Penang attractions for families

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This may well be the most comprehensive list out there on things to do in Penang with kids – hopefully it is useful both for those living on the island and those visiting with kids.

Penang is one of the best tourist destinations in Malaysia. George Town is a magical place, but the rest of the island has plenty to do and see, too. There are also loads things to do in Penang perfect for kids and some of the attractions in Penang are nothing short of fantastic.

Sightseeing in Penang with kids

George Town has plenty of museums, of which at least the following are interesting for kids, too. Some of them are proper museums, others more geared towards photo-ops, so have a look at the reviews and entry prices before heading out:

The Top is the latest attraction in Penang, and offers a fantastic view from the top of one the highest buildings in the city. It has the Gravityz extreme experience for the daredevils, but also lots other interesting attractions, like a dinosaur and science exhibitions.

Photo: The Top

Temples in Penang

Kek Lok Si is the largest and one of the finest temples complex in South East Asia, and one of the top attractions in Penang. You can take the inclined lift to the top of the temple for a few ringgit.

  • Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani, Waterfall Hilltop Temple, is more tranquil than Kek Lok Si and has a great view.
  • Snake Temple at Sungai Kluang, Bayan Lepas, known as Shé Miào in Mandarin, is a unique temple with real snakes coiling around the pillars or trees in the temple.
  • Tow Boo Kong Temple (北海斗母宫), also called the Nine Emperor Gods Temple located at Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth. Every year, the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is held on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. This is when the spirits of the Nine Emperor Gods are believed to dwell in the stars descend to earth and possess the spirit mediums, putting them in a trance.
  • Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Little India is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang and has impressive sculptures of gods and goddess.
  • Reclining Buddha Wat Chaiyamangalaram in Pulau Tikus is a Thai Buddhist temple, known as Sleeping Buddha by the locals.
  • Dhammikarama Burmese Temple is a beautiful Burmese Buddhist temple across the Reclining Buddha.

Other sights in Penang

Khoo Kongsi is one of the things to do in Penang you cannot miss. There are some wax figurines downstairs to give you an idea what life looked like in Penang hundreds of years ago.

Clan Jetties are an interesting place to imagine bygone years. Now busy with tourists, they are best visited in the late afternoon, when it’s not so hot and the tour buses have left for the day.

  • Cheong Fatt Tze (The Blue Mansion) on Leith Street has guided tours that take about 45min. If you’d like to stay at the mansion, there are 18 boutique rooms to choose from.
  • Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia, and while nothing spectacular, it may intrigue those interested in fortresses and cannons. There is lots of space to run around, and there is a playground nearby.
  • Penang Avatar Secret Garden at Tanjung Tokong is a new attraction, with nighttime lights by the beach that look truly impressive. Free entry. Note that parking may be tight.

Parks, playgrounds, farms and hikes in Penang

  • Escape adventure play park at Teluk Bahang may be one the best things to do in Penang with kids. It has rides and games designed for a wide range of age groups, abilities, and energy levels. Operating hours: Tues – Sun, 10am – 6pm (closed on Monday). Escape water park is our favourite thing to do in Penang with kids – read our review here.
  • Penang Municipal Park (previously called Youth Park) located on Jalan Kebun Bunga is a fantastic place to relax and let the kids run off steam. There is a paddling pool for the kids, playgrounds (including an accessible one) and a giant chess board. Botanic Gardens are pretty and there is no entrance fee.
Photo: Penang Municipal Park
  • Traffic park, Taman Lalulintas between Jalan Lim Eow Thoon, Jalan Nirvana and Lebuhraya Bodhi, is a great spot for learning the traffic rules. There is also a small playground.
  • Tropical Spice Garden in Teluk Bahang has lots of space to roam and offers garden tours, kids’ nature programmes, cooking classes and night walks.
  • Penang Hill‘s historic furnicular is fun, but try to come early and during the week to avoid queues. Penang Hill has a nice breeze and lots of space to roam. The Habitat is another new, impressive place to check out on Penang Hill: it has a viewing deck, canopy walk and a zipline course for kids. The Monkeycup is the only Nepenthes garden in peninsular Malaysia and has more than 100 varieties of pitcher plants.
  • Penang National Park (Taman Negara Pulau Pinang) at Teluk Bahang is the smallest in Malaysia. There is a canopy walk, but it is temporarily closed, check here for updates. If you like to hike you can do the 3 km trail to the beautiful Monkey Beach. There is also a small turtle conservation centre on Kerachut Beach. You can arrange a boat to pick you up at the beach from the stalls by the entrance.
  • Bukit Mertajam on the mainland  is the most popular hiking destination in these parts. Those who can brave the climb will be rewarded with a great view.
  • Bao Sheng Durian Farm, where kids can learn about durians, taste them during the season and admire the view.
  • Bukit Dumbar Recreational Park in Jelutong is a green spot popular for jogging and flying kites. There is also a kids’ playground.
  • Straits Green Playground-by-the-sea next to Straits Quay at Tanjung Tokong has a playground with water spray (4:30pm-6:30pm) and a jogging and cycling track.
  • Occupy Beach Street & Car-free Sunday: Lebuh Pantai turns car-free every Sunday 7am-1pm and the place transforms into a street market. Bike rental available.
  • Ayer Itam Dam and Taman Rimab  are popular places for evening walks, jogging, cycling and picnics with a view of the city, located on a hill just to the south of Kek Lok Si Temple. Air Itam Dam is a good starting point for jungle trails and gets busy on weekends. There is a pedestrian pathway around the dam reservoir with access to a number of jungle trails. Note that there is limited parking available.
  • Titi Kerawang is a small waterfall, a short walk from the road.
  • Tropical fruit farm in Teluk Bahang is a good place to get to know the local fruit.

Indoor playgrounds in Penang

  • Kidland at Prangin Mall by Komtar is an indoor playland where kids can try out different jobs and earn money – to be used for rides and activities.
  • Adventure Zone at the Golden Sands gives parents a few hours of peace when kids slide and climb: there are drop slides and multiple sections of modular play equipment, and a separate toddler zone.
  • Escape Room Penang at 1st Avenue Shopping Mall is an excellent way to spend time with family and friends, as you work together to escape from our rooms. MissionQ offers the same at Queensbay Mall.

Sports with kids in Penang

Arts & Crafts

Animals

Entopia (previously known as Penang Butterfly Farm) at Teluk Bahang is a tropical bird sanctuary with a great educational touch. There are indoor and outdoor activities in the park. Read our review of Entopia here.

Science & Technology

  • Tech Dome is a science discovery centre located at the iconic KOMTAR geodesic dome.
  • Penang Science Cluster in China Street Ghaut, is a non-profit organization with a mission to spark interest in science and technology, create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among our young in Penang and Malaysia. They run science cafés and various workshops.

Tours in Penang

You can find many Penang tour companies in George Town, offering anything from half-a day to few days packages. Tours by Locals has been recommended and LFSS organises interesting tours like the Evening of Lights at Khoo Kongsi. Junglewalla specialises in nature tours.

Cooking schools in Penang

Cool transportation

  • Penang Port is the hub for ferry services linking George Town (Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal) and Butterworth on the mainland (Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal).
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Penang is another great way to explore Penang.
  • There is also a free shuttle bus called Rapid CAT (The Central Area Transit) that serves the central areas of George Town.
  • Riding on a trishaw is a great mode of transport to get around central George Town. Most hotels will be able to arrange for you. Agree on a rate, sit back and enjoy!

Culture

Libraries

Annual festivals in Penang

Click here for a calendar of events in Penang. Also, please check with all providers and venues for current SOPs and rates.

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