I love living in the South – we are so fortunate to have some gorgeous beaches and wonderful countryside and none of it too far away. However, nothing ever seems to happen south of London, or not very much anyway and sometimes it definitely makes me yearn to live closer to the hustle and bustle of life and have access to more attractions. Last weekend though, something happened much closer to home which we were so excited to be a part of. Sometimes, I completely forget that we DO in fact have some attractions and “days out” pretty close to hand and one of those comes in the form of the Sealife Centre Park down in Weymouth. I used to go there when I was a little girl and have memories of running round the outdoor paddling pool and splashing my way down the slide but I hadn’t been there for years. Well, they’ve made a lot of changes and one of their most recent is the new Caribbean Cove Adventure Playground area which is opening on the 1st April, just in time for the upcoming Easter holidays. Now, it may not be open until the 1st, but they invited us down to try it out last weekend and so Rowan, Alyssa, my brother-in-law Peter and I popped on our sunnies and headed off to the Caribbean…
You can spot the turret tops from the entrance of the Sealife Centre in Weymouth and it isn’t that far from the main entrance until you are transported across the waters to the Caribbean (just past the penguins in fact!!) Turning a corner you come face to face with what looks like beach hut and is a completely understated entrance for the world it guards.
When stepping into the new Caribbean Cove you are immediately hit by COLOUR. There are bright, vibrant colours everywhere that I have to say instantly made me smile and we all (including my ONE YEAR OLD) went “Woahhhhhhh!” It looks amazing! It is an enclosed space which is only accessible through the previously mentioned beach hut instantly putting mamas like me who have wandering, fearless little ones at ease. Throughout our time in the playground, I stood all around it and you can pretty much see every single point of the playground from every other point meaning if you have slightly older ones that want to go off and play you are able to keep an eye on them whilst also helping your younger ones too.
The main feature of the playground is the humongous yellow, blue and orange castle which then connects onto the green section of the playground too. So many slides and tunnels, as well as cargo nets, fireman’s poles, bridges, mini-climbing walls and viewing pods as well. It is a little adventurers dream and in no time at all Rowan (10 years old) was straight up to the top and whooshing down the slides.
At the entrance there is a long rope bridge for explorers to traverse and off to the left is the slightly smaller pale blue and yellow pirate ship all set for a journey across the seas. This is a slightly smaller section perfect for the younger explorers not quite up to the heights of the big castle. Although it was still a little big for Alyssa, it was just the right height for me to be able to lift her to the top of the slide and go whizzing down which she absolutely adored – she was also able to have a run up and down the length of the boat and I have no doubt that in a year or so she will have no problem scaling the cargo nets too!
Wait wait… there’s more! Sealife Centre have covered all bases by making a raised sandpit area, decorated with tall wooden palm trees (which can be seen all over the playground) for the little ones to play in. There are also little tunnels and big tunnels all around the outside of the playground as well as two wooden boats that are on ground level and young ones can walk straight aboard with no climbing and be the captain’s of their own ship! Alyssa teamed up with Ava from Every Cloud Mummy to sail across the seas.
The park has also done really well covering sensory aspects for the children too. Various parts of the playground floor go up and down in varying sized mini bumps and humps, which I have to say appeared to be Alyssa’s favourite part of the whole playground because she spent ages going up and down up and down squealing with delight! They also have a wooden turtle that when hit in the right places becomes a drum or as the lovely Ava (from Every Cloud Mummy) demonstrates can also become a great climbing frame or mode of transport across the playground.
I know what you are thinking… what about the mums and dads?! Fear not, there is a whole area of picnic tables off to the side of the playground allowing us to sit and relax (or watch carefully to make sure our children aren’t the ones causing mischief) and watch as they zoom all over the place. The playground also has it’s own set of toilets meaning you don’t need to leave the area at all unless you want to pop back to the “Adventurers Grill” to grab some drinks and snacks. For those of you with buggys or wheelchairs, there are no access problems whatsoever and the area around the outskirts of the playground is completely smooth and level allowing you to wheel in and out easily. Why not take a full look at what we got up to in this little mini-vlog I put together….
After we left the Caribbean Cove we ventured round the rest of the park – Rowan was very excited to discover that one of the resident penguins had his name! We saw sharks being fed, found some strange looking turtles and even spotted the really brilliant looking splash park that we will definitely be going back for in the summer too. We finished off the day by learning about everything that was in the rock pools and watching the tide come whooshing through before heading to the gift shop on the way out where Rowan was nearly eaten by a shark!! If you are looking for a great day out in Dorset, I cannot recommend the new Caribbean Cove enough – you’ll need to make it a whole day because I am pretty sure you’re going to have trouble dragging the kids away from the colourful excitement of this new adventure playground, now Dorset’s largest outdoor adventure playground.
“A thrilling new addition, it will be Dorset’s largest adventure playground, where children will be able to have fun exploring and learning about the importance of marine conservation with Tyler the Turtle.”
Do let us know if you go – it will be a day out to remember!
We were given passes in order to review the park – all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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