Shamu’s Happy Harbor

Shamu's Happy Harbor. Photo Credit: Nico Maragos

If you have kids, you want them to be happy. If you’re a parent and have been at a theme park on a long hot summer day, you might need a break. So why not take the kids to a place where you could combine both?

I have no idea if this sort of thinking went into Shamu’s Happy Harbor. In the early 1990s, the old SeaWorld of Ohio play area was replaced with a bigger, more elaborate playzone. The centerpiece of Shamu’s Happy Harbor was a large system of climbing nets, several stories high. This was fairly new technology at the time, although now it’s common in community parks around the country. What I do know is the employees who staffed SHH were the people with the highest energy. The place was packed with kids, all on the move.

The only time I ever spent any time in Shamu’s Happy Harbor was at the start of the season. You wouldn’t know it, but before the season, SeaWorld of Ohio had Employee Night. On this night, park management held a pep rally of sorts. Then hundreds of us swarmed into SHH and played on the giant nets.

Fun? You bet it was.