Best of Kuala Lumpur with Kids

The first time I touched down in Kuala Lumpur all I remember is the heat. Malaysia’s heat hits you like a wet blanket that has sat in a hot dryer for too long. But after living here for 2 years, I can truly say Kuala Lumpur has so much to offer beyond the heat! I know how difficult of a task it is to keep 3 little kids busy in a different country. So I have done the hard work of dragging my kids through the heat to find the best of Kuala Lumpur with kids.

Petronas Towers from behind with a fountain lit up in front of the towers.

The movies in Malaysia

My favorite thing to do with my kids in Kuala Lumpur is to go to the movies. I know this may sound strange but movie theaters in Malaysia are the best! (Yes you can find movies in English).

First of all, you can escape the heat. The movie theaters in Malaysia are always nice and cool. In fact, they are usually so cold you’ll want a jacket. The movies are in English and I’ll give you a few other reasons why going to the movies is the best of Kuala Lumpur with kids.

Before I start, there are a few things you should know about going to the movies in Kuala Lumpur. There are a few different brands of major movie theaters. Here are a few of the biggest:

Super Cheap

The next reason I love movie theaters in Malaysia is that they are cheap. I am not kidding you, they are really cheap. We get to see the same new releases as the United States but tickets are only about $2 USD. The best way to save money is to buy the tickets at the theater.

You can also save a lot of money by buying their family snack deals. We usually get the family meal deal that comes with 2 popcorns and 4 drinks for around 15rm ($4.50 USD).

Flexible Seating

The movie theaters in Kuala Lumpur offer many kinds of seating options. In fact, there are so many options, you may be overwhelmed by the choices. Once I learned what the different types of seats were, I learned to love to take my kids to the movies!

Movie theater seating options in Malaysia. Luxury recliner seats in movie theater.
Reclining chairs in regular theaters. Photo Credit: Free Malaysia Today

Family couches are my favorite with a wiggly toddler. You can easily seat a small family in one couch. My husband and 3 young kids were a little tight though. I would recommend 4 people on one couch at most to be comfortable.

Red family couches in movie theater. Movie theater seating in Malaysia.
Family couches in the kids’ theaters. Photo Credit: Free Malaysia Today

They also have classic seating that you are used to seeing. If you are going without kids, I’d recommend the luxury experience. It is a bit more expensive than all other tickets (80rm per ticket) but this includes a personal waiter, popcorn, and a drink. It is definitely worth the price.

You can also select beanbags, 2 person love seats, plushy seats, VIP seats, and more.

Playgrounds in the theater

I saved the best reason for last. My favorite part of going to the movies in Malaysia is that my crazy toddler can play on a playground in the theater! It is life changing. In these kids friendly theaters, there are playground and play areas at the front of the theater under the screen.

Children's playground in movie theater in Malaysia.
Photo Credit: Cyber-RT

This is such a great idea. I love taking my kids because they get their energy out playing and I can actually sit and enjoy a movie. My favorite kid theaters are at the MBO theaters and they are called the Kecil theaters. When you are looking for a theater with the playground, make sure to go to the time that is in the Kecil theater.

You will love this theater. There is space to store your stroller in the theater, hand sanitizer when you walk in, the lights are left a little lighter, and the movie is not played as loud as other theaters. Overall, it’s the perfect family theater.

As you can easily see going to the movies is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

Bird Park Kuala Lumpur

If you are ready to brave the heat and head outside, don’t miss the Bird Park Kuala Lumpur. This park is great for kids. There is plenty of space for kids to run and play. It is very stroller friendly and your kids will love how close they can get to the birds.

A toddler girl on walking path with ostrich at the bird park Kuala Lumpur.

Trust me on this, the bird park definitely deserves a spot on the best of Kuala Lumpur with kids list. (This is coming from a non bird lover).

The KL bird park is such a unique experience, I have an entire post on it here. But here are a few highlights of the park:

  • Feed bird out of your hands
  • See and get close to thousands of unique species of birds
  • See lots of monkeys in one place
  • Go under a giant waterfall
  • Feed ostriches
Up close of gray bird.

Quick tips for the KL Bird Park

Science Museum at Petronas Towers

One of the best hidden places in Kuala Lumpur is in the mall that is located under the infamous Petronas Towers. The mall is called the Suria mall.

There is a science museum located in the center of the mall (take the elevators in center court) on the 4th floor. This musuem is so awesome for kids! My kids ask to go back all the time.

Entrance to Petronsains museum at Suria Mall.

Starting off with a short ride, you know you are in for a great adventure.

Prices and hours of the Petrosains, The Discovery Centre

Ticket prices for the Petrosains museum vary based on age and if you are a Malaysian national. If you are an expat, you can use your MyKad card to get local prices. Here are the prices:

Malaysian Resident Prices
Child (3-12 years)RM7.50RM16.50
Child (Below 3 years)FREE Admission
Adult (13-60 years)RM18.50RM28.00
Senior Citizen (61 years & above)RM9.00RM14.00

Another great thing about his museum this that it is again affordable. The adult non-Malaysian price is still only $6 USD.

The tricky part of this museum is to make sure you get there when they are open. I have shown up so many times to find out they are closed. Their hours are different depending on the day of the week. Always check their website for updated hours. Here are their normal hours:

Tuesday – Friday11.00am to 4.00pm
(Last Admission: 2.30pm)
Saturdays – Sunday
Public Holidays
9.30am to 5.30pm
(Last Admission: 4.00pm)

You can purchase your tickets ahead of time on their website or at the door. I have always bought my at the door and never had a problem getting in.

What I love about the Petrosains Discovery Centre

My kids love this museum for many reasons but the main reason is all of the hands on exhibits. They can play and learn while they get their hands dirty so to speak.

Dinosaur walk through

After you get off the short ride, you will be dropped right into what I call the dinosaur walk through. My youngest daughter loves this par to fo the museum. You can see many different types of dinosaurs. Some of them move and make noises. Any child that like dinosaurs will love this part of the museum!

Fake dinosaurs and a rope bridge in the science museum in the Suria Mall.
Dinosaur exhibit in the Petrosains

My other daughters love the large rope bridge that spans across the exhibit and over the dinosaurs. They love to run over the bridge over and over. This is a great start to your museum tour.

Hands on experiments

Once you leave the dinosaur exhibit, you’ll enter the hand-on exhibits. My kids could spend all day in this area. There are tons of experiments and games for kids to play while learning. Kids learn more about earthquakes, the science behind the movement, and can play with heavy-duty construction tools.

One red robot car and one white robot car fighting in a small arena.
Programming and playing with robot cars

Oil Platform and Speed

Since this museum is owned and ran by Petronas, a large oil company in Malaysia, this exhibit pays homage to the oil industry in a fun exciting way. Kids learn more about how a pulley system works as they race up and down in a pulley powered chair.

We also loved dressing up in oil rig gear and playing on the oil platform. This really brought the oil industry to life.

The speed exhibit is tons of fun. This is where you can try your hand at throwing a baseball, sitting in a real race car simulation, and race down a 2 story slide.

Overall the entire museum is a lot of fun. Make sure to pack your own food if you don’t want to eat in the cafe and stop at the bathroom when you see one because there are not many of them.

There is so much to love about this museum that you can easily see why it is part of the best of Kuala Lumpur with kids.

Royal Selangor

Another one of my favorite things to do with my kids is to visit the Royal Selangor visitor center. This is located outside of KLCC in a local neighborhood. If you are visiting KL, this is a great way to get out of the city a little and see what it’s like to live here. The best part about this musuem is that it is free!

Petronas twin towers made out of pewter in the Royal Selangor Visitor Center.

Royal Selangor is deeply rooted in Malaysia, it’s history goes back as far as the country itself. This is a must-see while you’re in Kuala Lumpur. I go into more detail about the Royal Selangor Visitor Center in my post here.

Getting to the Royal Selangor Visitor Center

If you are staying in KLCC, they offer a free shuttle to and from your hotel. You can check out all the details on their website here.

Or if you are driving, there is a great parking lot that is free and you can easily find a spot.

Why I love the Royal Selangor Visitor Center

I love taking my kids to the Royal Selangor visitor center for a few reasons, the first on being that it is completely free. Parking is free and there is not an entrance fee.

Large numbers 1885 made of pewter in the Royal Selangor Visitor Center.

The next reason I love this museum is there is plenty of space for my kids to run. Even though the inside of the museum has fragile items in the first part, the second half of the museum is really fun with hands on experiments that my kids love.

The last reason that I love the visitor center is because we can pick up lunch when we are finished playing.

The Royal Selangor Visitor Center’s Restaurant

I am always on the hunt for good western food in KL and this one fits the bill. I love their food. This small cafe is located on the main floor (lower level) to the side of the store.

Metal sign that says "the cafe" with a restaurant in the background.

My kids love the pasta from this cafe and I’ve enjoyed everything that I have tried. I love their salads and sandwiches. The prices are great too. It’s the perfect ending to your visit.

Wrap up on the best of Kuala Lumpur with kids

Take my advice from a local expat’s experiences. I’ve taken my kids to so many places in KL to entertain them and keep them busy. But I have failed many many times. I can not tell you how many times we load up in the car, drive to some random place to be thoroughly disappointed.

These suggestions will not disappoint, they are by far the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur with kids. They are worth buckling everyone and the car and heading out for an adventure!

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