Social media may paint a very glamorous picture of travelling with babies and young toddlers, especially when you see celebrities travelling with style with their little families. Photos of couples pushing designer strollers across airports, happy faces of the kids exploring a new city or playing at the beach may seem all rosy but if you have small kids of your own, you’ll know what actually happens behind the scenes.
Think of these images instead - kids barfing in the car or on your clothes right before boarding a flight; kids pooping in their diapers, just after you left the R&R on a road trip; kids crying their lungs out because they don't want to be buckled in during take-off and landing or in their car seats.
For the celebrities, you can be sure they are getting a lot of help on their trips! If you are anything like the average parent who can't afford to travel with help – chances are planning, packing, and going on a holiday will give you a big headache. You will probably need a holiday after that holiday (or even after just packing for it) to recuperate.
When we got our second baby, we decided we won't even try to travel with a baby and a 2-year-old toddler until both kids get older and it gets more manageable for us. But fret not, choosing not to travel doesn't mean that you can't have fun or take a break. These days, having a “staycation” and playing tourist in your own city is all the rage!
So, for the first two years of having two kids, we have been having staycations right here in KL and Klang Valley for our “holidays”, and honestly, it is just as enjoyable for both the kids and parents.
We have a lot of attractions to keep the kids excited right in our own city, and being able to have that familiarity of your home is just the best of both worlds. Think about it...
Here are some ideas on what you can do with the kids in KL and Klang Valley on your staycation. I would recommend taking leave on weekdays for your staycation so that you can visit these places sans the weekend crowd. But if you are planning to go on a weekend, do try to avoid peak hours. A few recommendations:
Unfortunately, their website is currently being upgraded, but there are various blogs (google keyword: blog Farm in the City) you can read that describe their detailed experience at this petting zoo, and Kidxy offers discounted rates too!
Run by the same company as Farm in the City, this is a smaller petting zoo, but right in the middle of the city. If going to Serdang is a bit out of the way for you, then this is the place for you! The kids can still enjoy touching, petting, feeding the animals, and even have a go at ‘longkang fishing’.
However, a word of caution, do NOT bring strollers. The mini zoo is set on a hilly terrain, so there are stairs everywhere and the location is not stroller friendly.
Have a look at their website here:
This is a family favourite. If your kids are into marine life, they will have an exciting time looking at the extensive display of sea creatures. My toddler especially loves touching the starfish and going through the tunnel where you can see sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, and many other large sea life swim above you (so much so that we had to go through the tunnel twice).
You can easily kill two hours just walking around the whole facility. There's plenty of restaurants around Aquaria too for you to feed your hungry little bunch after all that walking.
You can check out their website here:
Kids love trains! We recently took the kids on the MRT on a weekend and it was very enjoyable for the kids. It is very stroller-friendly with lifts at every station, wide and roomy coaches, and small gaps to get on and off the train. We saw many other parents with strollers on board too. You may choose to just enjoy the train ride and come back home, or stop at the city, go for a meal or ice cream and then come home. We didn't want the kids to be too tired and get cranky so we didn't squeeze in too many activities at one go.
For details on routes and feeder bus services, you can check their website here:
This is a great way to let the kids get active and drain off their energy without worrying about the weather or dengue mosquitoes. Slides, artificial sandpit, big foam blocks, trampolines, and ball pits will surely give your kids the time of their lives. But if you have kids below four years old and plan to take them to an indoor playground, I recommend going on a weekday to avoid crowds (i.e. older children who may be a little rough for your young child). There are many indoor playgrounds at shopping malls and you can choose one nearest to you. For younger children, I personally prefer a smaller-scale venue so that it's easier for you to monitor them. Remember to bring socks for everyone going in including parents. Also, you can check out the great discounts we offer on our website for various play gyms and indoor playgrounds.
If the weather is great, don't miss the chance to bring the kids to the park. We have many beautiful public parks – Taman Tasik Perdana, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Taman Lembah Kiara (TTDI) and KLCC Park seem to be the favourites of many. On the weekends, there are usually vendors renting out giant bubble soap and sticks and little kids would be in awe to play with ‘em bubbles. Taman Tasik Titiwangsa has bike rentals too if you want to take the kids for a spin. Taman Tasik Perdana has big playgrounds and a bamboo playhouse for the kids to explore. You could easily spend two hours wandering about. Just remember to bring water and some snacks for the kids to refuel. The hard part will be to get them to go home!
This is a hidden gem simply because there are hardly any crowds here, yet it is a beautiful tropical park filled with butterflies flying freely around you. Be careful, this place is not stroller-friendly as there are quite a few stairs and there’s one right at the entrance. It’s quite manageable for the kids to walk as the park isn’t huge and there are many benches to rest their little-tired legs, or you can also babywear them. It's a picturesque place to have a stroll while admiring the colourful butterflies and flowers; evidently, we came back with so many Instagram-worthy photos.
Indeed, there are many more interesting places to bring toddlers to around Klang Valley. In fact, for bigger kids, the list just grows longer. We can't wait to try out other attractions when our kids get older, so they can enjoy much more (e.g. Sunway Lagoon, Kidzania, family-friendly cinemas, Petrosains, Pusat Sains Negara to name a few).
All in all, I can say that while we did miss the excitement of going out of town, having staycations during the challenging period of having a little baby and a high-spirited toddler worked just as well for us! We have started going on trips again occasionally after the baby turned two, and it is definitely much more manageable for us.
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