Seoul with Kids: Top Rides at Lotte World

The first thing I wanted to do with the kids in Korea was take them to Lotte World. It’s a nostalgic place for me as I always went there during my childhood trips to Korea. My favorite ride has always been the Adventures of Sinbad ride, a Lotte version of the Pirates of the Caribbean. My kids, however, are very young–both are under 3 years old–so I was wondering if they could even ride anything. I didn’t have to worry too much about that because Lotte World has a Kidzone area with rides and activities targeted to the younger set, so we had a lot of fun with the kiddie rides there. They also have other kid-friendly rides and experiences, some of which you have to pay extra for, that are scattered throughout the park. If you’re thinking about bringing your young toddlers to Lotte World Adventure, here are my picks for the best toddler / young kids rides and experiences at Lotte.

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Flying During a Pandemic: JFK to Incheon, Seoul

I am a U.S. citizen who recently flew out to Korea to quarantine at my parents’ home. I made this decision because I felt stuck and anxious in New York City, and while the situation in New York is improving, I don’t anticipate things to fully reopen anytime soon this summer. And even if they do, then what? Without a concrete plan for testing and tracing cases, I probably wouldn’t feel totally comfortable going out and about. Korea, on the other hand, has been upheld as a model for being able to vigilantly achieve this, and people are actually wearing masks without issue and cooperating to share their data. Things are open, people are going to malls and amusement parks and cherry blossom festivals, and the curve has managed to stay flat. So maybe you’re in the same boat–or maybe you’re interested in generally knowing what it’s like flying international during these times, and specifically to Korea. I wanted to share my experience here so that you know what to expect.

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A Baby Friendly Week in Arizona: Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tucson

When you tell people that you’re going to Arizona for holiday, you’re met with several reactions: (1) Oh, I hear it’s great for golfing, (2) Oh, I hear the spas are nice, (3) my grandparents live there. Basically no one is all that excited for your trip, and they’re wondering why you didn’t go to LA instead. But Arizona is an underrated destination–there’s a lot of great food to be had, excellent happy hours seem to be the norm, and it’s especially kid friendly. After spending a week here, you’ll be kicking yourself thinking why am I paying $8 for a slice of cake and for my kids to play in a tiny museum when my money could go so much further in Arizona. Here’s a baby friendly itinerary of how we spent a week in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tucson with the kids. Don’t worry, there are James Beard award winners and Tasting Table/Bon Appetit vetted restaurants in this Arizona itinerary.

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Baby Friendly London Weekend Itinerary

We decided to travel to London with our two very young children (5 months and 22 months), and I was determined not to water down our itinerary with bad, family-oriented chain restaurants and trips to the playground. I wanted to do the things that I as an adult would want to do, with some slight modifications. Luckily, London was perfect for this. The city in general is extremely baby friendly, and youngsters are welcome at the major cultural attractions. And I was most impressed by and grateful for the baby friendly attitudes at restaurants. We went to real restaurants that were Michelin caliber, not some Rainforest Cafe or a Zizzi, and they all had highchairs and greeted our little ones with a smile. It was a refreshing change from the attitudes in New York restaurants, where the staff will usually greet babies with either panic or judgmental side-eye, because they would rather not have them there at all. I already loved London to begin with, and now it holds an even more special place in my heart because it was so nice to the babies! If you plan on taking your little ones on a weekend getaway to London, you can reference the following itinerary for some ideas. You can be sure it will include cultural activities and real meals that both adults and children will enjoy.

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Paris City Guide

Eating well in Paris isn’t hard to do, but there are many ways to do it. You could go big and do something fancy at Alain Ducasse or nosh your way through croissants, cheese and tasty snacks. This guide to Paris is for those who like something more casual, the people who are fans of going to a bar with some atmosphere that also happens to make very good food, where you don’t have to dress up, and you can be in and out in less than 2 hours. Paris has perfected this style of eating, and so, with one exception, here’s a list of some places that do this very well.

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