Reviewed by Liz Packer
We have just returned back from a great fun filled day out at the SEA LIFE Adventure Park in Weymouth and our two very tired children are now sound asleep with many happy memories created.
We arrived at the SEA LIFE Adventure Park at about 10:30am, just after opening time. We used the pay and display carpark next to the adventure park which had plenty of car parking spaces even though it was a hot summer’s day. Parking was £3.50 for three hours (this turned out not to be long enough and we wish we had gone for four hours). The walk from the car park takes a few minutes across a small park with good pathways.
Entry to the park is through a bright and busy reception where we were greeted by friendly staff and offered an array of different ticket choices including a year-long return ticket and also discounted entry to the ‘Jurassic Skyline’ observation tower located at Weymouth Pier. We opted for a combined ticket with entry to the Jurassic Skyline which is valid for 2 weeks. We also bought a guide book (£3.50) which contains information about the animals at the centre along with discount vouchers. With the tickets you also received a map of the site along with a ‘Dive Log Book’ for the children or them to collect stamps from around the park.
Leaving reception brings you into a green with seating for picnics or a meal from the restaurant and gives you space to figure out your route around the park – alternatively just follow the penguin’s feet on the pathway which guides you through each of the attractions.
We headed for the ‘Nursery’ first to see the seahorses, had a hands on experience in the rock pools, then went on to watch the penguins swimming under water (through glass observation panels) then on to the turtle sanctuary. Our 3 year old spent ages in here insisting on looking at every display, made easier by having a well thought out step by each window. Our 11 year old also enjoyed speaking to a member of staff about the turtles who, although obviously doing observations, spent time answering his question in a friendly and informative manner.
Next on the route was the ocean tunnel. Quick note here, the entrance is quite dark and our youngest was hesitant to go in. Once reminded that he needed to collect a stamp in his Dive Log he ended up running in then spent 30 minutes mesmerised by the sharks and rays swimming past the observation windows and over the ocean tunnel. One of his highlights for the day was a massive ray sitting right on top of his head in the tunnel which he spoke about until bedtime.
Following the route took us to the seal harbour just at feeding time where we caught a 5 minute breather. By most of the attractions, especially those with feeding sessions, there is a small amount of seating which was useful if you have small children as they can see everything that is going on.
Next was ‘Crocodile Creek’ to see some Caiman Crocodiles and to ride the crocodile log flume if you fancy a quick soaking. Starting to feel hungry we headed into the Adventure Land where there are a number of rides for the children and we found the snack shop. Here you can get drinks, sandwiches and hot dogs. What was noticeable was they stocked ‘Innocent’ juices and gluten free cakes, not just the usual fizzy drinks and chocolate normally found at leisure parks.
We finally had lunch at the Adventure’s Grill by entrance purely because they had more free seats. Food was good, well priced and the restaurant was clean and well serviced by the staff.
Refreshed and ready to explore further we checked our Dive Logs to see what we had missed. Off to the ‘Shipweck’ to see the nemo’s, octopus and amazing jellyfish and then on to ‘Castaway Bay’.
We missed a trick here and wished we had done our homework better. Castaway Bay has a splash zone/water play and small pool area for the children, which I know our children would have spent ages playing in (would have needed even more time on the carpark!). Also in this area you can see the ‘Harbourside’ with sharks and rays (and their eggs) along with the ‘Rainforest’ with among other things, the Piranhas!!
The SEA LIFE Adventure Park was well maintained and clean with easy access for our large pushchair. The staff were friendly and well informed who are obviously passionate about the animals and the work the organisation does in educating the general public about the danger some of the animals are in. Around the park is plenty of information about the animals, risks they face and how we can help. Many of the exhibits also had interactive ‘tablets’ with information about the animals.
At the exit there is a nice gift shops with a range of sea life themed merchandise from pocket money items to more expensive toys. And not to forget if you complete your Dive Log the children get a little prize.
All in all a fun and informative day enjoyed by the whole family.
Tickets cost from £23.50 but book online and save 30% and get your tickets for £16.50!
For more information or to book tickets online visit www.sealifeweymouth.com.
SEA LIFE Adventure Park, Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth, DT4 7SX