Head up to the 5th Floor of Siam Paragon mall (easily accessible as the shopping centre is next to Siam BTS station) and one is greeted by the nose front of a giant airplane next to the ticketing counters of KidZania Bangkok.
Consistent with its global branding since it first emerged in Santa Fe, New Mexico, KidZania Bangkok is for 4 to 14 year olds offer a wide range of role-playing occupations for children and youth in small groups of six to eight, without adult assistance or parent participation.
Booking Tickets to KidZania Bangkok
We had booked our tickets online through Klook which offers discounted tickets to KidZania Bangkok. As it was a weekday, there was no queue so we collected our security wristbands (for tagging children exploring the city on their own to their accompanying adults) at the Check-in Counters and into the City of KidZania we went!
The indoor air-conditioned City at KidZania Bangkok had paved streets lined with shops, buildings and structures that offered different jobs. It was the ultimate in role-playing.
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There was a Bank, a Fire Station, a Stadium, a Construction Site, a Safety Driving School, a Gas Station and Garage, a Hospital, the interior fuselage of an Aircraft, a Police Station, a Tour Van, a Hospital, Vet, Acting Academy, Beauty Salon, Eye and Dental Clinics, a Grocery Store, food factories and farm, an Interior Design Firm, a Delivery Service, and many more!
Getting Down to Work
Upon entry into KidsZania Bangkok’s City, our duo headed to the bank to exchange the cheques they were given at the Check-in counter for Kidzos money. Besides earning Kidzos after working at different job stations, they can also use the money for selected services within the City.
Details on the group size, age recommendation, duration of the task and the Kidzo amount to be earned are displayed at each station, with the expected waiting time indicated for each group queuing to manage expectations.
It was wonderful to see our kids hard at work in different occupations, most of which required them being smartly garbed in the respective uniforms of the job roles. As there was a wide range of activities, our hardworking duo could only try out selected jobs:
Jobs at KidZania Bangkok
During the training as fire wardens, they learnt to exercise and take out equipment and were briefed on how to be very careful when putting out fires. Then attired in helmets and coats, the team rode out of the fire station in a fire engine to a site where they hosed down “flames” in a hotel. They were also accompanied by a team of little policemen tasked to do crowd control.
As professional vets in white coats, our duo learnt how to care for pets and the need to feed animals twice a day. While the children were disappointed that the animals in the clinic (with the exception of large gold fish in a tank) were all not real, it was quite an educational experience on learning how to care for different animals from a hamster to a dog, and they certainly took their roles very seriously!
As nutritionists, the kids were taught how to eat well by identifying healthy food. The task given was one they enjoyed tremendously – to decorate their own freshly squeezed yoghurt with yoghurt drops of various colours and shapes. They left this station with they own cups of yoghurt which was demolished immediately, along with bonus packets of yoghurt drops Delicious!
Air Asia Flight Station
Children could opt to be either pilots or cabin crew at this station.
Our kids wanted to do both so they first “boarded” the plane (a real but retired one) and entered small cockpits where they learnt how to land a plane on flight simulation as Pilots.
They said it was tough!
After which, they trained as cabin crew on seat belt safety, emergency and service requirements. Parents were invited on board the plane as passengers (no pictures were not allowed to be taken as there was an official photographer at this station).
We could not stop laughing every time we were asked by our little flight attendants in their Air Asia uniforms tasked to serve the passengers with toy food, “May I serve you please?” and “May I take it back?”
Hamburger-making (and Lunch at McDonald’s)
Within KidZania Bangkok, we chose to have lunch at McDonald’s located at the main square. My girl wanted to assemble her own hamburger as a fast food server at the hands-on station next to the outlet.
Young hamburger chefs could opt for either pork or beef patties and layer their own burgers with lettuce, onions or pickles – she was rather disappointed that there was no cheese slices although she enjoyed putting together her own burger!
As the rest of us ordered from the main counter, Daddy exchanged his usual burger complete with cheese for her creation!
Safety Driving School & Gas Station
Our duo did not meet the minimum height restriction for driving the car at the road area as it was aimed at older kids, who had to obtain their driving license at the School before they qualified as drivers.
The children opted to be Fuel Attendants at the Petrol Station instead, and learnt to watch the meter closely when pumping fuel into the car tank.
At a garage next door, other kids were busy repairing car engines as auto mechanics.
For their final activity, the children learnt how to pluck plastic tomatoes that “are ripe and not green” with a delicate twist into baskets, then weigh and pack them into carts.
This was rather fun with a dose of competition as their group were divided into two teams. With a map on hand, each pair had to cart the tomatoes in trolleys to the ketchup factory and return the signed delivery receipt back to the farm. The challenge was locating the factory in KidZania Bangkok’s City!
Other Activities Around KidZania Bangkok
The kids had no time to try out other jobs but we did explore the City to see other little beings hard at work at other food and drinks factories producing Meiji Milk, Green Tea, Coca-Cola and Peanuts.
We peeked into the Acting Academy which was training interested children in the art of confident modelling, dressing up and theatre.
The two-storey Hospital was another popular station for kids keen to practice medical aid as doctors and nurses to treat patients as well as ride an ambulance. The Dental and Eye Clinics also offered opportunities for little dentists and opticians to practise with realistic equipment.
We saw aspiring young Football stars at play in the stadium under the watchful whistle of a coach as well as older children above the height of 120cm scaled buildings as rescue rangers. Nearby, younger children were laying bricks and working the machinery at a construction site, while others were manning the cashier at a 7-Eleven store.
The Newsroom and Insurance Agency also seemed to appeal to older children who were able to role-play better for content-heavy tasks at the newspaper office where they also reported at a real newsroom studio or train in an office on insurance speak. The older children seem driven in collecting more Kidzos money and running around to accomplish as many tasks as they could.
KidZania Bangkok’s City is designed with benches located outside the shops and stations for parents while they wait for children to complete each activity.
Despite the longer opening hours on weekends, if manageable, we suspect that children would be able to tackle more activities with less queueing if paying a visit to KidZania Bangkok on weekdays.
A Hard Day’s Work!
Our duo told us that it was hard work! While tired, they felt good as they learnt how to work properly and the food rewards at some of the stations made their day!
They were keen to try out other jobs on the next visit. It seems that the theme park city for kids had served to generate much interest and was truly an educational experience.
For parent-observers? It was just cute to see them having fun while hard at work!
Weekdays, 10 am to 5 pm; Weekends and public holidays, 10.30 am to 8.30 pm
Purchase Your Tickets to KidZania Bangkok Through Klook
Skip the queue and purchase your KidZania Bangkok tickets though Klook.
Little Day Out is an affiliate of Klook and receives a small commission for each ticket purchased through our Klook link. This feature story is brought to you in collaboration with Klook.