Park Life Balance

In the United States, we’ve got Take Our Daughters to Work Day. We’ve got Job Shadow Day. And there are various organizations and resources targeting young entrepreneurs.

But in Japan, Kidzania puts the “fun” back in “job function.” (Subscription may be required.) The indoor theme park for children comprises 50 company-sponsored exhibits that enable young thrill seekers to role play various career choices — from gas station attendant to surgeon.

First opened in Mexico, the park has been a tremendous success since it opened last fall. Entry fees can near $25, parents aren’t allowed in the exhibits, and the park can accommodate about 3,000 children at a time. But the upshot is important to the Japanese economy as a whole, not just the company behind Kidzania.

With the rigorous attention — and expectations — paid to schoolwork and studying, students often graduate without knowing what they want to be “when they grow up.” Kidzania gives children a chance to plan while playing.