Words by Grace Sun and shots by Sarah Cha
It’s cold and the kids are bored. The season for outdoor pools and running in the park is well and truly over. What to do now? For those of you who have very young children, it can often be a challenge finding a suitable place to take them for some playtime. Here’s some great news for you – Kids Cafés in Korea are aplenty! These indoor playgrounds cater to children and babies from 6 months up and are filled with wondrous delights to keep them entertained for a couple of hours while mom and dad take a well-deserved break. There are CCTV screens and helpful staff in every café, so you can rest assured that your child will be fine.
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Here’s 10’s guide to the best kids cafés in town.
Dalki Kids Café
Perhaps the most expensive and the least suitable for young children, this large café has very little for toddlers and babies, but a lot to offer older kids. Train rides, haircuts in a car, manicure counters, craft and cooking centers, and a big teddy that fills up an entire room in the Times Square location make for great photos.
B2, Times Square, 442 Yeongdeungpo-dong 4-ga, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul.
Kids W10,000, adults W5,000.
Other branches in Yongin and Jamsil. cafe.dalkis.com 02-2638-2615
Probably the coolest of the bunch, this café has an indoor ferris wheel, popping ball guns, and even bumper cars. Add to that a jumping area, cooking and art room, train ride, magnetic fishing and photo time with Cocomong. Don’t expect much in terms of food and drink, though. Note that for children, access is limited to those who are 7 years old or younger.
6F, 516 Munjeong-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul. Below 24 months W8,000, 25 months – 7 years W13,000, adults W6,000. cocomongland.com 02-2157-5000
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Hello Kitty Town
This one is for the girls and those that live in Ilsan. Themed (and pink, pink, pink!), this café has the usual play equipment, as well as a dress-up area with costumes, train ride, and large party room for birthdays.
3F B Tower, Western Dome, Janghang-dong, Ilsan-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do. Kids up to 10 years old W7,000. Adults need not pay admission but must order food or a drink in the cafeteria. hellokittytown.co.kr 031-904-1772
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Little Bear Café
Another chain with more than 20 locations in a variety of cities. The staff here are the most attentive, often helping and playing with the kids. Every 30-60 minutes, an activity – such as arts and crafts or dance exercises – is led by staff and everyone can join in. Play equipment is excellent and caters to all ages.
Korean website has phone numbers and directions for each branch. Price varies as branches are operated separately. littlebearcafe.com
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Another large and busy one for the older kids, Tumbland lacks in some areas (notably, food and drink) but makes up for it with its huge jumping castle and big swinging tree. A ball pit and play room are suitable for smaller kids, but beware as this place can get pretty hectic on weekends. Located in Yongsan’s Ipark, it’s a convenient location for those that live in the area.
40-999 iPark Mall, Hanrang-ro 3-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Kids W15,000, adults W5,000. Other locations in Seoul and other cities.
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Little Prince Café
Without a doubt the best all-rounder, the Little Prince chain has dozens of locations all over Korea, from Seoul to Jeju. The café is set up like a restaurant, so patrons must buy food. Adults can enjoy delicious pasta and rice dishes, gourmet coffees, and snacks, and dads can even enjoy some beer. The food served is the best in any kids café, and children’s meals are also fantastic – organic and MSG-free. All the usual equipment is there – slides, jumping area, ball pit – as well as a section for the little ones that contains bouncers and exersaucers. Every 3 hours, the entire play area is sanitized with UV lights. Highly recommended.
Korean website has links to websites for each branch. Kids W7,000, adults must make a purchase at the cafeteria. kpgc.co.kr 1544-7993
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Located in the new D-Cube City in Sindorim, this emporium for kids is perfect for those moms and dads in need of a bit of downtime from shopping. The very comfy relaxation area is a nice nesting place for the crawlers, and the ball pit, building blocks, activity rooms, large jumping mattress, and train ride are great for the older kids. Best of all is the live show every hour, complete with Pororo and all his friends dancing and singing – such a treat. The café has a good selection of drinks but no meals.
4F D-Cube, 360-51 Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul. Kids W16,000, adults W6,000. Other branches in Hwaseong and Paju, both in Gyeonggi Province (admission is cheaper for kids here: W10,000). pororopark.com 1661-6340