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Keep calm and embrace your inner child, the era of "kidults" has arrived.

Let a kidult be a kidult.

Immature, childlike, geeky, creepy, weird and, best of all, ‘infected with Peter Pan Syndrome’—these are just some of the negative connotations that gave kidults a bad name. But all of the so-called "kidults" we've met in Seoul through this special edition were living a life where they'd understand what they love and choose to pursue them—a very much an adult's life. In the pursuit of happiness, many of them predicted that more and more people will begin to appreciate kidult culture, and catering to this growth will be further diversification of cultural content. This edition will introduce kidult forms of art, places run by devoted kidults as well as cafés and shops that will cater to the needs of kidults. A novice, you say? Take a day off to explore these kidult hide-outs in Seoul to see if you can grow younger by getting involved.

The kidults are all right: Q&A with Seoul’s full-time “kidults”

Adulting’s hard. And we all feel it’s too often overrated, especially in a society where perceived age-based hierarchy is hugely emphasized. What happens once you give up looking like an adult and turn your childlike hobby into a full-time career? We met some of Seoul’s prominent “kidults” and heard their stories.

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Seoul venues to awaken your kidult soul

Join kidult pilgrimage to the character shops, wonder through these fantasy stores and re-encounter your childhood best friend at these specialty cafés filled with toys, action figures and dolls. These venues will make sure to let a kidult be a kidult.

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Art exhibitions of kidults, by kidults, for kidults

“All children, except one, grow up.” This is the starting phrase of the celebrated novel PeterPan. Perhaps J.M. Barrie (the Scottish author of the novel) was correct, as these outstanding individuals continue to pursue their childhood ambitions. Catering to this population and of course, those who would like to return to their childlike state, Seoul is hosting a few exhibitions right now. Pixar’s 30-year anniversary special exhibition at DDP will have you surrender in awe at all the interesting elements that make up the movies we know today. Dukhoo Project at the Buk-Seoul Museum will portray an insight into the cultural phenomenon of "deoku-ism." And lastly, Kidult is The Art exposes local artist who are celebrated for their work in their respective fields, whether it be figure making or Lego dioramas. Learning of the kidult culture through art will most likely be an eye-opening experience for many, even those who kidults right now.

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By: Time Out Seoul editors
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Now's the palmy days of Kidults—don't shy away from playing with your favorite animation characters.

Eyeliners and makeup powder with bedazzled cover case in a purse, notepads and pens on the desk with adorable animal characters attached to them, and a colorful phone case with a smiling bunny on it. Can you guess whose belongings these are? If you thought these might be an elementary school student’s, then your guess is very off. These are just a few items of a female office worker with more than 10 years of experience in her field. “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone at her.” That’s right. The recent phenomenon of matching all of your items with your favorite character came up with a new word derived from “color coordination,” “Character Coordination.” 

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By: Joan Park

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