to KidZania, I assumed we’d be in and out in under 2 hours, like most kid-friendly attractions. But I was surprised that we were still going strong at the four-hour mark! There is just so much to do there, and your kids are going to want to do it all. Given the fairly high cost of admission, you’ll want to stay as long as you can to get the full experience. Depending on when you go, count on some downtime as your kids wait their turn at the more popular, higher profile jobs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to manage expectations before arrival. There will be lines and some patience is required. Each job lasts approximately 20-30 minutes, so carving out a good chunk of time for the entire experience is key.
Leave the littles at home.
Don’t get me wrong: KidZania has an amazing Toddler Neighborhood for little kids under age three. But if you have kids spanning different age groups, you might want to leave the younger ones at home. In my opinion, it would be difficult to split time between a little one in the Toddler Neighborhood and older kids in the larger KidZania world. An exception to this would be if your older child has a close-in-age sibling or friend visit with them to have a buddy, leaving mom free to hang out in the Toddler Neighborhood with the younger sibling(s). While KidZania is very secure, equipping each family unit with their own unique RFID bands, kids under about eight may feel more comfortable with a parent nearby to help navigate the city, especially on the first visit. And you’ll want some pictures, too!
Bring a buddy!
Whether it’s a close-in-age sibling or a friend or two, KidZania will be more fun for your kiddo if they have a buddy with them. KidZania is designed for kids to be independent of adults within its borders. While parents are able to accompany kids throughout the streets of KidZania, they are not allowed in the job areas with the kids (though parents can see their kids through the glass walls and doors at all times). Having a buddy to work with will really enhance your child’s KidZania experience.
Food is available for purchase.
You’ll be there for a while, so it’s important to know that food is available. There are several on-site food options at KidZania, and at least one of them can be part of the kids’ work experience! At Pie Five, kids can “work” in the pizzeria to prepare their own pizza that has been ordered ahead of time. While these kids get paid in KidZos, the final pizza products have to be purchased with real dollars. Real dollars are also required for the other dining options at MOOYAH Burgers & Fries, Happy Taco, and 7-Eleven.
Take advantage of Late Admission Specials.
General admission prices range from $14.95-$39.95 based on the child’s age, and parent/guardian admission is $14.95, so a family trip to KidZania is not exactly cheap. But there is a way to mitigate the costs by taking advantage of Late Admission Specials with 50% off admission. These specials can be a little hard to nail down, so it’s best to follow KidZania USA on Facebook to find out exactly when the specials will run. But they generally are after 4pm on school days (Monday-Thursday) and after 5pm on weekends (Friday-Sunday). There are also some days where parents get in free.
KidZania is a truly unique concept that gives kids a lot of autonomy and independence within a safe play space, which is rare in this day and age. While it can seem a little overwhelming at first, knowing and following these tips can help you feel like a pro from your first visit!