We were SO EXCITED to get Premium Annual Merlin passes a few weeks ago, that we have already been to FOUR Merlin attractions! I thought I’d use this week to publish some reviews, so I’m starting with The National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham.
First of all, it’s really easy to get to, and there is a car park so close that you can actually see the Sea Life Centre from the multi-storey. Birmingham is only a one hour drive for us, so we arrived in good spirits.
For the children.
At reception, the children were given activity cards, which they could stamp at different points throughout the venue, in order to get a reward at the end.
Throughout the Sea Life centre, there were lots of different facts, questions and interactive activities to engage children and help them to learn about all the creatures in the sea.
The 4D cinema shows a family-friendly “Happy Feet” video short. My girls loved this. They put on their 3D glasses and laughed when the seats rumbled or they got wet!
The majority of tanks had viewing windows at heights which were accessible to children and there was even a soft play centre.
Refreshment vending machines at various spaces around the centre were ideal for people like us, who stayed there a lot longer than we planned and got thirsty half way around. In total, we spent 3 hours at The SEA LIFE Centre.
The interactive rock pools meant children could reach out and touch corals and starfish. My girls weren’t quite brave enough, even though their activity cards dared them to do it!
There was also a soft play centre there, which we thought was great for the girls to burn off some energy before the journey home.
We witnessed tanks of all sizes and varietys, from underwater walkways, to giant tubes and huge pools. There were more sea creatures than I could list on this post.
Our highlights were the clownfish, the turtles, the sharks, the rays and best of all, the penguins! We love the way they waddle and hop and they all copy each other too.
Photos just wouldn’t do this justice, so I’ve made a little highlights video.
Whilst there we witnessed the talk about the rays, which was fascinating. We sadly missed the penguin talk and the otter talk, but it’s great to know they have them, for next time we visit.
There was a small gift shop, enticing you to buy souvenirs and toys on the way out, as we’ve come to expect from all Merlin attractions. My only complaint about the SEA LIFE centre would be the lack of café, however the location is pretty central to Birmingham and there are supposedly many places to eat nearby.
If we didn’t have Annual Merlin Passes, it would have cost us £17.50 each to get in (Free for under 3’s), so we would have paid £52.50 for our visit. The fact we have annual passes, means we can go back again and again, as many times as we want to this year!
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to The National SEA LIFE Centre and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice family day out. It’s fun, it’s educational and I personally find it quite relaxing being surrounded by sea life!