Monday, 6 April 2015

Day Out: Ex-sea-lent day out at the National Sea Life Centre Birmingham


Last weekend we were kindly offered the chance to visit the wonderful Sea Life Centre in Birmingham. The main reason for this was due to myself and my husband being interested in how L would react to all of the sea creatures on show.
                            
A visit to The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham provides a fun and informative day out for all the family to enjoy. It is home to 16 displays featuring over 2,000 creatures, including sharks, a rescued Giant Green Sea Turtle, otters, jellyfish, piranha, octopus, rays and an adorable colony of waddling Gentoo penguins.

My first impressions were that the staff were very friendly and equipped us with a map (loved the way the venue was separated into different sections) and advise of the changing room location, and off we went...

First up was the Penguin Ice Adventure, I
 must admit, that as the responsible parent, I did become extremely exited about the prospect of seeing the penguins.. they were definitely not a let down!
The Antarctic landscape scenery was simply amazing and you can't help but to feel as if you have stepped right out into the South Pole. The fantastically themed Penguin Ice Adventure offers a real insight into the lives and quirky habits of these cheeky birds, whether it’s hearing the unmistakable trumpeting call as the colony communicates to one another or watching them dive in the icy water.

Once we had visited the stars of the show, we also got to have a wander around the rest of the centre.
Another new addition to the Birmingham's Sea Life Centre is the exciting Sea Stars exhibition which gives you the chance to get up close and personal with a range of starfish of different sizes and colours. 
                                          
Amy Langham, General Manager at The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, comments: “Sea stars play a crucial role in maintaining the health of our seas and with around 1,500 species of starfish spread across all oceans, from tropical to polar waters, and from shallow tidal pools to depths of 620,000ft, they are amazingly complex.
                      
It is a really amazing display and thanks to the pop up bubbles and peek a boo holes, you really can get so close you can almost touch these amazing creatures. You can even touch a starfish at the rockpool or just look at them through the Starfish looking glass.                            
There are many talks which the staff members narrate during the tour, unfortunately the talks are only at set times and we did not encounter any of these. I am fairly sure they would be informative and allow your little ones to gain knowledge about the animals at the Sea Life Centre. 
If (like us) you did not get a chance to hear any of the talks about the animals, fear not! 
Throughout the whole tour, you encounter display boards which offer exciting facts, such as 'the starfish grows an extra leg if it loses one'!

We had few pushchair "crashes" in walkways as they are quite narrow and there is only room for one person/ pushchair or wheelchair at a time. But my mother-in-law who works in nursery said that when they went to Sea Life centre with kids they were offered to leave pushchairs on a ground floor, it would be so much easier for some of us!

We bypassed the activity room as L is too young for painting/drawing, however if you have toddlers, this is a perfect opportunity for them to get creative and bring a drawing/personalised souvenir home!

The second main attraction- the Ocean Tunnel.The easiest way to describe the tunnel is a magical and breath taking. We loved walking under the swimming fish and the huge shark and turtle floating around us. By far joint top of the best bits about the Sea Life Centre.
                          
There are other super sections to the Sea Life Centre, such as the different fish on show (clown fish, stingrays etc.) and also a very appealing room solely on jellyfish which was very unexpected
(dark room – brightly lit tanks).
                                                      

A couple of things to note:
  • Take your time going round as the centre is quite small.
  •  No cafe or designated rest area, but there are a few places to sit on the way round. A cafe would be lovely with aquariums if space allowed. Although there were vending machines spread around for you to buy a bottle of pop.
  • 4D cinema not very obvious (to find) – follow your map carefully
  • If booking tickets online (£12.50) it will cost you less than buying at the ticket office (£20.95)

Must see event: to celebrate the launch of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, visit Sea Life Birmingham between the 27th March and 19th April 2015 and take part in SPONGEBOB’S SPONGEHUNT! Help SpongeBob find his friends hidden throughout Sea Life Birmingham so that they can go on their most super-heroic adventure yet to find the missing Krabby Patty formula.

Disclamer: We were kindly offered a free press visit to the Sea Life centre for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

26 comments:

  1. Wow, buying online is a huge saving! We love going to sea life centres, they're so interesting.

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  2. We love sea life centres especially the penguins and the sharks x

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  3. We have been to see the Sea Stars too - we loved it.

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  4. We love Sea Life Birmingham, it's great. That star fish picture is amazing!

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  5. So nice to see the Sea Life Centre looking good! Every time I've been, there's been so much closed/empty. #twinklytuesday x

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  6. The ocean tunnel is lovely isn't it. I love penguins too x

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  7. The penguins look amazing! We are a massively penguin-loving family and now I really want to go here!

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  8. I have to visit Sea Life next time I'm in London! Looks like so much fun x

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  9. I love those red star fish and my son would love the opportunity to get creative and do some drawing too.

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  10. What a fantastic sounding day out - I would love to get to a sea life centre again sometime soon.

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  11. Buying online is a great way to save money. I want to go and see the Starfish I adore them, sooooo cute x

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  12. Sea life looks really nice place to visit, perfect for a day out with the kids.

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  13. I love Sea Life Centres! Sounds like you had a great time xxx

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  14. Wow - penguins! Really tempted to go there now! Also the Sea Stars look fabulous xx

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  15. Birmingham Sealife is the only one we have not been to. Will hopefully do it soon

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  16. I love the sea life centre they are just great :) looks like and amazing day :)

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  17. We haven't been for a few years but this posy has definitely inspired me to plan a return visit!

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  18. You can't beat a gang of penguins! The starfish are an amazing colour, too. Looks as though you had a super day out.

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  19. WOW! This looks amazing!!! We're only a hop and a skip from Birmingham too!! I'm not sure why I've never thought of going to the Sealife Centre before?! My boys would absolutely LOVE it! :) Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday x

    Caro | www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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  20. Looks like a great day out, love those starfish bubbles. I've only bean to the Brighton sea life place, but that was amazing.

    Oh and I love a good play on words but even I wouldn't have gone there with the title lol.

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  21. What a fantastic day out! My kids would love it.

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  22. We love the Sea Life Centre.... especially since the penguins made their debut in Birmingham.

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  23. we love the sea life centre and always go looking for one when we holiday in the UK

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  24. My children love visiting aquariums. We have visited many sea life centres around the country. :)

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  25. sea life centres are great aren't they. Wilf loves them! x

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  26. LOVE the pic of the Sea Star pop-up bubble! One of my husband and I's first dates was at the London Aquarium - happy memories :-)

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