Today, we were lucky enough to be invited to the National Sea Life Centre to check out their Ancient Oceans event. We are all huge fans of the National Sea Life Centre and visit regularly. However, the Ancient Oceans event was particularly exciting for my dinosaur loving girls.
National Sea Life Centre Birmingham: Review
The National Sea Life Centre is home to native and tropical fish, sharks, otters, rays, an octopus, a turtle, jellyfish, starfish… the list goes on. But arguably, the star attraction is these gorgeous little chaps, the Gentoo penguins.
On entering the National Sea Life Centre, you walk straight into the Gentoo penguin area. Here you have the opportunity for a family photograph, which you can then purchase at the end. There is never any pressure to have the photos taken and today we decided against it, which was fine.
After that, you carry on walking through to see the rest of the attraction. There are numerous different small sections. Even the walkways have fish and other things to look at on either side.
Early on in the attraction, there is an area full of native species including an interactive rock pool. Children can touch various things including a starfish and a mermaids purse. Libby has always loved this and is fascinated by touching things. From there, you walk through various different tanks including the jellyfish, starfish and octopus among a multitude of other things. My girls adore the tunnels that they can walk through and today, they were particularly excited to see that the octopus was happy to greet visitors.
Next on the agenda were the otters. They were also particularly friendly today and we were lucky enough to have one happily munching on his breakfast by the window.
After the otters, you can head into the brilliant 4D cinema. Today, it was showing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It’s only a 12 minute film, but there is a great environmental message. My mother had never been in a 4D cinema before and was convinced something had gone horribly wrong when she got sprayed with water!
From there, you go into the Amazonian area to see turtles and frogs and then take the lift to the incredible sea tunnel. This is where Molokai the green turtle and his friends the sharks, rays and beautiful fish hang out.
After that, small children can play in the soft play area. There is a small ball pool for babies as well as a slightly larger area for running and climbing.
Ancient Oceans Event at National Sea Life Centre
This is the National Sea Life Centre’s 20th anniversary year and there are lots of exciting things going on. The fun kicks off this month with the Ancient Oceans event which runs until the 21st February. We can highly recommend it for a half-term day out.
The Ancient Oceans event allows you to learn a bit more about the history of the oceans. There are talks, workshops and activities that educate children not only about extinct animals, but also about protecting those that are still around.
The talks include the low-down on the Mega Penguin. This sadly died out 37 million years ago but it is known to have grown to 1.6 metres tall. Incredible!
Today, the girls were given a little activity pack, which included some stickers and instructions on the envelope. They had to find the missing bones of the skeleton on the way around the National Sea Life Centre and put their stickers on in the right place to become dinosaur detectives.
In the activities room, there were some sand pits where children could dig for fossils and brush the sand off to ‘discover’ them. The girls found this incredibly exciting and were very reluctant to leave.
Luckily, they were tempted away by a dinosaur detectives certificate and a shark’s tooth.
The next few months are going to be really exciting at the National Sea Life Centre. For schools, there is a special event revolving around jellyfish.
There is a new book being released called ‘The thing about Jellyfish’. Macmillan Children’s Books have teamed up with the National Sea Life Centre to encourage school children to research jellyfish. Classes who put together a power-point presentation can receive a free copy of the book and a free trip to the Sea Life centre.
The National Sea Life Centre is making Easter special for its visitors in conjunction with its 20th anniversary celebrations. Guests can visit all their favourite residents and hear talks from the experts to learn all about the creatures of the oceans. Find out more about what’s on over on the Birmingham Sea Life website.