Every time we start preparing for a trip a make a short list of the things we “would like to see”, the places we “must visit” and the venues that are on our “if we have extra time” list. When we were getting ready to visit Kuala Lumpur a few weeks ago, I knew, for sure, that we had to add the Petrosains Discovery Center at the Suria KLCC shopping center to our “must visit” list. So I started looking at hotels and trying to find a place not to far from this place. A random hotwire hot rate later, we were very lucky to get a fantastic rate on a hotel that was not only beautiful but less than 500 meters from the KLCC shopping center.
Our first day in KL we immediately headed to the shopping center to check this discovery center. A few minutes into our first visit to the mall we found out that we were not the only ones that thought the Petrosains Discovery Center is worth visiting. Apparently we were there during a school holiday and the tiny population of KL (1.6 million, which is miniscule for such a modern metropolis) seemed to be there at the same time causing the shopping center to be bursting at the seams.
A shaved-ice treat to calm our nerves later , we ventured again into the 4th floor to the mall only to find that the line was even longer. So we gave up on our visit and decided to check it out some other day. After visiting the bird park and eating colossal amounts of amazing street food we visited the PDC on Sunday morning.
When you approach the entrance to the Petrosains Discovery Center, the first thing you notice, other than the long lines of eager visitors waiting to get in, is the fantastic molecular structure hanging from the ceiling. Each “molecule” has a photo or text. Evan stared at it for seconds (which in toddler time account for a few good minutes). After we got our tickets (25 RM for adults, 15 RM for children 3-12 and free for those under 3), we cued up and waited in line for about half an hour to ride the “time machine” that was going to take us to the other side.
Petrosains, as the name suggests, is a Petroleum Science Discovery Center whose aim is to teach children the story of the science and technology behind the petroleum industry by using a fun an interactive approach. After we rode into the center, the boys quickly hopped out of our vehicle and immediately ran into the first activity which consisted of pumps and other machinery used in the oil industry.
Subsequent to our long stay in the entrance hall of the center, the kids
were hauled from moved on to the next section where Evan was eager to play with each and every exhibition. It was so fun to see Evan frolic from one display to another trying to understand the logic behind each action. You see, we have recently reached the “Why?” stage in Evan’s toddler-hood which in his case is always preceded by a big, BUT, and then the long make-my-hair-stand WHYYYYYYY? So after mommy daddy patiently explained the physics behind each exhibition, we arrived to the SECOND section of the center.
This new section was very appealing to Josh. The colors, the music and the fact that a lot of the nice locals were eager to take pictures with him made Joshua’s day. I thought the design was very attractive to the kids and I loved how they portrayed the different uses of oil in a very kid-friendly way. Actually, I learned a thing or two myself, like the fact that some fabrics and a huge amount of products are made out of petroleum.
As we moved to the speed of distracted waddling toddlers, we arrived to what we later learned was Evan’s favorite part of the center, of at least the one he remembered the most: The Dinosaur Section. A huge Malay singing T-rex greeted us upon entering this section. In this area, we learned about geophysics, the importance of fossil fuels and the thermodynamics of the earth’s core. Nah, all we really cared about was the cool dinosaurs but we still learned a thing or two. Like the fact that tired kiddos don’t do have the best balance on an inclined ramp.
After we left the dinosaur’s nook we moved on to the next section where more interactive displays held Evan’s attention for a few minutes. Josh was not as interested but had fun teasing his big brother every opportunity he had.
As we continued our indoor trek we stumbled upon a cute little playground for the little ones. It was the perfect oasis for mommy and daddy as we could let them run free for a few minutes without worrying about them getting lost or getting into something that might be to heavy or not age appropriate. Right behind the playground, there were several simulators and other activities that would be perfect for the older crowd.
After the playground pit stop we continued our visit and entered my favorite part of the center, a life-size oil platform, complete with dormitories, a kitchen and all the tools of the trade. It was fantastic! I loved seeing what a platform looks like. I couldn’t believe they had all the tools right there inside one of the Petronas towers.
In the last section of the Discovery Center we found more interactive displays including a wonderful lego exhibit and a few race cars. Evan spent a long time pretending to be racing against other people. He couldn’t even reach the pedals properly but somehow he managed to get 3rd place on one of the races.
We had a great time at the Petrosains Discovery Center. I would certainly recommend anyone visiting KL to pay a visit. If your kiddos are small they will at least enjoy the playground and the many toddler-friendly interactive exhibits.
1. Buy your tickets as soon as you get to the mall. You can pick the time you want to visit and come back at that time. Even better, book the tickets by calling in advance and picking them up half an hour before your visit time.
2. There is a small cafeteria inside, however, I would recommend you have lunch at any of the great restaurants throughout the mall. My personal favorite was an Indian restaurant on the food court.
3. This place is fun, but it is surprisingly big, so be prepared to spend a few hours here. If you have kids, I wouldn’t plan any other visits on the same day. Once you are done here, the kids will be ready for a break, and so will you.
4. You can bring the stroller in, but be aware that you have to put it in the little cart that takes you to the center. Make sure you are able to fold the stroller up and that you don’t have too much stuff to carry around when you visit this place. They do have a consignment, but the lockers are small. So, don’t’ shop until you drop , or rather shop after you visit the center.
5. Bring some extra cash in case your children are interested in riding the simulators. They are not too expensive but I don’t think they take cards.Petrosains Discovery Center PETRONAS Twin Towers
Level 4, Suria KLCC,
50088 Kuala Lumpur. +603 2331 8181