Tuesday, February 25, 2020

KidZania Frisco: Everything You Need To Know Before You Go

KidZania opened their very first location in the United States last November in Frisco, TX at the Stonebriar Mall. I waited until February to take my kids in hopes that some of the kinks that come along with new establishments would be worked out, and hopefully the crowd not so overwhelming. I will share everything there is to know about KidZania and what You Need To Know Before You Go!

What is KidZania?

KidZania is an 80,000 sq. ft. indoor play experience where kids can experience a wide variety of professions from firefighter, news broadcaster, courier, CSI investigator, model, doctor, hair stylist, pilot, dentist, banker, and many more.  However, this isn't just a cute replica of a grocery store in a children's museum. KidZania is an actual kid sized town with streets, stoplights, store fronts, and even working ambulances and fire trucks!

How it works?

KidZos is the currency of KidZania

Each child is given KidZos (KidZania's currency) when they enter KidZania and from there they can earn money working and experiencing the many professions or spend money if they want to attend pilot school or the ropes and climbing courses. Trust me, these are super cool! In the end, there is a store where kids can go and spend their hard earned money on candy, toys, and goodies.

What makes KidZania so unique is that each profession takes anywhere from 6-12 kids at one time for about 20-30 minutes so they can all thoroughly enjoy these hands on experiences. No pushing or shoving here to get a turn. (You know you have all been there with your little one patiently waiting your turn and then some pushy kid or parent jumps right in and acts like they did nothing wrong!) That doesn't happen at KidZania because there are adult employees at each profession to guide the children through their job, but ultimately the kids do the work.

How long will I have to wait?

Because the work experiences are limited to a small group there is some waiting around. However, each experience has a screen outside of the store front with detailed information on what ages are appropriate for the particular profession (either 6 and up or 4 and up), how many kids can go in at once, do they earn or spend money, and how long until the next session begins. This is very helpful because if you don't want to wait that long you can move onto another profession that is starting sooner.

I will tell you that the firefighters are one of the most popular and the longest experience at about 30 minutes. Once you see this, you will understand why it's one of the most popular.

Tip: Pilot school is located on the second level and by far, all my kids' favorite! This experience does cost 10 KidZos and you MUST go to the eye doctor first which is located just to the left of the pilot school entrance. The kids can dress up as pilots and get to experience a super cool airplane simulator where they take off, fly, and land the plane without being rushed!

What ages are best suited for KidZania?

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The KidZania website says ages 6-14 and kids under 6 are allowed in too. I personally would say kids ages 5-12 would get the most out of KidZania. A few of the activities do have a height requirement of 48 inches for safety. Kids ages 4-5 are only $15 but that is because they are too short or too young for some of the professions and activities like pilot school and the steel structure ropes course.

They do have a cute toddler area and kids 3 and under are FREE however, KidZania isn't geared towards the toddler crowd. There are plenty of toddler places in the area like Cheeky Monkeys, My Little Gym, or Play Street to meet up for a toddler play date. However, if you have older kids, and the younger ones are tagging along then this area will be perfect for them.

My 11 year old boys came along and loved it! Would they choose to come here with their friends for an outing? Probably not. However, they thoroughly enjoyed it with their family and want to go back again. They really were the perfect age for the airplane simulator and we saw kids who looked a little older and they seemed to be enjoying it also.

Parent Lounge

Because I had younger and older kids with me it was hard to keep them all together all the time. With the security measures KidZania has in place I was completely comfortable letting my older ones go off on their own. Everyone who enters KidZania wears a wristband that is electronically matched to their party and they must scan them when leaving. So no child can exit without the adult they came with. Everyone also goes through a metal detector and their are security guards constantly walking around KidZania.

How much time do I need there?

This is something you want to plan a lot of time for! At least half a day. We were there for 4.5 hours and completed about half of it. And of course the amount of time you can spend there depends on how busy they are and how much your kids want to do.

They don't currently have annual passes but they do have the PaZZport you can purchase for $10 a piece. These offer a few perks and benefits like extra KidZos and you can get your passport stamped after every job experience. These are optional and NOT required.

Can I bring outside food in?

Outside food is NOT allowed. However, they do have a 7-11 with lots of snacks, Lunchables, and drinks. There are a few coutner service restaurants for burgers, pizza, and tacos. For a small fee, kids can also work at a few of these interactive restaurants and make their own food.

Is it expensive?

Yes, KidZania is pricey at $39.95 for kids ages 6-14 and parents are charged $14.95 for entering even though they don't participate in most experiences. However, they do have a really nice parents lounge upstairs if you are comfortable letting them roam around and parents are able to watch their kids through the store windows. There is also plenty of seating around the town to sit while your kids are in an experience.  Kids ages 4-5 and 15+ are $14.95 and children 3 and under are FREE.

They do run specials for certain weekends and admission is 50% off on Friday and Saturdays after 5pm and after 4pm on Sundays!!

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Is it worth it?

YES, I think the cost is totally worth it. KidZania is a one of kind place, there is no other like it! The detail that goes into every experience is amazing. Small groups allow for each kid to thoroughly enjoy each hands on experience under the guidance of an adult employee. From our experience, every single employee we encountered was patient and great with the kids. AND there is no time limit, you can stay as long as you want. Or until they close for the day. 

Lastly, as we were leaving for the day, employees were asking us what they could do to improve the experience which tells me they are committed to making KidZania the best place it can be....

In case you are wondering what my response was, it was to add more employees to assist kids on the climbing wall ;)

Have you been to KidZania? What are thoughts?

ADDRESS: Stonebriar Center 2601 Preston Rd #3011, Frisco, TX 75034


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