Best parks for families

Fresh air, blue skies (mostly) and the freedom to run and play - TOM Kids suggest a day at a public park to chase the blues away
Lake Gardens
By Time Out Malaysia Kids |
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A child of the 21st century spends an inordinate amount of time indoors compared to previous generations and this is a trend that has unfortunately become the norm. The easiest way to remedy this is simple – get the children out of the house and into a park.

KL & Surrounds

Attractions, Parks and gardens

KLCC Park

icon-location-pin KL City Centre

There aren’t many city parks which can boast having two of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers overlooking it. Covering 50 acres, the KLCC Park was designed by Roberto Burle Marx, an influential Brazilian landscape architect, with the intention of providing a green space in the heart of the city. The park has a jogging track and a man-made lake; but the kids will be heading for the substantial playground and a public swimming pool ideal for water play. Being right in the centre of the city means it’s accessible, but can get crowded during weekends.

Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Things to do

Lake Gardens

icon-location-pin KL City Centre

The Lake Gardens date to the 1880s and the 91.6 hectares make up this city's most popular park. Built around a man-made lake, the park is more than just a plain old patch of green grass and shrubbery; the Panggung Anniversary set in one of the valleys is a regular venue for musical and cultural performances, and there are a variety of botanical gardens, a children's playground, jogging tracks, exercise stations and rowing boats too. Free Tai Chi and aerobic classes are also regularly held on weekend mornings.

Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.

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Attractions

Taman Jaya Park

icon-location-pin Taman Jaya

This park is located in the sprawling suburb of PJ and was the first public park to be built here. Early mornings see people walking, jogging and cycling while evenings are filled with neighbourhood kids taking advantage of the space and greenery. There’s a playground, you’ll see people fishing at the lake, and there are the occasional community fitness classes. As far as parks go, Taman Jaya provides a welcome respite from busy lives and is well worth a visit. Bring refreshments and sit by the lake for a great day out.

Jalan Timur, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Attractions, Parks and gardens

Taman Lembah Kiara

icon-location-pin TTDI

A personal favourite of many parents, this is a park that has it all – jogging track, manmade lake (dumping ground for unwanted terrapins), playground and a stream that runs through it where the kids can paddle and catch guppies. There’s also a nice path around the park, giving you the opportunity to walk across a small suspension bridge and meet the occasional monkey and snake. Considering this park is in the middle of a busy suburb, communing with nature like this is really enjoyable. It’s a great place for a picnic or birthday party, and the kids can bring their bikes, rollerblades or kateboards and have a go around the lake. Parking can be tedious so get there early.

Jalan Abang Haji Openg, TTDI, Kuala Lumpur.

Penang

Attractions, Parks and gardens

Penang Botanic Gardens

icon-location-pin George Town

More famous for its roaming monkeys than anything else, the Botanic Gardens boasts of an interesting history and of hosting countless families over the years. Laid out on a former quarry and having survived WW2, this park is a great place to bring the kids on a Sunday morning for a good walk and run around the green space. Surrounded by jungle and containing many species of tropical trees and plants, this is also an educational destination where the kids can learn about said species. There are wide open spaces to lay out your picnic, bask in the sun, play Frisbee or any ball game, and most importantly, let the children run and play.

Jalan Kebun Bungah, George Town.

Things to do

Youth Park

icon-location-pin George Town

Many Penang children spent their childhood at the Youth Park (Penang Municipal Park) rollerskating, playing football, learning how to ride a bike or just roaming around. Built on a former quarry and spread over 172 acres, the park was set up to provide a space for children and teenagers to pursue outdoor activities and sports, and to just have fun. It opened in 1972 and was an immediate hit. There’s a tree conservation programme in place and is one of the few parks which has separate skate and graffiti sections encouraging teens to do what they love in a safe environment. The children’s play pool and playground, skating rink and the accessible playground for children in wheelchairs and with special needs (the first of its kind in Malaysia) are all popular areas of the park.

Persiaran Kuari, George Town.

Perak

Taiping Lake Gardens

Taiping Lake Gardens

A major attraction in Perak is the Taiping Lake Gardens which opened in 1880, making it the first public garden in Malaysia. This is one of the prettiest parks to visit with its avenue of huge Angsana trees, water features and incredible greenery. The lake, which used to be a tin mine, is now the centrepiece of the park and where you can take a paddleboat out. There’s also a roller-skating rink, Japanese themed garden and several playgrounds to keep the little ones happy. A favourite picnic spot with good reason, this place is a definite must-visit when in the vicinity.

Taiping

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