For the uninitiated KidZania might be a crazy Simon Cowell musical creation or a very loud multicoloured kids show on Friday afternoon celebrating everything kid-like in a Zany kind of way.
It is in fact a very successful business of family entertainment centres (currently 16 locations around the globe) that allow children to work and earn money (kidZos) in a replica city that spans 75,000 sq.ft with vehicles, shops, restaurants, airports etc. The first UK centre will open at Westfield’s West London location in June. According to their website:
KidZania provides children and their parents a safe, unique, and very realistic educational environment that allows kids between the ages of four to twelve to do what comes naturally to them: role-playing by mimicking traditionally adult activities. As in the real world, children perform 'jobs'.
With reports suggesting the majority of funding has come from companies keen to advertise and brand experiences it is no surprise then life inside KidZania is not much different to life outside. Kids however, love it appealing to their natural sense of role play in a safe environment that allows them to explore a range of different jobs that include being a vet, a pilot, a delivery person or a restaurant or factory worker.
With this kind of success it will only be a matter of time before one opens near you.
Picture courtesy of Joseolgon - Flickr: Kidzania in Dolce Vita Tejo, Amadora Portugal. July 2014
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