We’ve been to the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham many times, but recently The Family Adventure Company asked us to go along for a visit and review our experiences there. There’s a lot to see at the National Sea Life Centre, so I’ve picked out some of the highlights.
Your route round the National Sea Life Centre starts by taking you past the penguins. The Gentoo penguins have an area of ice to bask on and a pool to swim . The pool is cut away and there are some steps down so that you can see the penguins swimming along in side view. At the very end of the route round you’ll meet the penguins again (if they are swimming and you will be able to see them swimming towards you, turning around and swimming back.
After meeting the penguins, you start to zigzag your way round the exhibits. There are lots of amazing large tanks and many smaller ones too. A favourite stopping point on the way round is always the Interactive Rock Pool. There’s always a member of staff on hand to talk to children (and adults) about starfish and sea urchins. You can get to touch a lot of the sea creatures too. We learnt about mermaid’s purses on our last visit (mermaid’s purses are the egg cases of sharks and rays).
I love watching the otters in their enclosure high in the building. You can take a peak into their sleeping quarters or watch them at play in the water. The good thing about having windows into all the areas of the enclosure is that you can get to see them even if they are asleep.
Next up is the 4D cinema. The films usually have a watery or icy feel and I think we have seen extracts from Happy Feet, Spongebob and Ice Age in the past. They do change the films around from time to time and H is always keen to see the film even if it’s one he’s seen before.
One of the biggest draws of the National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham is its big tank with walk through tunnel. This is an amazing place to spot sea creatures swimming around and our highlights are spotting a turtle or a hammer-head shark. Once you walk through the tunnel you very soon meet up with the penguins again which is fun. There is a very small soft play area too. Sadly, it’s a bit too small and bizarrely there isn’t really anywhere for parents to sit while their children play. I think this is the are that could use some improvement. That said The National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham is a great place to spend a morning or an afternoon. Lunch is easy as there are lots of eateries close by or you could bring a picnic to eat beside the canal if you prefer.