Located on the top floor of the Suria, KLCC mall at the foot of the Petronas Towers, Petrosains discovery centre boasts a huge variety of science based activities for children of all ages. Conveniently located and very reasonably priced, it’s an attraction well worth a couple of hours of any families time.
Beginning with what it bills as it’s ‘famous’ dark ride, you enter Petrosains by boarding a black, egg-like capsule and heading into the darkness to experience a lacklustre rainforest and a very half hearted ‘under the sea’ display. This is, however, the only attraction of debatable quality at the discovery centre; as soon as you step out of the capsule, things get a lot better.
Like any good science museum or educational attraction, Petrosains’ main selling point is just how hands-on the displays are and at Petrosains everything is interactive. Whether you are programming and piloting a Mars rover in the space section or doning a jumpsuit and throwing yourself down an escape slide on the mock oil rig, everything can be touched and explored.
There’s no shortage of things to do either, so even on busy days when crowds are bustling, you shouldn’t find yourself queuing for long periods as there’s bound to be something free. Indeed, when we visited during the week on the eve of Chinese New Year, we didn’t have to wait for anything, despite the attraction being reasonably busy.
And the kids loved it. Over a period of a couple of hours they got to pilot a spacecraft from mission control, explore the living quarters of an oil rig, play virtual football on a projected pitch, meet a dinosaur, go virtual skiing and race ball-bearings down a variety of different tracks. They charged batteries and used them to shoot metal hoops into the air, made paper helicopters and tested them in a wind tunnel, used diggers to move earth and lots, lots more.
If I had to grumble my only issue would be on behalf of our 5 year old who found himself in the awkward position of not being able to do some activities because he was too old (4 years and under only) and unable to do others because he wasn’t tall enough (130/140cm and above). And whilst I did understand that a 5 year old boy in the toddlers Lego area would be a recipe for disaster, I found it harder to understand why his height made him unsuitable for what was your average playground slide and why it excluded him for sitting in a formula one car shaped chair and playing a racing game.
But c’est la vie! We had a great time!
You leave Petrosains via the second half of the dark ride that brought you in. Sadly, this was not to be as the ride broke down with us on it and after sitting in the dark for a while wondering what was happening, a man appeared with a torch to guide us out of the ride. Admittedly, this was both pretty spooky and pretty cool. I think we probably enjoyed it more than we would have enjoyed the ride!
Petrosains Discover Centre is located in Suria Mall, KLCC. Beneath the Petronas Towers.