parents

Three days. Three kids. And a holiday that actually went to plan.

Nicole with her kids.

By NICOLE MADIGAN

Put your hand up if you promised yourself you’d never rely on technology to entertain the kids.

You’d never allow your children to play with an iPhone when out for dinner, and there’s no way your kids would waste quality time playing on electronic devices during family holidays. Yours would be the family happily skipping along the beach, enjoying every precious moment.

Now put your hand up if the first thing you do before you go out for dinner is charge your phone.

Keep it up if you’ve spent hours of holiday time, trapped in your hotel room, one kid on an iPad, the other on the portable DVD player, while Dad sleeps and you eye off the mini-bar, dreaming of cocktails by the pool.

Both my hands are up.

So, I set myself a challenge. I’d embark on a long weekend away, sans devices and see if I could make my original family holiday vision a reality.

The destination: Sea World Resort, Gold Coast. The Mission: A fun-filled three day trip, keeping the kids entertained and happy, with bonus points if mum and dad have a good time too.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Village Roadshow Theme Parks. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

Arriving at the Resort, the kids were bursting with excitement at the fact that not only were we going to be staying “in a room” but we’d be visiting Sea World as well. Win.

When we got to the room, we discovered a little envelope with our name on it. Inside were four VIP Magic Passes, valid for entry to Sea World, Wet ‘n’ Wild Gold Coast and Warner Bros. Movie World until June next year, part of the Resort package. Double win.

Being late afternoon, we took the kids to the Resort’s SpongeBob SplashBash aquatic adventure playground. This in itself provides hours of fun for any water-loving child, taking us through to an early dinner.

Test number one.

There are three full-service restaurants based at the resort, we went for Japanese on night one.

Nicole with her family and the Ninja Chef at Tepenyaki.

Teppanyaki, which to kids basically means food cooked by a Ninja Chef, left mine transfixed, trying foods they’d never normally eat, while mummy and daddy enjoyed a wine. Phone? What phone?

The refurbished rooms were modern and spacious, with a microwave and cutlery and – to my husband’s delight – comfy pillows of varying thickness.

The following morning we pigged out at the breakfast buffet then enjoyed a sneak-peak of Sea World’s dolphin trainers in action, an event exclusive and free to guests at the Resort.

ADVERTISEMENT

Once we were in the park, there was no way the kids were going to let us escape, so we grabbed a map and got exploring.

We checked out the Fish Detectives Sea Lion Show which the kids loved and was actually pretty funny, then went directly to the ‘Imagine’ Dolphin Show, which was fantastic as dolphins always are.

We took it one step further though and took part in a Meet the Dolphin experience which I’m positive I enjoyed just as much as my five-year-old, amazing creatures that they are. Dolphins that is.

After checking out the polar bears, penguins and sharks, as well as taking a trip on the cable cars, the day was all but over, so we headed back to our room to get ready for dinner at restaurant number two – a delicious seafood buffet with all-you-can-eat dessert… happy kids, happy parents, obviously.

The boys both very excited to be meeting SpongeBob

We all slept like babies (including the actual baby) and in the morning, made our way to the lobby for a meet and greet with SpongeBob SquarePants. Because the boys were so excited and I am an emotional wreck in general, my eyes welled up a little bit. Sad but true.

To my surprise we spent our second day at Sea World doing completely different activities to the day before.

We took a ride on the monorail as well as a bunch of other awesome kids’ rides, checked out a Jet Ski stunt show, watched a 3D Nickelodeon movie, touched some starfish and sea urchins and enjoyed a Dora the Explorer Live Show.

The highlight of the day though was hand feeding stingrays, which hilariously climbed halfway out of their exhibit to snap up the fish.

As closing time approached and we announced our impending departure we were met with our first whinges and moans of the day. Even our six month old bub was happy, with an abundance of parents’ rooms keeping her comfortable during a long day out.

But all good things come to an end and this long weekend flew by – no devices, no tantrums, just heaps of nauseatingly fun family holiday time.

Mission accomplished.

See more of Nicole’s family holiday here…

What’s the best holiday you’ve ever been on with your family?

Take your family on a journey of discovery and adventure at the award-winning Sea World Resort.  There’s so much to explore including an aquatic adventure playground, cuddles with your favourite Nickelodeon characters, a fun filled Kid’s Club and amazing restaurants.
Plus, when you stay two nights or more, you can go on a behind the scenes sneak peek of a dolphin training session with Sea World Resort’s exclusive Dolphin Discovery for free. It’s a wonderful experience the kids will never forget.
Sea World Resort offers direct monorail access to Sea World and family friendly service all with Gold Coast beaches and famous theme parks on your doorstep, not to mention free WiFI around the entire hotel. Visit SeaWorldResort.com.au.
00:00 / ???