I have yet to explain to Evan what citizenship is. After all, he was made in Germany, born in Thailand to an American dad and a Mexican mom and is currently living in Indonesia. The good thing about being a kid is that you can be a citizen of the world and not have to worry about ethnos or language barriers; this is what Kidzania is all about.
Kidzania is a mini-city where kids can work, earn money and spend their money in different things! Kids can work as anything from firemen, TV anchors and construction workers to doctors, pizza makers and bank tellers earning money for every job they do and spending their money in food, taxi rides, or the movies. How cool is that?
The coolest thing, though, is that Kidzania was created in Mexico and they now have over 10 venues all around the world. The best part is that you are able to use your passport and kidzos (Kidzania currency) everywhere in the world! We have also visited the Kidzania in Monterrey, Mexico (more on that later). I love how you are able to appreciate some glimpses of Mexican culture at each venue. For example the one in Jakarta has lucha libre posters and they often play the Kidzania songs in Spanish.
Although the price is a little bit heftier than other playgrounds, Kidzania is such an amazing experience that is worth every rupiah. If you visit on a Monday to Thursday during the school year the price is 115,000 Rp. per kid and 90,000 per adult. Weekends are pricier and so are holidays at 165,000 rp per kid and per adult.
The first time I visited Kidzania Jakarta at the Pacific Place mall, Evan was about a year and a half old. We were very lucky that first time since the place was virtually empty and my son was able to charm his way into the older kid activities. When we first went into Kidzania we were submerged in a fantasyland where everything was kid-sized and designed to appeal anyone young at heart. Evan’s favorite activity had, of course, to do with riding different vehicles. That first time Evan rode the “tour bus” about 6 times in a row and “worked” as a firemen a couple of times. They have a young kid area where babies as young as one year old can play with fake food, plant some flowers and even play the guitar. The first time we visited Evan spent most of his time there and earned even more kidzos than at the other areas!
Our last visit was as much fun as the first time although the place was a bit more crowded and we actually had to wait in line to “work” at the different places. Evan of course had to be a fireman and rode on a taxi and a tour bus a few times. Even though he had his driver’s license from Monterrey, he was not able to get one in Jakarta and wasn’t tall enough to get a license here. So, he was not able to drive in Jakarta (a relief from the macet one would consider). Our good friend Abby became the perfect little pizza chef and had a great time being a firegirl and other cool professions.
Overall, Kidzania is any kid’s dream city. The colors, activities, and overall atmosphere make it a lovely place for kids to learn hands-on to earn money and spend it wisely. We can’t wait to go again!
- The best time to visit is on a weekday early in the morning. They open at 9:00 am. DO NOT VISIT on an Indonesian holiday! You will regret it the rest of your life… Well, maybe not the rest of your life but at least the rest of the day after the physical and emotional exhaustion perpetrated by kids running by you and almost making you fall =P.
- Wear comfortable (but of course fashionable) shoes. You will be walking a lot chasing your little ones from one job site to the next.
- Once you are inside there are several food venues. You can ask your pizza man to make a pizza for him to eat or just buy one. There’s all kinds of food available so don’t worry about bringing a snack if your kids are older.
- If you think your kids won’t like the food, eat before you come. You cannot leave Kidzania and come back.
- Avoid bringing a stroller. The kids will be so excited running around that you will probably end up pushing the stroller all around and find little place to park it. If you are planning to stay at the Pacific Place mall after you visit Kidzania just go to the customer center and you can rent a stroller from them to use at the mall.
- A few hours is usually enough to enjoy Kidzania. The explosion of energy and color can overwhelm even the most adventurous one so just enjoy every activity and don’t rush. There’s no way you would see and play everything in a day so it’s nice to take it slowly and make sure the kids are saving their money because they can bring it at a later visit.
- If your kids are old enough, let them run around! There’s a very tight security system which doesn’t allow kids to leave the venue without the parent that they came with. They provide electronic bracelets both for the kids and parents so there’s no way they will be able to escape.
- If they are able to play by themselves, bring a nice book and sit at the parent’s lounge. They have a nice, quiet(!) area where parents can sit down, watch TV, browse the internet and use the free wifi while sipping on nice cappuccino.
- Enjoy watching your little one have a blast and try not to be bitter about how they didn’t have places like this when you were a kid! (I know I was , at least for a little bit).
Jl. Jend Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Jakarta Selatan 12190 – Indonesia