Penang’s Tropical Fruit Farm is situated about 800ft above sea level on the hilly terrains of Teluk Bahang in Penang, making it an ideal location for cultivating many types of tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees. The orchard was developed in 1993 with the aim of conserving rare and exotic fruit trees from far-flung corners of the globe such as Central and South America, Central Africa, India, the Middle East, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands etc. Today the orchard boasts of the largest collection of fruit in Southeast Asia with over 200 different species, and the list is still growing.
It’s a wonderful place to visit with the kids as there is lots of room to run around and explore. They enjoyed the quick buggy ride up the hill and farmers plucked fruits right off the trees for us to sample. At the end of our wander, we sat and ordered a giant plate of the most delicious, sweet tropical fruit to snack on, and drank large refreshing juices, all while enjoying the stunning views.
There is a big gift shop where you can also sample different honey as well as gut healthy enzymes (which taste surprisingly good) and purchase various souvenirs.
Definitely one of the places you should go and explore on our beautiful island… and they are open 9am-5pm 365 days of the year!
Don’t let the name fool you – the Saanen Dairy Goat Farm surprises visitors with a lot more than just goats!
This family owned 3-acre farm is another one of Penang’s little gems nestled in the verdant green hills of Balik Pulau. They has been producing quality organic goat milk, yogurt and ice-cream since 2009.
Much to our delight, we discovered that besides the beautiful milk-colored goats, there was a whole host of other animals to play with and feed. Food packets are for sale and sometimes you can help bottle feed a kid (baby) goat. And if you are extra lucky (like I was) you can even give a baby hedgehog a mini fist-bump!
It’s a great place to visit and spend a few hours. Don’t forget to buy some of their delicious and organic products and help support our local farmers. (I not so secretly hope that they start selling goat cheese on our next visit…)
Fun facts: Compared to standard cow, rice, soy or nut milks, goat milk has more protein per serving (8g/cup), and is more digestible. It’s loaded with calcium and other minerals, is good for your skin, and is delicious. The flavor overall is mild, with an almost nutty taste and earthy undertones, and the milk has a smooth creamy consistency.
You won’t find a bowling alley like this one anywhere else in the world! It’s located on a prime piece of real-estate on Farquhar Road, just next to the majestic E&O Hotel. At the far end of the lanes you will find one picturesque window to remind you of just how unique Penang Bowl is, with its stunning views of the Straits of Malacca. Established in 1973 (quick math that’s almost 50 years ago!) it has maintained a chic vintage charm to it.
While we ended up having tons of fun, I wish that there were a couple of lanes with bumpers for the kids, and some smaller/lighter bowling balls. As far as catering to children that would take it to the next level, but as it stands it is still a great destination for family outings, parties, or just a couple of quick games.
Shoes are available (and required) but note that they don’t have very small sizes so if you have little feet, bring thick socks!
Friends recently introduced us to this terrific Japanese concept ‘board game cafe’ which was not at all what I was expecting! Deep in the heart of Jelutong, on the second floor of a strip mall is this very modern cafe where everyone plays games and hangs out. And the bonus is that the food was really tasty (we had the popcorn chicken), the coffee was delicious and the staff are super friendly!
We played with the other 2 parents while the kids played their own games, the other tables were full of people of all ages – from families, to teenagers, to adults. When you enter along a wall are scores of boardgames to choose from. I didn’t recognize any of them (don’t expect any Parker Brother games there) but one of the great things Kohii is that the staff helps you set up the games and will explain them to you so you can start playing right away and not worry about having to learn everything by reading 6pt instructions!
Memberships are available and offer significant savings. The board games are also available for purchase so if you play something you love you can also take it home with you. Be sure to make a booking but it’s a great way to pass the afternoon with the kids!
This place is very special to us and if you haven’t been, you should go! It’s also baby friendly as there are paved paths for strollers. Kids and adults of all ages will relish breathing in the fresh, cooler, rain-forest air and feel immediately more relaxed and happy.
There’s a giant swing that the kids love and are great for photos, those who are more adventurous should try to zipline courses. The honeymoon course is a short tandem ride if you don’t want to make a big commitment, and I believe it’s the only one open at the moment. When the full course is available that’s truly an adventure and there is nothing like the feeling of flying through the canopy of one of the oldest rainforests in the world. We are so lucky to have the people at The Habitat, working so hard to preserve the natural beauty of Penang, and allowing the public to enjoy these green spaces.
Ok let me back up and start with some basics. There are 3 ways for you to get to The Habitat:
1) You can take the funicular from Ayer Itam
2) You can rent jeeps based just outside of the Botanical Gardens (off Waterfall Road) in Jesselton. This is a fun and wild ride and also comes with a pretty hefty price-tag.
3) The healthiest and most economical option of course is to hike up the hill!
You purchase a day pass when you arrive and they offer some ad ons like a 3-D experience and some short videos. You can then do a guided or unguided tour. Sometimes it’s nice to just wander around peacefully by yourself and sometimes it’s even better to be shown all of this amazing stuff around you that you might not even have noticed.
We had a birthday party up there with several families and kids of all ages. The food was catered and delicious, there was shelter for when it rained as well a clean showers. They organized fabulous guides who pointed out interesting things along our nature walk as well as organizing a scavenger hunt and some games.
Being alone up there under the stars with your friends was a priceless experience. It may have not been the most comfortable… I am not a camper by nature and my bones didn’t appreciate it, but my soul did and the kids absolutely loved it!
Another thing we got to experience during our overnight stay was the Night Safari. This can be arranged even if you aren’t camping up there and it’s incredible to see the different animals that come out at night and hear their different songs.
The Habitat needs everyone’s support to be able to continue the important conservation as well as research work that they do. Before Covid they managed to get Jane Goodall to come and experience one of Penang’s true treasures!
Whether you stop by for a walk or camp overnight, it’s a lovely place to visit and I also highly recommend their gift shop which offers high end Malaysian-centric merchandise and it’s attached to a lovely little spot for lunch or a coffee.
Explore, discover & experience science at Tech Dome (KOMTAR, Georgetown).
Tech Dome Penang is Penang’s 1st Science Discovery Centre. It’s a unique concept, utilizing the allocated space to create “a world within a world”, a miniature city made to tell the story of technology through interactive and immersive engagements. It showcases innovation, learning and entertainment in such a way as to bridge the understanding of technology and its impact on its visitors.
The entrance is tucked away somewhat behind where the carousel is…not the most obvious place to look but we were surprised by the size once we found it.
We love Escape and every-time we leave we wonder why we don’t go all the time!
Start your morning on the ropes side which is good for kids and adults of all levels (plus the water park doesn’t open until later). The toddlers will most likely prefer the water park but regardless there are some activities for them. Meanwhile there is so much for the slightly older kids (approx. ages 5+ depending on size and bravery!) to do.
We did the trapeze, ropes course, trampoline, scaled the side of a building and jumped off another!
Then as the sun gets higher in the sky and you are nice and sweaty, head over to the water park (which only opens in the afternoon) for a quick shower and then a refreshing dive into one of the many pools. Enjoy the worlds longest waterslide – take a ski lift to the top and have a long relatively lazy ride through the rainforest canopy and back down into the cool turquoise pools. There are dive pools, banana slides, high dive boards and Ninja Warrior type courses… and the list goes on, all set in a very mellow and chill atmosphere.
There are lockers and showers available. The staff are very friendly and gift shop is well stocked too with swimwear, sunblock and floats of all kind. Food is available for purchase (it’s pretty good, chicken sausages, fried chicken, etc) with long tables making it a great place for birthday’s, day trips, family outings and weekend activities!
It really is one of Penang’s gems. A note to out of towners with kids: a good weekend itinerary would be to stay at the new Angsana Hotel (https://www.facebook.com/angsanatelukbahang) and enjoy a day or two at Escape but then continue driving around to explore the western side of the island to Balik Pulau where there are loads of interesting activities. Click on the tags to find out what other fun awaits you there!
This is a lovely little stable tucked away in Balik Pulau. The spot itself is really beautiful and the horses, ponies and other animals, (like donkeys and spotted deer) are happy and well cared for.
Children and adults can pay for rides and I think they now also offer lessons. There is a nice covered area which is a perfect spot to relax and have a picnic or even celebrate a birthday!
The only drawback is that they don’t open until 2pm and close at 7pm. I usually find myself with the motivation to goto Balik Pulau in the morning but if you plan your day right you can hit up a few special spots before going to the stable and end up having dinner in a rice paddy field under twinkle lights!
Tanjung Bungah, IKEA Batu Kawan and coming soon to…Gurney Plaza!
Project Rock is one of our favorite places – probably because we have an avid young rock climber in the family!
The BIG Project Rock is located inside the same mall as the IKEA in Batu Kawan. There is a small climbing space for babies and toddlers and safe areas for kids of all abilities to climb. The staff are very friendly and help you with everything so no experience is necessary. It’s also a great place to host a kids birthday party!
The Tanjung Bungah location is above Let’s Meat at Permai Park in Tanjung Bungah. This is a much smaller gym with significantly lower ceilings but is perfect for children! They offer late afternoon classes for kids (just contact them for more information).
And coming soon their brand new location which has just been announced at Gurney Plaza. Stay tuned for updates!
Climbing shoes are available so remember to bring socks and wear comfortable clothing.
Hin Bus Depot has always been a special place for us – we just love it there! It’s open all week but every weekend there is a handicraft market with live music and lots of food options. The ambiance is always fun and relaxed.
Come and chill on some lawn chairs while your little ones run on the grass or skate on the quarter pipe, see some art, have a coffee or a bite and relax to live music. Support local artisans, mostly selling handmade soaps, jewelry, artifacts, clothes, crafts, food and more!
You’ll find a family friendly environment, with loads of kids of all ages and from all different schools. Kids play on a brand new, beautiful pitch at the Powiis junior school in Tanjung Bungah.
Teenagers help the coaches who make it fun and engaging, and a full hour zips by without even the thought of a screen or device. They play rain or shine – except when the now infamous “lightening-o-meter” says it’s unsafe (and then we get the most amazing Scottish accent weather updates!)
It’s always all smiles (and lots of sweat) afterwards so remember to bring a few Ringgit to buy a well-earned popsicle or drink, (which is where you sign in as well). There and lots of places to sit and watch the kids play and there’s a small playground to entertain the toddlers too little to join in.
It’s RM35 for walk-in and you get a discount if you sign up for their packages.
Classes are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (starting May 2) at 5.30pm. Saturday pick-up games start at 10am and parents can join in too!