By Min Yea-Ji and Lee Hana
Winter has come with its chilly winds that make our teeth chatter, but there are some who have eagerly awaited the frosty season.
Families, friends and couples who enjoy winter sports have been counting down until the grand opening of ice skating rinks and sleigh parks in Seoul and neighboring suburbs.
The Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink is one of the city’s major winter attractions.
This outdoor ice rink, located in front of Seoul City Hall, is popular among locals and tourists alike. It has been in operation since 2004.
This year, the Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink opens on Dec. 22, and will run until Feb. 25, 2018, the last day of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Admission is KRW 1,000 per hour, including a pair of rental skates. Non-Koreans with a Discover Seoul Pass can enjoy the rink free-of-charge.
There’s also an outdoor ice rink that offers great views of Seoul’s nightscape.
The Grand Hyatt Seoul’s outdoor ice rink, which sits atop Namsan Mountain, gives skaters a panoramic view of the city. The views become especially spectacular after dark.
Trees decorated with thousands of mini lights encircle the ice rink and add extra mood and ambience, making it a popular date spot.
Entrance costs KRW 26,000 on Monday through Thursday, and KRW 32,000 on Friday through Sunday and on public holidays, for two hours. Skate rentals cost extra, at KRW 20,000.
Families with kids might like to check out some sledding parks this winter.
In Seoul, there’s a sledding park at the Ttukseom Hangang Park. There you will find 30 m mini slopes for young children and 80 m slopes for older kids and adults. You can even have a go at ice fishing there.
The park opened on Dec. 16 and will run until Feb. 18, 2018. Entrance costs KRW 6,000 per person.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can take a day trip to Snow Buster, Everland’s snow park in Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do Province.
The park offers three different slopes, ranging from 90 m, 120 m and 200 m in length.
Currently, Snow Buster is offering a 50 percent discount on admission fees to non-Koreans between Dec. 22and Jan. 1, 2018. All you have to do is save an image of the discount coupon posted on Everland’s website and Facebook profile and present it at the ticketing booth, along with a valid ID.
For more information on ice skating rinks and sledding parks, please refer to the links below.
•Seoul Plaza Ice Skating Rink: http://www.seoulskate.or.kr/eng/
•Grand Hyatt Seoul outdoor ice rink: https://seoul.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/our-hotel/pool.html
• Ttukseom Hangang Park: http://hangang.seoul.go.kr/
•Everland Facebook profile: http://www.everland.com/web/multi/english/everland/main.html