Sea Life centre – Great Yarmouth

We received gifted tickets in exchange for writing this review of the Sea Life centre but all opinions are honest and our own.

I have always been a massive fan of the Sea Life Centre and have been lucky enough to visit them all around the country. Of course, the conservation of sea creatures is absolutely vital and knowing that I have contributed a few pounds (ok quite a few, more about this later) gives me a case of the warm and fuzzy feelings. Even after so many visits there is always something new to marvel at and new Sea Life facts to learn!

2 children in a green circle looking at jellyfish

I really admire how interactive the Sea Life Centre is for children. I think that the new Peppa Pig Mission Pack is a fantastic idea and Moose really loved finding all of the facts.

Another highlight was definitely the rockpooling area where the (brave) smaller ones could get their hands in and feel some of the creatures. I was worried that post-Covid this might not be an option anymore but it was as popular as ever!


Where is the Sea Life Centre and how can I book?

The Sea Life Centre is located right on the seafront in Great Yarmouth, a short walk from The Pleasure Beach. Pre booking your tickets is essential at the time of writing (June 2022) but it is possible to re-validate your tickets should you become unable to attend.

They are a cashless attraction which is worth baring in mind for on-site purchases.

Any hidden costs?

Not exactly hidden but once inside the attraction you will have the option to purchase a photograph (available in a lot of different packages). There is also a VR ride and my kids favourite, the souvenir penny machines!

The Sea Life centre is not exactly a cheap day out BUT there are bargains to be had. You can pay for your tickets using Tesco Clubcard vouchers and there are loads of 2 for 1 offers – make sure you search online before booking. It is comforting to know that money from your ticket is going to such a great cause too.

Is it open on bank holidays?

Currently the Sea Life Centre is open everyday except Christmas and Boxing Day.

Can I park there?

There is no parking onsite but there are plenty of car parks on the seafront. You can expect to pay around £9.60 for the day or if you fancy hunting them down I am told there is free parking down the side streets nearby. If you have a blue badge you can park for free (if you can find a space of course).

Did it feel crowded?

For the most part, no. I would say that the penguin exhibit and the hands on rockpool exhibit would be the exception to this. Both of those did full up with people but there were sanitising stations available.

At the moment pre booking is essential which is really helping the Sea Life Centre to ensure a sensible amount of visitors at any particular time.

Are there toilets on site?

Yes there are toilets and also baby change facilities on site.

What age group is it suitable for?

This is one of the few places I can truly say would be suitable for any age. Having a big age gap family these gems are tough to find! Every single member of our party was captivated by something at the Sea Life Centre.

Can I bring a picnic?

No, you cannot bring food or drink and there is no suitable space for a picnic. There is a café onsite which looked very clean.

Can my dog come to the Sea Life Centre?

No dogs, except guide dogs, can be admitted to the Sea Life Centre.

What shouldn’t be missed?

Noah and the Penguins. It sounds like a hipster band but they are far, far cooler in reality. Noah is a magnificent Green Sea Turtle and seeing him swim is just breath taking.

The Humboldt Penguins are so cute and fun to watch – either from above on a sun trap terrace or from below where you can see them at their most graceful, in the water.

Special mention to to the Sharks, the Seahorses and one of my favourites, the Jellyfish!

But arguably the focal point of any Sea Life Centre is always the tunnel, isn’t it?*

happy family with grumpy looking man


*This is actually MrG’s happy face. It just hides well behind his stoic exterior and his beard.

Bah Humbug! A beginners guide.

This week, in the midst of a flurry of last minute frantic Christmas preparations, an oddity has appeared in Peterborough.

Bah Humbug! Fest is a welcome break from all things festive. With not a Christmas tree or even a mince pie in sight, families are invited to spend some time having (non festive) fun together. We were lucky enough to be invited to attend the opening and so I thought it might be helpful to offer a beginners guide to all thing Bah Humbug!

Here’s what you need to know

What is Bah Humbug! Fest?

Bah Humbug! Fest is comprised of over 40 fairground rides and attractions. Once your admission is paid the theory is that you can enjoy your 4 hour allotted slot – either 12 until 4pm or 5 until 9pm depending on your preference with very little if any additional expenditure. No festive decorations or songs will be around to irritate your senses here – if you recoil at the thought of hearing THAT Slade song one more time then this is the place for you!

But what is there to do?

I was a bit dubious about the poster. “Over 40 rides and attractions” was the claim and I wondered what the quality of those rides might be considering that they are all free and unlimited upon entry. So. Here is a list of just some of them:

For the younger guests
  • Thomas The Tank Engine ride
  • Runaway Train
  • The Fun House
  • Frozen Swing
  • Helter Skelter
  • Mini Miami
  • Flying Planes
  • Teacups
  • Wild West Coaster
  • Go-Gator
  • Mini Wheel

For the older ones
  • Dodgems
  • Freak Out
  • Superbowl
  • Waltzer
  • Miami
  • Extreme
  • Ghost Train
  • Crazy Bulls
  • Haunted House
  • Twist

A well as the fairground rides, Bah Humbug! Fest also offers a whole host of inflatables including some Wipeout style big balls! Moose spent ages playing on the inflatable slides and also the Toxic Labyrinth – think mini inflatable assault course. I don’t THINK it was actually toxic…


What age group would this suit?

I think 4 to 14 would be a safe bet here. There is plenty to keep this age range occupied at Bah Humbug! Fest. The younger ones spent ages playing on the inflatables. Especially the inflatable slides! It was great that the smaller rides were indoors too which offered a bit of protection against the colder weather for the younger children. Outside, the larger rides appealed to the older ones – so much so that Bess doesn’t appear in many of my pics. She disappeared to try out those bigger rides while I enjoyed the smaller ones with Moose.

What can I eat?

I always feel a bit apprehensive about the costs of refreshments at this kind of an event. This Mum needs her coffee – especially when I am in charge of some very excited small people. A cup of tea or coffee here will set you back £2. There is also a covered seating area if you get the chance to use it.

There were a few food vendors selling burgers and jacket potatoes which were priced at around £5 each. Pretty much what you would expect to pay I think. Donuts were 4 for £3.

There is no signage to suggest that picnics are unwelcome but it was really only toward the end of our session that the children seemed to feel like they might want to eat something. They were having too much fun to care!

How much will it cost me?

Individual tickets priced £20 per person

Family of 4 – reduced ticket price £70

Spectator only tickets priced £6

Under 3s go free

Tickets give unlimited access to a four-hour session at Bah Humbug! Fest

There are two sessions a day: 12-4pm and 5-9pm


What’s the parking situation?

It’s free and there is lots of it! Peterborough arena has 22,000 spaces. There is also a half hourly bus service nearby for non-drivers.

Is it really worth it?

£20 per ticket could be thought of as quite steep. Especially so close to Christmas. However, rides at a fairground can be anywhere between £2 and £5 per ride. That soon adds up!

Based on a cheap night at the travelling fair where rides are £2 a go, you would need to ride 10 times to get your moneys worth. My lot went on 10 rides in the first hour easily.

If your child isn’t really into fairgrounds then I would say it would be one to avoid. Maybe the panto instead? But if  like mine, your kids love rides then Bah Humbug! Fest will be a massive hit!


Ada Lovelace Day – STEM Festival Peterborough

Today is Ada Lovelace day!

You have probably heard of Ada Lovelace but you might not be entirely clear on why she is famous or who she really was. Here are some facts you might not know about her but you definitely should!

ada lovelace

Her father was Lord Byron

Yes, that Byron. Ada’s Mum and Dad separated in 1815 when Ada was 3 months old. The mad, bad and dangerous to know poet sadly (or not so sadly, depending on your point of view) died when Ada was 8.

It was said to be that, because Ada’s Mother wanted to avoid her daughter inheriting Byron’s reckless artistic temperament, she pushed her daughter into the study of mathematics. 

She wasn’t really accepted.

Ada had to publish her work under her initials, as women were not seen to be intellectual.

Although Ada’s mother had succeeded in providing her daughter with the best education and had passed onto her a real thirst for knowledge. She hadn’t done quite so well when it came to teaching her how to be a lady in victorian England.

In an 1835 edition of the New York Mirror (Ada would have been 20) was written: “It is said that Ada Byron, sole daughter of the ‘noble bard’, is the most coarse and vulgar woman in England!” Even Babbage, her good friend, was said to have described her as having “a good deal of the Byron devil”! 

She’s buried next to the Father she never knew

She died from cancer in 1852 – at just 36 years old. At her own request, she was buried next to her well known father in a Nottinghamshire churchyard.

It took a while for the world to catch up

Lovelace’s ideas about computing were so far ahead of their time that it took nearly a century for technology to catch up. While Lovelace’s notes on Babbage’s analytical engine gained little attention at the time (they were originally published in 1843), they found a much wider audience when republished in B.V. Bowden’s 1953 book “Faster Than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines”. As the field of computer science dawned in the 1950s, Lovelace gained a new following in the digital age.

There’s a computing language named after her

The US department of defence computer language is named Ada. Each October, Ada Lovelace Day recognizes women in maths, science and engineering, who the British Computer Society then award the ‘Ada Lovelace medal’ to.

You can read more about Ada Lovelace by following the links below:


An official event for Ada Lovelace day, Peterborough STEM festival returns in 2018 for it’s 3rd year. It will be held at the Kingsgate Conference Centre, Peterborough on October 13th, from 9.30am until 4pm.

Promising fun activities to celebrate and experience the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This event is FREE to enter and suitable for the whole family. You just need to book your FREE tickets here:

Adventureland at Springfields Outlet Shopping & Leisure Spalding

Every Friday Moose has a day off from preschool. I work from home so I try to pack as much work into the first 4 days of the week. This leaves Friday as our day. We only have 1 Friday left before the schools are out for the summer. After that we have everyone at home and then my baby boy is <gulp> off to primary school.

mummy and moose

I am determined to fill our Fridays with fun.

Last week we were invited to the new Adventureland located at Springfields Outlet Shopping & Leisure in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

This £1 million adventure playground is an exciting addition to what is on offer for families in the East Midlands area.

How much is it?

Entry to Adventureland is priced at £7.95 for an All inclusive wristband during peak season or £29.95 for up to 4 people. This covers children under 12 for

  • Adventure Land
  • Springy’s Beach
  • Tree Top Village

Plus, one session to each of the following attractions: (token/wristband provided upon entry)

  • JCB Young Drivers Zone. One hour in the zone includes Foreman’s briefing and pedal power driving trucks, building bricks and mechanical diggers. Timeslot booked on purchase. Recommended for children under 10 years old
  • Goldie’s Gold Mine – 1 x 15 minute session per child to pan for gold and find the treasure
  • Springy’s Railroad – One trip through the Tree Top village and woodland
  • Dino Golf  –  One round of the 9 hole, dinosaur themed adventure golf course

If you don’t fancy trying out the latter, you also have the option of purchasing a standard wristband.

Standard tickets include entry to:

  • Adventure Land
  • Springy’s Beach
  • The Tree Top Village

You are able to purchase individual tokens for the other activities which are priced as follows

  • JCB Young Drivers Zone £6 per child – Sessions last an hour  and includes a safety briefing, your own pedal powered JCB truck, huge JCB house and scaffolding play tower, brick laying area, mechanical diggers and bouldering wall plus more!  Time slot booked on purchase. Recommended for children under 10 years old.
  • Gold Panning £2 per person   One 15-minute session to pan for gold and find the treasure. Includes treasure memento
  •  Springy’s Railroad £2 per person – One trip through the Tree Top Village and woodland
  • Dino Golf £3 per person – One round of the 9 hole dinosaur themed adventure golf course
  • Remote Controlled Boats £1 Token – Available from any Kiosk. This is located by the Dino Golf

What did we think?

Moose absolutely loved Adventureland. He had been feeling a little under the weather the day before so I was anxious that maybe he would find it all a bit much but I needn’t have worried.

The beach area is under a large shade so there is no danger of little ones getting sunburnt while they play and splash in the little stream running through the beach area.

We thought the JCB young drivers zone was a great idea! The platforms inside the scaffolding tower which the children have to climb in order to go down the big slide were unfortunately too high for Moose. He is a tall 3 year old (he’s around 110cm) so I think that is really for slightly older kids. Shame as he loves a slide!

It was great for the children to be able to select safety gear to wear as they scooted around on the little JCB’s and the petrol station and play shop were really well done. Grandma was pleased that there was seating provided for the grown ups.

Panning for Gold

The Gold Panning activity was one which we really enjoyed. Moose surprised me and spent a really long time sifting through to look for coloured stones and pieces of (fools) gold. I really like that the children get to keep what they find. That’s a really nice touch.

After we had collected our treasure we headed to have a ride on Springy’s railroad. It was a nice little trip around the woodland area and as you can see, Moose enjoyed himself immensely!

Something I thought might be a little old for Moose was the

Dino Golf.

We thought we would have a go but I really underestimated how much he would love this! We liked spotting the Dinosaurs hiding around the 9 hole course and Moose managed to name quite a few!

Then we decided to head to the tree top village. Moose was a little unsure at first but he soon got the hang of climbing  across the bridges and even ventured onto the tree walk, a massive 12m2 suspended net. This activity needed adult supervision for anyone aged 3-6 so I had a go too. I was a little worried that my weight might be an issue here but it was absolutely fine – and good fun!

What about food?

Springfields has a good choice of places to eat. We decided to stay in Adventureland and grab a quick bite at Springy’s diner. The outdoor seating area is right next to Springys beach so it’s handy for watching the kids play. It also has bottomless coffee which from a parental point of view is a massive bonus!


Grandma and I decided to try the small bites trio deal. You can select 3 dishes for £12. We chose the chicken strips, ranch salad and potato skins. Moose settled on the children’s cheeseburger and fries which was priced at £5.95.

The food was nice but I do think that the kids meal was slightly too pricey and maybe should include a drink at least? I think on our next trip we would probably go and try The Kitchen which looked to be really good for families. It’s great that Springfields has a choice of places for families to eat.

Would we go back?

Absolutely yes. I am planning on visiting during the summer holidays. I really like the choice of activities on offer and a really nice aspect of Adventureland is it’s setting. Springfields outlet village offers a nice shopping experience which my older daughter will want to explore with her friends. And if shopping is not your thing, the festival gardens are a lovely place for a peaceful walk.

We are also hoping to have a ride on the Spalding water taxi so we can explore the town centre too! All in all I think Adventureland offers a really valuable resource for parents and we can’t wait to visit again!


Disclaimer:We received wristband entry to Adventureland and a gift card to try Springys diner but all opinions are honest and my own.

900 years of Peterborough – Queensgate Medeshamstede Medieval Village

As a self confessed history geek I am really enjoying the celebrations surrounding the 900th anniversary of Peterborough.

It wasn’t always called Peterborough though.

Prepare to be taken back in time, back to Medeshamstede, when Peterborough was born, as Queensgate Shopping Centre puts on a week-long celebration and festivities to mark the 900th anniversary of the city.

From Monday 30 July until Sunday 5 August, shoppers are invited to step into a medieval village, complete with a castle and towering turrets, in Central Square. Walk across the drawbridge, through the giant gates and into the courtyard where real knights, villagers and churchmen go about their daily lives.


The grand hall houses a giant banquet table, creating the perfect setting for activities to take part in, such as bread making, crown and shield making workshops, Merlin’s spell school, dressing up, stories of bravery and valour and much more.


Watch knights of the round table battle with incredible sword skills, listen to traditional harps and folk music, and for those that have been naughty, it’s off to the village stocks!

peterborough 900th anniversary

“Embracing Peterborough’s heritage during this special year is important to Queensgate,” said Marketing Manager, Laura Chandler. “The Medeshamstede village is a fully immersive interactive experience replicating life in Peterborough 900 years ago. From a working water mill to the peasant’s house, this is going to be a great way to show where Peterborough came from.”


There’s also the chance to find the king or queen of Peterborough as shoppers are invited to pull the sword from the stone.

The Medeshamstede village, the name of Peterborough in the Anglo-Saxon period, is completely free and a full schedule of events and timings can be found at

I think this will be a really interesting and fun thing to do with the children and best of all it’s free!