by - January 30, 2018

Hello! We had a packed weekend with events and activities. We were invited to a dohl janchi (first birthday party) in Namyangju. Dohl janchi is one of the most celebrated birthday parties in Korea and you can almost always expect good food, lots of pictures, games, and prizes. It's always a joy to celebrate the baby's first year of life with their family.

The venue for this event was at Terrace & Cafe. Having a dohl janchi at a cafe felt cozy and intimate. And it was only a 30 minute drive from central Seoul. Here are some pictures. 

The main event at the dohl janchi is dohljabi. It's a fun tradition where guests guess what item the baby is going to choose that foretell their future. They lay few items that represent different career paths or type of life they might live and let them grab one item. And usually the parents prepare small gifts for guests that guessed right.

The birthday girl is wearing a traditional hanbok.

Since we were already in Namyangju where it's known for organic strawberry farms, we drove little bit farther to go strawberry picking.  It has been extremely cold with temperatures in the negative teens so we are doing a lot of indoor activities these days but we've been itching to do something outdoors without freezing to death. Well, strawberry picking is the perfect activity to do especially with children in cold weather because all the strawberries grow in greenhouses. And right now is strawberry picking season. So attending dohl janchi in Namyangju this past Saturday gave us an excuse to try out strawberry picking at the perfect time of the year!  

Out of dozens of farms, we picked YaeDang Farm for a few reasons. First, it was one of the cheapest. We paid 12,000 won per adult and 10,000 won per child 7 and under. For this price, everyone gets one 500g plastic container to pick and take home and you get to eat as much as we want while we are picking. Second, the strawberries here are 100% organic and you can even eat them without washing. The owner explained that she does use fertilizer from Japan, but other than that they don't add or modify anything. They also use bees to spread pollen. The owner explained to the kids that if bees don't do their job of transferring pollen, the flower won't be able to bear good fruit. Not sure if my kids understood the concept, but it was a good reminder that everything on this earth has it's own good purpose. Anyways, there are bees flying around, but the owner explained that they are good bees and if you don't get scared and react to them, they will leave you alone and none of us had any issues with the bees. If you or your kids are allergic to bee stings however, it's something to consider. And as you can see, my girl was a pro at picking and eating! I definitely think she got her moneys worth of strawberries that day. 

예당농장: YaeDang Farm
*Please make reservations before going.

After we were done with the picking, we paid an extra 12,000 won to make two jars of strawberry jam with just strawberries and sugar. First, we let the kids smash them with their hands and stir it while heating until it looks a little watery. It thickens up to jam texture when it cools down. While the jam is still hot, you put it into a glass jar, close it and put it upside down to get an airtight seal.

The farm is open year round with seasonal fruits to pick. They also have a few animals that kids can see and feed. 

After, on our way home back, we stopped by a soondoobu (soft homemade tofu) place for dinner. We arrived a little before 5pm and the place was packed and as soon as the food came out, we knew why. The tofu was soft, warm, and delicious with just a little bit of soy sauce. It was a good way to end our day. 

I highly recommend a strawberry picking day trip to Namyangju if you are looking for an activity with children other than kids cafes during the cold winter season. Namyangju is perfect for a day trip since it's less than an hour outside of Seoul and it has many kid friendly farms and good food! Here is another farm we visited in Namyangju this past fall 👉 BUNNY FARM if you want to check it out. 

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