Review: SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham

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We were recently asked if we’d like to go and visit the SEA LIFE Centre in Birmingham. Having a child who has ambitions of becoming a marine biologist later in life (aim high son!) there was no way we could pass this up.  First off, a disclaimer, my photos aren’t great but as anyone who has been in a SEA LIFE Centre will know, the lighting (which is optimum for the fish!) does not exactly lend itself to taking photos so I’ve tried my best with my cranky old camera!

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Of course having a sea-life obsessed child also means that this wasn’t our first visit to a SEA LIFE Centre, oh no! We’ve recently visited the one in Blackpool and of course living so close to Birmingham, we’ve visited this particular one in the past too, however it was a couple of years back now and a few things have changed.  At SEA LIFE Centre’s they have a great trail for kids to follow where children collect ‘stamps’ in their dive log books. My two didn’t do this on this occasion as they’d recently done it, but it’s lots of fun and they get to press the stamps in themselves – and at the end, collect a medal from the gift shop!

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One of the first things we noticed had changed since our last visit was the addition of penguins at the entrance. This went down a treat with my two children, in fact, I wasn’t sure we’d get to see much else in there as it was hard to tear them away! They were being fed when we were there and it was very cute to see them bobbing in and out of the water. The penguins they keep here at Birmingham are classified as near-threatened so SEA LIFE are doing great work and I’d go as far to see this was my favourite part of the attraction, loved these little guys.

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There are so many fabulous creatures to take in at the SEA LIFE centre, it would be impossible to list them all but here are three of our absolute favourites:

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Everyone loves a clown fish right? They must be one of the cheeriest little fishes ever! We’re always really excited when we clap eyes on them swimming around.

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My daughter is sea horse obsessed and I must admit they fascinate me. So elegant and graceful, such a shame that their habitats keep getting destroyed, endangering them further.

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We all love a ray! This polka dot version was my favourite of all of them, I’ve never seen one quite like it. I love their little smiley faces. Okay, I know I am not being anatomically correct but they looking like big grinning faces to me and I like it!

There’s of course many other things to see and we really enjoyed listening to some of the creature talks which are always interesting and perfectly targeted to the children.  I would have loved to have seen more of the otters but these were incredibly popular and we managed to get to that point just as the talk kicked off which meant we couldn’t get near the little critters! Next time.  We all also really enjoyed the 4D cinema experience which was excellent fun, whilst helping to teach children valuable lessons about not littering at the same time!

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It’s important to remember that whilst SEA LIFE is a fun attraction they are also doing some really important conservation work towards protecting our oceans and the sea life that lives within it.  The have breeding programmes, rescue and rehoming missions and run campaigns such as the whales and dolphins campaign to stop them being kept in captivity.

We really enjoyed our visit to the SEA LIFE centre and hope to return soon. It’s a great facility, both fun and interesting and the excellent work they are doing cannot be denied. I noticed they do VIP feeding experiences with those lovely penguins and am thinking about that for a birthday present for my son next year!

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You can visit the SEA LIFE Birmingham website here to find out more, they’ve got some special events coming up and also make sure you follow their Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with everything that is going on at Birmingham.

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