[This post has been updated as of August 2017]
Malaysians are having one of the longest weekends ever due to Hari Raya Haji and our National Day celebrations! Why not spend some of that time exploring and learning more about Malaysia, especially with the little ones? Here are some places we recommend visiting to give the kids a little exposure on Malaysia’s history, from its formation all the way to its declaration of independence and more:
Where else could be more historical than the place where the Union Jack flag was lowered and the Federation of Malaya flag was hoisted 60 years ago? Besides taking a stroll on the wide green fields overlooking KL’s city skylines, you could also head over to Sultan Abdul Samad building situated just opposite the field and appreciate its Moorish architecture.
Address: Jalan Raja, 50050 Kuala Lumpur.
If you are looking to expose the little ones to our fallen heroes and their sacrifices for this country, then this is the place to be. Here lies the Kuala Lumpur cenotaph which honours the soldiers from World War I and II, as well as the National Monument itself, which is dedicated especially for those who died in the 12-year Malayan Emergency. Besides that, the location is conveniently situated near the Malaysian House of Parliament, National Mosque, Lake Gardens and Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, all of which you could also visit in conjunction with Merdeka Day.
Address: Jalan Parlimen, Kuala Lumpur, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
The National Monument opens daily from 7am to 6pm. Entrance is free.
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
KL City Gallery is the place to be if you are looking to indulge in the history and heritage of our city. It holds a newseum (news museum) on the history of Kuala Lumpur, a city model show, DIY workshops for you and your little ones as well as a gift shop. The iconic “I Love KL” structure is situated just outside of the building, and is a great photo-opportunity for you and your family.
Address: No. 27, Jalan Raja, Dataran Merdeka, 50050 Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.
KL City Gallery opens daily from 9am – 6.30pm. Entrance to the building is free, but ticket is required for The Spectacular City Model Show. It is priced at RM5 each. Kids under 3 and senior citizens above 65 can go in for free.
Malaysia’s National Museum is surely a good place to introduce the kids to the history and diverse cultures in Malaysia, some which may have been forgotten but still very well-preserved. Besides that, the Malay World Museum, located right next to National Museum is also worth a visit. After a day of basking in the rich heritage of Malaysia, perhaps you and your family could wind down with an evening walk at the Lake Gardens which is also a nearby attraction.
Address: Jalan Damansara, 50566 Kuala Lumpur.
National Museum opens daily from 9am – 6pm. Entrance fee is RM 2 per person and kids below 12 can enter for free. Same applies for Malay World Museum.
Museum of Asian Art
If you are keen on learning beyond Malaysian culture, make sure to head to the Museum of Asian Art that holds 7,000 treasures from about 4,000 years of Asian history. There are also occasional exhibitions and workshops held outside at the museum.
Address: Museum of Asian Art, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur
Museum of Asian Art opens from Monday to Thursday, 9am – 1 pm, then reopens at 2 – 5pm; Friday, 9am – 12:15pm and 2:45pm – 5pm. If you are thinking of going during Merdeka weekend, make sure you head there on Friday as they close on weekends and public holidays.
Putrajaya Millennium Monument
This monument is also known as “monumen Alaf Baru“, and is the second monument to be built in Putrajaya after Mercu Tanda Putrajaya. It is situated on the waterfront in the centre of Putrajaya. As you walk around the monument, you will pass through engraved glass panels with important milestones in Malaysia’s history – definitely a fun and interesting way to let the kids learn about Malaysia. After all that learning, wind down at the Lake Garden café next to the monument while watching the sunset.
Address: Lebuh Ehsan, Presint 2, 62100 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan.
Bank Negara Money Museum and Art Gallery
The Bank Negara Money Museum and Art Gallery is definitely for those who want a little more than the conventional museum and art gallery. It holds six galleries to enjoy and learn from: Art Gallery, Numismatics Gallery, Islamic Finance Gallery, Bank Negara Malaysia Gallery, Economics Gallery and Children’s Gallery. On top of that, they also talks and workshops for both adults and children.
Address: Sasana Kijang, 2 Jalan Dato’ Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
The museum opens daily from 10am – 6pm. Admission is free.
Sultan Alam Shah Museum
Sultan Alam Shah Museum, situated in the heart of Shah Alam, houses artifacts and treasures of Selangor. If you’re planning to do a bit of museum hopping, make sure you don’t skip this on your list.
Address: Persiaran Bandaraya, Seksyen 14, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor.
It opens from 10am – 5:30pm from Tuesdays to Sundays, and closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
Prime Minister Memorials
For a chance to expose the kids to the contributions of past Malaysian prime ministers, be sure to visit their memorials. These memorials house all archival, museum and reading materials relating to the first three prime ministers of Malaysia. It also has exhibits such as the granite display of the Proclamation of Independence as well as their personal collection of books, photographs and even cars.
- Memorial Tunku Abdul Rahman (Address: 43-45, Jalan Dato Onn, Kuala Lumpur)
- Memorial Tun Abdul Razak (Address: Sri Taman, Jalan Perdana 50480 Kuala Lumpur)
- Memorial Tun Hussein Onn (Address: Jalan Dato Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur)
Opens on Tuesdays – Sundays, 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
Image Credits: Ahmad Safri Yusop, Phalinn Oii, Naz Amir, Bentley Smith – Creative Commons Licence; KL City Gallery; knowingkl.com; tours-malaysia.com; Arkib Negara; commons.wikimedia.org.