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Two excited little girls stood on the railway platform dancing a train dance. As their carriage puffed up, they jumped up and down. We were off!
Family and Friends Railcard
A day out in Birmingham is always a treat. They’ve been going to the National Sea Life Centre regularly since they were tiny, but they never tire of it. And one of the most exciting parts of the day is always the ride on the train.
But I must admit, it was starting to get a bit expensive. Libby turned five a few months ago, and since then we’ve been having to pay for her train ticket. So I was delighted to hear that with a Family and Friends Railcard, we could keep the cost down.
In fact, for a single from Birmingham to my local train station, the cheapest adult fare is £10.90. With the Family and Friends Railcard, it cost £7.20 for me and £2.10 for Libby, a total of £9.30. Making it cheaper for me to travel with Libby than without her. Railcard estimates that families using this card save an average of £131 per year.
Spooky Seas at the National Sea Life Centre
From 14th to 31st October, the National Sea Life Centre has a spooky theme. It is decked out with freaky cobwebs and pumpkins. Visitors can learn about the spooky and magical creatures of the deep. From ghost-like jellyfish to camouflaged sea horses to not-so-scary sharks.
In the 4D cinema, visitors can watch the Octonauts on their Amazon adventure. The penguins were particularly friendly during our visit, coming over to see what we were up to when we crouched next to their enclosure.
We learnt spooky facts about the creatures of the deep. Like the way that shoaling fish like tuna stick together for protection and sea horses change colour to avoid predators. As always, Libby loved touching the creatures in the rock pool, whereas Lia was a bit too nervous. A lovely addition today was being able to watch the otters on a camera while we were in a queue for the 4D cinema.
A favourite lunch
After we left the Sea Life Centre, I let the girls decide where to go to lunch. Whenever we go to Birmingham, they usually ask to eat at Wagamamas. But a few months ago, we had dinner at Yo Sushi! in Worcester. Realising there was a Yo Sushi! in Birmingham as well, the girls asked to go there.
There’s nothing more fun that sitting by the conveyor belt, grabbing the food you want. We decided to go to the restaurant in Grand Central, which is right next to New Street train station. It made a nice change to be at the station early rather than running for the train.
Saving money on days out
We regularly go for days out in the West Midlands. I always find it more relaxing to go by train, and with a Family and Friends Railcard it’s relatively inexpensive. You can buy one for £30 for the year. The card gives you 30% off adult fares and 60% off children’s fares.
The card can be used by up to 4 adults when travelling with up to 4 children aged 5-15. Two adults can be named on the card, which means that my husband can use it if he takes the children for a day out without me. If you’re looking to make use of the card over half term, check out my West Midlands October half term post. For Christmas, head to my post about Christmas days out in the West Midlands.
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