Stuck for things to do when the money runs dry? Time Out Malaysia Kids decided to check out just what you can do for free with the family in KL.
Every weekend, the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia (IAMM) organises arts and craft workshops for kids. Open to children aged between four and 12 years old, each workshop follows a different theme and begins with a storytelling session to spark your child’s imagination. Children under six must be accompanied by an adult. Classes are every Saturday and Sunday from 3pm-4.30pm.
Attractive, leafy parks can be found throughout Malaysia and many offer free things to do. Hit KLCC Park and take a dip in the kids swimming pool or clamber on the play equipment. Alternatively, you can head over to Taman Tasik Titiwangsa where you can jog, canoe and do more. You also can check our list of best parks for families.
Are you the proud parent of a young bookworm? Make a day trip out of visiting the well-maintained and spacious National Library. Your child will be floored by the selection of reading material. The library also offers school holiday programmes, group readings and storytelling sessions from time to time. Also check out the Hypermedia centre and its latest space called Samsung Smart Library where kids have free reign to use the in-house computers and Samsung products for games or research. Membership is free.
Take a trip with the family to visit Selangor’s iconic 400 million-year-old limestone cave and scale the 272- step stairs that will take you to the mouth of the cave. If your kids aren’t amazed by the ancient marvel, they’ll still be tickled by the dozens of monkeys loitering around. Don’t forget to wear modest attire at this religious site or you’ll be asked to pay a fee to borrow a ‘sarong’ or waist wrap.
Formerly Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, the KL Forest Eco Park rocks a new look with recently installed attractions. Some attractions include nature trails, a herbal garden, a canopy walk and a timber product gallery. Escape the bustling concrete jungle that is KL and recuperate in the real thing.
Bet you didn’t know: KL runs free guided tours of Dataran Merdeka and the traditional Malay settlement of Kampung Baru. The Dataran Merdeka walk takes in sights like the Royal Selangor Club, the National Textile Museum, the City Theatre and the Cathedral of St Mary, while the Kampung Baru tour explores Malay culture. These two and a half hour walks are better suited for older kids.
The Free Tree Society literally gives away free trees in an effort to encourage the public to plant trees and revere nature. Bring your kid(s) along and volunteer your time at their nursery. All tools are provided. You’ll be assigned to propagating new plants, rearranging pots or landscaping. Bring some sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
No need to buy books when you can trade in your old ones for something new. There are book exchanges going on in Subang Jaya and KL on a monthly basis. Browse plenty of kid-friendly titles and attend storytelling sessions. Keep an eye out for their Facebook pages to see when is the next meet-up.
One of the things we love about living in Malaysia is not having to venture far to encounter wildlife, even if you live in the capital. Kuala Selangor, located a half hour’s drive from KL City Centre, is a sanctuary for a unique breed of primates dubbed silverleaf monkeys. These friendly creatures are a vibrant shade of orange when young, but turn silvery-grey upon reaching adulthood. These silverleaf monkeys aren’t as shy as their wilder counterparts – largely because they are used to eating the fruit and veg offered by tourists here.
Head to Central Market’s Outdoor Stage for free cultural performances. Your kids are bound to enjoy the colourful display of traditional costumes and vibrant music. Alternatively, head to the Malaysian Tourism Centre (MaTiC) for its cultural dance show every Monday to Saturday from 3pm-4pm or Avenue K for busking performances every day at Ground Floor.