There is a fantastic indoor playground located in Batu Ferringhi at the Golden Sands Resort (open to the public). The playground has a specialised toddler play area. The Current price RM33 for kids, adults free. Discounted if you stay at the Golden Sands Resort or Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort (we have stayed in both and both are excellent!)
2. Batu Ferringhi Beach
This beach is great for families as its clean, quiet and safe. However there can be a risk of jellyfish stings which is something to keep in mind.
3. Penang Butterfly Farm
This small butterfly farm with insect displays is in a lovely spot near Batu Ferringhi. There are many butterflies, as well as other animals such as lizards, turtles and fish.Current price is RM27 for adults and RM15 for kids 4-12 years old
4. Penang Hill and funicular tram ride
You can take the train to the top of Penang Hill to enjoy the views, activities and eateries. At the top, there are two food courts – one with food, the other with juice and icy treats, an owl museum, temples, a playground and some other minor attractions. Current price RM30 for adults and RM15 for kids 4-12.
5. Youth Park
This is a massive park with a fantastic playground, many different areas with exercise equipment and lots of different pools. There are also walking trails into the surrounding jungle. The park offers plenty of shade and there is also plenty of seating space, shops and toilets. It is close to the Penang Botanical Gardens and we preferred this area far more to those gardens.
6. Take a cyclo rickshaw ride
Penang is one of the few places you can still ride by Trishaw – bicycle powered cabs. Sometimes called “beca” locally, these trishaws are a modern version of the human pulled rickshaws heavily used in Penang long ago. You can rent trishaws for short trips or by the hour (for your own special tour) in Georgetown, around the historic centre and Little India.
7. Kek Lok Si Temple and Liberation Pond
This temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in Malaysia and is in a very picturesque setting against the mountains of Penang. There are some stunning gardens with animal sculptures and a fish pond. You can also take a cable car up and down the hill to the temple to save your feet. It currently costs RM2 to go to the Pagoda for adults, RM6 to use the inclination lift and RM3 to park. The kids were free.
8. Snake Temple
Snake temple is a traditional Chinese Buddhist temple built in 1850 by monk Chor Soo Kong, who legend has it gave sanctuary to snakes there. There are two large snakes you can pay to pose with for photos, and a “snake breeding area” – a small fenced off area where young snakes are raised between the main temple and a secondary temple out the back. There is also a small display area where you can see all manner of snakes and turtles. Buses to the airport (such as routes 102, 306 and 401E) go past the temple and there are places to eat and buy drinks adjoining the temple’s car park. Driving to the temple is straightforward (just look for the signs as to where to turn off) and parking is free and easy. Entry is free, although there is a small donation box.
9. Drive around the island
Driving down the Western part of the island is a very different experience to visiting the rest. The small road is very winding and picturesque as you drive through the jungle and farms with many durian stalls.
10. Batu Ferringi night markets
These night markets are on the main road in Batu Ferringhi and are a great way to pick up some souvenirs after having a yummy dinner at Long Beach Cafe hawker centre.
11. Penang Botanical Gardens
The gardens have lots of trees and attractions and you are sure to love the monkeys which are scattered across the park (not aggressive). Entry is free and you can get here on the bus. I recommend not visiting around lunch time, not just because it is hot but because many of the enclosures shut down from 12:30-2pm.
12. Hard Rock Hotel pools
The pool area at the Hard Rock Hotel is great. There is a water play area for kids as well as pools including a sandy bottom pool. You can buy day passes as well as an annual pass which is great value for families who plan to spend awhile in Penang.
13. Teluk Bahang Forest Park/Penang Eco Park
The Penang Eco Park is a lovely excursion for people wanting to see some of Penang’s natural beauty. Located in the Teluk Bahang Forest Park, it is a great outdoor attraction with kids or a place to go on some nature hikes as it’s the start of many of the forest trails that go through the Forest Park. There is also a small museum and pools to cool off in. Near the pools is a paid changing room. Current price for Forest Museum is RM1 adults, RM0.50 for kids 5+
14. Made in Penang Interactive Museum
The Made In Penang Interactive Museum is a 3D museum where you’re encouraged to pose and put yourself into the work. Some works feature aspects of Penang’s history and culture, others are just for fun. Adults are RM 15, kids are RM 10 (although Mr 3 was free).
16. Penang Bird Park
This bird park is located just across the causeway in Butterworth. There are multiple aviaries, ponds and animals including many types of bird life, turtles and fish. The bird show is enjoyable however a few of the birds are tethered. Admission is RM38 for adults, RM20 kids 2-12 and RM1 for a camera. It is an easy drive if you have your own car. Currently, the shows are at 11:30am and 3:00pm.
17. Fort Cornwallis
This fort is by the sea in Georgetown. It consists of the old fort with many informational boards and a museum section (which is currently being improved). It covers a reasonable size area and doubles as a nice, peaceful park. Entry is RM20 for adults and RM10 for kids (ours were free) which I think is overpriced. Still, it is a nice place to visit especially if you are a history buff.
18. Take the Ferry to Butterworth
There are still car ferries that run back and forth between Georgetown and Butterworth. They run regularly and are cheap. Tickets are RM1.20 for adults, RM0.60 for kids (ours were free) from Butterworth to Penang. You don’t pay in the opposite direction. They run regularly.
19. Mega Kiddie World
This great indoor play centre can be found in Queensbay Mall. It costs RM23 for kids and RM7 for adults.
Escape is an adventure park with lots of rides and games for adults and kids.
21. Penang National Park Canopy Walkway
There is a walk high up in the canopy at Penang National Park
22. Monkey Beach and boat ride
This beach is also located in Penang National Park.
23. Penang Turtle Sanctuary
Also located in Penang National Park.
24. Fish spa
There are plenty of fish spas you can try out in the main street in Batu Ferringhi.
25. Wet Markets
There are many wet markets in Penang which you can find with a quick google.
26. Tropical Fruit Farm
Here you can see and taste many varieties of tropical fruit from around the world.
27. Tropical Spice Garden
This is a beautiful 8 acre garden that you can visit, wander around or do a guided tour. There are also activities for kids. More information here.
28. Orangutan Island
This unique island is about an hour and a half from Penang. Instead of finding orangutans in enclosures, you take a boat across to the island and then the humans walk through an enclosure while the orangutans can roam free.
29. Taiping Zoo
This zoo is located not far from Orangutan Island.
30. Carnivall Water and Land of Excitement Theme Park
If you want to cool down, this park is about an hour from Penang.