Petrosains, The Discovery Center with Kids – Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

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If you’ve been to Kuala Lumpur, you might have been to Petrosains, The Discovery Center in KLCC. Until recently our only experience in Kuala Lumpur was its airport, where we played Uno and read Percy Jackson while waiting for flightsPenang has been our home base for seven months now.

Virtual Paint Gun at Petrosains: Kuala Lumpur with Kids — An Epic Education

On a recent road trip, however, we found ourselves in Malaysia’s capital (a.k.a. “KL”) and looking for fun. Fortunately, there is plenty of cool things to do in Kuala Lumpur with kids, like playing archery or visiting cave.

One place that many family recommended was the Petrosains Science Discovery Center. We decided to check it out for ourselves.

Petrosains Science Discovery Center

We ended up spending an entire afternoon there, and could’ve gone back another day. There is plenty to do for kids of just about any age — from toddlers to early teens.

After a whirl in the typhoon wind simulator (see above), S anchored himself in a room full of puzzles and optical illusion demonstrations. I think we could have left him there for a few hours and he wouldn’t have noticed that we were gone.

Fractal drawing at Petrosains: Kuala Lumpur with Kids — An Epic Education

M was drawn to the hand-on activities. In the pic below, she is “toast painting” — using a Q-tip dipped in water to draw designs on a piece of bread before heating it up.

The result: your moistened design reveals itself as an un-toasted relief on the slice of bread, and with it comes a lesson on combustibility.
Toast "painting" at Petrosains : Kuala Lumpur with Kids — An Epic Education

Engaging Science Museum

The world’s best science museums for kids can show scientific principles in entertaining ways, but also relay these principles in ways that kids can easily understand.

Petrosains, The Discovery Center gets the first part down excellently. I’d say that the explanations are a bit lacking, but hey, the most important element — engaging the kids — is done so well that I couldn’t complain.

We had a blast. Engagement is what’s crucial at this stage, and I understand that rocket science and particle physics aren’t the easiest to explain to anyone, so just getting them involved is what’s important now.

Mindball at Petrosains: Kuala Lumpur with kids — An Epic Education

Another favorite with our family was “Mind Ball,” a game where two competitors wear a sensor-laden headband try to move a small steel sphere with…telekinesis? The Force? I wasn’t sure. The explanation available was lacking, but it was fun nonetheless.

Oil rig simulation at Petrosains: Kuala Lumpur with Kids — An Epic Education

Things to Keep in Mind

If you find yourself in Kuala Lumpur with kids, I can recommend Petrosains without hesitation, but a few things you might want to know:

Petrosains, the Discovery Center is run by Petronas, Malaysia’s biggest petroleum extraction company, so expect a lot of company promotion and an overly enthusiastic explanation of the wonders of the oil industry. There’s even a simulated oil rig as part of the exhibits.

Interactive Screen at Petrosains: Kuala Lumpur with kids — An Epic Education

The museum is inside a huge mall, Suria KLCC. This makes it convenient for access and food, but like many indoor shopping venues in Malaysia, it is FREEZING. It may be shorts and sandals weather outside, but bring a jacket.

Access in and out of the museum is problematic. There’s no simple entrance or exit. You must take the “ride” both in and out of the exhibition area, which means you must wait in a line to get in. That’s fine, but then when we wanted to leave, we couldn’t just walk out. We had to wait for 20 minutes in a line for the “ride” to leave, which was frustrating.

Same thing if you want to step out for lunch and return. Leave sooner than you plan in order to give yourself enough time. Or ask an attendant: one of them volunteered to walk us through the staff access to get us out quicker (the place is huge).

Have you been to Kuala Lumpur with kids? Or plan to? If you were in Kuala Lumpur with kids, where would you go?


  1. Hi Alyson! I know what you mean about KL, but I do like big cities with lots to do. Having said that, a year in Penang has made me long for something less sanitized. May head back to Bukit Lawang sometime soon. Really enjoy your blog and Pinterest!

  2. Yes and we’ve been to Petrosains. Its good (no ride to get out when we were there) KL was our first stop when we started travelling full time 18 months ago now, loads to do there but it’s all a bit Western for my tastes. I liked the Chinese and Hindu temples and the Indian food is great. It was great for us to see shopping malls after 7 years in the top right hand corner of Australia too !

  3. Hey! I’m glad you found our blog useful. We are actually back in KL next month so we plan to go here again as my son was too young to bother taking him last time. We are actually moving to Penang in January so maybe we will see you around!

    • Hi Sharon! That museum is hard not to like, and you’re familiar with KL, so you know how much potential the city has, right? Hope to meet up in January. Looking forward to it.

  4. Sorry (to myself) that I’m so late to the game, but I’m really enjoying this blog, Jason. Well done, Sir.