Heart and Seoul | Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier

Heart and Seoul

Heart & Seoul: Growing up in Korea brings modern-day South Korea to Chicago Children’s Museum.

This exhibit lets you travel without ever stepping on a plane. Designed with input from five real-life, modern-day South Korean children, visitors to Heart & Seoul will get a taste everyday life in school, at home, and throughout the city as they:

  • Explore Korean food in the restaurant
  • Perform with K-Pop stars in the music studio
  • Practice an ancient martial art in the Taekwondo Studio
  • See what school and home life are like for Korean kids
  • Celebrate universal themes like diversity, tradition, and intergenerational sharing

You’ll not only learn about life in South Korea, you’ll experience it first-hand—without any of the jet lag.

As part of Heart & Seoul: Growing Up in Korea, Chicago Children's Museum has partnered with Korean cultural organizations across Chicago to create a full schedule of artistic, cultural, and celebratory activities. 




Dol: A traditional birthday celebration
March 4 at 11 am
All Ages
Learn about dol, or doljanchi, a traditional Korean first birthday celebration. The highlight of the dol is a custom called the doljabi where the child is placed in front of a table of objects and urged to pick one. It is believed the one selected will foretell the child's future.

Partner Organization: Korean Cultural Center of Chicago

Taekwondo Demo
March 4 at 2 pm
All Ages
Watch a real-life Taekwondo demo and learn more about this ancient martial art form.

Organizational Partner: Korean American Sports Association

Taste of Korea
March 11, 11 am – 12:30 pm
All Ages
Ever tried Guimbop? This exploration of Korean cuisine will give you the chance. Watch cooking demonstrations and taste for yourself!

Partner Organization: Korean Women's International Network

Traditional Korean Games
March 18 at 11 am and 2 pm
All Ages
Kick, toss, aim and catch by playing games like Jegichagi, Tuho, Ttakji and Gongginor—just like Korean kids (and grown-ups) do. 

Partner Organization: Korean American Association of Chicago

Korean Wood Carving Demo
March 25 at 11 am and 2 pm
Ages four and up
Come learn about this ancient art from—from its long history in Asia to its influence on current printing technology—and watch an artist in action. 

Partner Organization: Korean Cultural Center of Chicago

Drumming Up Power
March 29 at 5:30 pm
All Ages
Experience the power of traditional Korean drumming! Youth drummers will teach families about the roots of traditional Korean drumming, the various instruments involved, and drumming as part of social change movements. Families will learn a number of basic rhythms using Janggu and Buk drums and practice a song together!

Partner Organization: The HANA Center AFter School Matters Youth Team


Hangeul: The Korean Alphabet 
April 1 at 11 am & 2 pm
Ages four and up
Learn the history of Hangeul, the Korean alphabet and language. We’ll look at samples of Korean books, make and decorate lanterns, design Korean names and more. 

Partner Organization: Korean School Association of the Midwest

Korean Folk Tale & Immigrant Story
April 8 at 11 am and 2 pm
All Ages
Experience the past and the present with two stories! The first is a traditional Korean folk tale and the second is a modern-day story about life for kids in the US. Children will participate in an engaging reading and have a chance to share how they can be positive role models and leaders for other children.

Partner Organization: HANA Center

Korean Lanterns
April 22 at 11 am and 2 pm
Ages four and up
Korean lanterns are used to announce a marriage. Learn what the colors and fabrics symbolize and make your own beautiful lantern to take home.

Partner Organization: Korean Cultural Center of Chicago

Made In Chicago Presents: Traditional Taekwondo
Thursday, April 26 at 5:30 pm
Ages four and up
Children and youth from The Peace School will demonstrate the powerful actions of Traditional Taekwondo, a program rooted in ancient Korea that builds confidence, discipline and strength of mind and body. Master Charles Kim, President of The Peace School, will invite children in the audience to learn step-by-step self-defense moves.

Partner Organization: The Peace School

Paper Flowers & Spinning Tops
April 29 at 11 am and 2 pm
Ages four and up
We’ll be celebrating Mu Gun Hwa, the Korean national flower, by creating folded paper flowers, making spinning tops, and decorating a map of Korea. 

Partner Organization: National Unification Advisory Council



Korean Children’s Day Holiday
May 5
Join us as we close out our Heart & Seoul exhibit with a Korean Children's Day Festival celebration! The first 300 visitors will receive a special token gift from the National Folk Museum of Korea.

Special thanks to Korean Cultural Center of Chicago and HANA Center for programmatic leadership