Once upon a time, for kids excited to play, Kidzania Manila was now made to stay! The Manila chapter of this educational theme park chain has risen in the heart of BGC, Taguig at Park Triangle (where the new LEGO store is). They officially opened last Friday, on August 7. Kidzania is, in one sentence, a supervised theme-park for children in the form of an educational mini city run with kids and for kids. Here, children get to play at being adults for the day in a pretend economy, with actual citizenship, jobs, money, and added skills. Adults are not allowed to enter the work establishments with their child (unless under special circumstances, like a child with special needs) to encourage independence and focused learning but parents, guardians, and family are allowed to roam the park and observe their children from large windows. As you can imagine, for many parents, letting go of control is a challenging thought (and in some cases even letting the kids to choose their first activity on their own), believe me, the struggle is REAL, I’ve seen it first hand…it can get colorful LOL and that’s putting it lightly. In Kidzania parents and guardians are highly encouraged to allow of-age children (8 and above) to roam freely, to be, and to choose jobs (minimum working age 4) in this special environment so that their natural inclinations surface. I think Filipino parents are in dire need of this new concept of giving their child enough space to develop independence.
Kai! I do not work at Kidzania Manila, so for any FAQs (questions) regarding scheduling, pricing, and booking you may refer to their official site, manila.kidzania.com . I’ll include limited information at the bottom of the post as well, but please refer to their official website for other park-related questions.
After spotting the G.O.T. Ned Stark Meme on the looming swarm of Kidzania Manila pictures I’ve decided to personally help darken skies. Kidzania Manila, now the 20th Kidzania facility in the world (HQ is Mexico), opened the other day. I’m ever so proud to say that Kidzania Manila is captained by none other than my beloved former advertising head mother, Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas and an entire team badly in need of cucumbers and under-eye concealer at this very moment. How kool is it that to some level I feel like a Kidzanian Royal? Hee. On August 7, a somewhat anti-climactic Friday, after weeks of very intense testing, validation, and inspection by Kidzania’s founding Mexican admin team, Kidzania Manila’s park doors opened to the public.
A Friday opening meant that yesterday’s flood of fun-size “adults” would ultimately pack the park for the weekend and the Saturday line, they say, actually stretched and left the building by afternoon. Yesterday’s August 8 tickets sold out in just under a couple of hours. To be honest, even after being given special access to the park during the stretch of preview days, I myself didn’t plan a major blog feature at first.
I put this one up first simply because I love her outfit. Aww…just there thinking of where to go next.
PLEASE NOTE: I was not asked nor paid to write for Kidzania Manila, I chose to. I initially planned to support the team only via simple sharing on social media, but what changed my mind completely was simple. It was the kids on Day 1 who got me shooting…and the fact that for several hours I noticed that people, myself included, could not help but re-focus outwardly and shoot these munchkins on the move. Let’s put it this way, at Kidzania Manila in the past couple of days, the word “selfie”, I imagine, was not top of mind. Be warned, this is a photo-heavy post with information at the start and a couple of captions here and there. I shot tons but I didn’t shoot ALL the establishments. However, each photo matters and shares a moment, and several of them are discreet. Many actually exclude focus on children’s faces with the exception of my knowing the kids and parents personally or if I was shooting openly in front of them and they didn’t mind. I was also not inside the establishments when I shot these pictures, I was outside alongside onlooking parents. My 50mm lens brought me closer to the scene without being invasive. Click through to see the rest of Kidzania Manila through my eyes while I mention a couple of things here and there. Practically 99% of the photos I shot are candid takeaways from live shifts of first time visitors to Kidzania Manila.
Kidzania has its own physical currency called “Kidzos”. In a similar concept to Timezone where you can exchange tickets you earn/win for merchandise Kidzos have actual buying power within Kidzania. When you arrive in Kidzania Manila, if the child is at least 4 years old they will be issued a Kidzo check to start their journey with. Children need to head to the baby BPI in Kidzania Manila within the facility and encash their check so they have some cash to start with. It’s best to open an account right away so that they will be issued a BPI Kidzo ATM card so that they can deposit their hard earned cash and earn Kidzo interest. Depositing Kidzo earnings is also best to avoid lost Kidzo value happening at home, like if the cash gets misplaced before their next visit, which easily happens.
Having to earn more Kidzos to help build a better world is where their Kidzania journey begins. Children are also encouraged to apply for citizenship and get a passport which by default boosts Kidzo earnings per job with an additional +2 Kidzos, as does a diploma from the Kidzania CEU University (another +2 Kidzos to job earnings for graduates).
The city of Kidzania has BPI ATM machines for Kidzos only within the facility so children can withdraw Kidzos when they need to invest in training or purchase something. The bank is also considered a workplace so kids can also help assist other kids at the bank to earn kidzos. It’s one of the highest paying jobs in the park alongside the Tax Collection office. A bit of Kidzania trivia shows that the children from Kidzania Japan are the citizens who have most cherished, deposited, and grown their accounts diligently on a global level so much that by the time they reach their teens…before saying a final goodbye to Kidzania they end up being Kidzo millionaires. Kidzo cash earned here can be used in other Kidzania establishments worldwide. A special note to parents, you cannot purchase more Kidzos for your children using real money. If your children run out of Kidzos they will have to work and earn them within the park. This is the real life theme that trains children to value resources within an economy from an early age and teach the value of industry in the form of play. Before moving onto any establishment I’d like a quickfire focus on very important people who make this park concept possible, the Kidzania Zupervisors.
Parents and guardians, Kidzania’s trained educators and child handlers are called Zupervisors. They are your children’s teachers and your allies in the park. They highly deserve cooperation, attention, and respect from you and your child visitors because they work hard to make Kidzania fun with a smile from day to night. They aim to help make life in Kidzania safe, entertaining, and informative plus keep the job establishments running! Hooray for Zups! Zupervisors help the children meet their goals and introduce them to various fields of work. From this point on we have less and less words. Of course, you ought not be surprised that I’m beginning with beauty. We start at the salon!
Kids can choose to work in the salon or avail of services at the salon.
Example of a baby in need of special care.
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL
Play food shown here is non-toxic.
RIGHTZKEEPERS HOUSE (For 4 yr. olds upward only, w/adult companion)
POLICE STATION/C.S.I. (INVESTIGATION OR PATROLLING)
CITY TOUR BUS (Toddlers and Parents also allowed)
CEBU PAC AIRLINE/FLIGHT SIMULATION
FARM HOUSE SUPPLIER (delivers to Healthy Options)
The Farmhouse activity is quite special. Kids are taught how to grow fresh produce (dummy replicas of vegetables and fruit are used) and they can also learn to deliver the produce themselves in light crates to the kiddie Healthy Options grocery downstairs. They then bring back a validation slip to confirm delivery back to the Farmhouse.
HEALTHY OPTIONS KIDZANIA EDITION (everything pretend)
A1 DRIVING SCHOOL X SHELL GAS STATION
(Driving only 6 yrs old and above, younger kids can be gas attendants)
VETERINARIAN CLINIC (with dummy pets)
VIA MARE RESTAURANT (Adults welcome to pay in true PHP for these other real stores as well,
MINI STOP, MCDO, HEALTHY OPTIONS (REAL), PUREFOODS, and GOLDILOCKS ) the food here was personally validated
ARTS AND CRAFTS (in Tiangge passage)
Last but definitely not the least is Kidzania’s most popular activity worldwide, the firefighting activity.
We are proud to say that after validation by Kidzania’s Mexican superiors, Kidzania Manila’s Firefighting Activity was ranked
the best in the world versus the same activity in other Kidzania parks globally. It’s not at all hard to see why.
There are so many more activities I didn’t manage to take pictures of, and some facilities are still coming soon. I know that there’s a handful of additional kid jobs to look forward to for next year, and if that’s not enough for you to get excited…think about Christmas season in Kidzania, a little bird told me the team is gearing up to begin planning for that. DING! If you’re interested in booking check the info below or on Manila.Kidzania.com.
How to Get to Kidzania Manila
KidZania Manila, Park Triangle,
North 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Directions for getting to Kidzania depending on where you are. Click here.
How to Purchase Kidzania Tickets: