There are plenty of fun things to do in Malaysia with kids. Malaysia is a very child-friendly country. Malaysians love kids and most Malaysian parents would not dream of going to a restaurant for example without their kids.
I am not going to try to catalogue every single kids' attraction in the country but here are some of the family activities which we have tried and found enjoyable.
We recently visited the newly opened Legoland Malaysia and this has taken over the number one spot as my daughter's favourite theme park in Malaysia. It is located in Johor which is rather far away from us as we live in KL but I expect we shall manage to visit again.
Her second favourite theme park, Sunway Lagoon is more conveniently located on the southern outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. It is an international-standard theme park with a water-based section (wave pool, water slides, lazy river etc.), land-based amusement park (thrill rides etc.), an extreme park, scream park and wildlife park.
Her next favourite theme park is probably Lost World of Tambun near Ipoh. Also managed by Sunway Group, the park includes a water park, land-based amusement rides, a petting zoo and a hot spring resort.
Genting Highlands is a close runner up with indoor and outdoor amusement parks, a cable car ride, a Ripley's Believe It Or Not and a casino (for adults!).
Another very good indoor park is Berjaya Times Square Theme Park which has probably the scariest roller coaster in Malaysia.
There are a number of cheaper water parks and amusement parks scattered around the country including Wet World Water Park in Shah Alam and A'Famosa Resort near Melaka.
Bukit Merah Laketown Resort is another option. While its waterpark may not be as good as Sunway Lagoon or Lost World, it does have the added attraction of Orang Utan Island.
Younger kids, in the 3-7 year range, will enjoy Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park which is close to Legoland. This indoor theme park includes Hello Kitty Town and Little Big Town which features Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu and Barney.
For something completely different you could take the kids to i-City in Shah Alam. Here you can experience a winter wonderland in Snowalk and admire an amazing forest of lights. Here too is the recently opened Waterworld@i-City, a water theme park which includes the Ultimate Tornado, the 1st vortex spiral slide in South-East Asia. Another fun activity at i-City for kids is the Trick Art Museum.
If you live in Malaysia with kids it certainly helps if your children enjoy the great outdoors. All the National Parks and Recreational Parks are fun places for children to explore and get some exercise.
The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary and Deerland was a hit with my children.
Zoos are always a favourite and Zoo Negara is probably the best one in the country but there are also good zoos in Melaka and Taiping.
Over in Sabah, the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is a good place for children to see orang utans in a more natural setting.
Aquaria in KLCC is an impressive state-of-the-art aquarium which my kids enjoyed even though they have already been to very similar ones in Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Dubai and Osaka. See the Petronas Twin Tower page for Aquaria opening times and admission charges.
The KL Bird Park is one of my favourite attractions. It claims to have the world's largest free-flight walk-in aviary. A stone's throw away is the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park where you can wander through a steamy rain forest environment and watch thousands of spectacular butterflies fluttering freely under cavernous netting. If you go to Cameron Highlands, Penang or Melaka you will find similar butterfly parks.
The mangrove swamps around Kuala Selangor are home to a number of firefly colonies whose glowing, twinkling abdomens put on a nightly show for visitors.
It is only on for 10 days, once every two years but MAHA International Agricultural Show is a good place for kids to learn about agriculture and there are fun activities for children too.
Batu Caves is an easily accessible place for kids to experience a massive limestone cave which also houses several Hindu shrines.
If you are in Malaysia with kids (including Dads!) who like cars you should make a bee-line to Sepang International Circuit where they have Go Kart racing (for age 13 plus) and the National Automobile Museum. For something different try visiting the bread museum in Shah Alam called High 5 Bread Town.
If you can get to Putrajaya in February and March your kids might enjoy the Kite Festival or the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The latter especially has a whole host of fun attractions in addition to a spectacular display of colourful and unusual hot air balloons.
Also in Putrajaya, you can take a cruise trip round Putrajaya's scenic lakes and admire the city's striking architecture. Putrajaya also has Challenge Park with one of the best indoor climbing walls you are likely to see as well as a skateboard park and mountain biking course.
Talking of cruise trips, the Mines Cruise next to The Mines shopping mall is a pleasant way of killing a few hours. Kids will enjoy feeding the giant catfish and seeing the storks and monitor lizards. And the mall has a kiddies playground and a good selection of electronic goods shops.
For children who want to practice their creativity skills, Batik painting is available at the Kuala Lumpur Handicraft Complex or they could try their hand at making a pewter bowl at the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory.
KL Tower is the best place to take kids for a fine view of the city. At the foot of the tower lies Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, an area of rainforest right in the heart of KL where children can explore the nature trails or try out the outdoor exercise area.
If you are in Malaysia with kids you must not miss the beach. Are there any children who do not enjoy the beach? See my beaches section for some great places where kids can play sandcastles, swim, snorkel and more.
Sometimes it is hard these days to get kids interested in nature and the great outdoors. Even if they are interested, the weather in Malaysia is not always suitable for outdoor activities. A violent thunderstorm or a particularly scorching day can force all of us indoors. In that case the kids might prefer to go to a shopping mall. There are some excellent malls in Malaysia with kids in mind. In addition to shopping and the kids favourite eating places, malls often have entertainment such as cinemas, ten pin bowling or ice skating.
Top malls with entertainment include:
. Suria KLCC
. Mid Valley
. Berjaya Times Square (includes Berjaya Times Square Theme Park, formerly Cosmo's World)
. The Curve
. Sunway Pyramid (ice skating)
. Empire Subang (they have just installed Asia's longest slide).
As you can see there is plenty to do in Malaysia with kids so if you are planning a business trip to Malaysia, bring the whole family along! They will thank you for it.
If you like my website you'll love my book, Offbeat Malaysia. Read all the details here.