Visiting KidZania With Young Children

KidZania professes to teach kids from age one about the world of work. We were unimpressed and wouldn’t return until the kids were much older.

We had heard good things about KidZania in Mexico City, so decided to check it out when we were in town.

What Is KidZania?

Styled as an entirely functioning and interactive city for kids, KidZania is a place in which children can go and get a job, receive training about their chosen profession, and earn money that they can spend on items in shops around the establishment.

You will find two KidZania branches in Mexico City—one in the Santa Fe neighborhood in the west and one in Cuicuilco in the south. The Cuilcuilco one is the original and the largest, and is the one we went to.

The Cuicuilco branch is also only a 15-minute taxi ride (in good traffic!) from the popular town of Coyoacan, which offers a fun way to spend a couple of hours once you’ve finished at KidZania.

Is KidZania a Worthwhile Trip for Very Young Children?

In its marketing literature, KidZania claims to be suitable for children aged 1-14—but our experiences told a different story. Harriet and Luca were aged four and two when we went, and neither could get fully involved for many different reasons.

Because of the Down syndrome, Harriet is behind most four-year-old children developmentally. But even then, it would have been a stretch for children of that age to get anything meaningful out of the experience.

Here are some of the things we encountered that mean we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with kids younger than six or seven, especially if one of your children has a disability.

1. Pushchair and/or Wheelchair Access

KidZania is split over two levels, with many of the popular brands being located on the upper floor.

However, the elevators barely fitted our pushchair, and once on the top level, it was impossible to move due to extremely narrow walkways and kids queuing for access to various activities outside all the businesses. We quickly gave up and went back down.

And the access issues weren’t even limited to the upper level; the outside area was just as difficult to negotiate, and there were far too many lines blocking our path. Moving around was a constant struggle.

And no, entering without a pushchair is not practical; KidZania is large. If you have young kids or (like in Harriet’s case) kids that tire quickly, using a pushchair is non-negotiable.

2. Lack of Available Activities

Many of the most fun activities, such as the kids’ “motorbikes” outside, had a height restriction. Even the indoor road had a restriction, despite it consisting of sitting in a very slow car with an adult.

Of course, we understand the need for safety, but there was nothing aimed at children younger than five to make up for it. Even the tiny playground was dominated by much older kids who shouldn’t really have been using it.

Young children also struggle to understand the very concept of the facility. For many, the idea of having a job and earning money is not something they are familiar with. And again, there were no “jobs” for those young kids. You cannot expect a three-year-old to grasp what is required of them as a university lecturer or insurance assessor.


Harriet just wanted to spend the entire time working in the daycare and playing with the dolls, but the staff eventually had to ask us to leave to make space for other kids. Other than a brief spell in Walmart (which again, she treated more like a game than a job), there was little else that she could engage with.

Perhaps KidZania locations in other cities around the world are more accommodating of very young kids, but we felt the Mexico City one came up well short.

3. Long Queues

You need to be ready for a lot of standing in lines to get into the more popular businesses. We spent 20 minutes waiting for a space in the daycare and 30 minutes for the painting room before giving up. Some of the most popular activities, such as a fireman (in which the kids get to squirt water at a burning building), had queues that were more than 100-strong. It must’ve taken an hour or more to get your turn.

As any parent of very young kids will know, standing still for an hour with nothing to entertain the kids isn’t going to happen. Their attention spans are too short. This wouldn’t have been so bad if there were some other baby-friendly stuff for the very small children to get involved in, but as we said above, no such facilities were available.

Beware of Brainwashing

Throughout our entire time at KidZania, we couldn’t shake the feeling that the whole thing was a little bit… creepy.

Yes, the older kids were all having a great time, and yes the staff in the facility work hard to make the activities feel authentic.

But the idea of getting kids so young to “work” for actual company brands all felt a little brainwashy. That’s especially true in the post-COVID world; a place in which working patterns and people’s expectations of employers have irrevocably shifted.

Further, the jobs aren’t very aspirational or inspirational. Sure, there is a university and a doctor. But most of the jobs are fairly mundane—there’s a DHL (in which the sole job was a delivery man), a Walmart (stacking shelves), an AVIS (receptionist), and so on. Even at the Liverpool department store, the only jobs were cashier and mannequin.

The kids enjoy playing the roles, but shouldn’t we be encouraging the little ones to aim higher, especially given the target age is realistically 8+? These aren’t tiny kids who are still learning language basics and familiarising themselves with the idea of jobs.

And then there are the wages. Luca spent time working at Liverpool, at the daycare centre, and in an insurance company. For all that, he received a combined salary of $45 KidZania dollars. And what could he buy for that? A packet of no-brand plasticine.

While there are luxury items like trainers and game consoles on the shelves for kids to spend their money on, in practice, they would need to work there full-time for a month to afford them. It’s not realistic and felt like an attempt to price gouge adults into making up the difference.

So, Should You Visit KidZania?

The kids, of course, won’t be aware of the slightly sadistic undertones. They’ll have a great time fixing cars and delivering parcels around the city. For that purpose, KidZania can be a lot of fun if your children are the right age. Just don’t approach it with the idea of educating your kids about the world of work. There are better ways to go about it.

And if you’re kids are under six, we’d definitely recommend that you find your fun elsewhere.

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