THERE is always so much to do in the city and never enough time. Hence, the school holidays would be an excellent time to catch up with places you've been meaning to see and doing things you've been putting off.
Deciding what to do first may even pose a problem because there is plenty to choose from in the Klang Valley. Whether you're into adventure sports, the arts or you just like mall crawling; there is something for everyone.
The listing provided here is only the tip of the iceberg. For a more comprehensive list of things to do, be resourceful - surf the Internet and read event highlights in newspapers.
If there is one thing that is synonymous with city youth, it's hanging out at shopping malls. Whether you want to catch a movie, shoot some pool or be seen with friends at a trendy café, the malls in the Klang Valley offer endless options.
The latest to join the list is the “mother of all malls”, Berjaya Times Square with its colourful Cosmo's World indoor theme park, a nine-screen cinema and a 56-lane bowling alley. There are also 14 major rides comprising four major thrill rides and 10 family and children's rides.
Conveniently located right next to Sungai Wang Plaza in the trendy Bukit Bintang shopping area, the mall will also feature an Imax 3D theatre next year, with a screen that is said to be eight stories high and 100ft wide.
Within the area are also other popular shopping destinations such as Lot 10, Starhill, Bukit Bintang Plaza and KL Plaza. Sungai Wang will continue to remain a favourite among the youth for its brand of cheap shopping, negotiable prices, and variety of entertainment from video games to karaoke.
Another must is the Suria KLCC located within the world famous Petronas Twin Towers. Although a little more upmarket, the mall is a popular hangout among young people wanting to be seen. Apart from shopping, it offers science at the Petronas Discovery Centre and music at the Dewan Philharmonic Petronas.
Moving out of the city centre, there's of course the Mid-Valley Megamall. With 5km of shopping, leisure and dining choices – 430 shops on five-and-a-half floors, this mall is “mega” in all its offerings.
For suburban dwellers who could do without the hassle of making their way to the city, there's the newly renovated 1-Utama in Bandar Utama, Sunway Pyramid (archery and ice-skating) in Bandar Sunway, Subang Parade and The Summit (archery and climbing gym) in Subang Jaya and Klang Parade.
All the world's greatest cities have their fair share of museums to showcase elements of their culture and history and Kuala Lumpur, being a culturally rich and vibrant city, is not without its share of museums.
For an overview of Malaysian culture and history, the National Museum, at RM2 per entry, is well worth the visit. Built in the style of a Malay palace, the museum is divided into various areas with different themes. For example, there's a National Sports Gallery in addition to the Historical Gallery and Cultural Gallery.
Located at the top of a hill along Jalan Travers, the museum is open from 9am to 6pm daily. For more information on events or special showcases, contact 03-2282 6255 / 2282 7267.
Another popular stop is the Money Museum (tel: 03-290 7461 / 290 7575) located in Bank Negara Malaysia along Jalan Dato Onn. Aimed at educating the public on the country's numismatic heritage, the museum has coins, currency notes, tokens and other artefacts on display.
Handphone buffs should check out what the first telephone looked liked at the Telekom Museum (tel: 03-2098 6839). Located in a heritage building that resembles an early prototype of a telephone exchange, the museum features a historical gallery and exhibits of modern telecommunications equipment. It also houses the first telephone used in the country. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays from 9.30am to 5pm.
For those of you interested in learning about the world around us and the wonderful way it operates, visit the National Science Centre, Petrosains Discovery Centre and National Planetarium. With activities and exhibits to keep children of all ages (and even adults) occupied, time just flies by when learning is a fun activity.
The Petronas Discovery Centre at KLCC has some special events lined up for the school holidays among which are treasure hunts, puppet shows and special displays. These are in addition to their regular shows that include specials on sound, dry-ice, water, pressure, liquid nitrogen, bubbles, balloons and anti-gravity.
The centre is open from 9:30am to 5:30pm from Tuesday to Thursday and from 1:30pm - 5:30pm on Fridays. On weekends and public holidays the centre is open from 9:30am to 6:30pm. The entrance fee is RM12 for adults, RM7 for youth aged 12-17 and RM4 for children between the ages of five and 12. A 50% discount applies for senior citizens.
A tip for first timers – the last admission into the centre is an-hour-and-a-half before closing so it's best to get there early. It's also best to spend at least two-and-a-half hours at the centre so plan enough time for this in between other activities. For ticket reservations and enquiries, contact 03-2331 8181.
The National Science Centre (tel: 03-2092 1150) is another item that should be on the list of science buffs as its displays are set to amaze even adult visitors. Located on a hill in the Bukit Kiara area, the centre was opened in 1996 to promote a greater understanding and interest in science and technology.
Particularly impressive is its aquarium that engulfs visitors as they enter the exhibition area. There are a host of activities organised for the public and children will be left entertained by the fun and enthusiastic staff there. From December to February there will be a special aviation exhibition to celebrate a century of aviation. The centre is open everyday except Friday; from 10am to 5pm. Admission is RM6 for adults and RM3 for children.
Discovery Learning Labs (DLL), in collaboration with the science centre, will feature a return of their science camps for four to 16-year-olds with the promise of being bigger and better.
You can expect the return of all the kids’ favourites like Wizards of Chemistry, Prehistoric Adventures, Spells and Potions and CrimeLab: CSI Case File, Super Slurper Slime Lab, Detective Lab and Water Rocket Madness.
Added to these are over 100 new, exciting “fun science” camps. Among these are several “make & take” camps, which teach kids how to make robots, vehicles, telescopes, cameras and more?and take them home!
Budding criminologists can try their hand at figuring out “whodunit?” as they solve cases in the very popular CrimeLab camps (4 different forensic science camps to choose from). Or they can explore the Life Sciences at one of the DNALab camps.
If peering through telescopes at the heavens, looking into the inner workings of cells or capturing the world around them on film is what grabs your interest, then the “make & take” OpticsLab is just the ticket! Campers will learn how to make their own telescope, microscope and camera, which they also get to take home!
In addition to these camps, kids can explore the biodiversity of life on earth with the BioTechLab camps; the environment in the EnviroLab camps and the science they encounter everyday at home, in school or at play in any of the ConsumerLabs.
As a special promotion, DLL is offering a special 50% discount on any one camp (for November) and a free camp when participants sign up for three camps. Both offers are subject to space availability. Call 03-2094 5626 for details and a full list of camps. Camp fees range from RM55-RM135 and will be held at the science centre.
At the top of a hill in Kuala Lumpur's famous Lake Gardens you'll find the National Planetarium (03-2273 5484). Among the main attractions remain the space theatre, which screens space shows and movies; and the Observatory where the wonders of the sky and beyond can be viewed through a 14-inch telescope.
Connected to the National Museum through an overhead bridge, there is really no excuse not to visit both places.
The National Planetarium is open from 10am to 4pm daily, except Fridays. Space shows are at 11am, 2pm, and 4pm and costs RM3 for adults and RM2 for children. Space movies are RM6 for adults and RM4 for children.
For nature lovers
For an enchanting night out, check out the Firefly Park of Kuala Selangor, less than an hour from Petaling Jaya. The sight of the flickering flies breaking the darkness of night is worth beholding.
The boatmen who guide you through the tour will even entertain with their tales of man-eating crocodiles and ghosts to add to the mood – and all this for only RM10.
Getting there is easy enough. The signage once you reach Kuala Selangor will guide you easily to the park. The most popular spot to start the boat ride is Kampung Kuantan. For more information on the Firefly Park Resort, call 03-3289 1208. For details on witnessing the fireflies in Kampung Kuantan, contact the Kuala Selangor District Council.
For a real getaway, visit Carey island, just South of Port Klang. A bridge from Chondoi (near Banting) connects the large island to the mainland. It is separated only by the Klang River.
Don't just settle for the famous seafood, use the opportunity to visit the native settlers of the area called the Mah-Meri. Be sure to get a piece of Mah-Meri woodcarving made from the wood of the mangrove tree called nyireh batu.
For a wet and wild time this school holidays, be sure to get soaked at Sunway Lagoon – a water theme park with thrills in every corner!
The park is divided into three themed lands – Waters of Africa, Wild Wild West and World of Adventure – each boasting their own exciting attractions. Time really flies by when you try all the great rides and slides, getting soaked to the bone each time!
Sunway Lagoon (tel: 03-5635 8000) operates for extended hours during the school holidays, from 10am to 6pm every day, including public holidays. Special packages are available for groups of students intending to go to the park so call ahead and make plans. The park is located at 3, Jalan PJS 11/11, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya (beside Sunway Pyramid).
Another wet option to consider would be the Mines Wonderland in Sungai Besi (tel: 03-942 5010/948 7402). Once the world's largest open cast tin mining lake, the area is now an exciting theme park with water sports, amusement rides, a winter-house and lots more.
The 10,000 square foot ice-house is home to a wide array of astounding ice-carvings including the Petronas Twin Towers, the KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and landmarks of past Commonwealth countries such as the Sydney Opera House, Tower Bridge and Big Ben.
There's also a Coin Garden with giant replicas of some world currencies. The Magic Turtle Lake, miniature golf course, cave, and spring and fortune gardens also continue to remain favourites among visitors. The musical fountain, aqua screen movie and laser show all come to life at night, offering patrons a memorable visit.
Check out more places in the Klang Valley for different pursuits and passions:
Other museums in the city worth checking are the National History Museum (03-2694 4590/2694 4591/2694 4592), Textile Museum (03-2691 7136), Biomedical Museum (03-2098 6033) and the Islamic Arts Museum (03-2074 2020).
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