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Fun family destinations for the holidays : Nationwide, resorts have planned activities for Children’s Day

May 02,2017
Children swim in an outdoor pool at Resom Spa Castle in South Chungcheong. [RESOM SPA CASTLE]
An expert on trees leads children through the forest at Phoenix Pyeongchang in Gangwon as part of a forest experience program offered by the resort to learn more about nature. [PHOENIX PYEONGCHANG]
From left: Oak Valley in Gangwon offers a variety of outdoor activities as does Konjiam Resort in Gyeonggi, middle, to entertain young guests. Del Pino Golf and Resort in Gangwon, right, holds outdoor barbecues and concerts. [EACH RESORT]
It’s the holiday week, and all the traffic seems to be heading out of the Seoul metropolitan area. With Children’s Day falling on Friday, the coming weekend is an opportunity for family time in Korea.

Some may have already left town or even the country in an attempt to make the most of the spring holidays, but it doesn’t mean that late planners won’t have as much fun as those who planned ahead. Take a trip out to many resorts across the country where facilities are easily within reach. Some resorts in Gangwon or South Chuncheong are close enough for a day trip from Seoul.

To make it even more convenient for parents to have a memorable day with their children, these resorts have introduced many events throughout the week such as the opening of a water park, cooking schools and concerts by performers dressed like animated TV show characters.

Splash season begins

Daemyung Resort Vivaldi Park, a popular summer getaway spot with an outdoor water park in Gangwon, is ready to welcome guests bringing their swimsuits. This is a good time to jump into a wave pool and enjoy other water rides as the lines won’t be as long as in the hot summer. Considering many families with children will be seeking some pool time, the resort will hold a musical featuring characters from Tobot, a TV show with cars that change into robots.

Warmer water pools can also be a spot for some fun in the springtime for those wanting to stay away from the cold water. Resom Spa Castle in South Chungcheong, known for its spa with water from hot springs, will have games in the water. In the outdoor pool, an adult and a child will team up to race in a two-person boat. This tube race will be held on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and the 10 fastest teams can win many gifts, such as food coupons or hand cream. The spa also is holding a treasure hunt around the pools. There will be five “treasures” hidden until Sunday, and those who find the treasures will get a special gift on the way out.

Busan is a city that has never missed a “Where to go over the holidays” list, for its view of the South Sea, and many outdoor concerts on Haeundae Beach. Hanwha Resort Haeundae Tivoli makes it more convenient for its guests to watch the sunset on the ocean. It offers a Sunset Yacht Tour in the South Sea for 34,000 won ($30) per person, and the tour on a yacht is held between 7 and 8 p.m., prime time for those on board to fully enjoy the pink sky darkening.

Pyeongchang Alpensia in Gangwon will have a promotional event at its Ocean 700 indoor waterpark from Wednesday to Sunday. There will be coupons in some lockers that offer free admission to the waterpark for another time, or the free use of Alpine Coaster, a ride set up outdoors. Children between 3 and 12 can get a 50 percent discount from Friday to Sunday.

Cooking up some fun

If baking in the sun is too much for you and your children, go indoors for cooking classes. Phoenix Island Resort in Jeju Island will have cooking classes from Thursday to Sunday. Participants will get to bake a pizza and a cake for 20,000 won. Children in the class will get a chefs’ jacket and a certificate to take the memories home.

But there’s no need to go all the way to Jeju just for a cooking class. Pyeongchang Alpensia Resort in Gangwon also has an option: A cake-baking class from Wednesday to Friday, twice a day, at 2 and 5 p.m. The class is 50,000 won if reserved in advance and 55,000 won otherwise. More classes are offered on Children’s Day, including a pizza-making class offered three times a day for 25,000 won at the Intercontinental Hotel. A sandwich-making class is offered on the same day from noon to 2 p.m. at the Holiday Inn for those looking to have an afternoon stroll outside. It is 20,000 won to participate. Yongpyeong Resort in Gangwon also has a baking class on Children’s Day with a patissier where both adults and children can make cookies. The class is 33,000 won for adults and 21,000 won children.

Del Pino Golf and Resort in Gangwon will have an outdoor concert and barbecue from Wednesday to Saturday. The concert is free and food is sold separately.

Catching kids’ attention

Almost nothing can beat animation and shows when it comes to getting the full attention of children. Oak Valley Resort in Gangwon will bring Lightning Man on stage for a performance so that parents can have a minute to breathe. On Friday, there will be a show featuring Lightning Man, who fights the bad guys with his lightning power, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The performance will last about 30 minutes. Animated character Dduang from broadcaster EBS will also take the stage. The performance is 10,000 won per person, and youngsters under 36 months can watch for free. Those who buy tickets in advance on the resort’s mobile app will receive a 2,000 won discount.

To provide young children with an unforgettable experience, the Oak Valley Resort has set up a themed room for an overnight stay with items inspired by Lightning Man, and a space-like theme. The children can act as if they are the main performers on stage in the room, which opened for overnight stays in September.

For parents who want to make the holiday weekend more musical as well as educational, Konjinam Resort in Gyeonggi offers a fusion-style traditional Korean music performance until Saturday. Popera, a mix of classical opera and modern pop music or a string quartet and other music, will be offered every day. A “Family Market” will feature a variety of hands-on events from Wednesday to Sunday.

Welli Hilli Park in Gangwon will also have a festival with painting competitions. Winners will get a variety of gifts, such as an overnight stay at the resort. Face-painting is also available as is a ceramics class for children.

Phoenix Pyeongchang in Gangwon will focus on outdoor activities. It has a free forest experience program that includes a light trek in the trees at Mount Taegi with an instructor who gives extensive information about tree and forests. It also has fields of colorful pinwheels spinning in the wind on top of the same mountain for those wanting to find a great spot for photos.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]