As adults and parents, we always want to bring our kids in safe places where they get less exposed to germs. But reality is that if we shelter our kids and keep them from going and doing things, they might have a hard time coping with the real world. Some kids develop serious allergies if not exposed to dust, a few dirt, and pollution. A little won’t hurt plus we can’t really escape these things in our surrounding. We are always ideal as parents and that’s true for almost everyone. So let kids be kids, let them run, let them play, let them be dirty, let them be crazy too.
Since our almost 2 year old daughter, Chesca, is already missing out on the many play areas we have around (this is also because I gave birth and we have an infant around so we usually don’t go to noisy and not baby-friendly places the past years) I took the kids to Kidzoona in Robinsons Galleria. It was one fun and memorable trip there. Why? because it was hassle-free, we got the chance to enjoy the place without a big crowd. So here’s sharing a few of our experience and a few tips too. But first a little background on Kidzoona.
- owned by AEON Fantasy Group. They are a Japan-based company
- They opened the first and biggest branch in Robinsons Galleria in November 2014
- It aims to provide educational play to the children. They call it edutainment.
- They have 800 branches in Asia and 26 branches in the Philippines
There was an accident in one of the Kidzoona branches in the Philippines that circulated in social media a few months back. I was worried to bring the kids at first but before I brought them, I checked the place (when we visited a few days back) before I brought the kids. So I was sure it was a safe place (yes yes, mom had to make sure and act like a security personnel checking out the place). I don’t anything unsafe if your child has a guardian who will look after and run around with your kid/s. So we gave this big branch of Kidzoona a chance and tried it. We can bring the kids in many other places which are exclusive for members or other high end play places but why here? Play time will always be fun no matter where or how they got it. They’re kids! Let their imagination guide them just like how some of us played patintero, agawang panyo, and many other old Filipino games before. We want our children to be practical, simple, and knowledgeable of many things around them through exposure. Kidzoona is our first try to expose them to public play areas so yes, we’re happy with it 🙂
Here are the details and tips from our 2017 Kidzoona visit to help you have a stress-free visit with your kid/s.
- Go early on a weekday! We went there at 11:30am on a Tuesday and there were literally no one else but us. Maybe one kid was there but we barely noticed. This is perfect if you don’t want crowded play times. No lines at the entrance, lockers, or anywhere around the play areas. If you can’t make it on weekdays, you can opt to go on weekends but make it really early (as soon as the mall opens).
- Don’t bring your kid/s on a full stomach. Make sure the child ate an hour 45 mins to an hour before play time. They will be literally jumping, climbing, falling, diving, running, or maybe tumbling around too. So a full stomach may make them throw up. You don’t want this, I can’t even begin to think how messy and handwork it will be if this happens.
- Ticket prices are reasonable. You may check all ticket prices here. You will also see in this link all the branches and floor area for an idea how big the branch is. So I was with my 2 kids – Chesca and Matteo- and 2 helpers and I paid Php600 for all of us. because one companion costs Php150 . Matt is still free because he’s 8 months (children less than 1 year old is free of charge but the companion is paid. Chesca’s fee on the other hand is Php300 with free one companion (that’s me) and Php150 each for our 2 helpers. So I just paid for Chesca and 2 helpers’ entrance fees for 90 mins. For group packages and prices, contact them directly.
- You can go out and go back. Be aware when your time is up! They will indicate in the receipt they will give you what time you should end or you pay the overtime fee per hour. Since we went in before 12, the adults were hungry after some time. We went out for around 15 mins to eat our lunch at the pizza place beside Kidzoona. I ordered our daughter’s favorite food so she can eat a little after the activities she did. She ate a lot but not too much since she’ll resume running around after. The babies cooperated and we were all able to eat.
- Bring socks for everyone who will enter the play area. This is strictly implemented here for the cleanliness of the place. If you forgot or didn’t bring one, you may buy from the mall’s department store. It’s best to wear non-slip socks (those with rubber thingies underneath each sock to prevent you from slipping).
- They have lockers for your shoes and other valuables. Leave everything that can fall when you play around. For those who have strollers like us, the stroller cannot enter the locker area. You can park it beside the locker area but the space there is only limited.
- Water. You may bring your water inside. But food is not allowed. I saw a “cafe” inside. It’s a stall for moms and dads waiting.
- There many areas the kids can explore to play and learn. There’s an arcade area. No need to buy tokens, they’re FREE! There’s a pretend play area where there’s A forestation, hospital, kitchen, post office, hospital, burger shop, and others. There’s a ball pool pit where there are different types and size of slides. A big inflatable slide awaits too! Tried that with my little girl and it was so high so it’s not advisable to make smaller kids slide. The ball pool area is big and the floor is uneven. This may help kids find their balance better and a good challenged for a child’s body. There’s also a toy corner where there are toys like doll houses, small cars, and other educational toys. There a lounge area there too with sofas. There’s a big inflatable ball where you can rise inside just like a how a hamster rides a wheel. There a big inflatable jump area to exercise those muscles more.
- Bring extra clothes for the kid/s and for yourself. The place is cold so initially you think you’ll need jackets. But when you start moving around- running, jumping, bouncing- you’ll eventually sweat (what more if there are more people playing and bouncing around).
- Bring towels, tissues, and wipes. You’ll never know when you’ll need them. Wash your hands after playing too.
- You can safely leave your kids here. There are lots of aids around. They look after the kids and help them too. I’m not sure though what the scenario is when the place is packed with children. For small toddlers, please don’t leave them alone. Its still best to have someone with the children.
Of course, a place cannot be all too perfect so here are some things they can improve on:
- There’s no comfort room. Comfort rooms are important for children and for everyone right? I can’t believe there’s no comfort room inside the venue. You have to go all the way out and use the mall’s comfort rooms. A kid-friendly comfort room is important in these places. We have an infant with us so we weren’t able to change him comfortably.
- No snack area. It’s good to have this. It’s an area where kids can rest and eat their snacks or drink their milk for the little ones. Hint for Kidzoona: You can even put a small stall where you sell snacks and drinks for kids.
- No storage for big bags. The locker area is relatively small and the lockers too. I had to mix my bag with the shoes so I don’t have to bring it around with me. As for our diaper bags, they had to stay in one of toy areas near the locker rooms. Not safe but we just have to keep watching it.
- No stroller parking. I was surprised there’s not enough space for strollers to park. We have 2 strollers and the locker area is already tight with them lying around. We had no choice but to leave them by the entrance door (inside the counter area so it’s relatively safe since only Kidzoona players and parents can reach them).
So pack light moms, dads, yayas, titos, and titas. I’d say I’ll bring a body bag for myself next time around. It was a fun visit and I can honestly say I enjoyed playtime at Kidzoona too. It’s brought back memories of Kids at Work in SM Megamall before where me and my brother play a lot back in elementary days. I love active play times maybe that’s why my kids love it too!
Kudos to Kidzoona for keeping the place neat and clean. I do hope they clean the place regularly. Just a little trivia, do you know these play areas should also be cleaned by professional cleaners like Bed, Bugs, and Beyond? Yup, because these public places have so much germs that cannot be seen by the naked eye and skilled cleaners with their professional machines will help do the cleaning tricks for a safer and lessen the germs in areas like Kidzoona’s.
Here are some snapshots of our fun time at Kidzoona ! Forgot to take a photo of the entrance and other sections since I was also busy running around chasing our little girl.
Honestly, even I enjoyed the play time. It’s like being 5 years old all over again!
“PLAY is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein