Kidzania Bangkok

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Logan and I are *just* back from Kidzania. ALL KINDS OF AWESOME. I am so excited about this place that I am writing about it immediately so that you don’t lose a minute partaking in the magic that it is. Kidzania is – literally – an entire village for little people. It is a fantastical place where kids can try their hand at any number of trades, from being a postal courier or dentist to an airline hostess or firefighter.

Firefighting awesomeness

Firefighting awesomeness

From the minute we purchased our “plane tickets” to travel to the land of Kidzania and stepped foot inside the makeshift village, Logan was entranced by the cranes, buses, cement mixers, fire trucks, and ambulances. He was: a firefighter who rode in a fire truck to put out a hotel fire with (real) water; a vet who fed and bathed (not real) cats and dogs; a gas station attendant who filled up gas tanks and cleaned car windshields (he also became a valet at this point); a pilot who flew a flight simulator; a student driver who took a simulated driving test at the Honda Safety Driving School; a construction worker who carried cement, climbed atop cranes, and sat in cement mixers; and an EMT who drove an ambulance. All of this in a two hour visit (with one break for popcorn and one break for lunch).

Gas attendant greatness

Gas attendant greatness

I love the concept of Kidzania – that kids can be anything if they put their mind to it. I love the variety and choice it gives them with no preconceived notions about whether a dentist is cooler than a sushi chef; or a pilot better than an TV reporter. I love that it creates independence in children. Parents are not allowed in any of the demonstrations or activities – they watch from behind glass while their children get a (very short) tutorial about the trade craft they’ve chosen, followed by hands-on practice of the trade (activities are about 10-15 minutes a piece). When Logan flew the flight simulator, I couldn’t even go inside. I actually got to chill for 10 minutes. So nice. For both of us! Finally, I love that amid the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and the heat we are facing this time of year, Kidzania is a refuge for kids to get creative, role play, and be amazed by the things around them.

Veterinary valor

Veterinary valor

It was awesome. I’m going to say it one more time. It was awesome. Go.

Some tips to know beforehand:

Kidzania was really created for kids four and older. If you go with a child under two and a half, you are wasting your time (and money). Logan was just on the verge of being able to enjoy and pay attention to the activities. He is almost three. Most activities require that children are ages four and older . . . we found that you can fudge the age thing a bit (and that they are not that strict about it).

  • Do go on weekdays (however, I would not recommend going on school holidays).
  • Do go at opening – 10am. If you go before 10am, you will not be able to enter the mall, so time it right. If you wait until lunch time, it becomes much more crowded.
  • Do not go on weekends; I have heard you have to wait in line to do almost anything.
  • Do beat the traffic by taking the BTS to Siam Paragon. Kidzoona is on the 5th floor at the back of the mall (unlike Ocean World, which is at the front of the mall).
  • Do bring your camera. You are sure to get lots of smiles out of your kids.
  • Do bring healthy snacks. There are snack bars inside with cotton candy and popcorn, as well as a Macdonalds, but nothing nutritious to speak of.
  • Do be prepared for the price. Admission for Logan (ages 3-4) was 300 baht; admission for me (adults) was 400 baht. Admission for children ages four and up is even more steep.

kidzaniacollage

LorenB

Our family got its start in Washington, D.C. where two young diplomats-in-training met, dated, and subsequently were sent to opposite ends of the earth (Thailand and Mozambique) by the U.S. Foreign Service.  After four years and six countries apart, a proposal in Venezuela, a wedding in Thailand, and a honeymoon in Laos, the Braunohlers resided as one in Sydney, Australia in 2006-7.

After a two-year stint in Khartoum, Sudan and a year-long recovery in Washington, D.C., the third Braunohler, Logan, arrived on the scene in July 2010.  Just three and a half months into his young life, our family accepted an assignment in Bangkok, Thailand, where we now reside, work, and play.  On May 10th, 2012, we welcomed sweet Katelyn Elise into our family.

Our time in Bangkok has shown us that raising young children in this buzzing, sometimes glitzy and glamorous, sometimes seedy metropolis is a phenomenal joy. I hope to inform and inspire others about the joys of raising a toddler, both in general, and in a place like Thailand, where children are continuously adored and amazed by the world around them. I hope to inform and inspire others about the joys of raising a toddler, both in general, and in a place like Thailand, where children are continuously adored and amazed by the world around them through my blog at www.toddlejoy.com.

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