Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Learning by Playing in Penang at Kidland

Penang, kids activities
Putting out the fire

The moment I heard about KidLand opening in Penang, I immediately knew my daughter would love it. Various activity centers let kids play at adult careers such as being a firefighter or scientist. Staff members guide children through each of the activities to ensure that they get the maximum educational experience instead of just running around randomly. All the while, the kids are having fun, fun, fun. It's the same concept as the popular KidZania in Kuala Lumpur except without all the corporate sponsorship and advertising.

After a mini-lesson in percussion

So Much to Do!

The many activity centers include

  • Hospital
  • Baby Care Nursery
  • Dental Academy
  • Fire Station
  • Police Station
  • Armies in the Field (Pretend to fire guns at silhouette targets)
  • Physical Training Base (Obstacle course)
  • Idol Studio (Karaoke)
  • Construction Site
  • Magic Center
  • Art Gallery
  • Creative Sand Modeling House (with "magic sand" that sticks together when squeezed)
  • Science Center
  • Music Room
  • 5D Theater
  • Special Duties Unit (First Person Shooter video game)
  • Aircraft Training Department (Flight simulator)
  • Cooking Room
  • Green House
  • Driving Training
  • Electronic Train
  • Multi-level Playground
Whew! You can see how my daughter and her friends managed to entertain themselves for 7 hours there. Yes, 7 hours

A little target practice at the Police Station

We mamas didn't have to do a thing since the staff capably led the children from one activity center to another. In fact, we were not permitted to enter most of the activity centers to play along with our children. Good thing we had each other to chat with plus free WiFi. Parents are not required to stay there if their kids are 8 years old and above. So, off the mamas went to have a long lunch while the kids were entertained.

Up to 8 children are allowed in each center at a time, and each session lasts about 20-30 minutes. There's a suggested minimum age for each one. While in a center, the staff members have specific activities for the kids to do. In the Music Room, the kids did not just bang around on the instruments like crazy. The staff taught them simple rhythms on the drums and keyboard. They got to do experiments in the Science Center and bake cookies in the Cooking Room. (Free for the first cookie, and RM2 for additional cookies.) Climbing over the wall in the obstacle course and spraying water to put out the fire were my girl's favorite activities. Plus, they get to dress in costume at many of the centers. Police vests, fire fighter coats, magician cloaks... what fun! No wonder KidLand is becoming a popular place for school groups to visit.

Cutting out cookies after mixing the dough

When a session was over, they were free to move on to the next one. KidLand Passports are stamped at each center, so they can keep track of what they have done.

The multi-level playground (Children's Physical and Mental Development Facility) was a big hit, too. Inside its maze of rooms, they found ball poppers, swings, a trampoline, and many places to climb. I thought I would never get them out. Toddlers have their own "BabyLand" so they don't get trampled by the big kids.

Children's Physical and Mental Development Facility
Multiple levels to climb and play


A small cafe with a limited menu is located on site. However, we decided to take the kids out for lunch and then bring them back to KidLand afterwards. With all the fast food and sit-down restaurants in Prangin Mall, finding a place to eat was not hard at all. No outside food and drink are allowed inside KidLand.

Menu at Kidland

Go on a Quiet Day

Our group arrived at opening time on a quiet day when all the public schools were in session. We were so fortunate to be the only ones there for most of our visit. I imagine that visiting at a busy time such as the afternoon on a weekend or public holiday would be a less enjoyable experience. Since only 8 children are allowed in a center at a time, the others must queue up.  Maximum capacity is 500 visitors (adults and children), but I figure that anything more than 180 kids guarantees that someone will have to wait. Waiting is no fun, and the 20-30 minutes until the next session starts can feel like an eternity to a child. Parents are not allowed to queue for their children.

Signs describe each activity center and tell you details about number kids, age, and time.

Other Tips

Kids 8 years old and up may do all the activities. According to the signs, children who are at least 5 years old may only do the Fire Station, Police, Idol Studio, Armies in the Field, Creative Sand Modeling, playground, and Babyland. However, my friends with kids this age said they were allowed to do everything, so it may not be enforced. Children 4 years old and younger may only do Babyland.

The 5D Movie may be too intense for younger children. I know it would have scared my daughter a few years ago. Visitors wear 3D glasses and sit in moving seats so that they feel like they are on a roller coaster. Some of us mamas were feeling a bit motion sick after a while. Images of large bugs and skulls also appear.

The Special Duties Unit upstairs features a large screen and a first person shooter game. The set up is that you are on a train with people shooting at you, and you must shoot back while holding a realistic gun. When a person is hit on screen, they fall down, although there is no blood. Personally, it's not the type of video game I allow in my house for young children.

If You Go

  • KidLand is located on Levels 4 & 5, Atrium A of Prangin Mall on Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong
  • Open from 10AM - 9PM, 7 days a week, although check their Facebook Page for changes to operating hours. During school holidays, the hours are 10AM-3PM and then 4PM-9PM, and entry is for only one of these blocks.
  • For Kids 3-16 years old, Admission Fee is RM45 on weekends and public holidays, RM30 on weekdays, and RM10 on weekdays after 7PM (with limited activities)
  • Children under 3 years old are free. 
  • Adult Admission Fee is always RM5
  • Activities are conducted in English, Chinese and Malay
  • Available for Birthday Parties; Group package for 20+ children
  • See their website www.kidland.com.my for more information

Looking for more fun things to do?
See the page Fun Things to do with Kids in Penang.


  1. This generation really has amazing kiddie land places to learn from. We have some neat places in Salt Lake City, but nothing this extensive. How fortunate that you were able to pick a day when all the crowds were in school.

  2. This makes more sense than the KidZania prices. Parents pay 50RM if you aren't Malaysian and we aren't allowed to participate in anything just like Kidland. Ridiculous. And I discouraged from trying to take photos of my kids!


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