penang municiple park

What To Do With Kids In Penang

After spending two weeks in Penang I can honestly say it is one of my favourite places I’ve been. We had heard so many amazing reviews from others who had been, and it totally lived up to the hype! There is so much to do and see and eat and explore, and we easily could have stayed on this beautiful island a lot longer. If you are planning a trip with your little ones, and wondering what to do in Penang with kids, then this post is for you!

The city has over 500 years of multicultural influences (due to its location and trading history between the East and West), and as a result, there are now over 12,000 historic buildings in the city, which gained Georgetown status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. This brings me to the first thing you should definitely do with kids in Penang…

Explore Georgetown

Georgetown is the most beautiful old city to wander around and the perfect place to soak up the city’s history. There are really cool, artistic signs throughout the city where you can learn about specific streets, cultures, or buildings, and you can’t help but learn when you are surrounded by history in this way.

We spent hours just wandering the streets looking at the street art, and a lot of it is interactive (or 3D), which makes it even more engaging for kids! You can get maps that show you where all the most famous pieces of art are, but no matter where you go in Georgetown you will come across something really cool.

The whole of Georgetown is also a UNESCO listed city, as there are just so many amazingly beautiful historic buildings, and there are so many different cultures and religions present in the city. We enjoyed seeing the temples, mosques, and churches and talking to our 2 year old about all the different buildings and the meanings or beliefs behind them.

Penang Municipal Park

The Municipal Park (also known as the Youth Park), is the best free activity we did with Gaia in Georgetown. There is a fantastic playground, and lots of walks you can do, plus you are surrounded by nature (our favourite place to be), and the trees provide a lot of shade. There are also swimming pools, a skate park, and a cafe, so you could easily spend a whole day here.

penang municiple park

We met a lovely family in Penang, who jokingly warned us to take a stick to fight off monkey’s when we visited the youth park – we thought this was a joke until we arrived and everyone we saw had a walking stick, umbrella, or something to defend themselves. Josh and Gaia found two long sticks that had fallen from a tree and did a great job keeping us safe (right up until Gaia decided to chase the monkey’s and the tables quickly turned).

Penang Hill / The Habitat

If you’re after some intense exercise, you can go for hike up Penang Hill – it will take roughly 3 hours, and with kids it would definitely be a challenge. Or you can opt to get the funicular like we did – it runs every hour from 7am – 10pm and takes you straight to the top. Once you are up there, there are a number of walking tracks you can take, shops to look at, cafes to get snacks, and theres even an art gallery. The views are incredible though – highly recommend for this reason alone!

penang hill the habitat

Our favourite part of Penang Hill was visiting The Habitat. It is a tropical rainforest and is estimated to be 130 million years old (compared with the Amazon which is said to be 55-70 million), and it is home to some of the most diverse tropical ecosystems in the world.

We learnt that while only 6% of the planet is tropical rainforests, they are home to 80% of all known species, and Malaysia has the greatest tropical rainforest cover of any country.

For me, a huge part of travel is the education we all get from it. Whether it’s learning about diverse ecosystems, meeting someone from a new culture, or trying new food, we learn something every day. If you are pushed for time in Penang, don’t miss this one – it is one of the best things to do with kids in Penang!

The Clan Jetties of Penang

There are six Clan Jetties in Georgetown, with the most tourist friendly one being CHEW JETTY. Each jetty is home to a different clan (or family), and built on stilts jutting out over the water.

It is such a unique experience to go and check out, and incredible to see how these clans live. I couldn’t get over the fact they had powerlines, satellite dishes, and aircon units, and when you look down you just see the water between the floorboards!

It is free to look around, although there is a donation box to help towards preserving the jetties, so we contributed to that, and there are shops selling gifts and souvenirs, as well as cafes or ice cream shops. We think it’s important to support local businesses, especially when we are treating their home like a tourist attractions.

We all enjoyed visiting the jetties, however, our 2-year-old really enjoys running around, so we kept her in the pram while we explored here (as there are no railings and it is over water).


We had such an epic time in Penang – we spent two full weeks here and this list is only a tiny taste of what we got up to and would recommend. I have to give a special mention to the Dino Gym, if you are travelling with a toddler it is such a fun indoor play area to go (especially great if you have a rainy day!). It was 40 MYR for a child (1-16 years) and 5 MYR for an adult, and its a safe and fun place for little ones to run and climb and slide and play. We all loved it.

%d bloggers like this: