Sea Life Scheveningen is located on the promenade in The Hague, overlooking the sea and is a great way to spend a few hours with your kids. Renee Veldman-Tentori visited with her family.
Though we’ve lived in The Hague for many years, we hadn’t yet been to Sea Life Scheveningen. We’re originally from Australia and when the girls were younger, we did go to Underwater World in Mooloolaba (near where we lived in Australia) – and discovered it’s actually owned by the same organisation. Our daughters are 9 and 11 years old now and loved it!
Gary Hicks, Aquarist, hosted our visit and it’s clear that he is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the wellbeing of all the glorious sea creatures who live at Sea Life. Gary is originally from the UK, but came to Scheveningen last September. He’s also worked at the Sydney Aquarium and has over a decade experience in this field. What I particularly liked about the benefit that Sea Life Scheveningen has being part of a large worldwide organisation (Merlin Entertainments) is that Gary is part of an international network of experts who can learn from each other and share their knowledge and experience. He talked about conservation and education on a global scale, which I think it’s so important for our planet. It was great to get our kids excited about learning more about this.
We tried to absorb the many amazing facts that Gary shared with us. For example, did you know that octopi are highly intelligent and like to play? They feed their Sea Life octopus in creative ways to keep him entertained, for example in a jar with a lid he can take off, or along with lego blocks to play with!
Gary also pointed out the “w” shaped eyes of the cuttlefish:
Then we had the great experience of giving Ernie the huge Sea Turtle his breakfast. His favourite is broccoli! He also enjoys cabbage and cucumber.
Feeding Ernie is not a regular part of a Sea Life visit, though you will no doubt spot him cruising around when you walk through the underwater tunnel. He’s huge and weighs about 130kg! He shares the tank with lots of other beautiful sea creatures.
Sea Life Scheveningen do have talks and feeding times for many of the other animals, including the otters, penguins, piranha and rays.
Signage around the centre is in Dutch, English and German. Of course, no aquarium is complete without ‘Nemo’. I heard an excited little boy talking in a language I didn’t understand, but I caught the word ‘Nemo’ several times!
What I found very interesting was that one section is dedicated to reflecting the North Sea. So, instead of diving off Scheveningen Pier, you can keep dry and learn more about what is just outside!
On our way out, we did a deep sea dive ourselves via virtual reality. A lot of fun! We explored a shipwreck and really felt like we spent some time in the ocean.
If you’re looking for a novel idea to celebrate a birthday, children’s pirate or sea princess parties are also an option. Visit the Sea Life website for opening times and more information: