My daughter’s kindergarten vacation and my vacation camp overlapped, so we haven’t been able to spend time traveling or visiting fun places around Korea. Now that my camp has wrapped up our family has more time for fun. Once the semester starts, she’ll be back in school and I’ll be teaching new classes, so we need to visit something fun soon.

O-World is an amusement park, zoo, and  arboretum at the end of the line of several bus routes. One of the routes that winds through the city towards O-World is easily accessible from our apartment. We told our daughter that we would visit O-World since she’s been stuck at home. The last time we went, we got a ride from my mother in law, so we were able to go earlier in the day and spend lots of time on the rides. This time, we waited for the evening, when ticket prices are reduced and the crowds disperse.

There is a very cheap ticket for admission after 4:00 at O-World (4,000-5,000 won). Unfortunately, this discount doesn’t affect the “unlimited ride” entrance fee, so we were forced to pay for individual tickets whenever  my daughter wanted to ride something. Additionally, the rides at O-World do not operate past sundown, which makes the late admission less valuable. We were only able to get on two rides before they stopped selling tickets, much to my daughter’s disappointment. The zoo also removes animals from exhibits at 7:00 PM, which means we didn’t see the majority of animals we saw last trip.

The flower display, and the fountains remain open until later in the evening (the entire park closes at 10:00 PM), so we got to see more things after the majority of the park shut down at dusk. There was a kids fountain that Glow enjoyed splashing around it, and a restaurant to refill fresh water to prevent overheating.

The buses got us back home easily enough, but it is a long ride. A lot of people were clearly annoyed that my seat was full of a stroller, carrier, backpack, and supplies for the children which forced them to stand, despite the bus overall being lightly occupied.

I think that now that I know we could easily visit O-World by bus (#315, 301, 311 among others) , I’m more likely to go, but I don’t think there is enough to do after the park closes down the rides to keep my children busy. The long bus ride makes it difficult to justify a trip to an amusement when Expo and other places nearby are functionally equivalent. The zoo is nice enough, but since it shuts down early, we’re not going to be able to see much of it. The flowers are…meh.

We’re still planning on a trip to a dedicated water park before the summer ends. I hope there is some other stuff I can arrange to spend time with my family before the semester starts up and I am trapped back in my long teaching schedule. I won’t have a dedicated “vacation” until my Master’s is finished, but even after a day spent with my family doing fun stuff outside the house I feel much more relaxed. I wish it could be a more regular part of our schedule, but right now it is difficult for a multitude of reasons.