This was one of our favorite adventures – and it was so close to where we live!
Once upon a time, the weather was getting warmer and the kids were cooped up in the house going bonkers. Mom came to the rescue by suggesting we all get out and go to the park.
The kids thought we were just going to the park down the road (which is really just a playground on paved cement). Little did they know the grand scheme I had laid out!
National Museum of Korea – Children’s Museum
The first video of our adventure was really an accident. I was planning on taking the kids to the Yongsan Family Park because I had read that it was full of neat walking trails and lots of grass and space to run.
We left kind of late in the morning, and since we had to make several metro stops to get to our destination (part of the package of living on the silly #6 brown line), it was nearly lunch time when we got there.
Then – I decided to take the exit that said ‘National Museum of Korea” instead of the one that led us straight out onto the street.
So we came out of the subway right smack in front of the giant museum. We were hungry and went in search of a restaurant.
Walking up to the main building, we saw a map of the grounds. Surely there would be a snack bar of some sort right? A kindly gentleman came up to us and explained how to get to the cafeteria. As we were making out way there, we kept seeing signs for a Children’s Museum – and they seemed to point to an area that was not in the paid part of the museum.
So after eating some fried chicken and bibimbap we decided to check it out!
The children’s museum was right down the hall from the cafeteria and when we inquired about it we found out it was free!
There are about 5 main areas inside and loads of hands-on activities. My kids learned to much about the history, culture, and customs of Korea. And just like our experience in Kansas, it provided a free option so we didn’t have to pay to get into the main museum area (where the kids would probably get bored).
I highly recommend a trip to the National Museum of Korea to anyone headed to Seoul. Especially the children’s area.
Just outside of the children’s museum was an awesome store. We found a lot of paper and cardboard model kits – and Raven bought and put together a kit of Gyeongbokgung palace. Denna found a set of origami papers that made all kinds of little people dressed in folk outfits. She picked a set that had the traditional dress of Korea.
There were a lot of school kids there that day, and if you listen to the last part of the video you can hear a bunch of girls screaming. A group of middle school girls had cornered Gaius inside one of the play buildings (to fawn over him and call him cute) and when he roared at them they over-reacted with screams and shouts. I had to cut the video off because one of the museum workers had wandered over to check out what was going on.
Yongsan Family Park
After the screaming girls calmed down, we decided to head out into the open air. It was a little bit of a walk to get down to the actual playground area of Yongsan Park, but along the way we discovered beautiful cherry blossom orchards and buildings and pagodas galore.
We wandered back through the pagoda area on our way to get on the subway to go home (you will see that in our video).
I saw a lot of walking paths that we didn’t explore so you could probably spend a good day just meandering through the gardens and areas of the park.
We stopped at the playground for a while but it was full of school groups as well – and the little kids didn’t seem to want to play with the foreigners. Gaius did make one friend and then ended up getting in a sand fight with him.
I was really surprised at how many kids there were and how little workers. I bet there were 20-25 kids for each adult. These were little kids – probably a preschool or toddler daycare.
The kids then discovered a stage area (where we film the wrap-up of our experience at the museum), and then they spotted the pond and walking path that led back to the pagodas.
Along the way we found a couple of waterfalls and more beautiful scenery. By the time we got through the pagoda garden again the kids were tired out and ready to head home.
It was a very fun day and the best part about it was that it was all free! Well – other than our lunch which was around 23,000 won ($20) for the 4 of us. And our subway tickets. But you get what I mean.
I bet if you packed a picnic lunch you could spend the entire day exploring. And if you live closer to the Ichon station, you can walk there!
Our other UHS adventures:
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