This is a review of the swimming adventure attraction at THE SPORTIUM (Address:- Victorialaan 10 - 5213 JE 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, Den Bosch, The Netherlands) in Holland. My family and I visited this centre in mid August 2013 during a 4-day trip to Holland and enjoyed it so much that we went there twice. The centre is not hard to find with your SATNAV and took about 45 minutes to drive there from our hotel, the Best Western De Naaldhof in the town of Oss. THE SPORTIUM is a huge sport centre where many sporting disciplines can be enjoyed from Badminton to Volleybal, Basketball and Squash. There is an extensive indoor Gym which we passed but did not investigate at the time. We were headed for the swimming!
The Swimming pool is a real wonder of indoor water attractions! Why they cannot do something this good in the UK is beyond me! The main focus of the attraction is a "beach" with wave machine, all set among rocks and palm trees and they even have a Volcano which "erupts" just before the start of the wave machine! In the same pool area beyond the Pool Beach is a set of caves where you can swim around the cave system (all lit up) and explore! The pool also has a part-outdoor pool swimming section with climbing frame for younger children. There is also a baby pool inside for little toddlers. Inside the attraction, located just to the side of the pool beach, there is a small restaurant serving hot and cold food and drink (we purchased burgers, sausages and fries as well as salad and sandwiches and cola and some fruit juices) and this is also close to the baby pool so mothers can sit and enjoy their children in comfortable surroundings. There is also an upstairs seating/viewing area where people can enjoy their food (there seems to be no restriction on bringing your own food either) or where you can just watch the action.
However, the real thrill of this place - as my son told me many times - is the slides! You have a slow moving water slide adjacent to the Pool Beach where people grab hold of large two-person inflatables (supplied by the attraction) and then carry them to the top of the slide and then try to get down over a twisting, turning course - and laugh all the way down! Then there are the dark slides! Go down the stairs into a rock cave and then follow the six flights of stairs up to the top and you encounter two very quick slides. But be aware! the slower slide on the left is fast! Faster than anything I have ever tried - and I still try to beat the record every time I go down the fast slide at the Triangle Pool at the Leisure centre in Burgess Hill! It is very quick and steep and eerily lit too! Try this one on your back! However - its the one on the right that is the adrenalin rush! I didn't go on it but my wife and son did. And were not prepared for how fast it was! But I will leave details of that for you to find out! Both slides empty out at the bottom of a tunnel where you can also sit and watch others emerge - and gauge the looks on their faces!
In addition to all of this, there is a fairly big Jacuzzi pool just behind the rocks across from the Pool Beach. This has bubbles and you can relax here or take the small swim avenue out to the outside pool.
This place is huge! It is also very clean with plenty of staff monitoring everything from the pool (we saw at least four Life Guards) to the toilet and changing area. The changing rooms are fine and the lockers are all in good order (use a 50 cent piece in the slot to lock the door). There is plenty of seating and tables in front of the Pool Beach, so come early to get the best seats. Many people bring their bags with food, drinks and towels out and leave them on their seats. In general, this attraction has it all and when you buy your ticket, it is for the whole day so no chucking out when it gets busy! We paid 48 Euros for four people (my son aged 10 and my daughter aged 14 are considered Adults) to enter and as I say, this is for the day if you want to make it so. Parking at THE SPORTIUM is by ticket entry adjacent to the building and the parking was fairly extensive, so no problems if you come by car. When you go in to get your pool tickets, let the staff at the ticket counter know you have parked and they will include the cost of the parking ticket and discount it - and provide you with a ticket to exit, so no delays getting out!
For a day out with the kids, this has to be one of the best places I have been to, certainly for swimming. Its an awesome place and well worth the cost and the time taken to enjoy it. The pool opens at 10am, so get there early to grab your spot! This is a must visit if you are in The Netherlands at any time with the family. Why can't we do this as good in the UK? Enjoy!
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