With so many adventures to be had in our beautiful country, we love making plans to travel and explore Malaysia with our kids. Makchic took time to get recommendations and ask parents and families out there for the best experiences you can have in Malaysia with your children. So bookmark this list, and see how many you can check off!
1. Admire the magnificent seascape of Langkawi Island on the SkyCab in Langkawi Island, Kedah
Known as the steepest cable car route in the world, taking the SkyCab is the best way to admire the beautiful landscape and seascape of Langkawi Island. The ride begins at the base of Gunung Mat Cincang, with a middle station for riders to alight and enjoy a stroll along the viewing platforms. Kids will love observing the jungle from above, and adults will enjoy the incredible views too. Details are availabe at the official Langkawi SkyCab website.
2. Breathe in the cool and refreshing air of Gunung Jerai highlands in Kedah
If you’re in Kedah, our beloved ‘Rice Bowl of Malaysia’, this is the pick for beautiful scenes of both sea and paddy fields. The pride of Kedah, the majestic Gunung Jerai, is the perfect destination for kids to bask in the fresh highland air. At 1217 m above sea level, Gunung Jerai is abundant with historical and geographical gems. Kids will enjoy a splashing time in the cool waterfalls of Hutan Lipur Titi Hayun, Hutan Lipur Seri Perigi and Batu Hampar Waterfall. To make it an educational visit, drop by historical sites such as Telaga Sheikh and Padang Tok Sheikh or visit the Muzium Perhutanan and let them explore Gunung Jerai’s diverse flora and fauna.
3. Enjoy a picnic by the waterfall in FRIM Kepong
If you’re in a city like Kuala Lumpur or Selangor, you can still escape to lush green spaces. Nestled within the busy district of Kepong is the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), a welcoming pocket of greenery for families. Whether it is enjoying a lovely picnic by the waterfall, or simple hikes and cycling with the children, there are many activities families can enjoy here. Check out their official website for more details and the visitors’ guide.
4. Get to know a new flower species at Secret Garden 1 Utama, Bandar Utama
The Secret Garden is actually located on the rooftop of 1 Utama Shopping Centre in Bandar Utama, Selangor. It claims to be the largest rooftop garden in South-East Asia, featuring about 600 species of specially curated plants, from cool-climate flora to ornamental and herb species. Encompassing an area of 30,000 square feet, the garden has free guided tours every first weekend of the month. It makes a wonderful educational experience for the children – they can get up-close with plants and enjoy an exploratory run around the garden.
5. Get up close to beautiful and rare birds at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the sprawling KL Bird Park is a 20.9-acre public aviary that is home to a vast number of exotic and beautiful bird species. Also known as the largest free-flight walk-in aviary in the world, most of the birds are free to roam around, just like when they are in their natural habitat. Expect friendly peacocks, swooping storks and flamingos, colourful parrots and sleepy owls to say hi to. Kids will enjoy feeding the birds, running around the designated paths and even walking through a beautiful butterfly garden. Visit the official KL Bird Park website for more details.
6. Meet the giant panda family in Zoo Negara, Kuala Lumpur
What’s not to love about a cuddly giant panda family? Zoo Negara has always been a must-visit in every family’s list, but with the recent addition of a giant panda family, it has become a more exciting place for children. They will enjoy watching the giant pandas make eating, playing and snoozing look too cute. There are also animal shows scheduled every day, and numerous species of animals to observe and take photos with! Ticketing and other information are available at the Zoo Negara official website.
7. Cruise the rivers of historic Malacca on the Melaka River Cruise
Beautiful, historic Malacca is a sight to behold, thanks to a blend of modern and colonial architecture. While walking around the streets is one way to discover the UNESCO World Heritage site, a cruise along the river is also an enjoyable way to do it. Kids will love getting on the cruise boat and enjoy the breeze as they pass by interesting buildings, such as the painted riverfront buildings and the Flor De La Mar replica ship that houses Muzium Samudera.
8. Meet a 300-year-old hollow tree at Sungai Menyala Edu-Ecotourism Centre, Port Dickson
There’s so much more to Port Dickson than just the beach! Sungai Menyala Edu-Ecotourism Centre is a perfect spot for families to get in touch with nature. One of largest lowland Dipterocarp forests in the region, the centre also boasts stretches of virgin forests that houses a 300-year-old hollow tree and a 45-metre high Jelutong tree which might be the tallest tree in Malaysia. For more details, visit the official Sungai Menyala Edu-Ecotourism Centre Facebook page.
9. Get lost in the wonders of Sunway Lost World of Tambun, Ipoh, Perak
Ipoh is blessed with an amazing landscape of limestone caves and hills, making it the perfect backdrop for Sunway Lost World of Tambun . The theme park comprises a few mini-parks that make up the huge compound. There is a waterpark, amusement park, hot spring pools, an adventure park and a petting zoo. There are also night attractions to enjoy, such as the Luminous Forest that is lit with wonderful glowing flowers and magical creatures. Ticketing details are available on their official website.
10. Count ships on the sea horizon at Cape Rachado Lighthouse, Port Dickson
Cape Rachado is also known as Tanjung Tuan, located 18km south of Port Dickson town. Although it is an uphill climb, the view on the summit with a historical lighthouse is amazing. It’s a great way to get some exercise going with the children, introduce a bit of history, and spot some wildlife on the way. Definitely something different to do than just hang out at the beach!
11. Spend the night in a tent-house at Janda Baik, Selangor
The pristine forest of Janda Baik is a popular spot for some family camping or picnics on weekends or long holidays. A short drive from Kuala Lumpur, there are plenty of camping sites operated by resort owners that are safe and fun for the kids. There are also options for chalets or ‘glamping’ tents for extra comfort, with cosy beds inside permanent tents.
12. Pick your own delicious strawberries at Cameron Highlands, Pahang
There are so many things to do in Cameron Highlands, a popular destination for Malaysians to enjoy sweater weather, surrounded by the lush jungles of Banjaran Titiwangsa. One of the must-dos for children is picking their own strawberries at strawberry farms, or exploring the tea plantation terraces of the vast Boh plantation. There are also many other attractions such as the Cameron Lavender Garden, the enchanting Mossy Forest and the Butterfly Farm.
13. Picnic under beautiful casuarina trees at Pantai Sepat Kuantan, Pahang
Among the many beaches in Kuantan, Pahang, Pantai Sepat is blessed with its own unique landscape that is perfect for a picnic or even an outdoor photography trip with the family. Beautiful casuarina trees line up the shore. Coupled with the refreshing sea breeze and the gentle slope of the beach, it is the perfect spot to enjoy with children in tow.
14. See the fireflies at Cherating Mangrove Cruise, Pahang
Cherating, Pahang is a beautiful beach destination located just a short drive from Kuantan. Although it is known for its long stretches of beaches and friendly waves, another gem in Cherating is the river cruise to spot sparkly fireflies in its thick mangrove forest, organised by passionate people who know the area like the back of their hand. Tickets can be bought in advance through online booking or by contacting the tour operator directly.
15. Jump, fly, splash and laze around at Escape Outdoor Theme Park, Penang
True to its name, Escape Outdoor Theme Park in Penang is a place for the whole family to escape daily routines and have some splashing outdoor fun! Set in a natural environment, there’s more than just a waterpark to enjoy. There are so many other unique attractions such as a family maze, launch pads, flying fox, tree climbing, digging sites and obstacle courses.
16. Listen to a concerto of natural sounds with the stalactites of Gua Kelam Recreational Park in Kaki Bukit, Perlis
Known for its enchanting cave walk, the Gua Kelam Recreational Park in Perlis is a wonderful experience for the whole family. Within Gua Kelam, there is a gallery developed by the State Forestry Department to exhibit artefacts from its tin ore mining days. A concerto of natural sounds, thanks to the subterranean stream, stalactites and stalagmites, add to the natural ambience. There is also a mini-train ride that takes visitors from the Visitor Centre to the gallery and into the upper levels of Gua Kelam.
17. Play with friendly fish at the Tagal Sg Moroli Fish Spa in Kampung Luanti, Ranau, Sabah
‘Tagal’ in the local Kadazan dialect means ‘no fishing’. At Tagal Sg Moroli Fish Spa, the fish help to massage you instead. Here, visitors get to play and feed the native fish, ‘ikan kelah’ in a shallow river. These fish will come up close and gently nibble at the feet to get rid of dead skin cells and help exfoliate the skin. There are also homestays and camping sites in Kg Luanti where the family can check-in to experience local living, jungle-trekking and camping. It’s a great way to help contribute to the economy of the locals and spend time with nature.
18. Meet chubby milk cows at Desa Dairy Farm in the highlands of Kundasang Hills, Sabah
Many have said that the landscape in Kundasang is akin to New Zealand, with cool temperatures, the majestic Mount Kinabalu on the horizon (amazing pictures!), and green pastures with dairy cows happily grazing all around. At Desa Dairy Farm, the children will love activities such as feeding the calves and goats and observing how dairy milk is processed for consumption. Don’t forget to try out their delicious dairy products such as fresh milk and ice-cream.
19. Play on the pristine beach and in the waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Kota Kinabalu is well known as a base for island-hopping in the beautiful waters of the South China Sea. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is actually a cluster of a few islands which are Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. Make it a day trip or check into luxurious resorts to enjoy various water activities like snorkelling, diving or spending time with the children building sandcastles under the sun.
20. Go on a wildlife safari trip at Tabin Wildlife Resort, Lahad Datu, Sabah
The Tabin Wildlife Resort is the largest wildlife reserve in Malaysia and home to a myriad of wildlife species including endangered ones. The resort is known as one of the best places in Sabah to observe the rich bio-diversity of nature and to enjoy some jungle-trekking, night safari, night walk, wildlife-spotting, birdwatching and rainforest education with the family. The 3D2N Wildlife Safari Trip is one of the many interesting packages operated by the resort. Visit the Tabin Wildlife Resort official website for more package details.
21. Dip in the cool waters of Kg Babagon riverside in Penampang, Sabah
Take a break from the city and have a blissful picnic at the riverside of Kg Babagon, located just 40 minutes from Kota Kinabalu. The ‘tagal’ or no-fishing river boasts shallow and crystal clear water which makes it a perfect spot for a picnic with the children. Since the river is also very near to the residents of Kg Babagon, you will also get a chance to observe the daily lives of the locals.
22. Spot a snake-head rock formation in one of Sarawak’s National Parks
Sarawak is blessed with unique and diverse geographical attractions, preserved carefully within its many National Parks scattered around the state. While some are hard to access, the Bako National Park and Gunung Mulu National Park are one of the suitable ones for a family trip. The Bako National Park is a coastal park dotted with rock formations made of sandstone. See if the kids can spot a snake-head while they enjoy the boat ride along the coast of the beautiful national park.
23. Feed fish and dip in the cool waterfalls of Sg Chiling, Kuala Kubu Baharu, Selangor
Sungai Chilling waterfall is located at the foothills of Fraser’s Hill, making it a popular spot among Selangor and Kuala Lumpur residents. The river is actually gazetted as a nature park and fish sanctuary to preserve the local kelah fish. It’s a lovely place to enjoy cool, crystal clear water with the family while having a picnic or BBQ.
24. Traverse exciting obstacle courses at Skytrex Adventure, Taman Botani Shah Alam, Selangor
If the family is into adventure and loves obstacle courses, a visit to Skytrex Adventure is a must. Located within the lush greenery of Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam, the park has 3 circuits designed with different levels of difficulty, as well as a picnic and party area. The first circuit, named Little Adventure, is particularly suitable for children, while the other 2 is more suitable for mummy and daddy. Tickets can be bought from Skytrex Adventure official website.
25. Escape city life at the eco-retreats of Hulu Langat, Selangor
Not far from the busy cities of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor is the Hulu Langat district, known for its pristine rivers, lush forests and tranquil eco-retreats. These eco-retreats are operated by various owners and each has their own special charms. For example, Tanah Larwina Retreat comes with its own 3-acre orchard and Rumah Kebun is surrounded by a lovely creek and freshwater swimming pool.
26. Experience a water and sand ‘mirror’ at the Sky Mirror Trip in Kuala Selangor
The Sky Mirror is a unique natural attraction located in Kuala Selangor beach but is only accessible twice a month during the new moon and full moon periods. Known as Malaysia’s own ‘Salar de Uyuni’ (salt flats), the phenomenon takes place when the water recedes and creates a stretch of sandy, shallow water. This water reflects the sky and the objects standing on it, almost like a real mirror. It makes the best photo opportunity for every family. More details are available at the Sky Mirror Trip official website.
27. Explore and admire the golden and green paddy fields in Sekinchan paddy fields, Kuala Selangor
Sekinchan is the main paddy producer of Malaysia, so it is no surprise that it boasts stretches of beautiful paddy fields that changes colours according to the season. It is great for a day trip with the children to soak in some fresh countryside air, take breathtaking photos, or maybe cycle around the vicinity. There’s also a paddy gallery to learn more about paddy processing, as well as options for scrumptious food like seafood and cendol.
28. Explore the vast cave system of Gua Tempurung, Perak
Gua Tempurung in Gopeng, Perak is easily accessible from Ipoh town, and is one of the largest limestone caves in Peninsula Malaysia. About 3km long, part of the caves has been turned into a show cave with electric lighting and walkways. There’s also a river flowing through, with three huge chambers and fascinating stalactites and stalagmites. There are many ways to explore the cave and it can be done with a guided tour. Children aged 6 to 12 are welcomed.
29. Swim in the clear waters of the islands in Terengganu
Terengganu is blessed with pristine beaches and beautiful islands, so why not make some time to spend a few nights at one of its resorts? To begin, start with Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian or Pulau Kapas which are easily accessible from Kuala Besut or Marang jetty. There are so many things to do at the islands itself, including lazing at their beaches with powdery sand all day, or go on snorkelling trips to the many coral spots around the islands.
Indoor Fun & Entertainment
30. Meet Hello Kitty and Thomas at their home in Hello Kitty and Thomas Town, Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru
Children’s most beloved characters, Hello Kitty and Thomas the Train, have a home in Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru. Located adjacent to each other, the Hello Kitty town and Thomas Town are both filled with wonderful Hello Kitty and Thomas attractions for the family such as interactive activities, amusement rides, gift shop and even a Hello Kitty-themed hotel room! Ticketing details can be found at the official Puteri Harbour website.
31. Ride a Lego Virtual Reality roller coaster at Legoland Malaysia, Johor
Every child (and adult alike!) yearns to visit Legoland Malaysia in Johor Bahru. What’s more when it now houses the world’s first LEGO virtual reality roller coaster. Named The Great LEGO Race, the ride features a fully immersive virtual reality experience for its riders, with a lineup of racers drawn from LEGO Minifigures. Besides the dry theme park with amusement rides, there is also a huge waterpark for the family to enjoy some splashing time. You can buy online tickets at the official Legoland Malaysia website.
32. Work like an adult and earn Kidzos money at Kidzania, Mutiara Damansara
Located in Mutiara Damansara, Selangor, KidZania Malaysia has been a huge hit with children who get to experience ‘adult life’! With 60 establishments sponsored by various multinational corporations, children get to try on different jobs, work in a team, develop skills and earn Kidzos money they can use at the end of the day.
33. Climb quirky walls at Funtopia at SS15 Courtyard, Subang Jaya
If your children are the adventurous type and love climbing, a trip to Funtopia in Subang Jaya is a must. This indoor climbing park has a number of obstacle courses and climbing walls designed to develop children’s agility and strength while having tonnes of fun at the same time. Parents are also able to join in too. There is also a play gym for younger children, making it a fun trip for everyone in the family.
34. Jump as high as you can on the trampolines of EnerZ Indoor Xtreme Park at USJ, Subang Jaya
Dubbed Asia’s largest trampoline park, EnerZ Indoor Xtreme Park has plenty of activities suitable for the children and the whole family. Its main attraction is the vast trampoline park with many different circuits, as well as wall climbing, dodgeball and badminton courts. However, children below 140 cm need to be accompanied by an adult, who can purchase the Guardian pass if they don’t wish to play along.
35. Explore an upside-down world at the Upside Down House (Rumah Terbalik), Tamparuli, Sabah
The upside-down house in Tamparuli is designed based on a traditional Sabah kampung house and is the first of its kind in Malaysia. The house is designed just like a normal house, complete with all the essential spaces like a kitchen, bedroom, toilets and even a verandah. Located along the main highway to Mount Kinabalu, there is also another attraction within the compound – The 3D Wonders Museum. The museum is cleverly designed around Sabah culture and conservation. From indigenous tribal headhunters, Sabah’s flora and fauna, and the majestic Mount Kinabalu, visitors get to learn more about Sabah’s amazing culture.
36. Climb, slide, bounce and tumble at District 21 Amusement Park, Putrajaya
Tucked inside the huge IOI City Mall in Putrajaya, District 21 is post-apocalyptic themed sports and recreation park. There are as many as 10 main attractions within the premise, including trampolines, tubby rides, go-pedal rides, roller gliders and low rope circuits. There’s no minimum age requirement to participate, but everyone has to be more than 90 cm in height. More details can be found at the official District 21 Facebook page.
37. Help keep Earth green by volunteering with the Free Tree Society, Kuala Lumpur
It’s a great idea to start children early with volunteering, what’s more when it involves taking care of Mother Earth. The Free Tree Society is an environmental organisation advocate planting trees to make the earth greener. Families can join the Volunteer Gardeners session held every week, where they get to plant seedlings and learn how to properly take care of their plants. These plants are then distributed for free for everyone to take home.
38. Walk the charming streets of UNESCO World Heritage city, George Town, Penang
The colourful and multicultural city of George Town is a great place to soak in some colonial and historical vibes with the children. Check into one of the many quaint boutique hotels within the heritage zone. Take the chance to stroll along the shophouses to discover many interesting gems. Explore Lebuh Armenian to find many quirky murals for a photoshoot, sample the famous Dragon Ice Ball or give the children a feel of a kung-fu movie by visiting the old kongsi residences.
39. Feed and bath an elephant at the National Elephant Conservation Centre (NECC), Kuala Gandah, Pahang
Why ride on poor and possibly mistreated elephants when you can actually get to know them better at conservation centres like the National Elephant Conservation Centre? Established in 1989, NECC has been rescuing wild elephants and relocating them to new habitats like Taman Negara. They also raise public awareness about saving these majestic animals. Visits are conducted in a structured timetable, and visitors may get to bathe with young elephants and observe them roaming freely in a natural setting. More details available on the PERHILITAN official website.
40. Feel like a giant at MinNature, Summit USJ, Subang Jaya
Let the children’s imagination run free by immersing themselves inside miniature dioramas at MinNature, Summit USJ. It is Asia’s largest and the world’s third largest permanent indoor miniature and trains exhibition. It adopts a barrierless approach when it comes to displays so visitors can look at exhibits closely. Everything is made in Malaysia, with changing dioramas and displays every week.
41. Learn to grow your own vegetables at Mari House, Templer Park, Rawang, Selangor
Urban farming is gaining more popularity among urbanites these days, and the best way to cultivate the love of farming in children is through hands-on farming activities at Mari House. The 0.8ha land area consists of a bungalow and a spacious land area designed to create awareness about farming. Mari House frequently organises a farmer’s market and holds picnic events. There are also Fun Play Farming workshop for kids, where they are taught about the process of growing vegetables, from sowing to harvesting. There’s also a small creek where they get to try catching cute rainbow fish. For event updates, follow Mari House on their Facebook page.
42. Educate the kids about sea turtle conservation at Rimbun Dahan Turtle Hatchery, Chendor, Pahang
Turtles are known to frequent the beaches of Pahang, so while the family is there why not drop by Rimbun Dahan Turtle Hatchery? Here’s a sweet opportunity to educate children about saving these gentle sea creatures. Located within The Kasturi resort in Pantai Chendor, the hatchery buys turtle eggs dug by locals during laying season, and reburies them in the hatchery until they hatch about 6 weeks later. All hatchlings are sent to sea within 24 hours, and visitors can participate in sending them off safely.
43. Make a pewter masterpiece at School of Hard Knocks, Royal Selangor Pewter Visitor Centre Kuala Lumpur
The Royal Selangor Pewter Visitor Centre frequently conducts a fun pewtersmithing workshop for children named the School of Hard Knocks. This school is where kids get to make their own pewter dish using traditional tools used by pewtersmiths more than 100 years ago. There’s also a museum exhibition about Royal Selangor’s history as well as a nice cafe to have a nice meal afterwards.
44. Observe friendly orangutans at Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Sandakan, Sabah
Located in Sandakan, Sabah, the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is a shelter for rescued orangutan, many orphaned due to logging, plantations and illegal hunting. Here they are trained to survive the wild and released back into their natural habitats once they are ready. Visitors get to view the nursery area of the younger orangutans and observe these cuties playing and climbing. There are also nature trails and walks within the reserve that can be done during the day or night (with a guide). More details at the official Sabah Wildlife Department website.
45. Meet the world’s smallest bear at Bornean Sun Bears Conservation Centre, Sandakan, Sabah
The Bornean Sun Bears Conservation Centre is also another conservation attraction worth a visit when you are in Sepilok, Sandakan. The centre aims to raise awareness about the plight of the smallest bear species in the world, a species now endangered. Visitors will get to see rescued sun bears that were made pets previously, but now on their road to rehabilitation. There’s also plenty of interesting local flora and fauna such as orangutans, macaques, squirrels, and diverse tropical tree species.
46. Explore the vibrant culture of Sarawak at the Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, Sarawak
Not far from Kuching town is the perfect place for the family to learn about the diverse peoples of Sarawak. The Sarawak Cultural Village is an award-winning life museum with replica buildings representing every major ethnic group in Sarawak. The homes are also are staﬀed with members of the ethnic groups in traditional costume and they do actually carry out traditional activities for visitors to participate in. Spend at least half a day in this museum and watch the children marvel at the uniqueness of Sarawak culture.
47. Discover fascinating truths about cats at Cat Museum, Kuching, Sarawak
Founded in 1993, the Cat Museum in Kuching, Sarawak is the world’s first cat museum. It houses over 4,000 exhibits related to felines! The exhibits include a mummified cat from ancient Egypt, a gallery of feline-related advertising, and the five species of wild cats found in Borneo. Chances are you may learn about the species of your own pet cat while browsing the gallery, how cool is that?
48. Get acquainted with the stingless bees at Min Stingless Bees Farm, Kota Bharu, Kelantan
The stingless bees, also known as Trigona bees or “Kelulut” in Malay is a species of small bees that are harmless to human beings. These fascinating insects also produce precious honey that is very high in nutrition. Min Stingless Bees Farm gives the opportunity for its visitors to learn about its species and breeding methods. There are also chances to harvest the honey as well as sample honey from several parts of the world. They also provide activities such as boat trips, clam digging and fireflies spotting.
49. Make your own handicrafts at Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur
Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur is located in Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur where it houses a Craft Village, Artist Village, Craft Museum and souvenir shops. It is an excellent place to learn about Malaysia’s craft heritage, where there is a wide collection of handicraft from all over Malaysia. Besides exhibitions, there are plenty of hands-on workshops to participate in, such as batik painting classes for adults and children alike.
50. Spark imagination and explore the wonders of science at Petrosains, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
Hitting the Suria KLCC mall does not necessarily mean shopping. Instead, take the children to explore the wonders of science in the excellent Petrosains, located on the uppermost floor of the huge shopping mall. Petrosains incorporates a hands-on and interactive approach in its educational exhibits, allowing children to learn and have fun at the same time. It’s perfect for all ages too!
Makchic will be updating this selection annually, so do send your own comments or recommendations to [email protected] and help us keep this list reliable, accurate and relevant!