The Habitat, Penang Hill
Bukit Bendera, Penang (04 826 7677 /thehabitat.my). This new nature reserve atop Penang Hill serves as a refreshing getaway from the island’s hectic neighbourhoods (think George Town and Gurney). If your kids’ only knowledge of the wilderness is via National Geographic, lead them through this lush rainforest seemingly untouched by man. All of The Habitat’s attractions, including the Nature Trail, the Canopy Walk, the Treetop Walk and the Butterfly Bank, were constructed using ecologically sound and environmentally-friendly methods to ensure minimal disturbance to the environment.
Exotic flora and fauna loom around every corner with the Red, Purple and Yellow Gardens housing flowering plants of the said vibrant colours. Kids with keen eyesight are likely to get lucky spotting the Paper Kite Butterfly, Asian Fairy-Bluebird, Dusky Leaf Langur and other wildlife.
Encourage your children to fully utilise their five senses by signing them up for the Kid’s Walk @ The Habitat, a programme for two- to 12-year-olds developed by Ms Suzane, the in-house naturalist. Participants are handed wild fruit and edible leaves to taste, tree bark and crushed leaves to smell, and prickly or hairy leaves to feel while taking in the sights and sounds of the rainforest. A craft and colouring session caps the experience, so your little ones have souvenirs to remember their walk on the wild side.
Open daily save for Tuesday and Wednesday, The Habitat’s hours of operation will extend to seven days a week after its official launch in August 2016. Mon & Thu-Sun, 10am-5.30pm. Adults, RM20; Children (aged 3-13 years); Students (with valid ID) and Senior citizens (above 60 years), RM10; Children (aged under 3 years old), free. Family package (2 adults and 2 children aged under 13 years old), RM50; (My Kad holders) 25 percent off ticket prices. Reserve a spot for the kids’ walk by emailing email@example.com.