For this fair taking place in Seoul, you might want to skip dinner and go straight for the dessert. An event that may be dangerous for anyone with a sweet tooth, the Seoul Dessert Fair promises to be a delicious affair complete with specialties collected from all over the nation as well as experimental desserts and sweets from famous international brands. Expect to see a lot of red as this edition will be focusing on strawberries.
The Nakseonjae Complex located inside Changdeokgung Palace is a settlement with a unique story of its own. Once a library for King Heonjong and a residence for bereaved queens—and eventually the living quarters for the last crown prince of Joseon and his consort Princess Bangja—it is the only compound located within the Palace that is unadorned with the iconic Korean palatial paintwork, dancheong. From April 6th to the 29th, Nakseonjae Complex will reveal its elaborate appearance including the beautiful garden which it houses. While touring the compound, you will also be able to see how a dazzling array of floras including cherry, plum and apricot flowers in bloom creates a serene and delicate scenery.
Seoul international Wines & Spirits Expo (SIWS) is back for its 15th edition in an ever-more exciting form as Korea’s wine market has continued to expand over the past years. As more diverse types of foreign alcohol become increasingly more familiar to both industry professionals and enthusiasts, Korea’s wine import totaled a record high of $190 million in 2015. SIWS will be and has been the biggest exhibition specialized in wines and spirits in Korea showcasing everything from traditional Korean liquors, which have been garnering a lot of attention in the local scene, as well as wines, whiskeys, cognacs, etc. along with the rest which comes with the business. SIWS will also be running alongside the 6th edition of International Beer & Equipment Industry Expo. Beer makes up 54% of Korea’s alcoholic beverage market with imports having risen 188% from 2009 to 2014. Aside from the usual expo, there will be a homebrew contest, a special section for locally-brewed beer, and even classes which will come in handy especially for the beer geeks.
The lineup is complete, making this year’s festival one to anticipate. No, it’s not a lineup of talented musical artisans but rather beer breweries from all over the world, carefully selected by The Booth Brewing Co.’s event organizing team. It will be a rare opportunity for beer lovers and amateurs to enjoy some amazing world renowned creative beer, for example Evil Twin Brewing’s Imperial which is currently unavailable in the country. At the event you will even be able to ask professional beer critics to suggest a great beer from the wide array provided. Now, you might be asking yourself why The Booth Brewing Co. is creating an occasion for foreign and local competitors to come together. Simply put, it is to promote and celebrate quality beer right here in Seoul a culture that is growing fast but still has a long way to go. So why not warm yourself up from the chilly spring nights with a little beer, great food and groovy music at this event? Early Bird Tickets are available at a price of 25,000 won for entrance and five glasses of craft beer. Entrance tickets will be available on-site. Guest Lineup: Industrial Arts Brewing (Garnerville, US) | Other Half (New York, US) | Sweet Water (Atlanta, US) | Great Leap (Beijing, China) | Brouwerij Boon (Belgium) | Mikkeller (Denmark) | 8 Wired (New Zealand) | To Øl (Denmark) | Evil Twin (New York, US) Local Lineup: The Booth Brewing Co. | Galmegi Brewing | Gorilla Brewing Co. | Amazing Brewing Company | Goodman Brewery | Magpie
Seoul, Busan, Ulsan, Gyeonggi-do and Jeju-do—good breweries have been popping up all over the country. Starting from April 28th, there’s going to be the chance to have all of the great domestic ones as well as imported brands such as BrewDog, Goose Island and Brooklyn Brewery at one place. Great Korean Beer Festival will kick off with its Meet the Brewer session where brewmasters introduce their work and engage with the audience, so anyone who’s interested in brewing can have the opportunity to extend their knowledge or nerd-ship. The number of participating breweries is 27 in total presenting about 170 types of beers. By purchasing sample tickets, you can try several beers at a lower cost (and without getting too tipsy). There will be food, too, as booths will be set up by several restaurants including Suji's, Spain Club and Vatos.
Gigantic inflated rubber swans will be swarming Seokchon Lake, from April 1st until May 8th (if you've immediately thought of the huge yellow rubber duck installation from 2014, you are on the right track; it's been created by the same artist, Florentijn Hofman). With this group of 3.5 to 16 meter-tall artworks entitled Sweet Swans afloat, 11 minute-long fireworks will light up the sky from 9pm on April 2nd. All of these festivities have been set up to celebrate the grand opening of Lotte World Tower (which, apparently, will be the tallest tower that the country has seen). Spring, swans and fireworks—what could possibly go wrong?
If you and/or your child enjoy playing board games, the Seoul Boardgame Festa will be one to attend. Whether you like trading cards, building towers (or knocking them down), collecting items, assembling letters together or finding your way through life, Seoul Boardgame Festa will surely have it all and in fresh ways you might have never imagined. This year will be the 6th annual Seoul Boardgame Festa, happening on the 5th and 6th of May (Children’s Day weekend) at SETEC. If you believe that you or your child are any good at playing them, well then sign up on their website to participate on one of their competitions like the ‘King Domino’ from 12pm to 3pm on the 5th or ‘Rummikub’ from 10am to 1pm on the 6th and win some exciting prizes.
A live ensemble fused with a grand projection of an animation, this show will introduce the wonders of classical music to children. With voice actor Choi Jeong-seon leading the narration, Seoul City Youth Orchestra's performance of fairy tale Peter and the Wolf will be easy to follow along, for the audience of all ages. Let your imagination loose and see how instruments transform into the animal characters displayed in the projection. There will 2 shows per day held at the Chamber Hall, on May 5th and 6th.
On May 5th, Dream Forest located in northern Seoul will be hosting Children’s Day celebrations. The luscious green park will be full of events and attractions for the whole day specifically catered for the little ones, of course. Children's musicals, marching bands' parades, b-boys and bubble-juggling shows will sweep the stage while activities including face painting will be offered for free. There will be police cars and firefighters visiting the compound as well (children love them, no?). And don’t get too scared of the long-legged clowns roaming around—they’re friendly and might even give you a laugh! All programs are free.
Need a way to rant away your stress? At The Alley Bunker located in Haebangchan, an open mic-type rant night event is happening every Thursday. Whether it's about the coworker who talks down to you in banmal, the neighbor who wakes you up every night with loud music or the obviously depressing political climate of the country, your rant will be appreciated and absolutely paid attention to here. Sounds rather embarrassing, you say? Once you experience the catharsis with all the support and cheers coming from the patrons here, you'll feel otherwise (grabbing a few of the bar's special cocktails, such as Bunker on Vacation or Hotel Juliette made with homemade hibiscus ginger ale would help).