Why kids will love a stopover at KidZania on Sentosa, Singapore
One of the highlights of our recent trip to Sentosa in Singapore was a day spent at KidZania Singapore.
Please note this review was completed in 2017. KidZania Singapore sadly closed its doors in 2020.
For those unfamiliar with the Kidzania concept – it’s a lifelike city built just for kids. From the start, kids are charged with their own itinerary and must decide what activities they will take part in, whether they will earn or spend money on activities and how they’ll use their hard earned cash. Parents can observe from behind a window, or instead relax in the parent’s lounge upstairs knowing their kids are in safe hands with Zupervisors until that activity finishes.
KidZania is ideally designed for kids 4+ through to teens, however, our Master 3 was also able to join in with Master 5 and Miss 7. The absolute sweet spot for an independent experience would be kids aged 6 to 10-years-old.
Taking you through a day at Kidzania Singapore
Door officially open at 10am but queuing and arrivals start before this time. After payment (if you haven’t pre-booked online), you are lead to the immigration arrivals desk, where kids and grown-ups are fitted and tagged, so your kids can’t immigrate back to the real world without you!.
Children are also issued their initial salary in KidZo’s – the official currency once you’re inside KidZania – in cash and on a debit card. You are then free to go ahead and choose your day’s activities at your own pace.
First stop for us, as it was our first visit, was the bank to activate our debit cards ready to start earning. (Although you can earn your salary in cash too, this way if things go missing during the day, as they do, everything is electronically recorded and your kids won’t lose their cash).
Available Activities at KidZania Singapore
There are over 60 real-life activities to chose from at KidZania Singapore!
With that many, there’s no way you can get through them all in one visit so I’d suggest you study the options before your visit to get a good plan of attack in place – some of the very popular sessions fill fast and you can get a card to come back later (like Aviation Academy).
Most activities though you just need to take your chance with the queues, perhaps try some of the less popular activities first and wait for the initial rush to die down. This is part of the decision making process kids will need to use. We never waited more than 15 minutes for anything.
On the door to each activity, there is a notice on how many kids can participate at a time, appropriate ages and how long the activity will take. They will also indicate when the last group started so you can judge how long the queue is. If there’s already the allotted number of kids in the queue, you’re best moving on to the next activity!
There weren’t fixed time slots for the activities per se, just when one group finished (normally after 20-25 minutes) the next group could start. Groups are deliberately kept small – about 4 to 6 kids so you know each child is getting 1:1 attention every time.
At the start of each activity, they swipe their cards (so they can get paid at the end!) and are given any safety briefings before the activity is explained. They then spend approximately 15 minutes on the activity before they debrief and payments are processed.
Note that each of the activities does have a ‘real life’ corporate sponsor. Some argue that this is advertising to kids but I honestly felt it was done in a tasteful manner and is how they can afford to fund such an amazing, lifelike experience.
Highlights from our Day
With a mixed age group and wanting to keep the Globetrotters together as much as possible, we focused on straightforward activities that wouldn’t be over complicated or require reading. We ended up trying in the space of about 5 hours:
- Fire Station
- Bank & Vault
- Courier Service
- Dental Clinic
- Aviation Academy
- Candy Shop
There are a load more activities that I think our Miss 7 would have tried had she been there independently, hence suggesting it best suits slightly older kids but pre-school age will still get a load of benefit and enjoyment too.
You could easily fill a whole day of activities if you pace yourself, and great if you can include some of the cooking activities where the kids get to keep the goods like Pizza cooking or icecream making!!
On exiting at the end of the day, decide if you will cash out your KidZo’s (see our notes on international branches below), or keep them on your Maybank debit card if you live in Singapore. You will pass via immigration again, need to verify you have the right kids with you then have your security remove your tags!
KidZania Singapore for toddlers
As we mentioned our Master 3 was borderline for joining in, the recommended starting age is 4-years-old. For younger guests, there is a baby and toddler room, the RightZkeeper Residence where they can play whilst older siblings are undertaking the activities. These rooms looked beautiful, colourful and fun – though of course, our tough guy Mr J thought they were too babyish! There are full feeding and changing facilities too to assist parents with mixed aged kids.
KidZania Singapore for older Kids
As kids get older they will start to understand the strategy of using the job centre (which costs but you can earn this back by applying skills) or undertaking a degree – again to earn more KidZo’s for certain jobs. From 7 years+ I’d suggest you direct kids to start using these and they will see how the earnings can stack up. Some activities like mountaineering also require you to have “insurance” first so there are pre-activities that need to be undertaken before you dive in, just like in real life.
Children can continue to join in up to 17 years though I’d really suggest you’re looking at maximum age of 12 to really enjoy it.
International branches of Kidzania
Singapore is but one branch of this highly successful chain with 24 other locations across the continents and growing – You can see a full location listing here. If you find one in a city near you, they are the perfect escape from a hot or rainy day outside.
The beauty of the KidZo’s payment reward system is that the currency is internationally transferable. Do note though, that if your kids are earning electronic cash on their debit cards you MUST go to the bank in the branch to cash out into paper KidZo bills. So for Globetrotting families, fear not in investing in something that will only be used once, you can keep earning and saving your KidZo’s for future visits globally.
You can also get your little ones a PaZZport giving them B.KidZania Citizenship globally. A small fee to sign up to this program, then they can earn extra salaries at many activities, get discounts on meals and merchandise and a special hologram stamp issued by each country you visit – a real collector’s item for your Globetrotters!!
Practical Information and planning your visit to KidZania Singapore
- Kidzania Singapore is located in Palawan Kidz City – Beach Station on Sentosa, a leisure island in easy reach of Singapore city by the Sentosa Express train (free at the time of our visit August 2017) or by taxi/car (charges apply for vehicle entry to the island + car parking cost).
- The city has a daily capacity of 1500. You don’t want to turn up and be disappointed so we recommend booking online in advance. At the time of our visit the door price was:
Under 2’s: FREE
(NB children under 8 must have at least one accompanying adult; although independence is encouraged and the Zupervisors are great, it’s not a babysitting service!)
- Although you can get a 5% discount booking through the Kidzania site, we noted you could save even more by booking through Klook. Additionally, you may be able to get tickets packaged with a hotel stay on Sentosa like W Singapore’s Stay For Fun or a monthly special so inquire with your hotel what offers are on.
- Your kids are responsible for their own belongings throughout so it’s best to either purchase them a lanyard or they should take a small purse/backpack with them to store their debit card, any queuing passes, cash earned and passports.
- PaZZports are purchased at additional cost but are also internationally transferable and remain valid until they are 17 years old (though really the activities are designed until kids are about 12 so weigh this up) they cost $22SGD to purchase. If you think you will visit more than one branch by this up front so they can get the stamp credits from the start.
- Once inside you can use real currency to buy meals and souvenirs so don’t worry if the kids haven’t earned enough yet and get thirsty!
- All activities are conducted in English.
- Rewarding eco-consciousness, if you reuse some items like hair nets or plastic bags you can earn more for each activity, so don’t throw away any of the extra bits and bobs they pick up along the way (see bag note earlier!)
Globetrotters Recommend Kidzania Singapore
We cannot recommend this place highly enough as an edutainment experience that the kids will thoroughly enjoy. It was also a great thing for the kids to look forward to during our long summer trip and stopover in Singapore, and being indoors a welcome relief from the humidity.
They were a little confused at first (as were we!) as it’s our first Kidzania experience it can be a little convoluted getting cash cards activated, working out the queue systems and explaining to the kids how some activities earn while others cost. This was all part of the development experience though and along with listening skills, teamwork and cooperation in what was genuinely a fun environment.
Like everything you’d expect in Singapore, the place is exceptionally clean and well organised. Overwhelming at first but the city is easy to navigate and we felt safe to let the kids explore as there was no way they can leave without you!!!
The huge variety of activities on offer means that you could have several return experiences and still not get through everything (though I suspect they will be first in the queue to try the pilot experience again!!)
The Globetrotters had a brilliant day and are already asking when they can return.
We thank all the staff at KidZania for their hospitality during our stay
Are you flying to Singapore? Check out our family-friendly guide to Singapore Airlines
Disclosure: We were guests of Kidzania Singapore for the purpose of conducting an honest review. We were not paid and as always, all opinions are our own. This article contains affiliate links and advertising that may earn us a small commission. Our full disclosure policy can be found here.