JOHOR BAHRU: AT the Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park, visitors would get to meet adorable Hello Kitty mascots at the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, the first to be opened in Asia outside Japan.
It is on the first floor of the four-storey indoor theme park with a Hello Kitty merchandise store on the ground level.
The town is designed as a pretty little neighbourhood, complete with flower beds in front of the windows of brick-red houses, and deemed "child-friendly".
Inside the Hello Kitty home is a bathroom, kitchen, living area, bedroom and a special place for Kitty's sister, Mimmy.
A special pergola in white and yellow hues was set up for fans to take photographs with Hello Kitty and her friend, Dear Daniel.
They greet visitors and dance for them on the Purrfect Stage as they perform the Hello Kitty Heartful Journey, an entertaining performance complete with chorus boy and girls.
Families can participate in activities at the Wishful Studio such as making dolls, bracelets with charms, painting each other's nails, and decorating cookies.
They do these with the help of artisans such as paper craft artist Kazuya Tsukimori, and nail artist Masako Kojima from Japan.
For adventurous problem-solvers, they can help to rescue Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel from being held captive by Kuromi in a dungeon at Black Wonder.
Young children can play with their friends at the Friendship Land, and go for a Tea Cup ride in the town.
There is an inflatable playground at The Little Big Club, which is the second theme park here.
The latter also offers families several activities to keep their children busy.
The club is on the second and third floor of the building.
On the second floor, Cuddly Purple Barney, the dinosaur popular among pre-schoolers from a sing-along TV series, will also make an appearance for stage performances daily.
There is also an opportunity to be a young creator in the Bob The Builder area.
Here, children can build a wall from soft blocks of various shapes.
On top of that, fans of courteous Angelina Ballerina will have a good time watching her dance with ballet precision.
They can also learn how to dance by imitating her in computer-generated images.
Then there is an arcade in Pingu Igloo for children to play games such as Whack-a-Fish, Pingu's Water Blaster, and Throw Basketball.
On the third floor, a series of Thomas & Friends rides will give visitors a whopping good time.
The floor is an area for children to explore various transport modes with Maron and Wellsworth cartoon characters lending their names to stations in the background.
Visitor will also enjoy rides such as the Harold Helicopter Ride and Bertie's Bus Ride.
Those who get a thrill out of rides at great heights will love Toby's Windmill Ride and the Colin's Cranedrop.
After a long day in the theme park, visitors can opt to eat at Mc Bunn cafe on the third floor, Cinnamoroll cafe on the first floor, or Red Bow Cafe on the ground floor.
These eateries are inspired by Hello Kitty characters.
Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Tunku Datuk Ahmad Burhanuddin Tunku Adnan said it was great to be able to house many cartoon characters under one roof.
He said next month, the park would also have Lat's Place, which based on the iconic cartoonist.
"I hope visitors, especially families, will take the opportunity to visit Lat's Place, as there are many interactive activities for children to play and enhance their learning," said Tunku Ahmad.
He said the theme park is for children to get to know their favourite cartoon characters "in the flesh", other than just seeing them online or on television.
The park is at Persiaran Puteri Selatan, Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya.
It is open from 10am until 6pm daily during Malaysian and Singaporean school holidays.
When it's not the school holidays, it is closed every Tuesday.
For more information, visit www.playtime.com.my