As I have mentioned before (and as mentioned in my about me section!) I struggle with anxiety. I didn’t have alot planned for this week and its been a long time since I took Logan on a proper day out, just me and him! So I made the decision to go swimming and to the sealife centre after.
We went to the Marina Leisure Centre in Great Yarmouth a week previous, to meet friends in Jolly Jacks soft play above the swimming pool, which was fun! Whilst there, I saw the pool and it brought back so many memories! Its the pool I learnt to swim at, and at 6/7 years old I swam 800 metres there! I used to go every weekend with my Nan and Grandad for swimming lessons and would swim around – the wave machine was brilliant! Knowing the Marina is due to close to be completely overhauled, I wanted to make sure I took Logan there so I can tell him all about it when he is older.
We arrived at Great Yarmouth, roadside parking is free until the end of March which is a bonus, but the Marina does have a carpark next to it, which if you are using the centre you can pay £1 and park for 3 hours which is pretty good considering the costs of some of the parking at the seafront! I did see one poor gentleman paying for a ticket to park on the roadside but I was too far away and it was too windy for me to shout to stop him wasting his pennnies – it would be far more logical if the machines were off over the winter months, I wonder how much money is being made by people not reading signs…
Anyway, we got to the leisure centre, I thought the prices were pretty good although it is my first public pool experience in many years! It was £5.10 for me and £1 for Logan. The lady on reception was really helpful, thanks to my anxiety even though I could see the sign saying “pool” I still asked where I had to go!
We went into the female changing rooms and although they are dated, they are perfectly clean and tidy enough. There was a good number of changing rooms and a good number of baby change rooms too! I felt secure laying Logan on the solid bench even with him being a full on wriggle bum, he had lots of room and the surface was quite warm so he didn’t get upset. The lockers seemed fairly new and were really good, they were £1 but it gets refunded to you when you put the key in which is a bonus!
The showers and toilets were clean, but for me quite intimidating. There were 2 toilets which were those silver cold metal pan type ones. The showers were very small and claustrophobic, Logan isn’t used to showers but he was really good when we had a quick pre swim shower over as per the signs.
The walk to the pool was quick, and the air temperature was comfortable. The baby pool is attached to the main pool, which is handy, as you don’t have to fully get out of one to go to the other and get really cold on the walk. The water is cooler to what we are used to. We go swimming once a week at a private pool for baby swim classes and the water is a lovely tropical temperature! So was a little bit of a shock to my system although Logan didn’t seem to mind and didn’t seem cold. The baby pool is 0.5m deep, and has a really cool whale slide in the middle! Logan wasn’t too fussed by the slide, we tried it once but his little chubby legs stopped him successfully sliding 😂
We spent a little while in the baby pool, getting used to the surroundings. There were 3 cute children in the pool already, and they gave Logan some ducks to play with, which was really sweet of them! I was a bit nervous as Logan is rather fond of the ducks at swimming and he screams like a maniac when they are taken away but actually Logan didn’t seem too fussed when I tried taking them away which was a relief! Obviously not as good as our swimming teachers ducks 😂
We then moved round to the big part of the pool, as I was in all honesty getting a little chilly just sitting still in shallow water flapping Logan around. The pool is so cool, its like wading into the sea, as it has a gradual slope into it. Part of it was sectioned off for lane swimming but there was loads of room for general swimming. The wave machine and slide are currently out of operation – I used to love jumping in the waves there! But it didn’t affect our swim session.
The pool for general swim was only 1 metre deep so still quite shallow for me which made it less scary as our first solo swim. Logan was really good doing lots of splashing and kicking while I walked up and down lengths of the pool. There was hardly anyone there, only the people in the baby pool, a couple of people lane swimming and a couple of people in the general swim area. There was also a couple of children having lessons in the pool. After a while, I could tell Logan was getting worn out, hes used to 30 minutes swimming normally but wanted to try a little longer with him. So we moved back to the baby pool for a chill before we left. I think we were in the pool for a good 45 minutes!
I had taken my towel through to keep on the side so wrapped it round us and went to the changing room. I got the bag from the locker but left shoes and coats in there – the bonus of a refundable locker meant I could lock stuff in repeatedly to not overly clutter the changing room! We got changed which takes an incredibly long time when you have yourself and a wriggly baby to deal with! I got myself sorted first while Logan was wrapped in towels and then got him dressed. I find it easiest that way round as if I get him sorted first I would have to sit him on the wet floor so his clothes would get damp.
After our swim, we went back out to the blustery seafront and back to the car. There I exchanged the swim bag for our normal change bag and got the pushchair. We went off to the sealife centre, which was quite a challenge heading into the wind!
There was actually a pretty large queue for the Sealife centre, but we walked round the shop having a look first then went in when the queue had calmed a little. At the moment the penguins are closed for refurbishment and the crocodiles are missing, they have temporarily gone to Thrigby Wildlife park (a beautiful place to visit – if you haven’t been please go check them out!) I personally think the sealife admission is really expensive. It is £16.95 per adult and £14.95 per child 😲 Thankfully we had been able to get the tokens that the Mercury newspaper offered so we could get an annual pass for me for £25 (saving a massive £50!) which is well worth it. I have been twice since getting the pass, so already made my money back!
The sealife centre takes no more than 30-45 minutes to get round, and that was with me taking it slow and stopping at each tank for a while to talk all about the fish to Logan! It was good though and Logan did seem to enjoy looking at the fish. The highlight for me is always the sea turtle ❤ he is super cute – apparently hes 18 years old!
After our trip round the sealife, we decided to go to their cafe/restaurant to have something to eat. Their menu is good and there was a few vegetarian options. There were also quite a few childrens options which was nice to see, and not just fish fingers, chips and beans! Not that there is anything wrong with that, its just nice for children to have the same variety that adults do! I opted for a jacket potato with cheese, and a can of drink, which came in at just over £7, so fairly average for eating out at tourist attractions. The potato came with a salad and coleslaw, and was pretty good – not the best I have had but me and Logan shared it and enjoyed it!
After lunch we took a quick run to see the sea, nearly got blown away, and then ran back to the car. Logan must have been worn out from his trip, as he fell asleep in the car and had an epic 3 1/2 hour nap! That is actually unheard of! Although he is better with napping than he used to be, he is literally the king of catnaps and will often decide 15 minutes is more than enough to see him through for another 5 hours 🙄
We had such a good day and it really gave me such a boost! We will definitely be doing more days out in the future and will share them with you here and on instagram! Keep your eyes peeled 😊
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More snaps from our day: