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A fantastic up close sea experience
National Sea Life Centre (Birmingham)
Member Name: Laminator123
National Sea Life Centre (Birmingham)
Advantages: The place is massive, 4D cinema, range of creatures
Disadvantages: A little expensive, long queues to get in
I went to the Birmingham Sealife centre recently and was very excited. I had not been since I was very little. I decided to go with a friend and when we got there, the queues were really long. So for anyone who is planning to go, I advise that you order your tickets online so that you can use the fast track service. It sure beats queueing for 10 minutes.
As we were queueing to go in, I felt a little disappointed because it looked really small and I figured that we'd have been in and out of there in the time that we were queueing. But I was totally wrong. There was a lot more that wasn't visible to everyone on the outside.
They also hold small talks every hour or so where you are given the opportunity to touch some of the sea creatures, which the younger kids seemed to love.
The size of the place is incredible, and there are all sorts of sea creatures from sharks, to stingrays, to jellyfish. A truly unique sea experience.
There is an ocean tunnel where you get to walk through and see the sea creatures swimming above and around you. It really is quite breathtaking.
There are usually opportunities throughout the day to watch a member of the Sealife centre feed some of the sea creatures, although by the looks of the latest daily activity programme, most of the feeding sessions are for the otter.
There is now a 4D cinema there which I think is relatively new. They show a sea life documentary. The 3D effects are amazing, and the added 4D element makes it a whole lot of fun, from having water sprayed into your face to feeling your seat begin to shake. Having said that, due to how real it all looks, I do think that they should have some sort of warning displayed outside to alert parents that it may not be suitable for kids. There were a lot of tears in that screening, not that I'm surprised, I was a little taken aback by it at times but it was amazing.
When I went, there was a fact finder trail, if you answered all the questions correctly, you handed your marksheet in at the end and got yourself a prize.
At the end of the journey, there is a gift shop for you to purchase souvenirs. There is quite a selection: keyings, cuddly sea animal toys, pens etc.
I believe that you can get an Annual Pass there, costing £30 for an adult and £25 for a child (ages 3 to 14). This pass entitles you to 20% off at the gift shop, 20% off hot drinks in the cafe, a half price guide book, and £5 off entry to York and Edinburgh Dungeons. There are also special activies at the sealife centre which are for Pass holders only. Personally, I don't think it's worth it because the Sealife Centre is one of those places where you only want to go once a year. But if you have young kids then a pass may be worth it.
I recommend the Sealife Centre and please bear in mind that it is a lot bigger than it looks because most is hidden away. A day that is totally worth it.
£17.50 for an adult.
£14.00 for a child.
£17.00 for senior citizens and students (with NUS card shown)
Summary: A great day out for both the young and old.
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