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Along with dinosaur exhibits, visitors can see plenty of minerals, rock and fossils at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul.
Along with dinosaur exhibits, visitors can see plenty of minerals, rock and fossils at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)
Along with dinosaur exhibits, visitors can see plenty of minerals, rock and fossils at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul.
Along with dinosaur exhibits, visitors can see plenty of minerals, rock and fossils at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)
The Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul takes its visitors from existence of the dinosaurs to our first human ancestors.
The Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul takes its visitors from existence of the dinosaurs to our first human ancestors. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)
Are elephants related to the prehistoric mammoths? Find out at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul.
Are elephants related to the prehistoric mammoths? Find out at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)
Learn about human evolution in the Life Evolution Hall in Seoul's Seodaemun Museum of Natural History.
Learn about human evolution in the Life Evolution Hall in Seoul's Seodaemun Museum of Natural History. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)
Visitors learn all about the fish found in the Han River at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul.
Visitors learn all about the fish found in the Han River at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)
Natalya Jimenez takes her brother Diego through the Dinosaur Park despite some rain during a visit to Seoul's Seodaemun Museum of Natural History.
Natalya Jimenez takes her brother Diego through the Dinosaur Park despite some rain during a visit to Seoul's Seodaemun Museum of Natural History. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)
A tour guide introduces visitors to  Tyrannosaurus Rex, the most popular display at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul.
A tour guide introduces visitors to Tyrannosaurus Rex, the most popular display at the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)
The Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul opened in July 2003 as a center of education in Korean natural history.
The Seodaemun Museum of Natural History in Seoul opened in July 2003 as a center of education in Korean natural history. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripes)

Is your family fascinated with dinosaurs?

Well, mine is. Since our arrival in South Korea last year, my children, Natalya and Diego, had been clamoring for me to find a place where they could check out a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and all the rest of the dinosaur species. After keeping my kids at bay with “Land Before Time” DVDs, I recently discovered a place where they could get their fill of dinosaurs and much more.

As we entered the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History, a huge fossilized T-Rex stood there staring at us. Diego wouldn’t go near it. So much for checking out the dinosaurs.

Not to worry. This three-story building is filled with minerals, rocks and fossils from all over the world. And they are displayed by using the latest in technology, so it’s a vibrant and interesting look at the history of our planet.

After escaping the T-Rex, we entered the Human and Nature Hall on the first floor. There we got a close-up view of South Korea’s forest ecosystem and a big display of the Han River, complete with plants, fish and rocks. And there were plenty of frogs and beetles to examine as well.

Note to parents: The museum gift shop is located on the first floor, so beware. My wife and I managed to distract Natalya and Diego enough to get them past the shop and on to the second floor, which quickly became our children’s favorite spot. There we studied the evolution of man and the creatures that have inhabited our planet since the early beginning, including dinosaurs.

On the third floor, we got to explore the Earth from its beginnings, as well as the other planets in our solar system, and different dynamic phenomena like earthquakes and volcanoes. Videos showed the formation process of caves, and my daughter enjoyed looking at the variety of minerals and rocks on display.

Finally, we went back downstairs and entered the virtual reality room, where we watched a 3-D cartoon (in Korean) about a dinosaur that gets lost, is chased by a T-Rex, and makes friends along the way. Great for young kids.

Also great for the kids — and photographs — is Dinosaur Park, located outside. My children and I still went out to take pictures. But we didn’t care about the rain. That’s what families do, right?

Know & goSeodaemun Museum of Natural History

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (March-October), 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (November-February)

Admission: children (6-12 years), 1,000 won; 13-18, 2,000 won; 19-64, 3,000 won

Directions: Shinchon Station, Line 2, Exit 1 in the direction of Dongkyo-dong; Exit 3 in front of Shinchon Rotary; Hongje Station, Line 3, Exit 3 in the direction of Muakjae.

Web site:http://namu.sdm.go.kr

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