From diving with sharks to playing doctor, here are the best things to do in KL for kids and families.
RECOMMENDED: The best child-friendly restaurants and cafés
To cool off and have fun, let your kids skate their way through the Olympic-size Icescape Ice Rink. You can also throw a party at the rink as there are birthday packages available inclusive of coaching lessons, games and food. For something more extreme, go to the mall’s post-apocalyptic indoor theme park District 21. Start slow with a tubby ride (sliding down a slope in a tube), then move on to the low ropes, gopedal and maze. Take a breather on the carousel where the ponies are joined by ostriches, lions and giraffes. To learn more, see our ranking of District 21 by levels of difficulty.
Slumber parties just got better. Book a sleepover session at Aquaria and your kids (aged six to 13) can bed down next to the sharks. It’s even better if you’ve got teenagers – sign them up (only for 14 years and above) for the Cage Rage experience where they’ll come face-to-face with the predators. Water rats, piranhas, otters and giant blotched fantail rays at Aquaria invariably draw the crowd, but stealing the spotlight are the Moon Jellyfish that float around like bobbing lava lamps. Lose yourself in the sprawling oceanarium showcasing over 5,000 different aquatic and land-bound exhibits, or watch divers feed the ferocious Sand Tiger Sharks at the Aquatheatre.
The indoor trampoline park is for people of all ages with several sections: dodge ball courts, a foam pit and basketball and kids’ courts. Once you’re done bouncing off the walls, go to the Jump Café upstairs or better yet, make a whole party out it – the café has dedicated party rooms for special occasions. Learn more about Jump Street here.
From children’s plays to grand musicals, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) boasts a laudable repertoire of theatre performances that resonate with young’uns and adults alike. Since the Sentul Park establishment opened its doors in 2005, theatre-loving families have flocked to KLPac to catch highly rated local contemporary performing arts productions, film screenings and art exhibitions. In addition to regular workshops that encompass dance, scriptwriting and acting, KLPac also runs The Actors Studio Academy, Theatre for Young People and orchestra groups (including the symphonic band and string ensemble) for individuals of all ages looking to immerse themselves in the creative arts.
Combining a nature conservation park and zoo, Farm in the City is good if you’re looking for an outdoor family excursion that both you and your kids can enjoy. You can find various species at the animal farm including birds, reptiles, monkeys, rabbits, horses and more, but unlike your regular zoo, you won’t find them in cages. Instead, the free-roaming animals live in spacious enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitat. The best part is that you’re free to pet the animals.
In this scaled down cityscape, kids can play doctor, fashion designer, banker, journalist, radio host and a dozen more professions that have been simplified and made fun. Earn KidZania currency, kidZos (to pay for food and services in KidZania), by flying planes in mock cockpits, anchoring news programmes or extinguishing faux flames with real water cannons. Some of the activities, such as giving makeovers to other paying children, mimic too much of adult life but your kids will be able to pick up life skills and learn the value of money as well as teamwork. Role-playing doesn’t get any more educational than this.
This creative arts academy was founded by local thespian Tiara Jacquelina, and you can find names like Suhaili Micheline and Joanna Bessey (who’s also the academy’s director) in the list of instructors. Enfiniti offers classes for both adults and children in theatre, drama and dance. For basic acting skills, there’s the speech and drama class for kids aged seven to 11, while younger kids (three to six years) can join Little Actors every Saturday.
Although they can’t exactly work on their homerun here, kids can still practise their swing. There are two options: softball and hardball – start with the former. Tokens get cheaper the more you buy them. You can also host a party here for your kids and consider the fun and games side of the party sorted.
Lara’s Place is a one-stop hub for kids to play, learn and exercise. Classes and activities range from the functional to the unusual; cooking, magic, balloon sculpturing, archery, photography and public speaking are just a fraction of classes offered all year round. During the holidays, get the little ones to join in specialised programs to learn skills like CPR, first aid kit usage, soap making, speed reading and our favourite – CSI forensic drama. Parents needn’t feel left out; join the adult classes to hone yoga and Zumba skills.
Since Michael’s Badminton Academy (MBA) opened its maiden centre in 2002 in Taman Megah, this brainchild of badminton aficionado Michael Lee has gone on to become the go-to destination for youngsters hoping to emulate Lee Chong Wei. Hot on the heels of the 16-court hall in PJ, Michael added a second MBA outlet in Puchong with 32 indoor badminton courts that subsequently earned the title of Malaysia’s biggest badminton centre. Accolades aside, MBA frequently organises badminton lessons, courses and even children’s camps, which include professional coaching and overnight stays at the centre’s dormitories. Players can look forward to testing their skills on rubberised and parquet courts that regularly play host to international tournaments.
Camp 5 houses the most extensive rock climbing walls in the Klang Valley, with over 1,600 square metres of roped climbing as well as lead climbing and bouldering. The staff are excellent with children, so if you need to escape for a coffee or some shopping, your kids can be safely left here to traverse their way up and across the rocky wall terrain. They offer taster and beginner wall-climbing courses for those who haven’t climbed before. Kids can also join the Cicak Club, a regular class where they can mix with others their age and improve their climbing.
First established in 1996, Sealantis is home to a purpose-built pool where diving and swimming courses take place. The swimming course, for children aged five and above, includes lessons on breathing and floating techniques, stroke correction and swimming styles. Meanwhile, the theory and confined waters sections of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)-certified diving course, for children aged ten and above, are held at Sealantis’ 1 Utama dive centre, before students travel to its other outlet on Tioman Island to complete the rest of the course. Diving equipment like buoyancy control devices, regulators, wetsuits, masks and snorkels are sold here as well.
Bring back the ’90s skating fad at Skateline, where six-level training programmes are offered for kids. If your kid is top in class, progress onto more exhilarating disciplines of skating like speed skating, inline hockey and slalom (involving high-skill skating between cones and obstacles). Don’t fuss over bruises and cuts as professionally trained Inline Certification Program (ICP) instructors will run through the fundamentals with care. For the best in skating gear, the inhouse pro-shop stocks all things skating-related.
One of Shah Alam’s most popular attractions, SkyTrex is a favoured destination for parents whose kids have energy to burn. Let the young ones test their balance on the Little Adventure course, a series of 23 adventures varying in difficulty. Small children can whiz down the flying fox and hazard the dragon bones – each round of the circuit should take about half an hour, and groups are generally allowed two hours of as many rounds as they can manage. Older kids can be let loose on the Big Adventure – a more challenging course set among the tree tops, comprising 26 challenges that will require balance, agility and a good head for heights.
Sunway Lagoon packs maximum exhilaration with six parks (Water, Amusement, Wildlife, Extreme, Scream and the new Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon) as well as a surf beach. Have a head for heights? Get on the stomach-churning Tomahawk that subjects you to a 360-degree tumble, or walk the plank on the 428m long suspension bridge. Cool off with water attractions that boast different levels of thrill, ranging from mild (Little Zimbabwe water playground for the kids), moderate (six-lane Congo Challenge) to white-knuckle rides (Vuvuzela). If you’re not keen on ‘flying like a G-Force’ (simulating the acceleration of a fighter aircraft), try surviving a zombie apocalypse at the Scream Park. Are you at the Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon park? Get on the Spongebob Splash Adventure for a super-soaker of a ride and get slimed with Nickelodeon's signature green goo.
Sign your kids up for one of The Studio’s art jamming sessions and let them discover their artistic side in a controlled environment. Like painting in a group, the art jamming sessions let you paint freestyle using all the equipment provided, with instructors around to provide ideas and help out. You can even book an art jamming session for a kids’ party. Other than that, The Studio also offers art classes for kids and adults.
This academy aims to teach kids the joys of cooking and experimenting with ingredients. Weekly classes will train the young’uns in cooking, baking, presentation, table setting, food handling, kitchen safety and of course, table manners. Birthday packages are also offered where kids can invite their friends to make pizza, ice cream, cupcakes and pasta. Also included: personalised birthday invitations, recipe cards, party decorations and finger food. Unfortunately, food fights are not encouraged. For more options, see our list of best cooking classes for kids.