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How to keep your little ones amused on Children’s Day

With Children’s Day just around the corner on May 5, many Korean parents are stressing over how to entertain their kids on the special day.

Designated a national holiday in 1975, the day is devoted to the welfare and enjoyment of children and a rare opportunity for modern working parents to create an entire day of memories with their little ones. The Korea Herald suggests five events for a holiday full of both entertainment and education: 

Outdoor activities at the Lighting Museum Festival (Lighting Museum)
Outdoor activities at the Lighting Museum Festival (Lighting Museum)

Fun with history

The National Museum of Korea in Seoul is offering history-related programs for children on May 5.

At an exhibition of the Joseon sundial, invented by historic scientist and astronomer Jang Yeong-sil, children will be able to create their own portable sundials and learn about the scientific principles behind the instrument.

Also, the museum will allow children to handwrite letters on stationery fabricated in the Joseon-era style, with the aim of giving young boys and girls a respite from today’s digitally charged social media environment.

Visitors will be given a chance to don royal costumes of the Three Kingdoms period and create colorful pins bearing pictures of ancient relics.

Puppet performances will be held at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Entry will be free for all children and adults. Similar programs are to be hosted at the national museums of 12 cities nationwide, including Gyeongju, Gwangju and Jeonju.

Date: May 5
Location: National Museum of Korea, Seoul (137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul)
Contact: (02) 2077-9000
How to get there: The museum is located near Ichon Station, Line No. 4, Exits 1 and 2.

Dynamic outing

Head to the Korea Children’s Festival for a lively outing filled with contests, games and performances. Hosted annually by the Yookyoung Foundation, a foundation for children’s welfare and education, the festival will feature over 40 events.

In the main program, “Green Dream Adventurers,” 6,000 children explorers will be able to participate in a dance party, magic show, ballet performance and more.

Singer Kim Tae-woo of g.o.d. and girl group T-ara will perform on stage. Broadcasting station KBS will show four animated children’s movies. All programs can be enjoyed for free.

The festival will take place at the Korea Children’s Center, a lush 100,000-square-meter educational site dotted with ponds, gardens and traditional Korean hanok structures. 

Date: May 5-8
Location: The Korea Children’s Center (441 Gwangnaru-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Korea)
Contact: (02) 2204-6028
How to get there: The center is near Children’s Grand Park Station, Line No. 7, Exit 2.

Korea Children's Festival (Yookyoung Foundation)
Korea Children's Festival (Yookyoung Foundation)

Parade with literature

Korea’s largest book festival, which features over 200 cultural programs, will be held at Paju Book City, providing an enchanting educational experience for children and adults alike.

With the aim of letting younger generations encounter books in a fun way, over 200 publishing houses and cultural organizations will be hosting exhibitions, street performances and flea markets, among other activities.

Children will be able to meet with authors and learn how books are written and published. A creative writing and illustrating contest will also take place.

The highlight of the festival is the Book City Children’s Parade, where boys and girls will be able to dress up as beloved characters from classics and prance around the streets.

An exhibition featuring classics from different eras and countries will be held, explaining to visitors the historical background and interpretation of each work.

Additionally, a symposium for the international copyright exchange of children’s books will take place for publishers to share ideas on the issue.

All proceeds will be donated to the international relief organization World Together. 

Date: May 1-5
Location: Paju Book City (145 Hoedong-gil, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do)
Contact: (031) 955-0050
How to get there: Take bus No. 2200 from Hapjeong Station, Line No. 2, Exit 2, to the Paju Book City stop.

Paju Book City Festival (Paju Book City)
Paju Book City Festival (Paju Book City)

Illuminating adventures

The Lighting Museum, the only museum in the world specializing in lighting, is hosting a festival featuring activities on light art, color and electric lighting. Children will also learn about the effects of light pollution through environmental programs.

At the craft table, those who bring water bottles, tissue rolls and tin cans from home will be able to create figurines and craftwork out of the reusable material. They can also create glass art with artisans outdoors and play with kaleidoscopes that show how colors change when exposed to different lighting.

The festival will also hand out LED bulbs in exchange for incandescent bulbs, which consume excessive electricity and are thus harmful for the environment.

The museum houses a light-themed playground, where children can run around and play with a wooden light box that mixes different colors of light.

The museum is regularly open throughout the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Date: May 5
Location: Lighting Museum (235-48 Gwangjeok-ro, Gwangjeok-myeon, Yangju-si, Gyeonggi-do)
Contact: (070) 7780-8911
How to get there: Take bus No. 35 from Yangju Station, Line No. 1, Exit 2.

Animals at Theme Zoo Zoo (Theme Zoo Zoo)
Animals at Theme Zoo Zoo (Theme Zoo Zoo)

Frolic with animals

Animal-loving children might fancy a visit to Theme Park Zoo Zoo, a zoo where nature, animals and people come together under the backdrop of a vast ecological resort.

Korea’s only private zoo registered at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the park is home to over 150 animals ranging from rare reptiles to monkeys, walruses, cockatoos and kangaroos.

Unlike zoos where visitors can only watch from afar, at the park, people are able to directly interact with and observe the animals up close by petting, holding and feeding them. Children will have the chance to play with rare animals while learning about their behavioral patterns and habitats.

Special souvenirs will be handed out to those who visit on May 5.

Date: May 5
Location: Theme Park Zoo Zoo (7-42 Wondang-ro 458beon-gil, Deogyang-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do)
Contact: (031) 962-4500
How to get there: The zoo is located near Wondang and Hwajeong stations, Line No. 3. Take a taxi from Wondang Station, Exit 6. From Hwajeong Station, take bus No. 1082, 85 or 85-1 at Exit 2 or Bus 038 at Exit 3.

By Rumy Doo (

Korea Herald Youtube