It was one of those rare days, when I didn’t have to go around in circles trying to get my son Jeehan to complete his morning rituals. Not so surprising, as I had promised him a day trip to KidZania. I found him bouncing around eager to get going and please me with his impeccable behaviour… If only all days could begin so!

Soon we fast track using the metro train from Versova to the hustle bustle of Ghatkopar, a charming locality where KidZania is located. The metro makes KidZania all the more accessible to the people of western suburbs, beating the hour and half long traffic by road otherwise. We headed to R-City, a popular mall where KidZania is located on the third level.

By now, Jeehan’s enthusiasm has reached a new vigour. Almost flying across the mall, he landed at the lounge area of KidZania, we were pleasantly surprised to find the ticket counter designed to resemble the departure area of an airport.

With some quick and friendly assistance by the staff at the counter, we picked up a pazzport which offers some great perks as we go along and can be used at KidZania around the world with upgrades on renewals of the same. We also collected a cheque for 50 kidZos (KidZania currency) to be encashed in the bank inside the premise. Jeehan even treated himself to his favourite snack coupons bought in advance at the counter itself.

You can also buy tickets online to save some time during the weekend and holiday rush, they have some great options for individual and group bookings with discounts for senior citizen and toddler.

Coming back to our experience ….A security band was snapped around our wrist: we were told that it would set the alarm if the kid tried to leave the premise unaccompanied, it also helps track their choice of activities. That’s peace of mind for parents like me !

As we entered inside the miniature city square, we were greeted and welcomed by the Zupervisors who guided us to get our pazzport formalities complete with Jeehan’s photograph. Next was a visit to the Yes Bank, to encash the cheque for 50KidZos.
I noticed that as it is in the real world, the city inside has some popular strategic partners to strengthen that feeling of working with real companies – real products and services. This makes the experience all the more unique, while it stimulates and boosts the confidence level for the kidizens.

Here on started a barrage of role playing activities from a cashier at the grocery store, playing the firefighter, handling an injured patient at the hospital, play a radio jockey, deliver dabbas, flip burgers, make chocolates, fly a plane, be a policeman patrolling the neighbourhood, making pizza, work in a television studio and so much more.

While we were scouring the city for new jobs and learnings, we noticed the thoughtfully assigned area for younger kids below 4 years who have a kindergarten room, a workstation for mothers, nursing area for young mother with infant and even senior citizens lounge.

I am sure Jeehan couldn’t have had a more productive day in his entire 8 years of life. However, he remained focused to the cause of earning as many KidZos to add to his wallet. At a few venues, he was glad of spending to learn some new skills like making some lip-smacking dishes which he later got to enjoy. He took great pride in posing with pictures of his handiwork and he even generously offered to share it with me. My little monster remained proud of his achievement and so was I !

In the interim, we both got to live our dreams respectively, Jeehan with his dream to be a grown up and I got the freedom to leave Jeehan to choose his own path and be responsible for what he does.

Having clocked in over 4-5 hours of adult hardship, Jeehan now seemed spent and we happily headed towards KidZania Department Store where kids get to do their own shopping (absolutely sans the parents). But believe me, by now Jeehan knew how to spend his earnings wisely.

As we exit, we offered our greetings of “Zank-U” to the friendly staff who had assisted us along our day journey at KidZania.

KidZania has it all — memorable for allowing us to spend a qualitative day; as parent and child ! Memorable for offering so much to a little man’s dreams and aspirations, I can only say Zank-U over and over again.

With promises to visit soon, we bid adieu !