I just love spending time with my son. Not only am I bonding with him, I am also broadening his horizon by kickstarting his curiosity. This is perhaps one of the reasons why I would prefer to homeschool him. The latest adventure I had with him was a visit to Petrosains at KLCC. And it was a big hit with him.
We reached there around 1 p.m. According to the person at the counter, 3 hours would be enough to tour the whole area. Well, if you have a playful little monkey like mine, you would probably spend the whole day there.
As it is, we left when it was closing time at 5.30 p.m. This is despite the fact that two of the most popular exhibits — Geotime Diorama and Oil Platform — were closed for renovation. According to their website, the Geotime Diorama showcases realistic models of prehistoric animals and plants and a volcano. They even feature a “Singing T-Rex”. Another interesting exhibit that was partly closed was the replication of a true-to-life oil platform.
If it was fully operational, visitors would get a chance to be on an oil rig, see every aspect of what life is like on it as well as experience a simulated helicopter ride to the oil platform. Something to look forward to when they reopen.
Tuesday to Fri: 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (last admission at 4 p.m.)
Saturday, Sunday, Public Holiday: 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. (last admission 5 p.m.)
Monday: Closed (except on Public Holidays and School Holidays)
Children (below 3 years old): Free
Children (3-12 years old): RM8 (with MyKad); RM18 (without MyKad)
Adults (13-60 years old): RM20
Senior Citizen (61 and above): RM10 (with MyKad); RM15 (without MyKad)
Before you enter, you will be given a simple map. A few hot spots would be marked for your convenience. It would be useful if it was your first visit. There are free lockers at the entrance if you need to store things. The entry point would be a short Dark Ride (a ride in darkness while listening to an explanation regarding Earth and its resources) in a ‘car-buggy’. Something to note if your little one is afraid of the dark. The first stop is the Energy exhibition. There are some interesting activities like plasma tubes and some explanation regarding types of energy.
The next stop is more interesting: Space. In the Space exhibition area, visitors can learn more about space science and technology from exhibits such as the ‘ISS-International Space Station’ and ‘Mars Rover’. There is even a small replica of NASA’s Mars Rover that can be programmed to roam over simulated Martian landscape in search of signs of life on Mars.
You can even see yourself as an astronaut. If you have time, you can sit down and watch shows on the daily lives of astronauts in space. Interesting note: If you brush teeth in space, you just swallow the toothpaste.
Next is Geotime Diorama but it was closed for renovation.
After that is the Science Station and Sparkz area. There are many hands-on experiments here. Very interesting for first-time visitors. Something really interesting for little children are the two mini excavators. Also, please note there are Science shows at certain times throughout the day.
According to the staff, the shows are different every time. The Science show we saw was one about making ice-cream. It was informative and funny. And we get to taste the ice-cream in the end! There is also an innovative lab in this area. The activities change too. Some include making pop-up cards and making paper planes to see how far they can fly. A fun corner is one to do with shadows. Here, you use shadows to manipulate things like marbles, butterflies, football, etc. There is also a Tot’s Corner which is basically a playground for younger kids.
After you exhaust your mind, next stop is the oil platform followed by the Speed area. Speed, as its name suggests, features experiments related to speed. You can gauge your speed as you ski down a slope. There are also two racing car games similar to those at video arcades. Another interesting thing is a Cycraft Simulator though you have to pay RM2/person and be over 140cm. There is a live racing car on display and you can take your turn at driving racing cars for real with ‘toy’ F1 cars. You can also try your hand at sliding down a green tube.
After walking for so long, you may want to stop at Molecule Cafe. Then, it is off to Molecule Nano World. I am not sure what this area is suppose to be but people just basically walk through this area. Nothing much interesting and the exhibits are poorly maintained. Before reaching the next interesting activity — 3D Theatre — you can view, pay and collect the pictures you may have taken at the beginning of the tour. If there are many people, you may have to queue before entering the 3D theatre. It is a 13-minute show called The Lost World. Please note the last showtime if you do not want to miss it. If you’ve not seen 3D shows before, it will be quite interesting. The tour ends with a Dark Ride to the exit. Finally, you will end up at the Xplorasi Shop where you can purchase souvenirs of your Petrosains trip.
And that’s the end. What I like about the exhibits are how Petrosains used innovative methods to present ideas, display them in engaging and exciting ways. What I didn’t like is that some of the ideas are not explained properly, exhibits are ‘old and worn-out’, not taken care of and many are not functioning properly (spoilt). There are also height limitations for many interesting activities BUT it is a great bonding activity you can do with your children on a boring day.
Food and transport: RM25
Smile on my son’s face: Priceless
Knowledge gained: Priceless