Family picks: Best places for family outings

Updated: 21 Aug 2012

Lilyana Aziz speaks to local Penang families and finds out their personal top tips for family outings

GREEN FAMILY (pictured above)
Linda Green (Australian) lives in Penang with her three children Emily, aged 15, Ashlea, aged 13, and William, aged 9. Emily and Ashlea attend Uplands International School and William is attending St Christophers International School.

Why is Penang family-friendly?
We have found it to be safe for the children compared to living in big cities in Australia. We are living at Straits Quay (Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong. +604 891 8000/www.straitsquay.com) and it is great for the kids to ride their bikes along the esplanade or slip up to the quay and have an ice cream.

What are your family’s favourite activities or spots in Penang?
The kids go bowling at Penang Bowl (38B Lebuh Farquhar. +604 263 4702) and head over to the Hard Rock Hotel Penang (Batu Ferringhi. +604 881 1711/penang.hardrockhotels.com) for either lunch or just a swim at the pool. My older daughter likes to go to the foam parties they have at Hard Rock. My younger daughter enjoys going to Soccer Experience (Jalan Kelawai, Gurney Plaza. +6012 427 9155/ www.soccerexperience.com) and going Segway riding at Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La (Batu Ferringhi. +604 886 1911/www.shangri-la.com).

Where does your family go for a great meal?
Hawker stalls, just like the ones at Northam Beach Cafe (58 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah). We also like curry puffs and appam balik at the Pulau Tikus market (Jalan Pasar, Pulau Tikus) and we have my favourites, roti canai and roti tissue, at the many mamak stalls. We also have dim sum at Midlands One Stop Shoping Centre (Jalan Burmah. +604 226 3768) – we love it.

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SIGRIST FAMILY
Karen Sigrist (Malaysian) lives in Penang with her two children, Nicole, aged 16, and Nathalie, aged 14. Her daughters attend Prince of Wales Island International School.

Why is Penang family-friendly?
Penang is a fairly safe environment. I have teenage girls so like all mums we fuss and worry, naturally. There is a strong sense of community here when it comes to children – most Penangites will watch out for them. Another plus is that it’s comparatively less polluted than most cities. George Town has a nice mix of old and new; you’re always discovering new things or rediscovering history.

What are your family’s favourite activities or spots in Penang?
We do enjoy Penangpac (3H-3A-1 Straits Quay. +604 899 1722/penangpac.org) – the talents are amazing. We like discovering hiking trails in Balik Pulau. Generally you must love walking to discover Penang – we love walks at the Penang Botanic Garden (Jalan Kebun Bunga) and absorbing the glory of nature at Tropical Spice Garden (Lone Crag Villa, Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang. +604 881 1797/www.tropicalspicegarden.com).

Where does your family go for a great meal?
Often we’ll find ourselves at Agua (3AG18-19, Straits Quay) for macaroni and cheese with a platter of cold cuts or at Cool Bananas (Parkroyal Penang, Batu Ferringhi. +604 881 1133/www.parkroyalhotels.com) for a fun lunch. The fuss-free Tsunami Village (543-A Tanjung Bungah. +6012 487 2718) is our regular place for stir-fried clams and soft shell crabs.

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CHIN FAMILY
Neeltje Chin (Dutch) lives in Penang with her son, Jonas Chin Jo, aged 4. Jonas goes to a private kindergarten.

Why is Penang family-friendly?
Being part of a Chinese family means having a lot of outings revolving around family-based activities. Penang is very easy to get around and it is difficult to get lost. Compared to a lot of other places in Malaysia, I find Penang one of the safest.

What are your family’s favourite activities or spots in Penang?
Jonas and I love to be in nature and take part in activities that involve animals. There is a goat farm (298 MK 1, Jalan Hen Lean Fong Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau. +6019 516 3017) we go to and Jonas just loves petting and feeding them. We also love driving up to Kek Lok Si Temple (Kampong Sungai Keluang, Jalan Air Itam) and walking the steep stairs to feed the turtles. We like to take Jonas to the indoor playground at Queensbay Mall (100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas. +604 646 8888/queensbaymallmalaysia.com) for all his climbing, running, and energetic needs. Another one of our favourites is the Chew Thean Yeang (CTY) Aquarium (82 Jalan Burma. +604 226 8797) – there are so many different fish and sea creatures to see that you can easily spend a good two hours there. And last, but certainly not least, we love driving to Batu Ferringhi and having a nice stroll on the beach. Usually we sit and drink a little at the Lone Pine Hotel (97 Batu Ferringhi. +604 886 8686/www.lonepinehotel.com) and then either walk to the beach or use their pool.

Where does your family go for a great meal?
I love trying new things and there are a few places that we found that are very tasty like the chicken rice at New Lane Hawker Centre (Lorong Baru, George Town). There are some amazing views of the sea and the boats at QEII (Tanjung City Marina, Church Street Pier, 8A Pengkalan Weld, George Town).

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