Korea Kids Cafes: Tayo The Friendly Bus
After Pororo and the toys and kids cafe visits that came with it, just as quickly the little one LOVED Tayo the Little Bus and all of his friends.
Pretty soon we had learned about loads of vehicles and they had names too! Walking down the street, green buses became Rogi and blue buses became Tayo. Not only did our daughter think they became Tayo, but the government has literally placed stickers on some local buses on particular routes to give them Tayo’s eyes and mouth so they literally look like gigantic Tayos, Rogis and more rolling up at bus stops. This is funny to me as I’ve realized my friends without kids had no idea what the addition on the buses was from but just thought Korea had introduced these funny character buses to their lines because Korea. No, that’s not what happened.
This actually started out as a short term transportation initiative back in 2014 to teach children how to use the bus but it was a massive success. And when I say massive, I mean the very first day 40,000 people rocked up from around the country to use these initial buses that were only being used downtown around Gwanghwamun Square. Since then, the initiative has been expanded and continues and not just downtown but around the country.
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Tayo the Little Bus is a Korean animated children’s television series based on vehicles that can talk that began being aired in 2010.
Now the series is available in Korean, English, Spanish, Turkish and Russian and is definitely one of the biggest hits in terms of children’s animations that has come from Korea.
Characters to know if you want to gab it up with some kids about Tayo AND learn some Korean vocabulary:
Tayo: Blue 120 Bus. He is playful, loves to toot and even has a special little Tayo song and dance that ends with him tooting. He is the third oldest of the four main buses. Watch out! This fun loving character will have your kids tooting all around the house.
- Vocabulary: Tayo comes from the verb ta-da (타다) in Korea to mean to ride.
Rogi: Green 100 Bus. He is Tayo’s best friend and just as mischievous. The two buses often fight and then make up. He loves to solve puzzles and is a detective in a few episodes to get to the bottom of a mystery. He is the second oldest of the four.
- Vocabulary: Rogi comes from the word green in Korean or 초록색
Lani: Yellow 02 Bus. She is the youngest of the four buses and she is always happy and kind. She hates arguments and is usually the one trying to mediate between Tayo and Rogi.
- Vocabulary: Lani comes from the color yellow in Korean or 노란색
Gani: Red 1339 Bus. The oldest of the four main buses, he is a bit shy but kind and hardworking.
- Vocabulary: Gani comes from red in Korean or 빨간색
- Hana: She is the (human) mechanic that keeps all of the vehicles in working order and is a bit of a mother-like character.
- Citu: This red double-decker city tour bus (City Tour=Citu) is the teacher, father-figure for the group of main characters who are learning how to do their jobs.
- Nuri: She is a nice orange taxi who met Tayo in the very first episode. She often comes around to visit everyone.
- Rookie & Pat: These two are always together since Rookie is the police officer who is new to the job and he rides in Pat, the experienced police car character who takes his job far too seriously.
- Speedy: This red car is often getting in trouble for going to fast and speeding down the road. Modeled after a Porsche Targa FS, he has been known to get tickets and get into accidents due to his speedy urges.
- Shine: This yellow car modeled after a Mercedes SLK R171 coupe is a bit egotistical and has to show off. Speed and Shine are often racing and trying to one-up each other which usually ends in citations or accidents.
- Heart: Who used to be brown, but becomes pink, is Hana’s helper.
- Peanut: Peanut is an eco-friendly bus that was introduced in later seasons.
- Toto: A yellow tow-truck.
- Air: A red helicopter who is part of the rescue team and assists in tall building fires.
- Bongbong: A bright blue baby minibus modeled after a VW minibus.
- Carry: A vehicle transport truck that is a mother or baby-sitter figure. She was introduced carrying Bongbong in the beginning.
- Champ: Turquoise countryside land rover.
- Cooku: White and blue countryside bus.
- Toni: A little truck who is very conscientious of the road rules and lets others know if they’re breaking them.
- Alice: The ambulance that is partnered up with Frank.
- Frank: The firetruck who takes his job seriously and works with Alice.
- Big: A giant container truck that the buses were scared of at first.
- Billy: A bulldozer who works on the construction site.
- Poco: An excavator that works on the construction site.
- Chris: A cement truck that works on the construction site.
- Max: A dump truck that works on the construction site.
- Met: A subway train who is very knowledgeable and the buses ask him for help with problems from time to time because he knows about everything.
- Nana: A bus that lives in the countryside.
- Wondie: An old blue bus who was scrapped.
- Ractor: A red tractor who lives in the countryside.
- Rubby: A road cleaning vehicle.
- Aratcha: A pick-up truck.
- Tramy: A tram.
- Kinder: The little school bus for the kindergarten. This one is especially exciting for our little one since she gets to ride in her own kinder every day coming home.
- Joey: A magician who appears in multiple shows and surprises everyone with his magic tricks.
- Fire Ball: A superhero character.
- Princess Ray: A princess of Planet Clover that Tayo meets when he rockets up to space in his dreams. She reappears in later episodes.
- Bully: A space pirate who they fight with in space.
- Reo: A superstar car.
- Andy: A painter that gets in trouble for painting bus signs and then becomes a local street artist.
Compared to Pororo, the character list in Tayo is much more substantial, but as the kids grow they get better and better memories, so learning ALL of them is no problem for our little two year old.
What’s IN a Tayo Cafe?
The cafes we have visited themed in all things Tayo have been pretty substantial in size and offer toys in varying sizes for a few different age groups. Tayo is popular with children from about one to kindergarten and the tayo cafes are made generally for them. From the popular bouncy mats to small, medium and large buses in character motifs, the kids really are gobsmacked when they go into a Tayo cafe.
Varying based on size and shape of space, there are a few things that may or may not be inside.
- Tayo’s Car Zone is a short course where children can hop aboard a child-size friendly bus character and ride around. These are for children a bit older and able to control a large kid-vehicle.
- The Rubi’s Boong Boong Car Zone is for younger children. The little buses are smaller and are powered via the children pushing with their feet on the ground.
- Bully’s Spaceship is a sensory play area with neon lights flashing and shining and padded flooring for a little dance party inside.
- There is a cinema for children that want to take a little rest and just watch some Tayo episodes called Ray’s Cinema Zone and then once they’re done resting they can head into a ball pit called Bully Shows Up.
- There are padded areas with mini camping/grill sets for children to play “house” and there are play stations with the buses and parking lots and streets.
- There’s also a party zone called Joey’s Party Zone that can be rented for private parties.
Of course, there is also a food zone where parents might rest and there are TV sets showing all corners of the play zones to keep on eye on children while also eating a good meal. The menu has items such as hamburger steak, pork sirloin cutlets, oven baked chicken and honey bread as well as some pizzas and fried rice dishes. For brunch there are also some chicken nuggets, ciabatta sandwiches, croque monsieurs and cookies and sausages too. The food ranged in price from W5,500 to W15,000. I have to say, the meal was actually better than I’ve had at some other kids cafes, so I appreciated that on my end.
- Children: W10,000 (members) – W12,000 (non-members) for two hours; Doesn’t seem to cost anything to join the membership so join and get a discount.
- Adults accompanying children: W3,000
- Children under 12 months are free (snap a picture of their passport or birth certificate to show if asked which is common in Korea.)
Most locations open at 10:00am and close at 8:00pm, but this may vary slightly depending on location.
Tayo Kids Cafes & Parks In Seoul & Suburbs:
Please remember that kids cafes in Korea can open and close rather quickly. This is a current list according to the Tayo Kids Cafe website. For an up to date one, check out their site.
- Seoul, Gangseo-gu Hwagok-dong 1165-1 5th floor (서울특별시 강서구 화곡동 1165-1 5층)
- Seoul, Gwangjin-gu Hwayang-dong 487-1 (서울특별시 광진구 화양동 487-1)
- Seoul, Eunpyeong-gu Jingwan-dong 100-6 (서울특별시 은평구 진관동 100-6)
- Seoul, Nowon-gu, Junggye-dong 434-1 Seyang Building 5th floor (서울특별시 노원구 중계동 434-1 세양빌딩 5층)
- Seoul, Dongjak-gu Sindaebang-dong 395-69 (서울특별시 동작구 신대방동 395-69)
- Incheon, Bupyeong-gu Samsan-dong 464-4 Geunyung Plaza 2nd floor (인천광역시 부평구 삼산동 464-4 근영프라자 2층)
- Incheon Jung-gu Hangdong 7-ga 76-2 Lotte Factory Outlet (인천광역시 중구 항동7가 76-2 롯데팩토리아울렛 1층)
- Incheon Namdong-gu Nonhyeon-dong 747-1 4th floor (인천광역시 남동구 논현동 747-1 라피에스타 4층)
- Gyeonggi-do Suwon, Yungteung-gu Iui-dong 1338 Lotte Outlet 3rd floor (경기도 수원시 영통구 이의동 1338 롯데아울렛 광교점 3층)
- Gyeonggi-do Uijeongbu Millak-dong 805-2 Sungsan Tower 6th floor (경기도 의정부시 민락동 805-2 성산타워 6층)
- Gyeonggi-do Hanam-si Deokpung-dong 744-1 (경기도 하남시 덕풍동 744-1 리치플러스 10층)
- Gyeonggi-do Hwaseong-si Jinan-dong 481-9 (경기도 화성시 진안동 481-9)
- Gyeonggi-do Anyang-si Dongan-gu Gwanyang 2-dong 1019-5 5th floor (경기도 안양시 동안구 관양2동 1019-5 5층)
- Gyeonggi-do Paju, Dongpae-dong 1761-2 3rd floor (경기도 파주시 동패동 1761-2 3층)
- Gyeonggi-do Gimpo-si Unyang-dong 1298-3 (경기도 김포시 운양동 1298-3)
- Gyeonggi-do Gwangmyeong-si Soha-dong 1313-4 (경기도 광명시 소하동 1313-4)
- Gyeonggi-do Namyangju-si Byeolnae-dong 1006-1 (경기도 남양주시 별내동 1006-1)
- Gyeonggi-do Seongnam-si Bundang-gu Sunae-dong 21-1 10th floor (경기도 성남시 분당구 수내동 21-1 10층)
Tayo Kids Cafes & Parks Around Korea:
- Chungcheongnam-do Asan-si Dunpo-myeon Seokgok-ri 1672 (충청남도 아산시 둔포면 석곡리 1672 7층)
- Gyeonggi-do Pyeongtaek-si Bijeon-dong 1066 (경기도 평택시 비전동 1066 2층)
- Gangwon-do Chuncheon-si, Onui-dong 58-77 (강원도 춘천시 온의동 58-7 7층)
- Gangwon-do Wonju-si Dangye-dong 1186-4 (강원도 원주시 단계동 1186-4)
- Busang Haeundae-gu Jwa-dong 1485-5 (부산광역 해운대구 좌동 1485-5 2층)
- Gyeongsangnam-do Gimhae-si Yulha-dong 1349-1 (경상남도 김해시 율하동 1349-1 3층)
- Gyeongnam Jinju-si Chungmogong-dong 35 Lotte Mall 4th floor (경남 진주시 충무공동 35 롯데몰 진주점 4층)
- Jeollanam-do Muan-gun Samhyang-eub Namak-ri 2622 (전라남도 무안군 삼향읍 남악리 2622 3층)
- Jeju Yongdamil-dong 248-5 (제주특별시 용담일동 248-5 6)