This week’s adventure took us to the Gwacheon National Science Museum, which is a quickly 18 minute subway ride from Ichon Station (no transfers!). However, my brother offered to drive since he wanted to go too, so I didn’t have to brave the subway this week with 3 little ones in tow (thank goodness for big brothers who aren’t afraid to drive in this crazy city!). However, the subway station is very convenient and the exit takes you right up to the ticket office, which is in front of the main entrance.
We arrived around 10am, and although from what I’d read, I’d heard that tickets were 4,000KRW/adult (children are free), we actually only paid 2,000KRW/adult and 2,000KRW for parking because there’s a special going on until March 28, 2014! 50% off tickets on weekdays! The planetarium was an additional 1,000KRW (normally 2,000KRW), but because there’s so much to see in the museum itself, we opted for just the museum portion this time.
Once inside the museum, the kid’s exhibition is immediately to the right behind the escalators. It’s designed for elementary school children specifically, and although there’s plenty for preschoolers to do, there’s also quite a lot that they’re not old enough to do. Staff is on site to make sure that children are old enough to play on some of the equipment. If you have a child who tends to have epic meltdowns when not allowed to do fun things like ride the giant slide (for ages 7 and up), then it may be best to avoid this portion of the museum! 😉
My kids found plenty of other things to do in the kid’s exhibition, despite their disappointment at not being allowed to ride the funnest thing they’d ever seen.
Although the kids were having a great time playing in the kids’ exhibition, we knew that there were many, many other fun things for them to see, so we dragged our reluctant children out and upstairs to the space exploration exhibit. And the kids LOVED it. Then the dinosaur/natural science/animal exhibit. Another hit.
The animal/natural science exhibition was a really big hit with the kids, not only because it included dinosaurs (and what kid isn’t absolutely fascinated by dinosaurs??), but because there’s also a live fish/aquarium portion that includes a tank of the garra ruff fish, more popularly known as Doctor Fish. You know, the fish that nibbles on dead skin cells? The kids put their little fingers in the holes and exploded into fits of laughter. It was definitely a great sight to see. 🙂
There were also two other exhibition spaces that we didn’t even have a chance to visit since it was lunchtime by the time we finished up in the High Tech exhibit. I should add that there are a number of rides/experiences that older kids can enjoy (the anti-gravity machine, the 4D bus, etc.). You simply have to sign up for the rides at the information desk. Space is VERY limited, so if you have an older child who would enjoy this, get there early and sign up.
We all went into the cafeteria for lunch, and there are standard Korean lunch fare options–bibimbap, bulgogi and rice, udon noodles, katsu, as well as a children’s menu (spaghetti, hot dogs, etc.) that’s served with juice and jello. Had I known that the kids items were served with juice and jello, I probably would have ordered off it for both my kids because we were on the brink of WWIII when one child realized HE didn’t get juice and jello… One positive thing that I noticed was that despite the massive amount of people in the cafeteria, food was prepared very quickly. Definitely a plus when you’re with young children. However, I was surprised that they didn’t have high chairs…
After lunch, I discovered that there’s also a very large room with tables/chairs for people who bring their own lunch. It was far quieter than the cafeteria and a great option for the budget-minded family who wants to bring their own food.
On our way out, we decided to let the children play for a while at the playground just outside the main entrance. And playgrounds are always a good time!
And finally, as we made our way back to the parking lot, the kids wanted to walk through the dinosaur park, climb on a “mountain” and RAWR! like a dinosaur.
And within minutes of getting in the car for the drive back home, my baby girl was fast asleep. 🙂
We will definitely be visiting the National Science Museum again. There’s so much we didn’t get a chance to see and do!
(hours, ticket pricing, subway information, parking information, address, etc.)