Having fun during the school holidays need not be an expensive affair. There are loads of free and fun things to see and do across Malaysia this holidays. When the kids are yelling for adventure, take them on journeys to discover what’s exciting in your neighbourhood. Best of all, they’re all free.

2 boys playing by the lake with bird in flight
Image Credit: Pixabay

Awesome Attractions For The Holidays

Don Hu Jurassic Garden, Muar

Entrance to Jurassic Garden
Image credit: Don Hu Jurassic Garden

From the Triassic, Jurassic to Cretaceous periods, there are dinosaurs aplenty to make the holidays rawr-some at the Don Hu Jurassic Garden in Muar. More than 50 life-sized dinosaur sculptures with some animated to be so life-like, it will scare you to bits. Complete with roars that reverberate throughout the garden, some dinos tower up high to the skies. Capture loads of insta-worthy photos and check out their cutesy shop for dino-inspired merchandise.

Dinosaur surrounded by garden plants
Image credit: Don Hu Jurassic Garden

Adding to the excitement are water buggy rides, bumper car rides, train rides and RC dino rides within the premises. Parents can enjoy a cuppa at the cafe whilst the kids go wild exploring the wonders everywhere. Admission to the garden is free. Rides are chargeable.

Dinosaurs in outdoor garden
Image credit: Don Hu Jurassic Garden

Address: 2700, 224, Kampung Sabak Aur, 84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Donhujurassicgarden/

Batu Caves, Selangor

Batu Caves with giant statue and colourful steps in background
Image credit: Marco Verch | Flickr

Colour up the holidays with a trip to Batu Caves. An amazing adventure up the colourful steps awaits with every colour of the rainbow to light your way. After completing the hike up the 272 steps, the iconic limestone caves with a series of Hindu temples and shrines welcome every guest. The caves offer a panoramic view of the city skyline from above. Climbers give thanks to the large statue of the Hindu God at the caves entrance for a safe climb. Admission is free.

For the adventure seeker, this climb will surely get your adrenaline pumping as monkeys frolic around to race you to the top. For the heritage seeker, the paintings, scenes and statues of Hindu Gods and deities as depicted in the Ramayana will amaze you. In fact, visitors can join the prayer session and get a blessing from the temple priests. For families with kids, this is a great way to expend their crazy level energies during the holidays. Climb, come down safely and cool down with a fresh coconut drink at the vendors before you go.

Address: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

Johor Heritage Foundation (Yayasan Warisan Johor)

mural on sidewalk to Heritage Foundation

A popular place for school excursions and tourists, Yayasan Warisan Johor is now showcasing the beauty of Johor textiles at Galeri Tenun. A tour of the gallery will reveal weavers at work on the traditional looms weaving intricate patterns with silken threads. Most notable woven textiles are the ‘kain songket’ with innovative designs created exclusively for the royal family and passed down from generations. The motifs for the designs are based on the flora and fauna in the state of Johor.

weaving loom with coloured threads
Image credit: pixabay.com

Yayasan Warisan Johor itself is a beautiful mansion atop a hill overlooking green fields and the blue seas in the horizon. The galleries within the building promote art exhibitions, displays of Johor traditions and heritage arts and crafts. Under the royal patronage of the Sultanah of Johor, the galleries are open to public for free, making it a learning experience for the holidays.

Address: Kompleks Warisan Sultan Abu Bakar, Lot 888, Jalan Sungai Chat, 80100 Johor Bahru, Johor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YayasanWarisanJohor/

Art 52 Gallery, Johor Bahru

Frontage of gallery
Image credit: Art 52 Gallery

A gallery featuring fine art is a rare gem in Johor Bahru. A walk along the infamous Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, heritage street of JB will bring you to Art 52 Gallery. Owned by Eric Tan, the gallery showcases the magnificent, Asian-inspired works of art by Grace Lim. A space to promote awareness and appreciation of art, the gallery has a spacious upper floor designed to attract avid art enthusiasts.

Gallery interiors
Image credit: Art 52 Gallery

An intriguing entrance with interesting sculptures welcomes guests. Prints of art pieces on display are available as postcards and  there are notes for guests to further appreciate the stories behind each artwork. A chat with Eric will engage guests in the history of the gallery and inspiration behind every work on display. Not to be missed during your art-inspired holidays, admission to the gallery is free.

Address: 52, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Art52-Gallery-475602289237842/

Senso Art Gallery Cafe, Johor Bahru

Frontage of gallery cafe
Image credit: Senso Art Gallery Cafe

Just a hop, skip and jump away from the Art 52 Gallery is Senso Art Gallery Cafe. Featuring various adaptations of modern art, the gallery is now showcasing art pieces by the hearing impaired at their upper mezzanine. The gallery is owned by Catherine Chai who also runs a cafe for guests to enjoy their fave cuppa and food during art appreciation. The cosy cafe is perfect for a catch-up with friends and a friendly place for kids to understand the nuances of art.

Art pieces on display on the walls within gallery interiors
Image credit: Senso Art Gallery Cafe

To make the most for the holidays, the gallery also organizes art-inspired workshops for interested guests to learn craft skills. Admission to the gallery is free, whilst menu items and workshops are chargeable.

Address: 25 & 25A Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Johor, Malaysia. 80000 Johor Bahru

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sensoartgallerycafe/

Marine Centre (Pusat Ikan Hiasan), Port Dickson

clown fish swmming among anemone
Image credit: pixabay.com

Another hidden gem to explore for the holidays is Pusat Ikan Hiasan in Port Dickson. This marine life adventure will set your kids screaming Nemo, Dory, Hank once you step in this air-conditioned Marine Centre. Meant to be a research centre, this informative place has numerous fish tanks with sea creatures ranging from sea horses, corals, salt water fishes, turtles and more. The touch pool area invites curious junior sea rangers to experience touching the star fishes, coral and sea life.

If you have been singing ‘Baby Shark’ as your holidays’ anthem, kids can meet a real one here. Admission is free.

Address: Jalan Kemang 8, Kampung Baharu, 71050 Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pusat-Ikan-Hiasan-PD-217337065279115/

Taman Gelora, Kuantan

frontal of crab on white sand
Image credit: pixabay.com

Crab-catching during the holidays is a must do at this scenic seaside park. During low tides, die-hard sea creature explorers can be seen to walk out to the horizon, bare-footed and brazen enough to brave the wet sands. At sunset, the locals bring rakes to rake the waters at low tide and make lots of discoveries from fiddler crabs to clams to molluscs of every kind. Just dragging your feet in the shallow waters is therapeutic and so much better than paying for a fish spa.

Image credit: Zaini Abdullah | Flickr
Apart from seaside explorations, the park is famous for their one-of-a-kind hanging bridge, jogging path, playground and pond with water lilies. Food vendors near the car park provide the food and hydration stations you need. The park is free to the public. 
Address: Jalan Dato Abdullah, Kampung Tanjung Api, 25050 Kuantan, Pahang

Fabulous Festivals For The Holidays

Butterworth Fringe Festival, Penang

mural of kid on motorcycle on wall
Image credit: pixabay.com

Head over to the annual, vibrant 2-day festival of the arts, culture and heritage of Butterworth, Penang. Affectionately named BFF, the festival brings together a celebration of the senses for everyone who loves the arts. It will feature crowd-pleasing performances from local and international artists, ranging from creative workshops, kids’ activities, arts and crafts market, arts exhibition, street foodie paradise and more.

colourful candle holders on display
Image credit: pixabay.com

This festival has been showcasing the diversity of Butterworth since 2015. What a brilliant street fest for the holidays! Its free for Festival-goers.

Date: 1 -2 December 2018, 4pm – 11pm

Address: Jalan Jeti Lama, 12200 Butterworth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ButterworthFringeFestival/

Children’s Festival @ MAG 2018, Kuala Lumpur

Creative minds need a creative space to herald the holidays. The Children’s Festival at Museum & Art Gallery (MAG) 2018 titled ‘Tinkering With Brain’ has plenty of wholesome activities to entertain the kids. It is aimed at fostering creative and innovative thinking among children in arts, heritage, finance, economics and numismatic – the study of coins and currency. Daily activities include Energy Playground, Jenga quizzes and Little Investors board game.

jenga set with boy in background
Image credit: pixabay.com

Special programmes to look out for are the Tinker Fest, educational movies, creative experiments, 1-day boot camps, art classes and more. For the love of money, admission to the festival is free.

Date: Now till 8 Dec. 2018

Address: Museum & Art Gallery Bank Negara Malaysia, Sasana Kijang, 2, Jalan Dato Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Website: http://www.museumbnm.gov.my

Iskarnival Main-main, Johor

Event poster of Iskarnival Main-main
Image credit: Iskanrnival Main-Main

Located by the spectacular views of Puteri Harbour, the celebration of play for the holidays takes new meaning. Iskarnival Main-main features a myriad of fun activities for all ages, brought together by local initiatives and talents. On the itinerary are special events such as Dinosaur Kingdom, Moscow Circus and Street Circus acts. The tempo heats up with music performances by Joe Flizzow, Zee Avi, Hujan and other celebrity artistes.

colouring pages with kids hands holding colouring pencil
Image credit: pixabay.com

There are countless shows to entertain visitors such as wushu, drums dance and cultural dances. Equally exciting are the cosplay contest, photography and videography competition. Getting crafty is key to play and there’s workshops aplenty from craft, bamboo art, basket weaving to embroidery sewing. Admission is free.

Date: 8 & 9 December 2018, 12nn. – 12mn.

Address: Puteri Harbour, Iskandar Puteri, 79000 Johor Darul Ta’zim

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2198831540391211/

Plant Mixology – Drink Edition by Eats, Shoots & Roots

iced lime drinks
Image credit: pixabay.com

Love a tipple? Forego the speakeasy and join the Plant Mixology workshop this holidays. Here, nature lovers will learn how to mix their very own iced organic herb and fruit slushies. They are made from home grown, home-made syrups and herbs harvested from their Edible Garden. This workshop includes how to make your own plant-based drinks and how to mix the right herbs and spices for the perfect drink.

Workshp in session with teacher involving participants

It also teaches visitors how to make home grown syrups and propagate your harvest into your cuppa. Eats, Shoots & Roots is a social enterprise that aims to empower urban communities to grown their own food. Famous for their edible garden programmes, visitors are in for a treat. Admission is free. Registration is required to confirm your place.

Date: 9 Dec. 2018, 10am – 1pm

Address: AVIRA Sales Gallery, No. 1, Jalan Medini Timur 15, Bandar Medini Iskandar Malaysia. 79250 Iskandar Puteri, Johor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eatsshootsandroots/

Happy Holidays Are Here

7 boys jumping by the beach
Image credit: pexels.com

Be prepared for fancy-free fun and footloose festivities during the holidays. Pack your essentials such as brollies, sun hats, raincoats, insect repellent and sun screen for all your outdoor adventures. Grab them at amazing discounts with Tmall promo codes and enjoy up to 10% cash rewards via ShopBack.

Checking out the neighbourhood library is great way to spend the holidays too. Many of them will have free holiday programmes to entertain the kids. When reading at home is more your thing, the holidays just got merrier with great promos on all your fave books with Book Depository coupons. They offer up to 12% upsized cashback via ShopBack and delivery is free. Tell us more about how you spend your holidays with the family.

*Featured Image Credit: nik radzi | Unsplash / All images credited to the article author unless stated otherwise.