Monday, October 17, 2011

Things to Do with Kids on Geoje - Rainy Day Edition

The weather is cooling off, so we are enjoying lots and lots of great outdoor playing weather.  Every evening our apartment's playground is packed with kids, and Sophie grins from ear to ear when she arrives to join all of her neighbors out playing.  Unfortunately, rainy days can be challenging.  Here are a few places we've found to go when it's too wet for the playground.

1.  The indoor playground in Gohyeon
Our friend Amy introduced us to the Kid's Cafe in Gohyeon.  I was very impressed with this playroom the first time we went.  For a nominal entry fee (which is waived when you order lunch or coffee), you and your kids can play on big and small play structures and with all kinds of toys.  There are little cars, a kitchen area, a book corner, a huge Lego table, and even a wading pool, which is open in the afternoons.  A staff person is always walking around looking after the kids, and there's also a little coffee bar and a casual lunch menu with different kinds of fried rice and breaded pork cutlets, as well as waffles and sweet bread.  Sophie really loves the ride-on toys, climbing up to the slide, and jumping on the trampoline.

Daddy and I enjoy a few peaceful moments with our coffee and tea while she plays!

2.  The Geoje Shipbuilding Marine Cultural Center
The center consists of two museums: the Fishing Village Folk Museum and the Shipbuilding Marine Museum.  I visited both for the first time with Keegan's parents when I was pregnant, and I really enjoyed both museums.  The Fishing Village museum has some interesting displays about fishing methods and equipment on Geoje, and the Shipbuilding Museum is a great place to take visitors who are curious about what goes on in the shipyards here.  But the main attraction for kids is the kids' play area on the first floor of the Shipbuilding Museum.  There's a big indoor playground with tunnels and slides and a trampoline, plus some little interactive games so that kids can pretend to row a boat, steer a ship, and move cargo with a crane.  Older kids might also enjoy the big aquarium and several smaller tanks that are part of the fishing museum.  Sophie likes to look at the fish, but her attention span is pretty short...
Sophie and Mommy enjoy the big fish tank at the Geoje Fishing Village Folk Museum.
3.  The pool at the Hotel Art in Jangseungpo
We haven't been to this pool in a while since the weather has been warm and we've been enjoying the pool at the Geoje Sea Spa.  But this was a rainy, cold day go-to in the winter.  I think the facility is pretty nice, and the pool is usually relatively uncrowded.  There is a very shallow baby pool, a slightly deeper pool for older kids, and a big pool for lap swimming.  They have swimming classes there for kids, too, but I think they don't start until the kids are older - around kindergarten age, maybe?  Anyway, I'm looking forward to swimming more with Sophie this winter.

If all else fails:

4.  Put on boots and play in the puddles!
I just ordered a bunch of rain clothes from L.L. Bean because I don't want to be trapped in the apartment all day on rainy days.  Let me tell you, there is not much cuter than a pair of toddler size 5 yellow rain boots!  I was quite pleased that it rained this Friday and we got to try them all out!

5.  Get creative at home.
I always think of coloring on rainy days - I remember my mom suggesting coloring to me when I was bored, and it always seemed to be such a great idea!  "Wow, how did Mom ever think of that!"  I am planning a messy fingerpainting day someday soon, and I also want to make some Play-Doh.  Here is a fun activity we tried on a dull weekend morning recently:

And here is one Sophie came up with herself:

Hard at work stuffing voluminous quantities of toilet paper into the toilet.

I hope this list and the previous hot weather list can be useful for other families in Geoje - it can be hard to find some of these places without help!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Video Birthday Card

Today is my dad's birthday - Happy Birthday, Dad!  There's not much that has made me appreciate my parents more than becoming a parent myself.  Not only has Dad turned out to be a fantastic grandfather, but he has also been a terrific dad to me.  I find myself thinking all the time about the ways he's influenced my life for the better, from teaching me skepticism and critical thinking to introducing me to Monty Python.  I love you, Dad!  I hope you enjoy these videos of your granddaughter from her fourteenth month (still catching up on posting!).

And here's a bonus video from last week, for Barb.