We are all used to emptying our pockets to the indoor playgrounds and kidzanias of this world, but there are actually many free things to do in KL with kids in tow. Here are some – actually more than 10 but couldn’t quite resist a catchy headline:

1. Visit a temple or mosque

Batu caves is particularly interesting during festivals, when there is a lot of going on and a bazaar at the bottom. Read here about visiting at Thaipusam. With young children you want to avoid the actual festive days, though. Thean Hou is a lovely place to visit all year round, but especially around Chinese New Year. There are many beautiful mosques in KL, Putrajaya and Shah Alam, but as far as we know, only Federal Mosque offers a visitors programme – you can read about our visit here.

2. KL Forest Eco Park

Bukit Nanas, now renamed KL Eco Forest, is a speck of conserved greenery in the bottom of the KL Tower with a nice canopy walk. Access is through KL Tower or from Jalan Raja Chulan. They have announced that entry fees will be soon be introduced, so go now!

3. See a cultural performance

Malaysia Tourism Centre Matic has an hour long dance performance Monday to Saturday at 3 pm and there is a cultural show on at Central Market  every Sunday at 8 pm.Lake Symphony at KLCC fountain is also impressive, starting at 8 pm every day.

4. Visit a free museum

None of the museums in KL are particularly expensive but to keep up with our title, other free museums in KL are Textile Museum, Police Museum, Bank Negara Museum and Petronas Gallery in Suria KLCC. Ilham Gallery is also free of charge, as are the guided tours at the Royal Selangor visitors’ centre. KL City Gallery is a bite-sized museum about the city and its origins – they also now offer tours three times a day, at 10.30am, 11.30am, and 14.30am. They do charge a RM5 entrance fee, that is a voucher you can actually use at the cafe or gift shop.

5. Go to the park

KL is full of lovely parks and playgrounds. Our favourite is TTDI with a nice walk and a stream suitable for fish-catching and other messy play. Bring a scooter to ease the walk from the car park! KLCC Park has a big paddling pool to cool down. Titiwangsa park is also convenient for those in the centre or Ampang, although it will apparently be closed for renovation soon. Lake Gardens has great playgrounds, picnic spots, a deer park and plenty of space to run around. Kepong Metropolitan Park is very popular for cycling and kite flying. The Secret Garden on top of 1Utama on the other hand is like a little park in this crazy shopping centre.

6. Hike in the jungle

Bukit Gasing and TTDI/Bukit Kiara have trails in the jungle for those ready for a workout. Bukit Tabur is a more serious outing, suitable for moderately sporty folks and teenagers.

7. Visit the Planetarium

While it is getting rather tired, the Planetarium is free (the 4D movies will cost extra) and especially for the younger lot a fine place to let out some steam. It’s a while since our last visit but you can read about it here.

8. Cycle in the city

Wheelie Sunday in Publika makes the whole shopping centre a big cycling path. Or head to the city centre on a car free morning every first and third Sunday of the month. Desa Parkcity is also good for cycling and scooting, bikes can be rented from the bike shop.

9. Visit a skate park

If your kids are into rollerblading or skateboarding, check out the free skate parks in Mont Kiara, Putrajaya and Shah Alam. We haven’t yet made it there but good reviews can be read here and here. Wheel Love Skateshop at the Row offers free informal skateboarding lessons for beginners on most Sunday afternoons – check their Facebook page for details.

10. Take a walking tour

Free walks to Kampung Baru or Dataran Merdeka are organised by the tourist office – but are perhaps suitable for older kids. We haven’t taken the kids yet, but some of our visitors have gone on these walks and have been pretty happy. If you have already covered these, how about heritage walk in Klang?

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