[Updated 12 March 2019 – Terengganu and Kelantan added]
School holidays and festive weekends are the best times to enjoy a road trip adventure with your family. Filled with theme parks and kid-friendly destinations, there’s never short of exciting family-friendly attractions in Malaysia☺️
If you want to spread good vibes and laughter this holiday season, get behind the wheels and plan a road trip to these family hot spots in Malaysia. Remember to play some awesome music and pack some snacks for your long drive ahead!
1. Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya (39mins)
You’ll be surprised by the number of family activities within the vicinity of the city centre. Since Putrajaya is just a short drive from Kuala Lumpur, you don’t have to sweat the details of packing and loading your luggage at all 🤗
Credit: Skyrides Festivals Park, Putrajaya on Facebook
For an interesting twist to your sightseeing adventure, your family can take a cruise down the Putrajaya Lake, ride a bicycle at the Putrajaya Botanical Garden and admire the skyline on the Skyrides Balloon. You can even put together a scenic family picnic by the serene Pullman Putrajaya Lake after a fun-filled afternoon!
Credit: @go.lokal.cafe on Instagram
2. Kuala Lumpur to Pahang (2 hours 53mins)
We know it’s tempting to snuggle up in your blanket when in Pahang, especially when the weather is always nice and cold. But there are many things to do here and your family will thank you for it. First, dine away with delicious nasi lemak and Western lunch at these halal cafes in Janda Baik.
Credit: @malaysia.now on Instagram
There are two amazing destinations you can go to Pahang. First, it’s Genting Highlands. The best way to begin your journey is to park at the Skyway cable car and head up to the peak where the fun stuff is. Perfect for the kids, there’s an indoor theme park with a variety of arcade games and entertainment. You can also check out the all-new SkyAvenue for shopping and gastronomic choices. If you’re patient, there’s an up-and-coming 20th Century Fox World Theme Park that is expected to open in June 2019!
Credit: @sitinoorkhalid on Instagram
On the other hand, Cameron Highlands is a relaxing and calming alternative that is widely frequented by Malaysian locals. Get your kids to pluck a few strawberries at the Strawberry Farm or capture fun snapshots at the Cameron Highlands Butterfly Farm. You can also check out the small amusement park named Holiday Park that features a 3D Art Museum, an indoor Ferris wheel and more kid-friendly rides 😉
3. Putrajaya to Selangor (38mins)
Whenever you’re looking for somewhere close to being considered a short getaway, Selangor is only a quick drive away. Depending on your preference for family activities, there are many awesome attractions to keep your kids excited.
Credit: KidZania Kuala Lumpur on Facebook
Your kids can soak up the sun and play the water slides at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park; experience being a firefighter or toll booth operator at KidZania, or feed the giraffes and take pictures of the animals at Zoo Negara. There’s also a cool petting zoo called Farm in the City where you can meet the alligator snapping turtle, dusky wallaby kangaroos, and pelican birds 😱
Credit: Farm in the City on Facebook
4. Selangor to Perak (2 hours 19mins)
Aside from the places we have highlighted so far, Perak is the next best thing for a road trip destination. Beaming with lip-smacking halal food and cool accommodations, follow the locals and make your way to Ipoh where the best sights and sounds are located.
Credit: @sunwaylostworldoftambun on Instagram
Here in Ipoh, it’s all about soaking up Malaysia’s old town charm that is unlike anywhere else. Your family can even enjoy the Cliff Racer slides and Jungle Wave Pool at the Lost World of Tambun or the animation-themed attractions at MAPS (Movie Animations Park Studio). If you want to step out from Ipoh for a while, enjoy a boat ride and cycle around Gunung Lang Recreational Park or join a historical tour at Kellie’s Castle 😊
P.S: For the daring, Kellie’s Castle usually has night tours in October in conjunction with Halloween 👻.
Credit: @zakiah_wahid on Instagram
5. Perak to Penang (2 hours)
Where do we begin with Penang? Loved by locals and tourists near and far, Penang is the first destination that comes to mind when you think of short getaways. Everything from delicious halal food to unique hotel stays, it’s the perfect destination for the whole family!
Credit: Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm on Facebook
For a fun-filled afternoon with the kids, take them to Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm to admire 15,000 free-flying butterflies. You can also kick back at ESCAPE Theme Park for their variety of rainforest aerial obstacles or water slides. If you prefer somewhere close to Mother Nature, you can admire the sceneries from the peak of the Penang Hill or join the kids-friendly nature walks at Tropical Spice Garden. George Town is also a great place to discover wonderful street art and visit themed museums😍
Credit: escape.my on Facebook
6. Penang to Kedah (1 hour 30mins)
If your family suggests a trip to Kedah, you know Langkawi would be the perfect fit. The long drive to Langkawi comes with the scenery of golden paddy fields and breathtaking mountains. Before you make your way to the Langkawi Island, check out various rice cultivation processes at the Paddy Museum and the ancient artefacts at the Kedah State Museum in Alor Setar.
Credit: @rohaizatt on Instagram
We love the sun, sand and sea in Langkawi. Slap on your sunscreen and explore what the island has to offer. You can take a stroll on the curved Langkawi Sky Bridge, catch the island sceneries from the Langkawi Cable Car or snap a family picture at the Eagle Square. How about wrapping up your road trip with a family picnic at Seven Wells Waterfall?😎
Credit: @lah_ahmad_ on Instagram
#HHWT Tip: If you’re planning to drive your own car to Langkawi, make your way to Kuala Perlis port where you can board the ferry with your vehicle.
7. Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu (4 hours 40 minutes)
Make your way to the east coast with a scenic drive up to Terengganu! There’s more to this place than beautiful tropical islands 🌴.
Credit: @tamantamadunislam on Instagram
Visit the Taman Tamadun Islam, and explore miniature monuments and mosque replicas from all over the world! From there, you can also take a boat ride along the Kuala Terengganu river. The 45-minute ride takes you through the river with views of surrounding small tropical islands, historical landmarks and unique mosques (floating mosque and crystal mosque) while enjoying a light breeze onboard.
Credit: @aqil_rosli on Instagram
And if the family is feeling adventurous, take a short hike up Bukit Puteri and enjoy a stunning view of the area, as well as the Terengganu palace, Istana Maziah.
You can’t have a local road trip and not try the local food. Drop by roadside stalls to eat Terengganu’s iconic keropok lekor and other east coast delicacies 😋.
8. Terengganu to Kelantan (2 hours 51 minutes)
Another east coast favourite for travellers! Kelantan is a place with plenty of adventures of all kinds, family and friends alike.
Credit: May Chok on Facebook
Feeling a little cultural? Bring the family for a wayang kulit puppet show at Pak Dain’s Wayang Kulit! Pak Dain’s Wayang kulit also showcases modern version such as Star Wars characters (bet the parents would enjoy this more than the kids 😋). They even have wayang kulit workshops there too occasionally to teach you how make your own wayang kulit from scratch – definitely a great family activity 😊.
Credit: @nrlamiraatqh on Instagram
Enjoy a relaxing day by the beach and fly kites by Pantai Cahaya Bulan! Find plenty of kite sellers by the beach selling colourful wau*-inspired design kites!
*wau – traditional Malaysian moon-kite
9. Selangor to Melaka (2 hours 4 mins)
Just imagine a day of exploring and introducing your kids to this historical city. You can check out the beautiful murals via the Melaka River Cruise, explore the submarines and fighter jets at the Melaka Submarine Museum or board the massive ship at the Maritime Museum of Melaka.
Credit: @embiazhar on Instagram
Alternatively, hire a colourful trishaw near the Stadthuys Clock Tower and let them take you to the coolest sights that Melaka has to offer. Before the night ends, take a walk down Jonker Street for delicious snacks, take-me-home souvenirs and refreshing fruit juices 😋
Credit: @foetografi on Instagram
10. Melaka to Johor Bahru (2 hours 49mins)
JB, as we locals fondly call it, is where families go to spend their long weekends. Why? Well, they have amusement parks that are huge hits among the young ones. Your family can spend a day at Legoland for the Lego-themed ride and slides 😉
Credit: LEGOLAND Malaysia on Facebook
The next day, visit the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town for their adorable teacup rides and photo opportunities with the mascots. There’s also the Angry Birds Activity Park to have fun with their Go-Kart rides, climbing tracks and themed scooter rides. If that’s not enough, drop by Southeast Asia’s largest theme park, MCM Studio!
Credit: Sanrio Hello Kitty Town on Facebook
To take it outdoors, head over to Danga Bay that features a pretty waterfront complete with an outdoor theme park. You can also check out the JB Old Town to explore vintage buildings and colourful wall murals that double as an awesome background for your family snapshots. Guess what, we even compiled the only guide to JB you’ll ever need.
Credit: @quzh on Instagram
Now that you have all the inspiration you need for your road trip adventure with the family, it’s time to kick up your planning into full gear! Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway to Melaka or a fun drive up to Penang, remember that road trips are always better with the right company 🤗