This is our first spring in South Korea and, having just marked nine whole months on the peninsula, we’re learning quickly that spring brings inclement weather, rainy days, and plenty of chilly nights. A few weeks ago, we hiked Sangtubong Peak in tank tops because it was downright warm. This past weekend though, it was windy, rainy, and not the best day to go for a hike. Occasionally, we liked to go wild and actually visit Korean attractions, and that’s how we found our way to Gwacheon National Science Museum…and spoiler alert: it was awesome!
Gwacheon National Science Museum
Honestly, we’re not huge museum people. We much prefer spending our days outdoors doing things a little less touristy per se, but we’ve also learned that South Korea just does some things right. Museums are one of those things (and yes, cafes are another!) Gwacheon National Science Museum offers visitors a little bit of everything and is hailed as a landmark facility showcasing South Korea’s powerhouse science and technology.
Better yet – it’s ideal for families with children and, as interactive museum, it invites younger visitors to engage in each exhibit and learn little tidbits of science firsthand. I remember science museums from my youth, and they were cool. But this? This was awesome!
Exhibits at the Gwacheon National Science Museum
The museum offers so much for visitors with five permanent exhibition centers, including Science Exploration, Natural History, Advanced Technology, Astronomical Space, Korean Science Civilization, Science Future & Fiction, an Insectarium, and more. The experience isn’t just limited to the indoor exhibits though.
Once outside on the grounds, kids have the opportunity to explore two large trains, and outdoor dinosaur exhibit, a massive playground complete with tunnel slides, swings, and climbing courses, and even an edible plant garden. When we parked, we heard the noises from the dinosaurs first, and the kids were hooked. It’s a huge museum though, so we made them wait a little while we explored inside, of course, as good parents do. Right?
Our Favorite Parts of Gwacheon National Science Museum
Porter is our resident bug boy, and he loved the Insectarium. There’s even a small exhibit where kids can hold rhino beetles and giant larvae. Spencer’s favorite part was hands-down the Science Exploration area, and he loved watching the Tesla Coil presentation. Mieke, well, Mieke loved walking the boardwalk by the Insectarium, and she fell in love with all the fish. Honestly though, there was something for everyone, and you know it’s a good time if everyone comes out having enjoyed the visit. Bonus? The museum is just one hour from Camp Humphreys!
Tips for Visiting Gwacheon National Science Museum
Cost: There is a dedicated parking lot and plenty of room for large crowds. Parking is a flat W5,000. Our American cards were not accepted, so we used cash to park; just use the third lane with the kiosk to enter. The museum, itself, was cheap! Children under 7 are free. Ryan and I were both W4,000, and Spencer’s ticket was W2,000.
Address: In Waze – 26, 110, Sanghabeol-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do; In Naver or Kakoa – 경기도 과천시 상하벌로 110
Tips: If American, I highly recommend bringing Won. American cards (Visa) didn’t work there, and we carry cash just in case. There are quite a few restaurants, cafes, and snack shops onsite, too, and we indulged in a coffee or two, as well ice cream and corn dogs for the kids.