The Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

On Sunday we made what has become our annual trip to the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham. My little boy Joe absolutely loves the place and insists that our Summer’s always include a trip so he can see his favourites – the Penguins, the sharks and the rays, and this year, we also took my three year old niece too. Suffice to say we had a brilliant time – the Sea Life Centre never disappoints in our eyes.

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The Penguins are always a great favourite, their enclosure really do resemble the land of ice and snow that is Antarctica, and there antics of all choosing to swim at exactly the same time always delights the watching children.

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Once the penguins had been checked out, we moved on to the main body of the centre, where you can enjoy a range of fish, rays, seahorses, incredibly beautiful jellyfish and all manner of aquatic life. This year the centre has partnered with the ‘Finding Dory’ film, so the trip around the centre is also interactive as children search the tanks for different letters in order to solve a riddle. There are also lots of photo ops in special Dory tanks, as well as the usual stamp machines that Joe totally loves to find.

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The 4d cinema is still great fun, with the Octonauts film showing, complete with sounds, scents and splashes from the rain forest. It may not suit all younger viewers, but Renee was fine with it and was not concerned at all. The film lasts around 15 minutes, but you can leave at any time if your child is not enjoying the experience.

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For my family, the best part of a trip to the Sea Life Centre is the glass tunnel, where sharks, rays and giant turtles swim all around you. Touching the glass is a must, even for my hubby who has a huge shark phobia. The tunnel is a truly magical experience which seems to get better every year – it never fails to make Joe gasp that he is so close to the marine wildlife.

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The Sea Life Centre is a great family day out and one which I would totally recommend visiting this Summer.

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Lego Deep Sea Explorers at Birmingham Sea Life Centre

The Sea Life Centre in Birmingham is one of the City’s top family attractions. Each Summer it has a special themed event to tie into school holiday time, with Moshi Monsters and Octonauts being featured in previous years. This year, children are offered the chance to be Deep Sea Explorers with Lego City, having a dive log book which they are able to stamp as they proceed around the centre finding Lego equipment and answering questions about the creatures of the Sea Life Centre. On Saturday, I took my family to the centre to attempt the challenge. We had great fun.

Outside the Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Outside the Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Any trip to the Birmingham Sea Life Centre starts with a visit to the penguins. These are definite favourites with the whole family, and I love the fact that you can find out a bit about each penguin by looking at the coloured tag on their wings. This is to help you identify the penguins, and from this you can find out their name, how old they are and a little bit about their personality. The penguins are frankly so cute, you could watch them all day and not be bored.

Penguins!

Penguins!

 

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Once the penguins had been cooed over, it was time to start the challenge. The great thing about the Sea Life Centre is that it really is suitable for all ages. Joe is 6 and just loved the place, but we also had our two year old niece Renee with us and she was terribly excited too.

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We followed the trail around – answering the questions from the Dive Log book and then using the stampers at various stations around the centre. Joe particularly loved handling the Starfish from the rock pool area (although he wasn’t convinced it was real!), while Renee thought she had spotted ‘Big Bad Barry’ from ‘Ben and Holly’ when she spotted a particularly big fish. The undersea tunnel is always a favourite, and both Joe and Renee insisted on putting their hands on the belly of a shark as it swam overhead.

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The Lego Deep Sea Explorer theme definitely adds another layer of interest as you walk around the attraction – Joe loved spotting the Lego creatures and pieces of equipment in the tanks and pools. As you reach the end of the Sea Life Centre a special Lego station has been set up where children are encouraged to create their own deep sea creature which can then be placed on display.

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We had a wonderful time at the Birmingham Sea Life Centre, a visit is always great fun and you definitely leave with a huge smile on your face. I would highly recommend a trip this Summer if you are looking for something to do, especially if it is a rainy day.

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With one of the Owls from The Big Hoot project.

With one of the Owls from The Big Hoot project.

*We were given a family ticket in order to review our experiences at the Birmingham Sea Life Centre.