Seoul is sometimes described as one of the most family-friendly cities in Asia, and is an obvious starting-point for any family holiday in South Korea. The capital’s large number of outdoor spaces are great for kids needing to run off a bit of energy; explore the irresistibly-named Dream Park’s grasslands before trekking to the nearby waterfalls, look around Seoul Forest’s deer park, butterfly garden and four playgrounds, and let your inquisitive little explorers investigate the Secret Garden’s enchanting pavilions.
Two festivals that kids will love are the colourful Lotus Lantern Festival in Autumn and the Spring Flower festival which celebrates the cherry-blossom, both well worth checking out if you’re in town at the right time.
For indoor fun, the Gwachong National Science Museum has the ever-exciting dinosaurs and a proper planetarium, and the Children’s Museum has four floors of hands-on fun for kids aged 2-10. The COEX aquarium, fantastical Lotte World theme park and Children’s Grand Park (essentially a giant playground full of climbable sculptures and activity areas) are all good ‘rainy day’ options, while the 1988 Olympic Park has huge structures and sculptures to wander between on sunnier days. Of course, whatever the weather, the panoramic views across the city from N Seoul Tower are a ‘must see’ for those who don’t mind heights!
Away from the capital, South Korea has a thriving beach culture and there are plenty of coastal resorts perfect for family R&R. Gyeongpo Beach’s white sandy beaches, backed by shady woodland, stretch down to the azure waters of the East Sea – pretty idyllic, though it can get extremely busy during July and August. However, the locals always know where to head to escape the crowds and Jeju Island, with its combination of sandy beaches, rocky coastal walks, hill climbing and quaint villages, is a favourite holiday destination for Korean families.
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