Yaho Kids’ Sand Cafe (Ichon)

This week’s adventuring took us to the Yaho Kid’s Cafe, which I read about on the site Korea Ye! (a must-read for foreigners in Korea!). I don’t know if it’s the toxic smog or the fact that it’s been a pretty action-packed couple of weeks with my husband being out of town for work and the kids’ birthdays, but I wasn’t feeling very motivated to venture out into the city. So we stuck close to home, parked at a friends’ house and made our way over to the Yaho Sand Cafe.

I knew that the place was relatively small, but our group of 12 kids and 6 moms was a bit much for this cute little kids’ cafe. I’m pretty sure that the staff–two young women–were completely overwhelmed and perhaps even a bit frightened by our mass entrance into the small space.

The space is split into a small cafe area (with 3-4 tables for moms to sit, relax, drink coffee, eat lunch) and a play area. The bottom level of the play area is a large sandbox, and there’s a lofted section above it with toys. There are some great photos of the space on the Korea Ye! site, so please have a look. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very many photos while I was there today.

Lofted Play Area

When kids enter the sandbox area, staff quickly rushes over to dress the kids in overalls and a pair of boots to help keep the sand out of their clothes. Even my finicky, likes-things-just-the-way-he-likes-things-son was willing to put the overalls and boots on, and there was minimal complaining from him about the feeling of gritty sand on his feet as we were getting ready to go (I call this a win!).

The staff was very attentive of the children, particularly the younger 1-2 year olds, and another win: all of the beverages the moms ordered were fabulously tasty. It states on their menu (and yes, they will offer you an English version) that all of their food and drinks are made on-site, and my kids gobbled up a plate of chicken nuggets and mini-hot dogs.

The cafe is geared toward toddler and preschool aged children, and although my 5 year olds had a lot of fun, I definitely think this is a place that my daughter and I will frequent once the boys go to school in the fall.

The pricing is comparable to most other kids’ cafes. It’s 6,000KRW for the first hour and 10,000KRW for 2 hours. Also, the adult/parent is required to purchase a drink (some kids’ cafes charge 4,000-5,000KRW for the parents, which includes a “free” drink, so it’s all the same). The staff just keeps track of your food and drink orders, and you pay up at the end as you leave. Also, something wonderful that I didn’t know: you can drop your kids off there and run errands, go to the dentist (UPenn Ivy Dental is just one block over), go to dinner (there are plenty of great restaurants in the area)… The drop off fee is a bit higher–20,000KRW for 2 hours, and of course, you can pre-order food for your kid(s) when you drop them off, but it’s convenient with so many shops, businesses and restaurants nearby, and your kids are guaranteed to have a great time!

Oh, and one other tidbit–you can park in the Hangang Mansion Apartment complex just behind Yaho Cafe. Let them know that you’re going to Yaho Cafe, they’ll give you a yellow slip of paper to put in your windshield, and just let the staff at Yaho Cafe know that you’ve parked and they’ll give you a ticket that allows you to park for free. No time limit.

All in all, we had a great time. I don’t do kids’ cafes often since it gets rather pricey with 3 kids who also want to eat everything they see, but it was a great experience, and I’ll definitely be taking my littlest one there again. And probably taking advantage of the kid drop off service. 🙂

Yaho Kids’ Sand Cafe is open weekdays from 11am to 8pm and Saturday from 10am to 8pm. Closed Sundays. It’s within walking distance of Ichon station (exit 4), and a quick and easy drive from Yongsan Visitor Gate (Gate 13). From Exit 4 of Ichon station, walk straight ahead 2 blocks, passing Hangaram Apartments. At the main street, Yaho Cafe is across the street to the left.

Unfortunately, I forgot to grab a business card, so I don’t have the address (I’ll update here when I can get it), but here’s the address for UPenn Ivy Dental, which is just one block over.

Seoul-si, Yongsan-gu, Ichon-dong, 300-26

Yaho Cafe is on the 2nd floor.

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