Seoul with Kids
With its traffic, ever-present crowds, and abundance of concrete, Seoul may seem ill-suited to young children initially, but there are plenty of destinations and pockets of the city that will keep them enthralled and give them the opportunity to run free.
Many parents come to appreciate the child-centeredness of Korean society—kids are basically given a lot of space to be themselves, and no one is especially put out by crying (or cavorting) young ones, for example. Children are also entitled to heavily discounted or free rides on public transit and entry to most attractions.
Here are a few places and attractions kids should enjoy.
- • Gyeongbokgung: In addition to colorful changing of the guard ceremonies, this lovely palace has spacious grounds and a museum for kids that examines Korean folk culture.
- • N Seoul Tower and Namsan: Most kids will find the cable car ride up the mountain and the views from the tower a thrill, and once that’s over with the mountain has plenty of easy trails, gardens, and playgrounds to explore.
- • Seoul Forest: This is one of the best parks in the city for children, with sports fields, playgrounds, bike rental facilities, and friendly deer waiting to be fed.
- • Children’s Grand Park: Enjoy a complete kid-oriented recreation zone with playgrounds, a petting zoo, and a small amusement park.
- • National Museum of Korea: The country’s biggest museum includes a children’s museum that introduces Korea’s history through interactive exhibits and games.
- • War Memorial of Korea: The exhibits may be a bit grim for younger or more sensitive children, but older children will find them fascinating, particularly the massive collection of vintage war vehicles on the memorial’s grounds.
- • Lotte World: Seoul’s answer to Disneyland has enough rides and diversions to keep the kids occupied for days, and much of the park is indoors and can be enjoyed even in inclement weather.
- • Everland: This amusement park is even bigger than Lotte World, and it includes its own zoo and water park, but it’s slightly harder to get to since it’s on Seoul’s outskirts.
- • Korean Folk Village: Like Everland, this re-creation of Joseon-era Korea is a bit of a trek from central Seoul, but it gives kids the chance to try traditional crafts, learn old-style Korean games, and take in dynamic dance, acrobatic, and other performances.
© Jonathan Hopfner from Moon Seoul, 1st Edition