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Kidzania London Review

A few weeks ago, my 10-year-old daughter went on a school trip to KidZania - the whole class and the parents who joined them on the trip were raving about how amazing it was - so I decided to check it out.

KidZania London is an experience where kids can choose from more than 60 real-life role-play adventures aimed at 4-14 year old's.

It's nestled on the top floor of Westfields shopping centre in Shepherds Bush.

So, is it worth the £30 (ish) price tag per child? Totally!

The whole experience is amazing - if someone had thought up this concept when I was a child, I would have loved it.

On arrival, you go through, what looks like an airport check-in area. Each person gets an electronic bracelet, this helps to keep track of where the children are - if they decide to go and explore alone.

The children each get a hair net and 50 KidZos to spend.

Inside, KidZania has been made to resemble a city, with street lights, pavements and shops. This weekend they were celebrating their first birthday, so it was decorated with balloons.

The children get a four hour window to do as many jobs as they choose to. You will be given a map, on this map you'll see which jobs will earn you money (KidZos) and which activities will cost money.

Children are encouraged to go off alone. You can track where they are by scanning your bracelet at the information points. Seeing as Fin is only four, the kids stayed with us.

As a parent you don't actually get to go into the rooms with your children. There are plenty of places to sit and observe them though.

The rooms all have glass windows and the activities last for around 15 minutes, some last 45 minutes.

This is why I think it is mainly suited to children over four, there were some little ones there who looked a bit worried when the "explosion" happened.

Finley's favourite job, was becoming a fireman. He joined 8 recruits at the training academy. They put their uniforms on, including the hair net, and fireman's helmet, then sat down for some training. During the training an "emergency" happened. The little firefighters bundled in to the fire engine, which was driven to the hotel - which was on fire.

The police taped off the area, forming a road block and the paramedics arrived in the ambulance. It was really fun to watch the kids trying to put out the fire, for them it must have felt very realistic.

The children had a go at being a courier, delivering parcels, they each got paid 8 KidZos. The girl's worked in the Gourmet Burger restaurant, they had to use 20 of their KidZos for this, but they really enjoyed it and got to eat the burger afterwards.

Most of the jobs earned them around 6-8 KidZos.

I think the biggest struggle for the children was choosing which jobs to do. There were a lot of choices from cabin crew, pilot training, news reader, ice cream parlour, police forensics and dentist. Some of them were more suited to older children.

Most rooms allowed between 5-8 children in at one time, so you'd have to wait in a line until the group before had finished.

Keira really enjoyed being a DJ at Capital FM, she read the travel report (she told me it was live!) and Shannon loved being a paramedic and riding in the ambulance.

I really enjoyed watching them through the glass, you can't hear what's going on, but it's interesting to watch how well they are listening and following instructions. I particularly enjoyed watching them be surgeons and working in the neonatal unit. Watching Fin attempting to put a nappy on a baby doll was hilarious.

By the end they had around 230 KidZos, which the children are allowed to go and spend in the department store. Again, no adults are allowed in, so it is their decision what they spend their hard-earned KidZos on.

With the money that was left over, Keira decided to pay it in at the bank, she was then given a debit card which can be used in the cash machines.

There is food available to buy and coffee shops, but we took our own lunch and sat on one of the benches.

What I found useful were the lockers. It cost us £3 but saved having to lug bags and coats around for the four hours.

We managed to fit in around 6-7 different jobs and when he left we were given a voucher which entitles free adult entry up until September.

It is an expensive day-out, but for the experience you get - it is well worth it.

Keep visiting the website as they often have special offers available.

Finley would like to go back tomorrow!

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