We had such a great time during our family visit to Petrosains Discovery Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Our kids aged 3 and 5 plus us adults all enjoyed our time immensely, and it’s a great thing for kids and families to do in Kuala Lumpur. Another bonus is it’s a fantastic way to spend a few hours, particularly in the middle of the day to escape the outside heat.
We luckily had a quiet day when we visited with no queues, so we jumped straight onto the ‘Dark Ride’ chairlift-type ride for a brief journey through the history of the Malaysian natural environment that takes you up to where the exhibits are. It was interesting but let’s just say you are in no doubt as to who the sponsors of the Discovery Centre are 😉
The first section we visited was largely devoted to space and science. It had some cool hands on displays and exhibits that the kids loved playing with, including:
- Turning themselves into electricity conductors
- A hurricane simulator which literally subjects you to hurricane force winds
- Infrared cameras
- A replica of a space mission control centre where you can talk to your ‘astronaut’ out in space
- A model of the Mars Rover that you can drive via remote control
- Some volunteer staff who were conducting experiments and explaining scientific concepts to the kids. Ours were particularly taken with the principles of refraction
Next it was all about natural history with a huge singing tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur that Jack was completely taken with (and a little bit scared by). There was also a diorama of the pre-historic world complete with erupting volcano.
From there we went into the Sparkz funzone that again had tons of hands on activities including:
- Ride on diggers that moved and scooped – Mr 3 was in heaven and Ms 5 was pretty into it too
- Robot tennis – both the kids and adults loved this one and we spent at least 20 minutes playing games against each other!
- More electricity experiments
- Wind tubes with paper ‘helicopters’
- A big pulley/conveyor system – I think it was demonstrating how grain is made but not sure? The kids loved it anyway and spent ages playing on it
- Lots of interactive screens that literally had us jumping with joy
The next section focused on the oil industry – of course being sponsored by Petrosains – and featured a replica oil rig with interpretive signs telling the story of life aboard a deep sea oil rig. It was interesting but the best bit was when Mike got peer pressured into going down the emergency slide 😉
The ubiquitous Petrosains also sponsor Formula One racing cars, so the next section was all about speed. It featured:
- various hands on race tracks where you could make a Lego car or use balls to race on
- race car arcade games and a F1 simulator around the Malaysian Grand Prix circuit
- a speed ball net which measured the speed of your throw – either a baseball pitch or a cricket bowl
- downhill skiing arcade game
- a Mind Ball exhibit where you push a small rubber ball towards the other person using only your brain waves!
information all about Formula One race cars and how they work compared to a normal car, which was actually pretty interesting despite the grumpy look on Jack’s face (he was over having his photo taken!)
We had a pit stop at the Molecule cafe for an ice-cream before heading into the art and music section. The highlights here were:
- an interactive art wheel where you could make pictures and email them to yourself
- a 3D mini-cinema that showed a cool dinosaur movie
- various music making interactive games
Finally, you get back into the chairlift for a digital screen presentation on limited resources, the earth and the future, which takes you back down to the entrance and through the gift shop which had some very cool and educational toys, books and games .
All up we spent four hours at the Discovery Centre which was pretty amazing given that we were all still a bit jet lagged and finding our travel feet. Apart from the sponsor clearly driving some of the themes and a fair bit of oil PR going on – if you ignore that which it’s easy to do – the exhibits were so cleverly put together in a way that captured the attention of our young kids but also genuinely interested us. We’d highly recommend a visit here if you are in KL with kids – at around $20NZD / $13 USD it was excellent value for money.
Petrosains Discovery Centre
Located in the KLCC Suria Mall, Level 4
Cost for 2 adult, 2 child family pass (non-Malaysian citizen) 53 RM or approx $13 USD