Recently we went on a family holiday to North Yorkshire. While we were there we visited Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary and had a great family day out. There’s loads to see and do and it can be very cheap!
We’ve been to this sanctuary with Ollie’s big bro before and really enjoyed it, but it’s the first time Ollie had been anywhere like it. He absolutely loved it from start to finish – there’s so much to see, and for a toddler it must be fascinating discovering all the new creatures he’s never seen before!
When you first arrive you have a couple of photos taken which you can buy at the end. You then enter the sanctuary and make your way around the different zones. It’s worth picking up a stamp booklet for the kids from reception to fill in as you go round. There are stamp machines in each section and if you collect them all you get a prize at the end.
As we arrived we walked in on a talk about sharks. It was really interesting and we learnt some new facts – did you know more people are killed every year by vending machines than by sharks?! There are different talks and feeds going on throughout the day and there’s a timetable on the sanctuary’s website.
We had 4 children with us – Ollie (2) and his big bro (9) and my niece (6) and nephew (1). There was something for all of them and they all enjoyed different sections. My little nephew and Ollie both loved the jellyfish section and the tropical fish.
My niece loved the rock pool where she got to touch an anemone and she liked watching the penguins swim under water. My favourite bit was the walk through tank where sharks and turtles swim over your head! I also loved the new octopus section.
For toddlers and babies it’s a great sensory experience. Ollie was fascinated by so many different creatures and all the different displays. He loved the shark and ray tank which has glass bubbles sunk into the side. You can put your head in and it feels like you’re in the tank which is a very bizarre but cool experience.
For older kids and adults, there’s lots of things to learn and discover as you go around. Each section has facts and information about the creatures living there. There’s also lots of information about conservation so it’s a great opportunity to teach older children about what is happening to the sea and the creatures in it.
The sanctuary has all sort of fish and sea creatures but there is also an outside section where you can see otters, seals and penguins. Both the penguins and seals have underwater viewing sections which are really cool.
If the kids need to burn some energy off there’s also a playground and even a crazy golf course outside!
There are a couple of places to get food in the sanctuary. There’s a little kiosk near the playground which sells drinks and snacks, and a cafe at the end. The food is not bad but pretty basic and not the cheapest. Both times we have visited we’ve skipped the food here and headed down to the beach front afterwards for fish and chips.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON TICKETS
We were staying at a local Haven caravan site and they had a big discount on tickets if you booked through the site. But there are plenty of other ways to get a discount! You can save money by booking online in advance. There are also often discounts on the back of pay and display tickets from the different car parks around Scarborough.
You can also exchange your Tesco Clubcard points for tickets and get them totally free! It will only cost you £5 worth of Clubcard points for one ticket. These can take up to 7 days to arrive by post so make sure you do this is advance.
If you’re local, you can get involved in one of the sanctuary’s monthly beach cleans and get a free ticket in return!