Monday, January 8, 2018

5 Kids Cafes in Pyeongtaek





By Sarah Hill-Powell, South of Seoul Volunteer

Edited by Jessica Lister, South of Seoul Volunteer
The New Year is here, and so is the cold weather! Though it may be a delightful break from the humid and hot summer season, with temperatures so low and winds so sharp, winters can be rough to ride out - especially for families with little ones, who end up bouncing off the walls in a cabin-fever-induced frenzy.

Fear not! Kid Cafes are abundant in Korea, with several indoor playground options existing within both Paengseong and Pyeongtaek City. This list isn’t meant to be a ‘best of’ list, but rather, one that boosts awareness of the choices available to the Pyeongtaek area. Note; most of the places detailed in this article are geared towards younger children (4 years and under). All listings can be found on the SOS app in the Pyeongtaek >> Spotlight: Families directory.

Things to know before going to a kids cafe for the first time:
  • You’ll leave your shoes at the entrance - there’s almost always a designated space, sometimes with locking cubbies, to keep your shoes (and other belongings if you so choose). 
  • Children under 12 months are often free at many establishments, but you’ll need to bring visual proof if your child’s age isn’t obvious. This is also not a guarantee.
  • At most cafes, adult admission is either the purchase of a drink or a small flat fee. 
  • More often than not, you’ll pay everything you owe at the end of your stay, but sometimes, you pay the child’s admission first, before entering, and then any additional charges are settled before you leave.
  • Kids cafes are mostly kid-proofed, but not always baby-proofed; many of them have “wooden block” pits, much like a sandpit, and many kinds of small toys - perfect choking hazards for the curious baby - so keep that in mind.
  • Diaper changing areas usually coincide with rooms set aside for nursing mothers, though sometimes there will be space in the bathrooms.

The Fun Factory
Waze: The Fun Factory - Kids Cafe
Hours: 10:00am ~ 8:00pm

Very close to Camp Humphreys' Dongchang-Ri gate, this large, spacious kids cafe shares a building with The Learning Tree Daycare. Teachers monitor their students when they play out in the main room (so, yes, the day care kids and the kids cafe patrons have opportunity to mingle). The Fun Factory opened at the beginning of December 2017, so at the time of writing this article (Jan 2018), it was brand new and squeaky clean. The play area is geared towards children aged 15 months to 5 years, and it has slides, trampolines, and even has a moderately sized rock-climbing wall for the slightly older kids. There are toys available for role-play (house, kitchen, costumes etc) and the cafe has a decent sized menu, which includes full meals in addition to the coffees and teas that are standard at kids cafes. The facility can be rented out for parties. Parking is available in the parking lot as well as along the road.


La Cartata Kids Cafe
Waze: La Cartata kids cafe 차타타 
Hours: 9:30am ~ 8:30pm

La Cartata is a kids cafe with a fun spin (no pun intended). In addition to the usual play areas, trampolines, toys, and ball pits, this cafe boasts a long racetrack where children can drive their own cars, either steering themselves or with a parent operating the vehicle via remote control. The racetrack is separate from the majority of the play space, but you will have to be mindful of your smaller children as there’s no real barrier to keep them out of the car lanes if they wandered into them (however, an employee is always manning the car station, and the cars themselves aren’t terribly fast). Cartata is a bit pricier than the average kids cafe, but the novelty is worth it. Even without the added car aspect, the play area is very large, and offers multiple kinds of play to keep children occupied who aren’t particularly interested in the cars. The rates and menu items are displayed in both Korean and English behind the cashier’s counter. Their cafe doesn’t offer full meals but they have snack foods such as, ice cream, teas, juices, and coffees. Birthday reservations are available. Cartata is located on the 8th floor of its building, which also houses the Ebadom Family Restaurant - a great place for Korean cuisine with a large play area of its own. Parking is available below the building.


Rubling Premium Kids Cafe
Waze: Rubling Premium Kids Cafe
Hours: Weekdays 11:00am ~ 08:00pm, Weekends & holidays 10:30am ~ 08:30pm

Rubling is a sophisticated, classy-looking kids cafe located on the 5th floor. Don’t worry, just because they’re a “premium” kids cafe doesn’t make them any more expensive than your average kids cafe. They have a menu that includes full meals and drinks, but none of it is in English. They have various toys, including a kid-sized piano and drum set. There’s a section to set your smaller babies in that is walled off from the rest of the floor. Play areas include ball pits, slides, trampolines, various role-play stations, doll houses, a block table area with Duplo sized blocks, a wooden block pit and more. Parking is available in the garage below the building.


Yoohoo Jumping Club
Waze: Yoohoo Jumping Cafe
Hours: Weekdays 11:00am ~ 8:30pm, Weekends 10:00am ~ 9:00pm

Located in a family friendly area of Anjung, right across the street from Hyeonhwa Park, is the Pyeongtaek branch of the Yoohoo Jumping Club - a popular kids cafe chain. This location’s admission fee is inexpensive compared to other kid cafes, and the food menu is cheap. Yoohoo has a very spacious trampoline area - perfect for older kids; they also have a baby-only trampoline. There is an actual sandpit in addition to the wooden block pits (they have boots for your kids to wear specifically for the sand and there’s a washing station nearby to minimize mess). There’s a swinging pirate ship ride (for little ones) and some arcade style games meant as a space for middle school aged kids. A Party Room is available for rent and it includes karaoke/norebang. Menu items include full meals (fried rice, pasta, pizza, etc), ice cream, snacks, sodas, coffees and teas. All menus are in hangul.


Nori Park Kids Cafe 
Waze: Nori Park Kids Cafe - Parking
Hours: Weekdays 12:00pm ~ 8:00pm, Weekends 10:00am ~ 8:00pm

This charming, cozy, well-priced kids cafe rests above The Flat White Cafe. The facility is a good size - it’s not so big that you lose track of your little ones, but it’s big enough to keep them exploring. All the regular toy fixtures are present - kitchens, train tables, dolls, dinosaurs, dump trucks, blocks, and so on. There’s a baby trampoline for the littler kids that is well-separated from the large trampoline for the older kids. There’s also a moderately sized party room with a karaoke machine and it's tucked away from the main dining area making it easier to delineate party traffic. The bathrooms and changing areas are easily accessible. They have a wii. All menus and admission information is in hangul, but they were easy to parse, and rates are average. Parking is below ground, in the building, but it's a tight fit for American sized cars. There's a fair amount of parking on the alley street behind the building.

Honorable Mentions


Jump Nori in Paengseong
Waze: jump nori
Hours: 10:00am ~ 9:00pm, usually closed Tuesdays

A favorite of the community surrounding Camp Humphreys - for both locals and foreigners alike. The owner is very friendly and speaks great English. The menus and signage are in both English and Korean, and there is a good variety of foo; pizza/pasta, rice options, snacks, bread, coffees and teas. Rates are very reasonable, which is always a plus - but especially if you have multiple children. I also like the size of the playground. It’s big enough to keep kids occupied, but not so big that you can’t easily keep an eye on younger children. Jump Nori can host birthday parties and has a small separate room available for such occasions. Parking is usually easily available behind the building in front of the grocery store.


Paengseong Welfare Town (2nd floor playground)
Waze: paengseong welfare town
Hours: Weekdays 10:00am ~ 6:00pm, closed on Weekends

Another great option in the Paengseong area is the playground on the second floor of the Paengseong Welfare Town (go up the elevators or the stairs and keep heading towards your left). Best thing about it? It’s FREE. And you can stay as long as you’d like. Just show up, leave your shoes at the door, and start playing! There are slides, padded floors, a diaper changing room, and plenty of seating (no tables, though). This location is very young-baby-friendly, with no small toys or sharp corners, leaving lots of space for your new walkers or avid crawlers to get around. They also offer a toy rental service for children aged 5 and under (for 10,000 won a year, you can rent two toys for two weeks). This includes LARGE baby items like bouncers, rocking horses, tricycles, and so on, making it a great alternative to buying those items outright. Be sure to bring proof of Pyeongtaek residency when you sign up for toy rentals. There’s a coffee shop on the first floor of the building and you can bring food and drink into the playroom as long as you are responsible for your items.There is a parking lot in front of the building, but sometimes, space can be scarce at high-traffic times of the day.
Now it's time to go try them all and leave your reviews in the South of Seoul app. Just go the app, open the listing, and click the star in the banner. You can tell us all what you thought. Remember to include useful tips like where you parked, if they had chairs for kids, or other details you found important. Reviews help us build a beautiful life together. One Star reviews with no explanation may be rejected.

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