CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GARCIA
Nomad Rain Boots from Zappos
Before we moved to Korea I kept reading about all this rainy season stuff, but I didn’t truly grasp the all encompassing wetness of this time of the year until stepping off the plane and being greeted by our sponsors with the gift of four umbrellas. Turns out we arrived in Korea just as the rain was beginning and it continued for like a month. Rain. Every day. All day. A month in the Dragon Hill Lodge with two kids under four, no car, and tons of rain = not so much fun.
The next year, our second rainy season, I don’t remember being too bad though. I rocked some cute rain boots and my young ‘ens splashed in lots of puddles. I knew more places to take the kids during the downpours. I guess I was getting the hang of it, but after a few weeks I was sure ready for some sun already.
Third year here, the rain is back, bringing memories of being stuck at the Dragon with young ones, no friends, and the rain putting a damper on my, “Let’s go see Korea!” sense of adventure. I thought I’d throw it out to Facebook World and see what advice everyone had on how to get through rainy season with your sanity intact. People were pretty daggum positive, I’ve got to say. Here are some tips. Feel free to chime in.
1. Get some awesome boots…or don’t.
Your shoes are going to get soaking wet. So, if you are in the States and don’t have rain boots already, I’d say they are worth the investment. Plus, they look cute with shorts or a dress! (Your pants will get soaked.) Amy Hickerson said on Facebook she opts for flip-flops though because rain boots are “sticky and nasty to wear in the heat” and AJ Elliot suggests Crocs. Becca Penn says zappos.com or 6pm.com are the way to go for shipping to APO addresses when you are getting shoes.
For young kids, I’d totally advise you to have rain boots around though because PUDDLES ARE SO MUCH FUN! If you can’t find what you need at the PX, Daiso has children’s rain boots for just a couple thousand won (and knock-off Crocs too!) or you might try a Payless.
2. To Rain Coat or to Poncho?
If you are going to get a rain coat, make sure you get a really light one because it is so hot out. I bought one similar to this right before moving and am so glad I did. It’s a life saver! Summer recommends Mountain Hardware’s rain gear and Justin suggests the cheap-o plastic ponchos you can get in any convenience store in the land.
3. Umbrellas. Don’t Leave Home Without Them!
I never used to use an umbrella in the States. Now, I’ve become not only an owner of about 10 of them, but an adopter of the non-folding Mary Poppins style. Why, you ask? They are sturdy, the Volvo of umbrellas, and when the winds kick in you’ll appreciate that. They cover more area than the fold up kind. They make you look dapper when you use them as if it were a walking stick. They are not as easy to forget as the small umbrellas. And they can do double duty as a weapon ready to fend off dogs or thwack somebody in the head.
Amy says she has an umbrella in her backpack at all times and Becca advises keeping a couple extra in your car.
Where to buy your umbrellas? Everywhere. The PX, Daiso, Toy Alley. Becca picks hers up cheap in Dongdaemun. I bought a GREAT Power Rangers one in Toy Alley for my son that was so sturdy, I found myself stealing it on more than one occasion.
4. Don’t Bounce Off the Walls in Your House!
It’s fun to snuggle up inside with movies for like a day, but then the crazy sets in. Am I right? Thank goodness Korea has a bevy of indoor activities for all ages when the weather gets tough, ’cause it does here, I ain’t gonna lie! But all this stuff makes the rain less sucky. Here’s a list of some places people have written up on this site. Most of ’em are in Seoul since most Korea Ye contributors seem to be stationed around Yongson, but if you are outside of Seoul and have a go-to indoor place, please add it in the comments below!
Seoul Animation Center and Cartoon Museum
Seoul Children’s Museum
Rolling Ball Museum
I’Park Mall Playtime Kids Club
Block Bus Children’s Lego Cafe
Kids Bounce Trampoline Cafe
E-Mart Play Area
War Memorial of Korea Children’s Exhibit’s (link is for summer 2014)
Gwacheon Science Museum
Sindang Bug Festival
Norang Arts and Crafts Cafe
National Museum of Korea Children’s Museum
Yaho Sand Cafe
Lotte World (We do not have a post on Lotte World! Want to write one?!)
Ceraworks Ceramics Workshop
Bang Bang Town (Pyeongtaek)
Star Kids Cafe (Pyeongtaek)
Karaoke with Kids
Little Prince Cafe, Vroomiz Kids Cafe, and Kids Republic Kids Cafe
Seodaemun Prison History Museum
Seodaemun Museum of Natural History (I think this post was erased, but you can find info on it HERE)
Dragon Hill Spa
Korean Movie Theater
Dress Up Cafe Cafe
Trick Eye Museum
Banul Needle Story Cafe
Burger King Play Area
For more cool ideas for stuff to do with kids check out these websites:
5. Take Heart! There’s Fall!
The rain will end. It will! And for surviving it you will be rewarded with the beautiful Korean autumn with all its great festivals, beautiful colors, great hiking opportunities. It makes it all worth the wait! 🙂
Do you have any rainy day tips? Please share!