Thursday, 18 April 2013

Petrosains, KL - Petroleum Gets Fun!

Shopping-gate.  That awful point where the child/husband/boyfriend you've been towing around the mall for the last four hours digs in their heels and point blank refuses to enter another shop.  It's a tough call - if you're like me you'll be just starting to enter your shopping comfort zone.  On the other hand, the public embarrassment factor of said child/husband/boyfriend letting everyone else in the vicinity know their feelings about your shopping habits isn't worth the risk.  This is why Petrosains, KL's popular science discovery centre, is genius.  It's in KLCC, one of the city's largest malls.  Play your cards right and you just might be able to sneak in a visit to one last shop if you can carefully incorporate a trip to Petrosains into your day.

To be honest, it's a pretty good reason outright to visit KLCC.  Petrosains is fun!  It may be the baby of Petronas, the country's oil giant, but the centre is anything but a dry science excursion-y destination.  Instead, it's an exciting, hands-on science centre bursting with activities that will appeal to both toddlers and their parents as well.

The experience starts with a ride on the very cool (and not at all scary) Dark Ride, little pods that transport you through an introductory video and deposit you neatly at the first of the exhibits.  From here on in you wander through a number of different exhibits, that include Mr Three's beloved kiddy-sized ride-on diggers, Geotime Diorama (complete with rapping T-Rex), a replica of an oil platform and my personal favourite, the speed zone, where you can create lego cars and pit them against each other on a little race course.  Little ones will also appreciate a stop at the soft play area, as will your aching feet.

Petrosains is deceptively large.  Mister Three and I have been four times and have yet to  discover everything on offer.  I would allow a minimum of three hours - and that would be time enough to just get a taster.  If you want to have a go at every simulator, formula one car experience, interactive computer game and maybe catch a 3D movie in the little cinema, you're looking at a whole day.  In that case, do bear in mind that there is just one very small, basic cafe - you may do well to eat up in one of KLCC's many restaurants before you set out.

When your little one (or you) can walk no further, the exit involves a second ride back on the Dark Ride.  You'll emerge back into the world of KLCC with an eye rub and a slight sense of bewilderment. Before leaving completely though, do stop into the excellent Petrosains gift shop.  This is on my hit list for birthday present shopping, with its interesting (and well-priced) array of dinosaurs, puzzles, build it yourself kits and science books.  I'm always surprised by what I find here.  Didn't I say there'd be a way to squeeze in one last shop?

(Top tip: If you live in KL you will get a nice, healthy discount on the admission price by showing your My Kad or diplomatic ID if you have one).

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