One thing my two children look forward to the most is getting out during the weekends to explore and do fun activities as a family. That is what inspired me to write this article about “Things to do with kids in Penang”. Penang actually has quite a good share of both outdoor and indoor activities you can do with your kids. So what are you waiting for? Read on, make a checklist and start exploring!
- 1 Outdoor Fun
- 1.1 1. Penang Municipal Park (also formerly known as Penang Youth Park)
- 1.2 2. Occupy Beach Street & Car-free Sunday
- 1.3 3. Penang Butterfly Farm
- 1.4 4. Countryside Stables
- 1.5 5. Straits Green Playground-by-the-sea
- 1.6 6. Ayer Itam Dam
- 1.7 7. Penang Hill
- 1.8 8. ESCAPE Adventureplay
- 1.9 9. Traffic Playground (Taman Lalulintas)
- 1.10 10. Happy Goat Farm
- 2 Indoor Fun
- 2.1 1. Kidland
- 2.2 2. Made in Penang Interactive Museum
- 2.3 3. Penang Children’s Library
- 2.4 4. Penang Aquarium
- 2.5 5. Adventure Zone
- 2.6 6. Traditional Pewtercrafting Workshop @ The School of Hard Knocks, Royal Selangor Visitor Centre
- 2.7 7. SparkLab
- 2.8 8. Creative Drama/ Dance & Movement Classes at The Actor’s Studio Academy @ PenangPac
- 2.9 9. Baking classes at Yin’s Sourdough Bakery
- 2.10 10. Batik Painting @ Rozana’s Refreshing Batik Fine Heart Gallery
1. Penang Municipal Park (also formerly known as Penang Youth Park)
Location: Persiaran Kuari, 10450 George Town. Google Map
Opening hours: Daily, 7am-7pm
This is a great place not only for kids but adults too. There are jogging tracks, children’s playground, play pool, chess corner, skating rink, archery range, mountain bike tracks and lots more. The park has recently upgraded their facilities to include more new attractions such as the accessible children’s playground which is also the first of its kind in Malaysia. And best of all, it’s absolutely free!
Location: Lebuh Pantai, 10300 Georgetown. Google Map
Happens every Sunday, 7am-1pm
A good place to be on your Sunday mornings. A section of the roads will be closed off to motor vehicles and the place transforms into a street market with occasional street performances as well. My daughter loves to cycle so we usually bring her bike along. There are also several shops where you can find all sorts of bikes for rent.Photo Credit: Occupy Beach Street FB
Location: Jalan Teluk Bahang. Google Map
Opening hours: Daily, 9am-6pm
The butterfly farm in Penang has been around since 1986 but this place of attraction has never failed to work its charm on children. Situated all the way in Teluk Bahang, the butterfly farm houses over 4000 butterflies. Just imagine your children’s faces walking amidst a myriad of butterflies, some flying and some resting on plants, on the ground and perhaps, on your children too. The butterfly farm provides guided tours as well. We joined one during our last visit and found the tour to be very interesting and informative. We even got to do pretty cool stuff like hold a pupa, and if you’re lucky, you may even be able to catch a pupa turn into an adult butterfly. During the tour, we were also introduced to other insects such as scorpions, spiders and millipedes. Our guide even passed around a baby scorpion for the people in our tour group to touch and hold.
Location: Jalan Sungai Burong, Balik Pulau. GPS Coordinates: 5.339455, 100.198698
Opening hours: Daily, 2pm-7:30pm
Countryside Stables is home to 30 horses of various breeds. For a certain fee (apart from the entrance fee) you’ll get to pet them, feed them and ride on them. Among the types of rides available are joyrides/ guided rides, riding within arena for the experienced rider, outride trail riding for the experienced rider and horse carriage rides. My daughter went for the guided ride on a little pony and she enjoyed it.
5. Straits Green Playground-by-the-sea
Location: Seri Tanjung Pinang, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Penang. GPS: 5.461280, 100.309173
Park opens daily (7am-7pm), water spray begins at 4:30pm-6:30pm
This place is situated behind Quayside condo. Besides a children’s playground, there is also a jogging and cycling track. This is a great place for picnics.
6. Ayer Itam Dam
Location: Jalan Balik Pulau. Google Map
The dam is situated on the hillocks, next to Penang Hill and is a popular place for evening walks, jogging, cycling, picnics or just to hangout and enjoy the panoramic view of the city. To access into the dam, you would need to use the same hill road that leads to Kek Lok Si Temple. Parking spots are limited so if you’re driving, it would probably be best to go a little early in the evening before the crowd arrives.
7. Penang Hill
Location: Penang Hill Lower Station. Google Map
Funicular train opening hours: Weekdays (6:30am-10pm). Weekends, public/ school holidays (6:30am-11pm)
An outing to Penang Hill would be quite interesting for kids too as they get to ride the funicular train. Other than the train ride, there’s also an owl museum, guided nature trails, jungle trekking, aviary ginger garden and other activities you could do once you’re up there.Flickr:Khalzuri Yazid
Location: Jalan Teluk Bahang. Google Map
Opening hours: Tuesdays – Sundays, 9am-6pm (Closed on Mondays except when it is a public holiday)
This is a family theme park with challenging and exciting outdoor activities which promotes wellness in the great outdoors. Unlike other theme parks with the usual roller coaster rides and such, the ESCAPE Adventureplay goes back to the basics of outdoor fun which involves climbing, jumping, swinging, crawling and any other physical activities you can think of. Another great thing about this place is that the park was created with the environment in mind, incorporating as many ways as possible to be kind to our Mother Earth.
9. Traffic Playground (Taman Lalulintas)
Location: Bordered by Jalan Lim Eow Thoon, Jalan Nirvana and Lebuhraya Bodhi. Google Map
Opening hours: Daily, 6:30am-10:30pm
Constructed in the mid 1970’s, this small town consisting of child-sized roads, roundabouts, buildings, road signs and public infrastructure is just the right place for your kids to practice cycling and learn about traffic and road safety in a safe environment free from any motor vehicles.
10. Happy Goat Farm
Location: Lot 344, Mukim C, Permatang Pasir, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang. Google Map
(Call Ivan – 0164191881 or email email@example.com for an appointment)
The goat farm breeds Australian imported Saanen dairy goats which are kept in a climate-controlled barn and are fed with organic grass that is specially grown at the farm itself. Apart from selling goat’s milk, kefir, goat’s milk ice cream, soap, goat cheese and kids (baby goats), the farm is also open for visitation and tours which operate by appointment only.Photo Credit: Happy Goat Farm FB
Location: Located inside Prangin Mall (33-4-08, Atrium A). Google Map
Opening hours: Daily, 10am-9pm (Entry fees vary for normal weekdays and weekends, public holidays and school holidays. Refer to the link provided to the official website for more details)
I’m sure almost every child has at some point of time pretended to be a fireman, a doctor, an artist, a policeman, or someone of a certain profession before. This is just the place for your kid to try out various types of role play while learning the concept of how to earn money by working or doing a specific task. In turn, they get to use the money they have earned to pay for fun rides and activities. Some of the highlights of the place are the pretend firehouse, hospital, police station, idol academy, arts and craft center, green house, aircraft department, train ride, 5D theatre, science lab, just to name a few.
Location: No. 3 Pengkalan Weld, 10300 George Town, Penang. Google Map
Opening hours: Mon – Fri (9am-6pm), Sat – Sun (9am-9pm)
Unlike traditional museums, this one lives up to its name as being “interactive” because visitors get to be a part of the stories about Penang’s lifestyle, culture and history depicted in this museum. The ground floor showcases clay and plaster figurines that tells about the culture and history of Penang while the second floor contains 34 giant 3D art pieces that shows us the uniqueness of Penang. This is a fun place for your kids to strike fun and cool poses for the camera while also learning more about the culture and history of the island they are living in in a more interesting way.
3. Penang Children’s Library
Location: Jalan Piggot. Google Map
Opening hours: Wed – Fri (2pm-5.30pm), Sat – Sun (10am-5:30pm with a lunch break from 1pm-2:30pm). Closed on Mon and Tues as well as Public Holidays
The library’s book section is categorised into two age groups – one for toddlers and preschoolers and another section for primary school children from age 7-12. The section for preschoolers are in the middle hall and this area is nicely furnished with toddler-sized tables and chairs, carpeted floors and low book shelves so that the little ones can reach for the books with ease. You will also find two adjacent wings from the middle hall which has books in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil for the older school children.
Apart from the books section, there is another area that is equally if not, more popular amongst the little visitors and that is the section called the I-Play Toy Library. Any child wouldn’t be able to resist playing with the vast array of toys available there. There are lots of toys for pretend play that teaches children about basic living skills. Your little one will have a blast in the pretend play kitchen complete with a sink, stovetop, refrigerator, cake mixer, plates, fruits and vegetables. There’s also a toy ironing board, iron, washer, toy stroller with a doll, soft toys, puppets, a cupboard full of board games and clothes for your kids to play dress up. You’ll be amazed to find quite a number of unique toys which are not so easily found here in Malaysia.
Location: Fisheries Research Institute (FRI), Batu Maung, 11960 Penang. Google Map
Opening hours: Thurs – Tues (10am-5pm), closed on Wed.
Located within the Fisheries Research Institute complex, this aquarium houses 25 tanks of various marine life including the moray eels, lion fish, stone fish, cat sharks, fox face fish, parrot fish and many more. The tickets are priced very reasonably at RM5 for adults, RM2 for children above 7 years of age. Admission is FREE for children below 7.
Location: Golden Sands Resort, Batu Ferringhi. Google Map
Opening hours: Daily, 10am-7pm
This is another popular choice for indoor family fun for kids as well as adults. The facility has several drop slides, play modules for children above 4, and also toddler area play modules. If you are looking for a place where your kids can be entertained for a few hours so that you can have some peaceful time to yourself, then this can be one of your options as there is ample space for parents to wait; complete with tables and chairs, free wifi and a cafe that serves coffee/ tea and some simple snacks.
Location: 3A-G-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang. Google Map
Visitor centre opening hours: Daily, 10am-10:30pm.
Fee: RM60 per person (you’ll get to take home the finished pewter dish and a personalised certificate of completion)
The official website states that you’ll need to sign up in advance to select a date and time for the workshop and a minimum of 4 persons is required but from our own experience, we could just walk-in and sign up for one on the spot. During the workshop, you’ll have first-hand experience of creating a pewter dish the traditional way i.e. using tools like the hammer, mallet and wooden mould. My 3-year old needed a little help especially with the knocking process but she did enjoy the workshop and took pride in the fact that she got to take home something she made herself.
Location: Level 1-06, 1-Stop Midlands Park, Jalan Burma, 10350 George Town, Penang. Google Map
Workshop Dates & Time: Check out their Facebook page for more details
A place for your kids (as well as adults) to explore and learn through creative play, science and media. Among some of the workshops provided are Batik Painting, Plaster of Paris, Paint a Tote-Bag, Design Your Own Button Badge, Sew a Teddy Bear, The Secret Agent Program, Watercolor & Coloring, Miniature Clay, Doodles & Magnets, Japanese Book Binding, Woodworking for Kids, Space Recruitment Program and many more.
Location: 3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang. Google Map
Please click on the link above for information on class timetable and fee.
The Actor’s Studio Academy offers courses on Creative Drama and also Dance & Movement. The classes are divided into age categories from 3-6, 7-9, 10-12 and teens/ adults.
Location: 11 Pesara Claimant, 10100, Georgetown Penang. Google Map
The kids’ baking classes held at Yin’s Sourdough Bakery are seasonal and usually happen during school holidays. Information about class registrations are usually announced on their facebook page and via email (for those who have purchased their breads online from their website).
Location: 81B, 81C Lebuh Acheh, Georgetown, 10200 Penang
To schedule a class, contact Rozana at 014-247-5347 or firstname.lastname@example.org
There are several batik painting galleries in Penang that provide classes on batik painting but Rozana’s is probably the most kid-friendly one. For RM50, you are given a large square white cloth to work on and you will be able to bring it home with you. Kids’ classes usually run for 2 hours and your child can either draw their own picture and have the teacher wax it for them or they could also choose from some of the pre-drawn and pre-waxed designs available there. Apart from batik painting, Rozana also conducts tie-dye classes. It is best to schedule the class ahead of time and have an idea of what to draw before going there so you can start right away when you’re there.