Lilliput Cafe: Fun, New Kids Cafe
Anyone who has visited Korea knows that Koreans love coffee. On any block in Seoul, you’ll see at least one coffee shop/cafe. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see a few cafes on the same block, if not adjacent to each other! Koreans also love themed cafes. There are the ubiquitous cat or dog cafes (where you can pet and sit among cats or dogs), a sheep cafe (you can pet and feed sheep while enjoying a latte), a raccoon cafe (yes, it’s on my ‘Korea bucket list’), a poop cafe (everything is in the shape of/looks like poop… I think the mugs are in the shape of toilets), and even a wedding cafe (you can try on wedding dresses while you enjoy a cappuccino).
So, it should come as no surprise that there are cafes dedicated to kids. What is a kids cafe? An indoor ‘playground’ with multiple play areas, where kids can play and adults (usually moms… actually in Korea, almost always moms) can have a drink (or a meal) with other adults. We had been to two kids cafes (friends’ kids’ birthday parties) but Baby M was a little too young to enjoy the facilities. However, last Wednesday, Baby M and I enjoyed a playdate at a new kids cafe in Hannam (this area, along with adjacent Itaewon, has the highest concentration of foreigners in Seoul). My friend, who is an organizer for SIWA (Seoul International Women’s Association) invited us to attend.
Lilliput Premium Kids Cafe boasts “something for everyone.” The first thing I did was take off my shoes (the cafe provides slippers, or you can walk around barefoot or in socks) and register (first two hours of playtime were free for Baby M, as long as I purchased something off the menu). Baby M enjoyed the train set, jumbo legos, the bouncy pad, and the ball pit. There was also a grocery/shopping area (complete with shopping carts, plastic produce, etc.), a play kitchen, a lego room, a music room (with a mini piano, drum set, etc.), a ‘sand’ pit (the sand was actually little tan styrofoam blocks), and other areas I didn’t have a chance to explore. Oh, there were also a few cars that the kids could ride (feet powered)!
I (we?) really enjoyed Lilliput — it’s new, spacious, and has a very open layout. The food was pretty good. I ordered the (Korean-style) margherita pizza and shared with a friend. At 19,500 won, it was a little pricey but, I figure they roll the administrative/maintenance costs into the menu. I just have two complaints: there were only four highchairs available. I guess most of the kids are old enough to sit in chairs, but four highchairs for such a large cafe seemed silly. Plus, I normally would have fed Baby M in her stroller, but strollers aren’t allowed inside (no shoes, no strollers, nothing ‘dirty’). My other complaint was the tiny nursing room. It was the size of a broom closet. And I guess it also doubled as a diaper changing room, so it was tied up for most of the two hours I was at the cafe. The ladies room, however, was gigantic (about 5 times the size) and had plenty of counter space (but no safety rails so I didn’t think that was the diaper changing area). Don’t worry — there are dedicated ‘bathroom’ slippers so you don’t have to go to the toilet in your bare feet!
I saw lots of moms sitting idly around, chatting with friends, or even moms typing away on their laptops. I think a kids cafe is a perfect spot for parents whose kids are old enough to not need (too much) adult supervision. I, on the other hand, was busy making sure Baby M wasn’t licking people’s slippers (… didn’t quite make it in time), eating (dropped) food off the floor (she will palm anything and put it into her mouth!), and crawling anywhere she shouldn’t. I think once she’s a little older, I’ll be taking her back to a kids cafe for sure!
Lilliput Premium Kids Cafe (Hannam branch) is located at:
85 Dokseodang-ro, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 서울 용산구 독서가로 85 한남동
Old address (for taxi GPS): 28-2 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 서울 용산구 28-2한남동
Phone number: 02-792-9873
Hours: weekdays 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM // weekends & holidays 10:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Cost: Adults free with purchase of drink or food off the menu // Children 12,000 won for first two hours (14,000 won for first two hours on weekends & holidays) // Children under 12 months free // Each additional 10 minutes (past the first two hours) is 1,000 won.