Trying to keep little ones entertained can get pretty expensive if you’re always looking for new and exciting things to do, but having fun in Kuala Lumpur doesn’t have to cost you a fortune! There are some amazing free activities scattered around the city that include museums, outdoor activities and cultural experiences so, if you’re travelling on a budget, here is a list of 15 FREE activities to do with children in Kuala Lumpur! Now you’ve got no excuse – go out and give ‘em a try 😉
Happy weekend everyone, S x
The Malaysia Tourism Centre is on Jalan Ampang and at 3pm every day (with the exception of Sundays) there is a free performance that lasts approximately 1 hour.
After a quick introduction and a video showing Malaysia’s top tourist hotspots, you will be taken on a 45-minute journey of traditional dances from all over Malaysia. Costumes will sparkle, your feet will be tapping, and the infectious energy from the dance troupe will have you smiling along to their routines. With the classics from Malay history, a selection of Chinese and Indian dances, a tribal inspired tribute from Borneo, there really was a good mix of styles to watch and our children love it and have been more than a couple of times!
Canopy Walk at the KL Forest Eco Park KL Forest Eco Park is a one of the only remaining slivers of rainforest in the heart of the city and they have a Canopy Walk right at the bottom of the KL Tower. It’s completely free to enter (although you will need to pick up a complimentary ticket from the main counter on the 1st floor)and while it may not be as challenging as the one in Taman Negara, it is well-maintained, safe and a lovely fun activity to do with the family. Walk above the treetops, take in great views of the city, and have a quiet stroll along the many paths and trails on offer. S x
National Planetarium (Planetarium Negara)
Located near Perdana Botanical Garden, here you get to learn about our planet through a variety of interactive experiments for children of all ages; there are computers, word puzzles, colouring activities and then, our favourite bit, the chance to walk in the footsteps of an astronaut and get a glimpse of how things would be up in space.
If that isn’t enough, there’s also a small indoor playroom and the Anti Gravity Room which really will challenge your ability to stand up straight in this cleverly constructed space shuttle, fully equipped with slide for the little ones to escape by!
If you wish, you can pay to watch a 20-minute movie (12RM per adult, 8RM for children) that is played in their special theatre but there’s no obligation and the rest of the Planetarium is completely free for you to wander around and enjoy.
The Spectacular City Model Show Inside the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery at Merdeka Square, they have a miniature model of the city. Much more than just a regular model, this is actually a well-planned show with music, lights and a slide show (that doubles as a backdrop) that gives you information about KL. Watch the city come alive as lights shoot up the skyscrapers and roads and railway lines glow in the dark under dancing lights. It doesn’t last long but it’s an impressive thing to see and the kids will love it.
Now while this isn’t completely free, it’s as close as it comes to being free. You will be asked to ‘pay’ 5RM per person but, in return, your ticket allows you 5RM of spending money in their gift shop so you can walk away with a little Malaysian souvenir too!
Once you’ve finished, you can get a family selfie taken at the iconic I LOVE KL monument situated just outside their main door.
Centrally located and popular with both tourists and people living in KL, these gardens are just beautiful. From the lake to the colourful orchid gardens, this little getaway in the middle of the city is perfectly maintained. It houses a deer park which you can enter for free, a bamboo play house for the children, an amphitheater, a couple of waterfalls and, of course, the ‘Fantasy’ playground which is yet another statement piece when it comes to keeping the little ones entertained! You could spend hours there; in fact you’ll probably need more than one visit to see the whole place!
Watching the magic of the water fountains come alive just outside Suria KLCC shopping Mall is always a winner with us and we make a point of taking all our visiting friends and family there. With multi-coloured lighting and music playing, enjoy the water dancing over the lake every day of the week from 7pm to 10pm. It’s guaranteed to be loved by everyone, but don’t stand too close, you may get soaked!
Free Guided Tour at Royal Selangor
Ever wanted to learn more about Royal Selangor or the history of pewter? I was a little clueless before, but these free tours that are offered at the visitor centre, are really interesting. Your personal tour guide will take you through exhibitions and explain different aspects of their creations to you before leading you into the workshop where very talented people show you just how to work with pewter. You get to watch the experts and then try it for yourself, and no, it’s not easy!! While it may not be suitable for smaller tots, it’s certainly fine with older children. There’s a fabulous replica of the Twin Towers made of ‘tin cans’, which ‘our twins’ loved and a nice little café and gift shop to wander around as well.
A traditional Chinese temple sat on a hill with views over Kuala Lumpur, it’s a great place to explore. It also has the added appeal of gardens with statues depicting the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals, which are guaranteed to keep the little ones busy as they dash around to see all the different colourful creatures and pose for photos. At the rear of the temple you can find the Tortoise Pond with literally hundreds and hundreds of tortoises roaming around; they are definitely a sight to be seen! This temple is definitely worth a visit and keeps the little ones entertained as well.
Hidden on the rooftop of 1 Utama Shopping Centre they have created a little outdoor escape from the hustle and bustle of busy shoppers inside. Completely free to enter, with complimentary guided tours, make your way around the garden, zone by zone, and learn about the trees and plants that grow there. With shaded benches, cute little steppingstone paths, water features and colourful flowers, it’s great for little ones to explore, run around, and learn about their natural environment.
This museum may not be the most obvious place to spend some time but it’s a beautifully presented place with lots of interactive stations for little ones. While younger children may not appreciate the history of the Malaysian currency, they have giant puzzles, colouring tables, touch screen computers with games, and a place to watermark your own cheques, so our two children were always busy doing something! At the time of our visit they also had a special children’s gallery on which was really amazing so, look out for special events as they are good at organizing things for the whole family to enjoy.
Kuala Lumpur’s Playgrounds
Kuala Lumpur has some amazing parks and playgrounds on offer. They are some of the largest and most colourful places that I have seen anywhere in the world and you need to tick them off one by one and enjoy them all! Some allow cycling and skating, others have water features, and some offer a perfect spot for kiting, boating or having a picnic. Featured in this photo you have Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Taman KLCC, Perdana Botanical Garden, and Taman Jaya in PJ, but I will add my link in the comments below to our personal favourite parks in KL so that you can visit them all when you get the chance!
I had to add this one to my list as we have been truly impressed with some of the libraries that we’ve found here in KL.
There are child-friendly libraries all over the city but the three that we have visited all offer free membership for taking out books and have a great selection of both reference and story books in Malay, Mandarin and English. They generally include a media centre complete with computers, televisions, and offer free WiFi throughout. A far cry from dashing around, it’s a nice place to relax and to enjoy a book or two as a family. Look out also for free story-telling sessions as advertised in each of the libraries.
Featured in this picture are The National Library of Malaysia, Damansara Heights Public Library and Raja Tun Uda in Shah Alam.
The caves are a very well known site of a Hindu temple and shrine and, while I won’t lie about the number of steps you’ll need to climb to reach the top, it is an impressive place to discover. Temples, caves, and shrines, with the atmosphere and colours of street food and offerings to complete the scene, it definitely makes it an interesting experience. Entrance is completely free (don’t forget a sarong to cover up) although there is a parking fee of 2RM per car. There are pigeons and monkeys too which may or may not appeal to the little people but it’s a visit that needs to be done in KL.
(Currently closed for renovation but look out for it re-opening!)
While this isn’t a large place, The RMAF does house an array of aircrafts and helicopters (both outdoors and in a large hanger) that will impress any child with aspirations to become a pilot when they’re older! Our children had a lot of fun being able to climb into some of the planes, and absolutely loved ‘flying’ a helicopter.
The museum is located just outside Kuala Lumpur and almost feels a little bit abandoned which is why I guess they are giving it a bit of a re-vamp?! Take advantage of a quiet Sunday morning to have a wander and see some airplanes up close once it re-opens. I bet the new look will be great!