Kuala Lumpur, or KL to locals, is one of Southeast Asia’s most visited cities. Happy Go KL lists their top picks for family travel in this vibrant capital.
KL is an almost perfect urban holiday destination for families. A metropolis with layers of history, it is still compact enough to move around in, even with toddlers in tow. In addition, it has a fantastic array of kids’ activities and child-friendly sights.
Enjoy the views
The iconic Petronas Towers can be marvelled at from the adjacent park. If you want to go up, check the online ticket shop, get the tickets at the office a few days earlier for a designated time slot, or skip the queue.
To see the skyline with the towers, head over to the KL Tower. KL Forest Eco Park just below KL Tower is a small forest reserve with short trails and a canopy walk suitable for all ages. Lots of stairs on the paths though, so not stroller-friendly.
Anyone close to drinking age can enjoy a truly magnificent view from the open-air Heli Lounge Bar located on an operational helipad after hours.
The Hop-On Hop-Off bus is a hassle-free way to see the city. Take into account that the whole tour takes 2.5 hours without getting off the bus. Avoid the bus during the peak traffic hours when it gets stuck in the jam. There is also a tram that covers areas near Merdeka Square and Lake Gardens 5for a more pleasant and much less expensive way to see the sights.
Meet tropical animals
Aquaria in the heart of the city makes for a comfortable activity on a hot day. Sharks and humongous turtles are the highlight of this world-class aquarium – try to aim for a feeding at the main Aquatheatre and avoid the line. Right next door is the great KLCC playground with paddling pools, best enjoyed in the cooler hours of the day.
For more animal encounters, head over to the Bird Park with free-roaming feathery friends that might just hover right above you. Together with the nearby Butterfly Park and Orchid Garden, it would make for a great day out with the flora and fauna of the tropics.
Theme parks and kids’ attractions
Kidzania is a perfect day out for school-age kids. By trying different “jobs” they can earn some money – and spend it afterwards. District 21 in the neighbouring territory of Putrajaya is an indoor theme park in a post-apocalyptic setup perfect for letting out steam: all rides are child-powered (think wall climbing, sliding and zip lining). For flying fox in the tree tops, head out to Skytrex Adventure in Shah Alam. Fans of traditional theme parks would squeal in delight on a day out in Sunway Lagoon. This huge park has a water park, amusement park, zoo and – of course – a shopping centre with an ice skating rink. If the weather is not cooperating, there is an indoor theme park at Berjaya Times Square.
Most shopping centres (and KL has plenty) have indoor playgrounds that are perfect for those rainy or stifling hot afternoons. Grab a fresh juice or cappuccino and let the little ones run their hearts out.
Culture and history
The National Museum hosts a compact exhibition on the country’s history. Lifelike replicas and cool details will keep even the youngest visitors interested. Petrosains science centre located inside Suria KLCC is the place for kids who like to press buttons. Thanks to its sponsor, the oil and gas industry is well covered!
KL is full of places for worship. A quick introduction to Malaysian religions can be had in Chinatown, with temples and a mosque within stone’s throw of each other. Street art spotting is great fun for all ages, too! Central Market is a good ending point for a walk with its clean toilets, air conditioning and knick-knacks. Tours can also be booked here. Budding artists can try out traditional batik painting in the Annex, if not have their portrait painted in minutes.
A short drive outside the city centre is Batu Caves, an impressive Hindu temple complex set on a steep limestone hill and caves. The huge statue of Lord Murugan guards the entrance with a lot of stairs to climb. You’ll have to fight the urge to race to the top! The adventurous can join the Dark Cave tour at one of the main caves. The resident monkeys make for nice photos but are always after any food and drinks – watch out!
If you are travelling around Chinese New Year, head over to the Thean Hou Temple to admire the temple decorated with numerous lanterns and scenes of the legends.
For a concise list of kids’ activities in KL, click here.
ABOUT HAPPY GO KL
Happy Go KL is a site for families in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Parents share tips about their current hometown, travel in the region with kids in tow, and list fun things to do with children at home. Happy Go KL can be also found on Pinterest and Facebook.