The Koreans must really love children. We’ve never had so many strangers of all ages – mostly women though – stopping us on the streets to tickle Titus and coo at him.
And there are a mind-boggling variety of thematic indoor playgrounds built for kids of all ages throughout Seoul (in other cities too, I’m sure).
The moment we arrived in Seoul, we headed right to I Love Dalki Kids Cafe at Times Square mall (accessible by Yeongdeungpo Station) for Titus to have some fun. The poor chap was so bored and cranky in the heritage city Gyeongju.
I love how this outlet’s fruit theme is carried throughout the play area, with banana slides and watermelon climb structures.
Dalki, by the way, is both Korean for ‘strawberry’ and the name of a popular cartoon character who wears a strawberry hat and whose friends are all some kind of fruit.
In the cartoon is also a male character who loves poop and wears poop on his head (weird shit, literally!). His name is Dongchimee and references to him can be found in this kids cafe too.
Appropriately, leading to the toilet! LOL!
I Love Dalki Kids Cafe is really fun, with a supermarket and kitchen area where kids have mini shopping carts to push around and put their fruits and foods in and then proceed to cook them at cute pink stoves; a railway line serviced by a wooden train every hour; a toddler area with gentler play structures and beanbags to throw about; and more.
Built with parents and guardians in mind too, the Kids Cafe comes with a proper kitchen that serves up some really delicious fare.
Visitors can choose to dine at the restaurant (highchairs are available) or at two other dining areas within the playground. One area is furnished with tables and chairs, while the other low tables and mats.
This branch is much larger and the onsite restaurant has way more seats.
This outlet isn’t as cute as the one at Times Square. No matter though, as Titus wouldn’t care.
Besides I Love Dalki themed playground, the trendy Pororo cartoon has its own share of kids attractions.
Pororo Park at the massive Lotte World complex (accessible by Jamsil Station) gets most of the limelight, perhaps because of its size and location in a major family attraction.
There are free-play areas as well as scheduled attractions such as a Ferries wheel, carousel and musical. Go over the weekends and you can expect a tedious queue at every one.
Despite its size and variety of structures, Titus got bored barely an hour into play and was just walking about aimlessly.
So we called it quits and whisked him to I Love Dalki at Olympic Park, which was the closest outlet.
For a better Pororo themed playground, I highly recommend Pororo Lounge (also branded Lounge P) within COEX Mall in the upscale Gangnam area. It is smaller but has all that is needed to entertain children, from a pallet pit and race track to a climb structure and a padded toddler play room.
Plus, it is far less crowded. And I like that Pororo Lounge has a comfortable area with soft armchairs to rest in and cafe serving coffee, smoothies, sandwiches pastries and fuller meals for all ages.
Pororo Park does not and you’ll have to exit to get a drink from 7-Eleven next door.
Because of these playgrounds, Titus was a lot happier in Seoul.