Living most of our days on a sunny island, we always try to bring the family somewhere kids friendly with cool weather when we travel.
Yongin and Seoul, South Korea
South Korea is known to be one of the most kids-friendly destination for travel, especially in spring (to see the cherry blossoms) and autumn. Winter days are short and can be a little harsh even in December (the lowest temperature we were walking around in was -11°C in December 2018) so it is important to plan your trip well and pack sufficiently to layer what you wear well.
The attractions and activities covered in this article are either in Seoul or Yongin with travelling time on public transport less than an hour with the children (excluding the trip to Alpaca World).
Here are the 5 places and activities we adored during our winter trip!
1) Alpaca World
The Alpaca World has got to be the highlight of our winter trip. We dedicated a day of our trip to this as it took us about 2 hours to travel there from our hotel in Seoul and a good 3 hours to get back via private car transfer. We spent about 5 hours there with the gentle animals and the best part was that it was not very crowded on a Sunday.
There are two open spaces to interact, feed or play with the alpacas. Just be mindful that we shouldn't stand right behind an alpaca and only touch the neck and back of an alpaca. The feed can be purchased at just 1,000 won.
There is a train ride further up and costs about 3000 to 5000 won per person for a round trip.Tickets can be bought at the machine beside the ride and payment has to be made through a credit card. Each ride can only fit 6 people so if the place is pretty crowded, you may consider walking up the hill. You will also be given alpaca feed to feed the alpacas along the train ride up.
There is also a healing walk where you can take a 10 minute walk with an alpaca on duty for the day. For weekends, it costs 10,000 won for a 10 minute walk.
I guess the reason why we can spend 5 hours here is because there are not just alpacas in the Alpaca World!
Along the way, we saw deers and peacocks as well. There are supposedly ponies but we did not get to see them.
If you really need to take a break from the cold outdoors, head on to their canary enclosure for an up-close encounter where you can feed the birds straight from the palm of your hands.
Otherwise, take refuge in their reptile/insect enclosure nearby. There is even a coloring activity corner for children inside, and they are welcome to pet the rabbits and hamsters.
Alpaca safari ride, healing walk & feeding canaries
Winter Travel Tips with Kids in South Korea
1. Buy heat packs if necessary when you are there. It costs about 1,000 ~ 1,200 won each and lasts pretty long.
2. Bring along a small thermos flask to top-up hot water at cafes or when you have your meals. The locals will gladly do that without charge.
3. Visit attractions on weekdays, do your shopping and drop by kids-friendly cafe on weekends.
4. Teach your kids simple Korean greetings like "Thank you!" and "Hello!". The locals love to hear foreign young children using their language!
2) Everland, Yongin
Everland is huge. We dedicated 2 days of our trip here and purchased discounted tickets beforehand via Klook (about 50% off). We spent one day for the rides, and the second day at Zootopia (a zoo within Everland with safari rides).
We were pleasantly surprised by the ease of getting there in winter - a train ride straight to Jeondae Everland Station from our hotel in Yongin, followed by a free short shuttle bus ride straight to Everland after exiting the subway station.
There are many rides and activities suitable for the family but here are the 3 winter activities you shouldn't miss with your children in Everland:-
(1) Snow Buster - where you can do snow sledding;
(2) Safari rides (Lost Valley and Safari World) at Zootopia;
(3) Moonlight Parade in the evening. If you stay until it gets dark (about 6pm), be sure to catch this parade and feast your eyes on the decorative Christmas lights under the moonlight.
Snow Buster, Everland
Moonlight Parade & Christmas Light Up at Everland
3) Gyeonggi Children's Museum, Yongin
Yongin is a lovely city just out of Seoul city. It is less crowded, and people move at a more gentle pace. Be sure to visit The Gyeonggi Children's Museum if you are here. It is an excellent indoor escape from cold for both adults and children. Priced at less than USD5, you can easily spend 4 to 5 hours at this huge educational playground with many interactive play and learning zones. Food options are great for children and yummy too.
Have fun trying out the different Korean restaurants you see. The chefs take a lot of pride in their cooking and some will even serve up their own unique side dishes.
4) Outdoor Ice Skating, Seoul
Back at Seoul, exit the subway City Hall station and head straight up for one of the most fun and affordable winter activity - ice skating outside Seoul Plaza. At only 1,000 won for an hour, they provide skates and helmets as well as safety gear for children.
Although they explained that children under 6 are not allowed on the skating rink, I did see several young children (probably 4 to 5) skating in the rink.
Do note that outdoor ice skating usually starts near Chirstmas.
5) Cafe Hopping
Seoul and Yongin have plenty of interesting kids friendly cafe. Especially in Yongin, where I believe the rental is less pricey, quite a number of cafes and restaurants set aside a generous space for children to play. And, when we say play, it can be as good as having an indoor playground equipped with trampolines, slides, and even old school arcade games. These creative small business owners really add flavour to the F&B culture.
If you like animals, be sure to also check out their cat, dog, meerkat, and other animal cafes. They will not be difficult to find and I would recommend those not easily found on the internet. Experience the joy of discovering a hidden gem and good coffee!
Hello Bang Bang Kids Cafe, Yongin
Cafe A++O, Dongbaek - Yongin
Cat Cafe, Myeongdong
© 2019 Yvonne Teo
Yvonne Teo (author) from Singapore on February 01, 2019:
Thank you Cecil, :). You are having much fun in Japan too!
Cecil Kenmill from Osaka, Japan on January 29, 2019:
I've been to Seoul a few times and had a blast. It's cool to see some kid-friendly options. Also, beautiful pictures!
Yvonne Teo (author) from Singapore on January 25, 2019:
Thank you for your kind words Liz. It's always a pleasure to travel.
Liz Westwood from UK on January 24, 2019:
This is a great article for anyone planning a trip with kids to South Korea. You give a lot of useful information with good illustrations.