If you love travelling with your family then this series, My City (With Kids), is perfect for you!
Featuring featuring fellow travel bloggers around the world, this series is where they share the best family-friendly things to do in their hometown.
Today it’s the turn of Kirsi who calls Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia home…
Kuala Lumpur is often a short stop-over on a trip to more adventurous destinations like Borneo, popular Malaysian beaches or beautifully restored George Town in Penang. But you shouldn’t overlook the capital: Kuala Lumpur has world-class attractions for kids, is very affordable, orderly for a Southeast Asian capital city and offers the curious family traveller some hidden pockets of history.
Top family-friendly things to do in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur with kids
The Petronas Twin Towers are the symbol of the city and indeed impressive. The sky bridge connecting the towers is open to visitors but do book your tickets a few days in advance.
The park next to the towers and the huge Suria KLCC shopping mall below them is a great place to let the kids run around. Take swimming costumes for the kids and let them cool down in the paddling pools next to the playground.
If you visit in the evening, you can enjoy the Lake Symphony musical fountains, a light and water show that takes place daily.
The towers are home to some of the most popular family attractions in the area: Petrosains science centre and the Aquaria, both worth a visit.
The Philharmonic orchestra is also based here and offers family concerts once a month.
Kuala Lumpur Tower and Eco Forest Park
Instead of queueing up to the Petronas towers, many head to the KL Tower instead – it offers an unparallel view of the cityscape and even has a viewing platform with a glass floor. If you are into funny family photos, you may enjoy the Upside Down House next door. We highly recommend a walk in the KL Eco Forest Park, that you can access from the KL Tower. This urban forest has short trails suitable for all ages, and a very cool canopy walkway high up in the trees.
The Lake Gardens
The Perdana Botanical Garden, often called the Lake Gardens, is a huge green lung home to some fantastic attractions, like the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park and the Butterfly Park. There is also a lovely playground here, though remember that walking between the attractions may be harder than you expect because of the heat. The latest draw here is the Taman Tugu nature trail, suitable even for the youngest of hikers. The Museum of Islamic Arts is worth a stop, too.
A visit to Chinatown takes you to another word. It is rapidly being developed and old buildings are given a new life as hotels and restaurants. Using the air-conditioned Central Market as your starting or ending point, you can stroll through the narrow streets and pop inside Indian and Chinese temples. The main shopping stretch Petaling Street is busy with traders selling mostly counterfeit items – it is a lively place to walk through but the charm on Chinatown lies on the little streets around it. You can also spot some great street art!
Kuala Lumpur has quite a few options if you want to treat the kids to a fun day out. Kidzania is a fantastic concept: this indoor edutainment centre is set up like a real city, where kids can earn money by doing different jobs and spend it on goods or services. For a more traditional theme park you can head to Sunway Lagoon, where the waterpark is the real draw, but there are some rides, too. Our favourite is the new Superpark at Avenue K in KLCC – this indoor activity centre has sporty games suitable for the whole family.
The National Museum has some nice exhibitions on the history of Malaysia. For modern art, check out what is on at the free Galeri Petronas at Suria KLCC and ILHAM Gallery, that also regularly runs fantastic children’s art tours and workshops. Their gift shop is also worth a visit! Pewter ware is a traditional gift in Malaysia – you can visit the Royal Selangor museum and try your hand at making a piece at their School of Hard Knocks. Batik painting is another traditional artform – kids can try that at the Central Museum or the Kraft Complex on Jalan Conlay.
For a complete list of what to do with kids in Kuala Lumpur, head here.
My City: Kuala Lumpar (with kids)
How long have you lived in your home town? How old are your kids?
For almost 8 years, kids are 8 and 10.
Our favourite spot to visit as a family in our home town is…
One of the indoor sports activity centres, like Jump Street trampoline park or the new Superpark.
My kids favourite outing in our home town is… (ask them if possible!)
Bowling or ice-skating!
The most iconic place/ don’t miss tourist attraction in our home town to visit (that the kids will also love) is…
The Petronas Twin Towers – though they are more impressive seen from outside, or from the top of the KL Tower. The twin towers are particularly impressive at night. The park next door with a playground and a huge paddling pool are great, and much more interesting for kids.
Our favourite family-friendly good weather outing is…
A picnic by a river somewhere near Kuala Lumpur.
Our favourite family-friendly BAD weather (indoor) outing is…
A trip to the cinema, either at the local mall or in one of the cinemas offering Gold Class for an extra treat,
The best free outing in our home town is…
The Kuala Lumpur Eco Forest park next to the Kuala Lumpur tower with easy trails and a cool canopy walk.
Our “insider” tip for visiting our home town is…
Go to Chinatown and walk around, pop into the temples and the wet market on a tiny alley. Eat roti canai at one of the banana leaf restaurants behind the Central Market, and finish the tour with a nice coffee and ice-cream.
The best family-friendly restaurant is…
There are so many! Any restaurant in Kuala Lumpur is child-friendly! We love to have late breakfast in one of the many cafés in Bangsar’s Telawis area, or a weekend brunch at Lisette’s on a small alley in Bangsar.
Be sure to try this kid-friendly local dish/ food…
Roti canai is a local breakfast dish: a fluffy flatbread that is served with a dahl or chicken curry – my kids don’t touch the curry but love the roti!
The easiest way to get around with kids is…
Monorail, LRT and MRT work well if your destinations are right on the line. To make things easier, download the Grab app and order a car to an easy-to-spot landmark. Just note that during peak hours traffic is very slow, and when it rains it may be harder to get a ride. There is also a Hop-on-Hop-off bus.
The best family-friendly neighbourhood to stay in is…
For a quick visit KLCC is a good place to start from; you can walk to many attractions and enjoy the beautiful cityscape. For a longer visit do consider other areas, like Bangsar, for a more suburban experience. Nowhere in Kuala Lumpur is particularly stroller-friendly, so pack a light-weight one!
The best day trip from Kuala Lumpur
Head out to Sekinchan a small fishing village located about 100 kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur. The most convenient way to reach Sekinchan is by renting a car in Kuala Lumpur and taking the 1.5 hour drive.
If you are a blogging mom (or dad) based in a city around the world who would be keen to write a guest post for this My City (with kids!) series then I’d love to hear from you…. Please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: My City (with kids!)
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Kirsi is the editor of Happy Go KL, the go-to site for families living in and traveling to Malaysia. On Happy Go KL you can find lots of information on what to do with kids in the city as well as the best travel destinations in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. All reviews are written by parents, for families! You can follow Happy Go KL on Facebook and Instagram.