The Korea Herald


[Well-curated] Chuseok is for palace strolls, playing in ball pools and catching circus

By Kim Hae-yeon, Lee Si-jin, Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Sept. 9, 2022 - 11:01

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Photo of last year’s Chuseok event at Changgyeonggung in Jongno, central Seoul (CHA) Photo of last year’s Chuseok event at Changgyeonggung in Jongno, central Seoul (CHA)

Visit royal palaces for Chuseok

Over the Chuseok holiday, the four major royal palaces -- Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung -- the royal tombs and the Jongmyo shrine in Seoul will be open and free to the public, from Friday to Monday.

The four palaces, which usually close on Mondays, will be closed on Tuesday instead. Jongmyo will also be closed on Tuesday.

At Changgyeonggung, a special Chuseok event titled "Full Moon Lands on the Royal Palace" will take place from from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Thursday to Monday.

During the harvest season, Koreans traditionally gathered together to see the full moon and wish for their families’ happiness and well-being.

Anyone can visit and see the glowing moon installation, which will be situated near Changgyeonggung Punggidae, a wind streamer pedestal recorded to have been set up during King Yeongjo's reign (1724-1776). The event will be closed in the case of rain.

Entry to Changdeokgung is free, but the first round of online tickets for the Changdeokgung Moonlight tour program has been sold out.

The program will operate until Oct. 28., and dates for the second round of lottery-based online ticket reservations will be announced after Chuseok. The tour runs 90 minutes and costs 30,000 won per person.

By the Heungnyemun Gate, the Palace Royal Guard Changing Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Friday to Monday.

Although Gyeongbokgung is free to enter during the daytime, night viewing tours, which start from 7 p.m., are based on reservations. Tickets have sold out for the first viewing period, which runs through Sept. 30.

On the day of Chuseok, which falls on Saturday this year, the National Intangible Heritage Center in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, will be hosting a folklore festival. From 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., those at the event can learn and enjoy traditional folk games such as jegichagi and tuho.

Updates on Chuseok events can be found at the Cultural Heritage Administration Royal Palaces and Tombs Center's website.


Visitors play in the ball pool named Pink Spa at Color Pool Museum. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald) Visitors play in the ball pool named Pink Spa at Color Pool Museum. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

Swim in ball pits at Color Pool Museum

Walking around Insa-dong, an old Seoul neighborhood known for alleys filled with craft galleries and art shops, you may have taken many photos of handcrafts, drawings, food and Korean calligraphy that captured your imagination.

If you are looking for a unique place to feature in your next Instagram upload, Color Pool Museum may be the place to visit in Insa-dong.

Located on the sixth floor of Anyounginsadong, a cultural and entertainment shopping complex located 5 minutes' walk from both Anguk Station Exit No. 6 on Subway Line No. 3 and Jonggak Station Exit No. 3-1 on Subway No. 1, Color Pool Museum welcomes visitors 2 years old and older.

Tickets are priced at 15,000 for adults and teenagers over 13 years old. Children between 3 to 12 are charged 12,000 won.

The ball pools and playgrounds have nine different themes, including Pink Spa, Palette Wall and more.

Shoes must be removed when entering the pools and visitors can enjoy the Color Pool Museum to its fullest without worrying about a time limit.

Pink Spa, Sweet Swing and Summer Vacance are the favorite Instagram photo zones with their pink-toned areas and cute items and decorations.

Color Pool Museum has gained greater popularity after it was featured on album cover images and YouTube contents of K-pop idols, including rookie girl group Le Sserafim, girl groups Class:y, WJSN Chocome, rapper Zico and more.

A screenshot shows singer Chae-won of girl group Le Sserafim at Color Pool Museum. (Le Sserafim's YouTube) A screenshot shows singer Chae-won of girl group Le Sserafim at Color Pool Museum. (Le Sserafim's YouTube)

You can also purchase colorful, handmade natural soaps and bath towels at the exit of the museum.

The play area is open Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are not available after 7 p.m.


A scene from a previous “Circus Cabaret” (SFAC) A scene from a previous “Circus Cabaret” (SFAC)

Circus Cabaret is in town

Aerial acrobatics, spectacular pole surprises, splendid aerial silk, suspenseful Cyr wheel and tightrope walking -- the only circus festival in Korea is back in town at the Oil Tank Culture Park in Mapo-gu, Seoul.

The Seoul Circus Festival, “Circus Cabaret” takes place this Chuseok, Friday to Monday, from noon to 8 p.m.

A total of 12 programs -- by eight Korean acts and four foreign acts -- performed right before your eyes will have you holding your breath.

If you are not sure which performances will be the best one to enjoy for you and your family, the program leaflet is available on the official website of the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture.

A scene from previous “Circus Cabaret” (SFAC) A scene from previous “Circus Cabaret” (SFAC)

The program table features several icons next to each program, so you can find out what kind of performances they are in advance: with the “hand” icon, the performers may invite the audience to the stage; the “flash” icon means the show includes strong lighting effects alerting photosensitive epilepsy; the “fist” icon suggests there could be some violent scenes.

In addition, a movable circus exhibition, “Collectors,” will take place in the front yard, with a docent present at the site at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. If you want a docent in English, visit the exhibition at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sunday and Monday.

There will be outside movie screenings at Culture Yard -- “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” at 7 p.m., Friday and “The Circus” at 7 p.m., Sunday.