Sea Life Center & Other Scheveningen Fun
The boys’ doctor is actually located just a few blocks from the beaches of Scheveningen. Usually we are rushing to make the last appointment after school, but since H is on school holiday we had a chance to combine our doctor visit with some exploration.
We drove to the doctor appointment, but Jeff left with the car after, leaving the boys and I to explore on foot/stroller. The beach has a well paved walking path that runs above the sand. We spent some time walking this toward the pier, where the Sea Life Center is located. The path is well signed (in Dutch) with pictures of the beach in bygone years. The boys loved all the boats we could see from the walking path. On warm sunny days the beach is packed, but on an overcast morning you share it only with a few other visitors.
Our favorite little find on this walk was the Tom Otterness Fairytales Statues. The kids loved exploring them by climbing on them and telling me the stories of the figures. (I loved photographing them and then putting the photos into the free Prisma app.)
My boys loved looking for the smallest of the characters and then stood beneath the larger ones.
At 10am the Sea Life Center opens. We were the first ones in the door at 10am and basically had the place to ourselves. When we left an hour later there was a line to get in.
The Sea Life Center has the feel of a mass produced aquarium. (Sea Life operates 50 aquariums around Europe.) The displays are all well done and over the top. They have a well themed children’s guide, complete with stamps to collect throughout the aquarium to earn a sticker at the end. There are plenty of portholes and fun windows to peek through. There are feedings scheduled throughout the day.
The museum is mostly stroller friendly. If you need to use an elevator for the stroller you will miss one small section of the aquarium. My kids were both out of the stroller at that point so I just carried the stroller up two sections of stairs. Also to exit the museum with the stroller you will need a staff member to run the small lift for you.
The kids enjoyed the visit. (My littlest is obsessed with fish.) I found the whole place to just be lacking. It is a fine way to burn an hour but the aquarium at the Blijdorp Zoo (included in zoo admission) has more to offer in the way of diversity of fish and information.
After the museum we popped into the historically enchanting Kurhaus Hotel.
The second floor has stunning beach views and the lobby is quite impressive. I was hoping there would be more going on, maybe a cafe to grab a latte, but it was quiet. The dome, painted murals and ceilings are worth seeing.
With the kids tired from our early morning we hopped on the tram to work our way back to Delft. You can easily reach the beach area by tram from the Den Haag Station, if you are coming in from out of town.
We got home with plenty of time to do a little ocean art to remind us of our trip.
On other visits to Scheveningen we have parked in one of the paid parking lots to spend an afternoon or evening on the beach. If you’re looking for a particular type of beach (nude, dog, horses) you can find the list of locations here. There is plenty of sand to enjoy and the water is always cool. There is no lack of beach restaurant options, so take a stroll and find something that suits you.
Our favorite beach spot to eat is quite a walk from this area so we usually drive. Simonis, the same place we like to purchase our fish from at the Thursday Delft market, also runs a restaurant. The food here is excellent and incredibly fresh. The portions are large so beware.
Scheveningen beach is always a good idea, but if the weather is nice I would skip the Sea Life Center in favor of some other fun in the area.