5 Child-Friendly Activities in Penang

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Frances Wilks looks at the various options for entertaining the young of the species in Penang with options for the more mature to enjoy themselves as well.

The time comes when kids have had enough of museums and heritage. You can’t fob them off with yet another artisan ice-cream or fancy gift shop, they just want to burn off some of their excess energy. And they want it now or else they’ll start screaming – right? So where do you go in Penang to encourage healthy exercise without becoming overexerted yourself? There are, in fact, a surprising number of choices and here are some of the best.

Bear in mind that, for climate reasons, it’s generally best to avoid open air exercise after 10am and before 5pm unless you’re somewhere like ESCAPE’s cool, shady valley at Teluk Bahang. But mornings and evenings are fine and during the day, you can take advantage of the many air-conditioned venues that are available. Whether you’re indoors or out, remember to keep yourself and your kids well hydrated.

1. Keep Calm and Jump On at Jump Street Penang

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Although Jump Street Penang features a huge indoor trampoline park, the attractions aren’t limited to jumping alone. Its 27,000 square feet of floor space house two DodgeBall Courts, three trampoline basketball lanes at the Slam Dunk, a High Performance area featuring six Olympic-spec trampolines, three vertical running Walls and a giant Air Bag. If all this sounds a little too physical for the older members of the party, then you might want to cool off with a dip in the colossal foam pit – a bit like swimming with your clothes on and without getting wet!

KL-ites who are familiar with Jump Street KL may want to note that Penang has two attractions that KL doesn’t – The Tower and the Battle Beam. Jumpers (and their accompanying adults) can also enjoy a healthy meal and a cup of coffee at the Jump Café.

Address: Jump Street Penang, Atrium of D’Piazza Mall, 70 Jalan Mahsuri, Bayan Baru, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang.

Check out the website here.

Jump Street opens from 10am until 9pm every day except Fridays and Saturday when it stays open until 10pm. Jump passes (bookable in advance to avoid queuing) are available on a per hour basis and are priced from RM22/person/hour (off-peak) to RM27/ person/hour (peak). Multi-visit passes are also available starting from RM90. All jumpers must wear Jump Street grip socks for Health & Safety reasons and these are available for only RM5 per pair (re-useable).

2. Get a Free Ride at the Penang Municipal Park

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If you’re in the mood for a freebie, you could do worse than head for Penang Municipal Park (formerly the Youth Park). It’s nestled in Jesselton under the lea of Penang Hill with its cooling breezes. The children’s pools and the water fountains also add to the feeling of coolness. It’s a great place for a shady stroll but there are also lots of activities to keep the most fractious of youngsters happy.

There’s a great skateboarding rink, a roller blading rink, an archery field, a football pitch, and a brightly coloured children’s playground. Adults may like to take their shoes off and walk over the pebbled reflexology track which provides stimulation to all the organs of the body through the soles of the feet. Or check out the equipment in the open-air gym.

Address: Penang Municipal Park, Taman Belia, George Town.  Turn down Persiaran Kuari off Jalan Utama near the Western Road Cemetery.

Open every day from 7am to 7pm. Entrance is free and so is parking.

3. Rock and Roll at the Adventure Zone

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Although not every attraction is exclusive to children, the Adventure Zone at the Golden Sands has been designed to be kid friendly – and that extends to such details as the restrooms. The whole facility is air-conditioned and there’s an indoor playground with three categories of drop slides and multiple sections of modular play equipment. The main highlight are the drop slides, which have proven to be extremely safe and offer a high level of enjoyment for both children and adults.

The Adventure Zone’s slides include the toddler-friendly “Hyperglide Astra Slide,” the “Double Drop Slide” for children and young teenagers, and the “Demon Drop” slide, which is a 24-foot vertical drop designed to thrill both kids and adults. You have to accompany your child to the Adventure Zone but afterwards you might like to drop into the bar at Sigi’s (just next door) for a well-earned fruit cocktail or gin and tonic.

Address: Adventure Zone, Golden Sands Resort, Batu Feringgi Beach, Penang.

For resort guests, children are charged RM48 for a half-day package, or RM24 (the normal price is RM35). Children must be accompanied but adults enter free of charge with paying children. Open every day from 10am until 7pm.

4. Creep Around the Crawlies at the Tropical Spice Garden

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If you want to get your kids involved in nature, there’s no better place to take them than on a night walk the Tropical Spice Garden (on the road between Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang). Its eight acres of landscaped rainforest and spice terraces house over 500 species of plants. By night, however, it’s possible catch a glimpse of all sorts of invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians that are hiding or resting during the daylight hours.

Twice a month the Spice Garden conducts Night walks which begin at 7-45. Highlights include night walk trails, the Light Trap at the Heart of the Garden where you can get up close and personal with the animals, and a time of personal discovery wandering through the bamboo groves and enjoying the velvety dark tropical night. Just the thing to prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

Tropical Spice Garden, Lone Crag Villa, Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11100, Penang.
Check out the website here.

To book contact Jo Leen Yap on 04 – 881 1797 (Ext 311) or 012-4988797 or email her on [email protected]

5. It’s Time to Play at ESCAPE

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ESCAPE Adventure play caters for kids of all ages – as you’re never too old to have fun. ESCAPE is a theme park with a difference, the theme is really nature and you are invited to interact with it. Both kids and adults will go bananas over Monkey Business, a three layered aerial tree walking experience with ziplines. Smaller ones will enjoy crawling though Foxy Burrows and peddling like mad to get round the course at Zoom Bug. If you’re feeling in a less energetic mood, you might like to sip a cup of tea in the open air food court or just meander around the site and enjoy the trees and fresh air.

ESCAPE takes its green mission very seriously. You can see rain water harvesting in operation and public transport is supported. You can redeem your bus fare on Penang Rapide 101 and 102 to Adventureplay against the coast of your entrance ticket. Watch out for the quirky notices around the park which jolt you into thinking in new ways. As a teaser, take your child to mini ESCAPE in the main atrium of Gurney Paragon Mall – it gives a taste of some of the attractions of the main park.

Address: ESCAPE, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11050 Penang

Check out the website here.

Open every day from 9am to 6pm.

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Source: The Expat magazine July 2015

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