I used to take Connor to the National Science Centre in Bukit Kiara quite regularly before he started play school. Back then, it was free and it had an indoor play area for Connor. However I was disappointed in the quality and quantity of experiments available. Most of them weren't functioning and everything looked quite dismal.
We went back a few months ago and I was pleasantly surprised. I paid RM8 for my entrance fee, Connor got in free and they've obviously been using the fees to upgrade the place. (The current website says that adults are charged RM3 and children RM2)
You walk through an aquarium-tunnel to get to the experiments. The aquarium-tunnel looked better lit than the last time and Connor was a little frightened by the larger fishes. They did look quite fierce! I guess you'll have to look that way if you want to avoid being eaten by everyone else in the wild.
There were plenty of experiments in the walkway. Being older now, Connor was able to reach most of the instruments and was strong enough to work them. There was one where you pulled a lever and created lots of bubbles. Connor LOVED that. I explained all the experiments to him the best I could, I don't really care that Connor probably can't grasp physics right now. My objective is to expose him to as much knowledge as I can without making it seem like a chore.
Connor enjoying one of the experiments. Forgot which one though! Duh!
This was Connor's favourite. He could have stood there all day creating bubbles. There is a little submarine in that tube of water. When you create bubbles, the submarine sinks. Why? Because the presence of the bubbles lowers the density of the water surrounding the sub, so the sub, being heavier relatively, will sink. This is what people experience in very frothy waters, like the rapids. Betcha didn't know that! Hehe.
There is an indoor play area for smaller children. We couldn't get the musical toys to work... boo. :(( Connor loves this ball pit, he kept laughing when he fed the balls to the dolphin and they came bouncing out of his tail at the bottom.
Thomas!!! Or close enough. This train engine is powered by hand. You push and pull levers that work the wheels. We choo-chooed up and down the short rail track and Connor was so happy.
They have installed two play areas for older children that have climbing mazes but we didn't go into that. There was also a giant trampoline that Connor didn't fancy for some reason. I really fancied it but was wondering if it would take my weight (I have put on a little due to lots of Indian curry...yum, yum!) . The children's centre that you can see behind the train is open and if you go inside, there are lots of activities to keep your little one busy - colouring, puzzles etc.
There are also more experiments that are for older children. They have one where you have to ride a bike to generate electricity to power a toy train. Connor absolutely loved it except he was too short for the bike. So Mummy had to ride it. But oh no! Now Connor can't see the train! So Connor went back up on the bike while I knelt down and "pedalled" using my hands. End result is a very happy little boy and a terribly sweaty Mummy.
There are other levels and other areas but we've never had the time to visit them. I'll review those when I get the chance.
Good value for RM8. Connor was hesitant at first because he recognised it wasn't a shopping centre and he wasn't sure it was going to be fun. But when we had to leave, I had to drag him out of the place. Am I going back? Yes for sure. I met another mum who told me her two loved the place as well and she said to avoid it on weekends because it's just packed to the brim.
There is a water play area outside the main building so if you fancy that, remember to bring some swim gear, towels and sunscreen.
Dear National Science Centre, I want you to know that I am very happy to pay a reasonable amount for entrance fees if you are going to use my money wisely and invest it in interesting experiments for our children to enjoy. My little boy loved the place.