Things to do with kids in Penang
Widely regarded as one of the top foodie destinations in the world, picturesque Penang Island is a beautiful place to visit with the kids during a trip to Malaysia. But it’s not ALL about the food, here are our top recommendations for things to do with the kids when visiting Penang.
Located about 6km outside of Georgetown and this is an area of tropical rainforest where the flora and fauna have been protected since 1960. From the top on a clear day you can see all the way to Langkawi, north Kedah and Penang Bridge. The best way up the hill with kids (and most relaxing for over-heating adults!) is by the funicular tram. At the top you will find a food court, stalls, an owl museum, gardens, a temple, mosque, a police station, a post office and the original funicular train, built in 1897. They occasionally close the funicular for maintenance so make sure you check the website just in case!
George Town Street Art
A fantastic (and free) way to spend a few hours in Penang is exploring the Street Art around historic George Town. “Kids on Bikes” on Armenian Street is probably the most famous one but we think the kids will enjoy hunting for the “101 Lost Kittens” all over town (perhaps don’t expect to find them all!). There’s a great guide to finding the best here. While exploring George Town, a nice place to visit is the 3D Trick Art Museum which has amazing 2D paintings which transform into 3D pictures, allowing you to “step into” the image, great for selfies. It’s also a great indoor activity if the heat gets too much or you find yourself stuck in an unexpected downpour.
Another great free activity is the Penang Municipal Park, also known as Youth Park This is a huge open space on the edge of George Town with a massive children’s playground, lots of different pools to cool off in, exercise equipment to try out and trails to explore into the surrounding jungle. If you have time, make sure you visit the graffiti park, next to the skate park and children’s play pool and watch the artists at work. You may even spot some monkeys!
Located in the Golden Sands resort but also open to the pubic, Adventure Zone is a huge indoor play area in the beachy area of Batu Ferringhi. They have exciting drop slides (and some wave slides for the less adventurous!), a large soft play area with a separate toddler zone.
Penang Hawker Food
We couldn’t finish our kid friendly guide to Penang without mentioning the amazing food. There are so many amazing options to try that will suit even the fussiest of palates (you can always ask for something to be made “less spicy” for little ones). Due to Penang’s historical mix of cultures you will find an incredible mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian food totally unique to the Island, most of which is fabulous value. Do not avoid the Hawker Centres, most are dirt cheap whilst retaining excellent quality and hygiene standards. One of our favourites is Long beach food court in Batu Ferringhi which even offers pizza if you really can’t convince the kids to try a satay!
Jimmy Choo, the famous shoe designer was born into a family of shoemakers in Penang. He learned his craft on the Island, making his first shoe aged just 11!