Despite having lived in Seoul for 10 months already (yeah, when did that happen?!?), we made our very first trip to the Yongsan Family Park. Located a very short walk from the Visitor Gate/Gate 13 and the Ichon Subway station, it’s a great location for anyone who lives on or around post. None of my children like big crowds, so we tend to avoid public places on the weekends, particularly those that attract families with children. It just gets a bit chaotic, and my boys have realized over the past several months that they don’t like being stared at while trying to play. So we decided to go right after breakfast and arrived at the park around 9:30am. There’s a very small parking lot (maybe 25-30 spaces) that’s tucked away under an overpass. When we arrived, there were about 3 other cars in the lot. We were given a ticket when entering the parking lot with a time stamp in order to pay on our way out (FYI, we were there for a little over 2 hours and paid 2,400W when we left).
Right next to the parking lot are the restrooms and a handful of picnic tables in a shaded area–great place for a picnic, especially if you don’t feel like lugging 3 kids and bags and/or a cooler full of food to another picnic location. My kids don’t care where they eat. As long as they eat!
There’s also a very convenient little map of the park, labeled in English, at the entrance of the park. The walkways are very well-maintained and if you’re looking for a place to just go for a walk or a run, this park would be great. It’s quite stroller friendly, and little ones would have plenty to look at and admire while mama gets a workout.
When we got there, some people were working on the vegetable garden, and my boys, who love tomatoes and zucchini were quite impressed with the garden. It’s really too bad that we don’t have a yard here in Seoul, although I imagine a container garden up on our balcony would do really well. There’s also a barefoot path through the vegetable garden, so this would be a great way to teach your little ones about how food is grown while letting them get some dirt between their toes. And don’t worry–there’s a water faucet to clean your feet afterwards!
We wandered through the park, tossing around a football and a frisbee we brought with us while trying to prevent our ever-curious and perpetually suicidal 18 month old daughter from falling into the little pond and stream.
The only thing Miss Penny Penny is afraid of, apparently, are grates. She won’t step on them. Ever.
We only made it halfway through the park because the kids were distracted by the playground. It’s a lovely little play area with a cute little mushroom house, flowers, benches and picnic tables as well as the closest thing I’ve seen to sand at a playground (it’s more like sand mixed with gravel, but the kids didn’t seem to mind!).
My only complaint about the playground area is that although the rest of the park is very well shaded, the playground itself has no shade. I don’t mind the kids getting some sunlight, especially after what felt like a ridiculously long monsoon season this year, but we couldn’t stay out here for long stretches, especially with my littlest one’s fair skin. On the bright side, there are restrooms and a water fountain very conveniently located by the playground.
There’s also a SUPER LARGE bench, which not only makes for a great photo op…
…but offers little boys another opportunity to give their mother a heart attack. :-/
We ended our morning trip to the Yongsan Family Park with some juice and a snack at one of the picnic tables. All in all, I’d say it was a lovely little adventure!