Parks and Playgrounds. Seoul
Most large parks around Seoul have parking (it can be limited so go early on weekends) and concessions selling food, drinks, kites, bubbles and toys. Following is a list of some of the larger parks (all can be found on a map). They are much less crowded during the week, bu if you’re going to go or take the children there on a Saturday, morning is the best time - betweeen 9:00 and Noon. Another good option are the playgrounds in or near the big apartment complexes since no one one seems to object to non-residents coming by to play.
Boramae Park (보라매공원) is located in soutwest Seoul in Sindaebang-dong, Dongjak-gu on the site of what used to be the National Air Force Academy. SW Seoul. Boramae is home to a variety of facilities for youth, the elderly and disabled. There's a skate park, a 15-meter climbing wall, a musical 'water-fountain show spring through fall, a gymnasium, swimming pools, a pond, jogging track and much more. Getting there: Exit 2 of Boramae Station, Stop 742 / Exit 4 of Shindaebang Station, Stop 231 / near exit 6 of Shillim Station, stop 230.
Children's Grand Park (어린이대공원역) in Gwangjin is a large, older park with a sort of depressing zoo in the back. However it does have other things going for it. Before you get to the zoo there is a giant kids' play area in a sand pit. And around the corner from the play area, there is a water feature where kids play. It is like a shallow, concrete stream running over steps and rocks. Toddlers can splash and play on a hot day. Before you get to the zoo, up the hill on the left is a dog petting area separated into small and large dogs. If you don’t have a dog here, your kids may enjoy just sitting with a little dog on their laps petting them or playing with the big dogs. The areas are well-supervised by dog trainers. Buy a 1000KW ticket at the gift shop before going up .Admission: Entrance is free, but there are fees for some of the facilities including the zoo, amusement park, etc. Hours: 5 AM -PM . Zoo is open until 6 P.M. Getting there: Subway Line 2, exit at Konkuk Univ. Station, Stop 212 and take a bus (5 minutes to front gate) / Line 5, exit at Achasan Station, Stop 545, Exit 4 (back gate) / Line # 7, exit at Seoul Children's Grand Park Station, Stop 726, Exitt 1 (front gate). Website has some English.
Dream Forest, (북서울꿈의숲) a massive green park located in northern Seoul (Gangbuk-gu, Seongbuk-gu, and Dobong-gu) is the 4th largest park in the city . Among the park’s attractions are an observatory that provides a panoramic view of the whole area including 3 mountain ranges, various cultural venues, restaurants, seasonal activity centers for both adults and children, and more. The website is in Korean only. Getting There: Subway Line 4, Mia Samgeori Station, Stop 416, Exit 1 then take the local bus #9, #11 (10min ride) or Line 6, Dolgoji Station, Stop 643, Exit 3 then take the city bus #147 (5 min ride). Admission: Free but fees may be charged for entry to some of the facilities.
Hangang Park (한강공원) runs along the Han River in various stages. Try parking at the section in Yeouido and you can ride bikes or skate for miles along the sidewalk or fly a kite or run around in lots of open space or play on the playground near the Wonhyo Bridge. Facilities include Soccer Field, Volleyball Court, Basketball Court, Tennis Court, Gateball Court, Aquatic Leisure Sports (Suft Board, Wakter Ski, Yacht, Water Motorcycle, Water Sleigh), Swimming Pools (July-August), Inline Skating Rinks, Ecological Park, Bicycle Roads. Getting there: Exit #2 or 3 of Ttukseom Resort Station, Line 7, Stop 728 / From exit #1 of Cheonho Station, Lines 5 & 8, Stops 547 & 811, walk 20 min. / Exit #2 or 3 of Yeouinaru Station, Line 5, Stop 527 / From exit #4 of Dangsan Station, Lines 2 & 9, Stops 237 & 910, walk 10 min. Website has some English information.
Namsan Park (남산) which surrounds Namsan (Seoul) Tower is hard to describe and even harder to tell where to park. Try the small pay lot near the cable car first then look around the mountain. The cable car will take you to the base of the tower or you can take the steps and soak up the views. About a third of the way up the steps from the cable car you'll find a green house worth touring and a small, outdoor zoo. Go down the steps from the cable car area and you'll find a children's playground. A number of parents living in the area have wondered why the children's playground is so high up. There are a number of exercise area for adults nearer the bottom of the 'hill' so turning one of those into a playground for children shouldn't cause undue hardship for the exercise buffs. Fee charged for cable cars, botanical garden, etc. Facilities, including Seoul Tower, closed Mondays. Getting there:
The #3 bus that goes through Itaewon - stops near Itaewon Subway station, Exit 3, Stop 630. Call 1330 for other public transit options. Subway stations 30-45 min walk away. Park website in Korean only. Seoul Tower website has some English.
Nature Park near the Grand Hyatt in Itaewon is a series of stroller-friendly nature trails that should not be missed. Walking along these hilly trails in the thick woods you'll forget you're in a crowded city. You'll see more butterflies and birds than you never thought could exist here. There is parking across from the high end fashion shops that are to the left and across from the Hyatt. It is also possible to find something on the street on a weekday near the left side of the Hyatt. Start by crossing the pedestrian foot bridge there behind a little pavilion where bus drivers wait. Good luck; it's worth the effort.
Olympic Park (서울 올림픽 공원) is on the east side of town near Songpa-Gu. This is Seoul's biggest park. It has everything; but also involves a lot of walking on stroller-friendly trails. Open all year round. Admission free. Getting there; Subway line 2, Jamsil Station, Stop 216 / Seongnae Station, Stop 215 / Line 5, Olympic Park Station, Stop P550 / Line 8, Mongchontoseong Station, Stop 813. Koreans may shorten the name to Olpark.
Seoul Grand Park (서울대공원) is waaaay south of the river, south of the Gangnam area, but worth the trip for its two great zoos. It's a long, uphill walk from the parking lot, so consider taking the tram if you can haul your stroller up the steps to the station. The children's petting zoo on the left lets you feed llamas and donkeys and pet free-roaming pigs and watch some pretty playful monkeys. The larger zoo on the right is in better shape than the one at the Children's Grand Park and it has a fabulous dolphin and seal show. The Seoul Land Amusement Park also is down here. Hours:April ~ October 09:00~19:00/ November ~ March 09:00~18:00. Admission3,000 won for adults, 2,000 won for youths, 1,000 won for children. Additional cost for using some of the facilities. Getting there: Get off at Seoul Grand Park Station, Line 4, Stop 437, Exit #2
Seonyodo Park (선유도공원) was originally a landfill site but it has now been transformed into an ecological park that features a water purifying garden, aquatic botanical garden, water playground, and more. It is located near the World Cup Stadium. Website is in Korean only. Hours: 06:00 - 24:00 (Exhibit Hall: Summer Time 09:00 - 18:00/ Winter Time 09:00 - 17:00). Open all year round. Admission: free. Getting there: Subway Line 2 or 9 to Dangsan Station, Stop 237 & 913and go out of Exit # 1 >> Take bus #605, 6623, 6631, 6632, 6633 and get off at Hanshin Apt. >> Cross over Seonyudo Bridge / Subway lines 2 or 6 to Hapjeong Station, Stops 238 & 622, Exit # 8 >> Take bus #604, 5712, 6712, 6716 and get off at Hanshin Apt. >> Cross over Seonyudo Bridge.
Seoul Forest (서울숲) is on the north side of the river near the Seongsu Bridge and less than a 15-minute drive from Hanamm-dong area. This also is a huge park with lots of stroller-friendly walking trails. There is plenty of parking in a pay lot. Look for the kids' play area that has giant slides and great climbing equipment. There's also a giant chessboard-like fountain area where people congregate and children run in and out of the streams of water. Park's website not functioning at the time this post was updated, alternate website of SMG has English information. Open all year round. Free admission. Getting there: 5 minutes from Line 2, Stop 210, Exit 8.Buses: 2014, 2224, 2412, 2413 buses stop right in front of Seoul Forest.
War Memorial Children's Museum - Kids' Air Base Playground is located in the outdoor square just outside the Children's (War Memorial) Museum (east of the War Memorial) and just past the planes. Free admission (Children's museum also free admission). Playground offers two slides, lots of climbing, two swings, etc. plus restroom right beside it. Directions: Samgakji Station Line 4, Stop428 / Line 6 Stop 628(about five-minute walk).
World Cup Stadium Park (월드컵경기장 공원) is located in Mapo-Gu near World Cup Stadium and encompasses various small parks including Peace Park, Haneul Park, Noeul Park, Nanjicheon Park, and Nanji Hangang Park. It has two or three large parking lots. If you park in the pay lot directly across from the stadium and walk around the lake clockwise you'll find a huge playground in a sand pit. Your kids won't want to leave. Website has information in English. Free admission all year round. Getting there: Straight ahead of Exit 1, World Cup Stadium Station, Subway Line 6, Stop 619 - 10 Min. walk after crossing the crosswalk with a view of Haneul Park on the right hand side. Hours: Weekday 10:00~23:00/ Weekend 10:00~24:00.
Yeouido Park (여의도 공원) is a long, thin, city park with a football-field size concrete area in the middle for rollerblading and riding bikes (you can rent adult and kids' bikes, and bikes with kid seats for W3000 an hour, but bring your own helmet), three small playgrounds, lots of walking trails and ponds for feeding ducks and plenty of sites. It is located at about the middle of Yeouido, south of the Han River, and will come up directly on your right after crossing the Mapo Bridge (i.e., easy to find!). For parking, just make a right at the far end of the park and follow the boundaries of the park for available spaces, either paid or along the street. (Or you can just say "Yeouido Gong-won" to any taxi driver worth his salt.) Public transit: From Exit # 1 of Yeouinaru Subway Station, Line 5, Stop 527 and walk 10 min towards SBS TV Station / From Exit # 3 of Yeouido Subway Station, Stop 526 walk 5 minutes towards the National Assembly building. There are also quite a few basketball hoops and a small bumper car ride (500 won for about 5 minutes) in the central, paved plaza. One nice thing is that separate and parallel walking and biking/skating paths are provided and well-marked, so you're not dodging others on wheels if you prefer to walk or trail your family on foot. There are also quite a few restrooms and at least one concession area with tables for snacks and drinks. All in all, the park is a nice green space and big enough that it doesn't feel crowded, which is a nice change in Seoul. At the time of the update of this page, there was no website working in either English or Korean.
Yongsan Family Park is next to the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan. The front parking lot is small, but you can also park in the museum parking lot and walk around the back way. This park is the former golf course for the U.S. Military here so it's all rolling hills and great open grassy spaces. There is a large exercise machine area, but no kids' playground. Large public art and Weeping Willow trees over the lake make for great pictures. Bring a blanket and something to feed the ducks. Free admission. Getting there: Exit #2 of Ichon station, Stops J & 430 or exit #1 of Seobinggo station Stop K112, walk 10 min. Also * Bus #0211, #9502 >> Get off at Yongsan Family Park.
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Last Updated on 2016-08-08
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