by - February 15, 2018

Today is 6th day of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and it's been exciting to be here in the host country to witness this special occasion in person. I attended two events and wanted to share some tips if you are planning on going, especially with kids. It was a dream to attend these Olympic events here in Korea.

My family and I went to the men's ski jump qualification event. It was an outdoor event in the evening and we were worried that it was going to be too cold and tiring for our kids. As we expected, it was freezing cold but we were prepared for the elements. What we were not prepared for was the disorganized logistics of getting to the event. But I would have to say that everything was still worth it to be there in person. To watch ski jumpers fly from Alpensia Ski Jump Stadium was pretty spectacular! It was amazing to see how high and far they can jump and land so smoothly. We were there with people from all over the world and even though we were all cheering for our own team, I almost felt the world was united to be part of an event where so many flags are represented.

I then took a day trip down with a friend to the Women's Snowboard Halfpipe Finals to see Chloe Kim win a gold medal. That was another fun event to attend since two American girls won medals (Arielle Gold winning bronze medal) and to witness Chloe Kim's gold medal victory lap and hearing everyone cheering for her!! To be able to witness a historical event where a Korean-American wins a gold medal for USA for the first time and to do it so fearlessly was exciting! We were also able to watch Men's Snowboard Halfpipe Qualifications right after. I have to admit, watching women and men back to back, the men were far more impressive to watch. I was in awe to watch Shaun White take a lead in the qualifications. His jumps were so fast and high and smooth. And after his first run, my friend I saw him just before he was going to go up on the lift. My friend called his name, he heard us, and he turned around and waved back at us! It was one of my most memorable Olympic moments. 😆

Here are some tips before going.

1. Dress warm and take lots of hot packs!
2. Carry your hand soap or sanitizer. I didn't see any soap in some of the bathrooms at the event. Gross, I know!
3. Pack your own light snacks. Food lines are long and the quality of the food is not good. It was a little disappointing.
4. I actually would recommend driving with kids. Both times I went, the traffic was clear. It was less hassle to drive, park at the designated parking and take a shuttle rather than going to the bus or train station with 3 kids. I might avoid driving on Lunar New Year weekend though.
5. Even if you are not going to an event, you can still visit Olympic Plazas (one in Gangneung and another one in Pyeonchang) to experience the Olympic spirit. There are many events and performances. I haven't been to Gangneung, but I heard that one is bigger and has more to see from friends that been to both.
For Phoenix Snow Park: BongPyong Parking Lot (봉평주차장)
For PyeongChang Olympic Park & Alpensia: DaeGwallYeong Parking Lot (대관령주차장)
For GangNeung: GangNeung Station Parking Lot (강릉역주차장)
Please double check where your event is held before going.

If you want to take an overnight trip like we did, here are some activities you can do with kids.

1. We went to an indoor water park at Phoenix Blue Canyon and it was completely empty when we were there. We literally had the whole water park to ourselves. It was so nice to let my kids loose without worrying about loosing them or them getting hurt since we could see exactly where they were and there were more lifeguards than us!

2. Snow tubing at the Olympic Plaza in Pyeongchang. There is a winter festival going on there until Feb. 22nd. It's only 5,000 won per person and you can ride as long as you want. We also went to ice sculpture section, but we didn't think it was worth the money or time.

3. We didn't go, but many of our friends are stopping by YongPyeong Ski Resort to ski with their kids.

4. Here 👇 are more ideas from our previous trips!

Lastly, if you are looking for a place to stay near Phoenix Park, I highly recommend 하울마루펜션.

I hope everyone that lives in Korea takes this once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy the Olympics!

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