National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham


Yesterday we took the train to Birmingham to visit the Sea Life Centre! We had the 2-4-1 vouchers you get off the cereal box and we found out they recently started fostering a pair of seals!

The centre is at Brindley Place by the canals. We walked through the Mail Box from the station and all the way down the canal. Upon arrival there are 2 queues. One to buy tickets and another for the prepaid tickets. On especially busy days (like during the school holidays and weekends) they operate a time slot system where you buy tickets for a specific entry time. This allows them to stagger entry so the attraction doesn’t get too stupidly busy. Tickets are £20 per individual on the day or £13 in advance online. Under 3s go free.

We purchased our tickets for 3pm in the hopes that it would have quietened down by then. In the meantime we went to find some lunch and a drink.

When we returned at 3pm it was fairly quick and easy to get in as we merely followed the queue for prepaid tickets. The first exhibit you come upon is the penguins! You’re offered a chance to take some photos as you get to the penguins which we took. More on this later.

It’s pretty much a straightforward route through the attraction where you see many aquatic creatures such as various fish, seahorses, octopi, rays, and of course, the highlight of our trip, a pair of newly fostered seals!

We were very lucky that we arrived at the seal exhibit just before feeding time so were actually able to watch them being fed! They seemed to enjoy their little space and it was a joy to watch them swimming around.

You then reach the ocean tunnel which it quite wonderful to walk through. Baby H certainly enjoyed it. They had various sharks, rays and green turtles!

Once you finish walking through the exhibits you reach a photo desk where you hand over the ticket stub they give you after you’ve had your photo taken so they can bring it up on the screen. They basically superimpose your photo onto a specific background and you can choose how you want it. A print, on a keychain, etc. There are various packages available but we went for the plain and simple print which cost us £10.

You then head out into the gift shop in order to exit the attraction.

All in all we had an enjoyable day out at the Sea Life Centre. The exhibits are quite interesting and although they could do with a refurb (only the seals exhibit looked fairly fresh and modern) it was informative. It’s even more worth it if you have the 2-4-1 vouchers.

Baby facilities:
1. Changing – upon entering the attraction there are bathrooms directly to your left as you walk up to the penguins. I was very pleased to note that there are changing facilities in both the men and women toilets as well as the disabled toilets. So rare to see them in the men’s and definitely a step forward.
2. Accessibility – the entire attraction is pushchair/wheelchair friendly although there are a couple of areas where you need to be careful when manoeuvring as we bumped the wheels a couple of times.

Helpful links:
Sea Life Centre – https://www.visitsealife.com/birmingham/

Ratings:
Value – 4.0
Overall – 4.0

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