I can’t quite believe I’m going to confess this – but despite living under an hour away I have never been to the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham! Charlie went last year with his school on his first big school trip but I have never been, how bad is that? So when I was kindly offered tickets to take the family along I readily agreed and off we went.
We drove to the Sea Life Centre which is excellently sign posted from the motorway and parked at the carpark which is a very short walk to the entrance. Charlie loved it as we walked past the canal and got to see lots of barges and they all tooted and waved at us which he loved! When you arrive,there is two queues – one for pre-paid tickets and one to purchase on the day. We went in quickly with no queue (we went on a Sunday at around 10.30am) You are given a list of talks and what time they are on so you can plan where to be at what time and can then have a wander around at your own pace.
We took the girls in their double buggy and access wise it is excellent. There isn’t a buggy zone to drop off your pushchairs but there’s so many places to pop it so you can get a bit closer but would love the option to be able to drop it off and collect it later.
Charlie was given a trail booklet which he had to find the answer 9 questions and get the stamp in each zone which he loved. They set you challenges (he touched a starfish) and also questions which are interactive and even a smell-o-vision one! It’s good to give them something to look out for along the way which kept him entertained.
There are so many different animals and fishes to see along the way including our favourites the “nemo” fish, the electric looking jellyfish, the penguins, otters, the hammerhead shark not to mention the HUGE turtle and stingray in the tunnel walkway near the end which is so amazing to stand and have them all going over your head.
Another huge highlight of the visit was the 4D cinema. IT shoe s a 12 minute animated “film” showing the effect of pollution in the sea and has some pretty cool 4D effects including water splashing, shaking seats and “crabs” that scuttle around our feet! I loved it as the girls were glued to our laps and Charlie was taking it all in. You can take your buggies in as well and it’s a great addition to the day so don’t skip it!
Until 31st August you can become a Lego City Explorer, aside to the other treasure hunt there is a Lego one that your little explorers can take part in too which you have to find all the hidden Lego creatures but I have to admit we only found a couple!! But Charlie did get his medal at the end for the hunt which he was very proud of and took into school the day after to show off!
At the end of your visit, there is a soft play area and also the area where you can creature your own Lego sea creature. It was quite busy when we went so we popped into the soft play and Charlie did start building but two grizzly twin sisters meant he didn’t get to finish but there were some amazing figures that some
parents ahem KIDS had built!
I would recommend if you are visiting to book online as you can save up to 40% on your tickets. Aso make sure you go to the penguin talk as we found it really interesting and you learn about all the different penguins (our favourite was Alfie!) The 4D cinema is also a great chance to have a sit down and let the little ones learn a bit more about the ocean.
We had a fantastic day and popped into the American Diner across the bridge from the Sealife Centre which was awesome and topped off a pretty fab Sunday afternoon for the Twinderelmo crew!
We were given free admission in exchange for this honest review; all words, opinions and photos are my own.