On a grey day in June, I visited Sealife Scheveningen with two 4-year-olds and a 1-year-old.
I’d been curious about going for some time but full-price tickets are expensive, even with the online discount (€14.75 for adults, €10.75 for kids 3-11). I was fairly sure we’d have a good time but not that good a time: €40 for an afternoon out, before ice creams and other treats, is way out of our budget.
I was tempted to think again about Sealife after a recent string of dreary weather, and a promotion which took the price down to €12.50 for a parent-child combo ticket provided the extra incentive.
The kids were excited by the prospect of sharks and penguins, and were very happy to get a little booklet at the entrance, which they could stamp at various stations around the aquarium. For the next hour, we wandered around looking at ‘nemo fish’, turtles, seahorses and lots of rays.
The small but impressive walk-through tunnel — with rays and sharks zooming above our heads — was another highlight. But to my surprise, the jellyfish tank won the day. The colours and transparent nature of the jellyfish was just fascinating, especially for little kids. It was very calming. I could have stared at them all day.
All in all, we probably spent about an hour inside, and I was relatively pleased for the price we paid. Older kids might manage a bit longer but I can’t see anyone taking more than 2 hours to wander around. It’s a fairly small aquarium. You can get a stamp at the exit, which allows you to come back throughout the day.
Verdict? Not bad if you can get a discount on tickets and the weather is grim, or if you just want to treat kids who love marine life. I wouldn’t pay full price though, and if it’s sunny I’d rather be at the beach or one of The Hague’s many great playgrounds.
Where to find it: Sealife is on the main boulevard in Scheveningen. Trams 1 and 9 run nearby, as do buses 21, 22 and 23.